NFL Draft Possibilities: No. 13, St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams will be very active early on Thursday night, as they have two draft picks in the top 13. With this No. 13 pick, they'll be looking for a player who can complement whoever they end up with at No. 2 overall. Here are some of their options:
The Rams may have their strong safety position filled with last year's third-round pick T.J. McDonald, but he struggled as a rookie. Meanwhile, Rodney McLeod is not a long-term answer at free safety. The team needs some production on the back end, and they could likely get some out of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix if they make him their pick at No. 13. Calvin Pryor could be an option if Clinton-Dix is off the board, or the team could trade down into the 20's to target a player like Jimmie Ward.
This is also a good spot to land one of the top cornerbacks in the draft. The last time that head coach Jeff Fisher had a defense that ranked better than 13th was in 2008 with the Tennessee Titans (they ranked second in points allowed). His top cornerback was a scappy, 5-foot-10 Cortland Finnegan. I have heard some say that Jason Verrett might be the most talented cornerback in this draft, but his size (5-foot-10) may drop his draft stock. Verrett is a scrappy player who profiles similarly to Finnegan, so Fisher could certainly consider him, though trading down may be the best way to get a good value out of him. If the Rams stick at No. 13, players like Bradley Roby and Kyle Fuller could also get consideration.
Greg Robinson is a popular player to mock to the Rams at No. 2, but if they go in a different direction, No. 13 could be a great spot to take Zack Martin. I don't believe that the Rams badly need a tackle - Jake Long (torn ACL and MCL) is expected to be ready for training camp and Joe Barksdale was more than serviceable last year. Martin, however, could provide depth at tackle while filling in at guard. An offensive line of Long, Martin, Scott Wells, Rodger Saffold, and Barksdale actually looks pretty solid on paper.
We then have the option of adding a perimeter pass catcher. I expect the top-three receivers to be off the board, however, so this could be a position that would be best addressed by trading down. The best fits available will likely be Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, and Cody Latimer, all of whom could likely be had in the 20's, or possibly even the 30's.
The Rams may be able to get one of those players at a good value by swapping picks with a team like the Philadelphia Eagles (No. 22), who may want a shot at wide receiver Brandin Cooks. The reason that Cooks is not an option for the Rams is because he is too similar to last year's first-round pick, Tavon Austin. The Rams could also trade down to the San Francisco 49ers (No. 30), who are said to have their sights set on a number of top prospects.