Stop me when you’ve heard this before; (Insert random team name here) would really like to trade down in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Obviously there are several teams looking to move back and accumulate additional picks in the later rounds or even stockpile some selections for next year’s draft. The St. Louis Rams are one such team with two first round picks who may prefer to move back and get some extra second rounders (much like last year’s strategy) rather than select two players in round one.
With a draft class this deep who would blame them? It seems like the team has narrowed down its list of choices from the top 50 players in this upcoming selection now mere hours away from getting started. Here are the five players that the Rams will likely be targeting over the next three days.
Tavon Austin — This dynamic playmaker tops the list even though some question his ability to hold up at the NFL level. He never missed a practice let alone a game during his time at West Virginia so durability really shouldn’t be much of a question. If he is available at 16th overall, the Rams should be prepared to take him
Kenny Vaccaro — It might not be a stretch to put this kid ahead of Austin on the pecking order just due to the inferior depth at the safety position in this class. The Rams must land at least one immediate starter and Vaccaro would do nicely. If both he and Austin are available with pick 16 (highly unlikely), the Rams might as well flip a coin.
Alec Ogletree — His stock has been slipping a bit recently due to off-field concerns, but Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead never fixate on those issues. Ogletree has loads of potential, and if the team decides to trade down to the end of round one, he just might be a Ram.
DeAndre Hopkins — He’s kind of the forgotten man in this year’s receiver class, but Hopkins is a steady, productive player with a work ethic that the Rams love. The team has welcomed him in for multiple visits so the interest is clearly there. Don’t be surprised if he’s a target with the 22nd pick.
Eddie Lacy — Another player sliding down boards a bit, the Rams might look to land Lacy in the top of round two in a trade up scenario. His power between the tackles would be the perfect Steven Jackson replacement, and he could complement Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson for the foreseeable future in the Rams’ backfield.
While the Rams’ list may not be strictly limited to there five names, all of these players have been linked to St. Louis in some capacity during the pre-draft buildup. We are under 10 hours away from the selection getting started, and there is clearly some serious anticipation surrounding the Rams as a team that some feel are in the best position before things kickoff. This could be another franchise altering selection for the up-and-coming squad from the nation’s heartland.