The 2014 NFL Draft is now just days away, and the final pick-by-pick mock draft has begun. Different from my previous mock drafts, I won’t be projecting who I would take, but who I actually think will be selected with the pick. Again I won’t be including trade possibilities simply because they’re limitless and totally unpredictable.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson.
This wouldn’t be my choice, as I’d go with Jake Matthews (OT, Texas A&M), but it’s hard to go against Watkins here.
The Rams have a lot of good talent at WR right now with Austin Pettis, Chris Givens, Tavon Austin, Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey and Kenny Britt. All of them have given one or multiple glimpses of potentially turning into a top-flight receiver. The thing is, none of them actually have, and QB Sam Bradford has seen his progression plateau as a result.
Watkins (6-foot 1, 211-pounds) is as polished of a deep ball threat to enter the league in some time. He’s got good speed (4.43) and hands, and does a good job getting separation on bigger cornerbacks. His blocking and route running need some refining, but on raw skills alone he could enter the league tomorrow and assume the role of a number one. He’s the kind of talent that Bradford has never been paired with, even going back to his Heisman-winning days at Oklahoma.
Watkins will not only give Bradford a reliable go-to target, but he’ll open the field up for the rest of the offense. His ability to stretch a secondary will give lightning quick guys like Austin and Givens to turn small gains underneath into much longer ones.
The Rams have a second first-round pick at no. 13, and this class features an abundance of talent at the WR position, so there’s some flexibility here to go a different route with the second pick overall.
Greg Robinson (OT, Auburn) is the next most likely choice here if the Rams don’t take Watkins. Robinson absolutely erupted at the Combine, running a 4.92 40-yard dash, 7.8 3-cone drill, 113-inch broad jump and putting up 32 reps of 225-pounds on bench, all while checking in at 6-foot 5, 332-pounds. He’s got the run blocking skills to start at RT tomorrow, and the athleticism and footwork to slide over to the blindside if and when the Rams decide to part ways with Jake Long.