Rant Sports 2013 NFL Mock Draft: St. Louis Rams Select Kenny Vaccaro at No. 22
Making mock drafts is something that many NFL fans get into the closer we get to the actual NFL Draft on April 25th. Trying to get inside of the minds of 32 different general managers and scouting departments is an impossible task, yet here at Rant Sports we couldn’t resist the temptation either. We put together our own panel of representatives for each team and went through a collaborative mock process.
As the representative of the St. Louis Rams, my task was an enjoyable one with not one, but two selections in the opening round. The first pick went exactly as the team would like during the real deal with receiver Tavon Austin wearing a Rams’ cap, but how did the second choice work out? Here is what took place leading up to the Rams’ second first round pick at number 22 overall.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Jesus Flores – Luke Joeckel
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Farbo – Geno Smith
3. Oakland Raiders: Joshua Walfish – Sharrif Floyd
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Connor Muldowney – Dee Milliner
5. Detroit Lions: Vance Meek – Eric Fisher
6. Cleveland Browns: Ryan Ruiz – Chance Warmack
7. Arizona Cardinals: Bob Kaupang – Matt Barkley
8. Buffalo Bills: Scott DelleFave – Cordarrelle Patterson
9. New York Jets: Jon Presser – Dion Jordan
10. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Denmark – Ezekiel Ansah
11. San Diego Chargers: Kenny Gardner – Lane Johnson
12. Miami Dolphins: Stephen Conway – Xavier Rhodes
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ben Grimaldi – Desmond Trufant
14. Carolina Panthers: Jeff Everette – Sheldon Richardson
15. New Orleans Saints: Alejandro Aviles – Barkevious Mingo
16. St. Louis Rams: Anthony Blake – Tavon Austin
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Clyde Speller – Jarvis Jones
18. Dallas Cowboys: Mark Stringer – Jonathan Cooper
19. New York Giants: Chris Hill – Bjoern Werner
20. Chicago Bears: Dale Casler – D.J. Fluker
21. Cincinnati Bengals: James Rapien – Tyrann Mathieu
22. St. Louis Rams: ????????????
In all honesty, it doesn’t get any dreamier than this for the Rams. They scoop up their playmaking wideout at number 16 and come back at 22 and fill their vacancy at safety with Texas product Kenny Vaccaro. Most believe Vaccaro is the top safety in this year’s draft class, and at one of the most important positions on the defense, the Rams would be lucky to have him. His aggression is both a positive and a negative at the safety spot, but St. Louis could use a player with some hostility roaming the middle of their defense.
The Rams parted ways with both starting safeties from their 2012 roster this offseason in Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell. Neither of those two was terribly effective a year ago which should mean that finding a younger replacement will provide an immediate upgrade. Vaccaro can come down into the box and play like an extra linebacker on running downs as well, and he is extremely effective in that role.
There’s no doubt the Rams would be thrilled to fill their two primary needs with two players considered to be the top of their respective positions in the 2013 draft class. Be sure to check out the reasoning behind the other picks throughout the course of our draft and come back to see just how close our forecast was when the real deal arrives on April 25th.