Will Wide Receiver Be a First Round Need for St. Louis Rams in 2013 NFL Draft?

By Anthony Blake
DeAndre Hopkins
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Opinions are quite mixed on just what to make of the wide receivers in this 2013 NFL Draft class. The St. Louis Rams are a team identified by many as looking to add at least one more pass catcher to their roster in the fast-approaching three-day pick extravaganza. With two picks in the first round, the Rams could choose to use one on a receiver or potentially look to trade back and find a playmaker that way. There are a number of options for St. Louis looking ahead to Thursday’s opening round, and here are some of the different possibilities.

16th Overall Pick

There real is no consensus on which wideout is a sure thing in this year’s class. Questions linger about Tavon Austin and his size (of lack thereof) at just 5’8” 174lbs. as well as Cordarrelle Patterson who is a physical freak at 6’2” 216lbs. who ran a 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash, but his route running skills are very questionable and he only had one year of Division I experience. Some wonder if Austin can hold up as an every down player at the NFL level while Patterson’s lack of route running ability and concept knowledge of complex route trees may limit his effectiveness.

If the Rams don’t feel comfortable with either of these players as options, perhaps they will be looking to address their need at safety with Kenny Vaccaro. There may also be some serious interest in adding linebacker Alec Ogletree. Obviously the team will be quietly praying for guards Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper to slide into their laps at with the 16th overall pick, but the odds of that happening are dwindling.

22nd Overall Pick

If the team ultimately doesn’t add a receiver with the 16th choice, 22 seems like a real possibility to find quarterback Sam Bradford an additional weapon. The Rams have had Clemson product DeAndre Hopkins in for two workouts which suggests that there is clearly some interest. There isn’t any one particular aspect of his game that will overwhelm you, but Hopkins is scarily consistent and has arguably the best hands in this year’s class. Bradford needs a reliable target to go along with the physical Brian Quick and speedster Chris Givens. Hopkins would provide the perfect complement to the receiving corps.

Trade Down

There is no such thing as a certainty in the draft. Aside from the fact that the Rams are owners of eight picks during the three-day event, the team has to keep an open mind to any and all possibilities. There are two teams that many believe will try to be aggressive on draft day in the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers. Both of these clubs are owners of multiple picks in the first two rounds which could lead to an attempt to move up. For the Rams, the idea of moving down worked last year so why not give it another try in 2013?

As has been pointed out already, the Rams are prepared to find another pass catcher at any different point during the three-day draft process. The team has checked out numerous prospects projected to go at different junctures of the selection. Hopefully one of their desired targets is available at the appropriate time and the Rams can bring him to St. Louis.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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