The football world will descend upon Indianapolis this week as the NFL Combine begins to help evaluate the vast majority of the incoming rookie class. Coaches, general managers, scouts, and the media will be watching intently as tomorrow’s stars go through on-field workouts, interviews, and medical evaluations.
But before all that gets going, we’ve got another round of mock drafts to go over. And while Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch was the focus of the first edition, analysts have been all over the map for the Rams’ selection at No. 15 -- and beyond -- over the last couple of weeks.
Check out our latest roundup below, and if you missed it, you can read our first edition by clicking here.
Let’s start with a receiver who some believe to be the top wideout available in the draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper and NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein both have Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss falling to Los Angeles at No. 15 in their latest mocks.
“Plenty of people will want to see the Rams go after a quarterback at this spot, but with the top two quarterbacks already off the board in this scenario, they don't have the option of taking a clear immediate upgrade at that position,” Kiper writes (Insider subscription required — $$). “Treadwell is better than a consolation prize, a potential No. 1 wide receiver who might not work out like a track star but has tape that shows he can make an impact in Year 1.”
Zierlein, on the other hand, sees Treadwell falling to No. 15 based on the way some may interpret his Combine performance.
“I'm expecting a very pedestrian 40-yard dash time by Treadwell that will open up a round of discussions about his draft value,” Zierlein writes. “While I'm not in love with taking a wide receiver in this spot, he's ultra-competitive and steps in immediately to help the offense.”
Treadwell just finished his junior season at Ole Miss where he caught 82 passes for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns. He led the SEC in both yards receiving and receiving touchdowns, earning a spot as one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award and a first-team All-SEC selection.
He’s going to be one to watch at the Combine this week, particularly when it comes to the position-specific drills.
Over at Sports Illustrated, Chris Burke put together a two-round mock that has the Rams addressing three positions on offense. He starts with L.A. selecting quarterback Carson Wentz at No. 15.
“Of all the 31 teams currently in Round 1…I might argue that the Rams are most likely to take a quarterback at their current slot,” Burke writes. “The Browns might not fall in love with a QB enough to justify taking one with the No. 2 pick, the Texans could be too low to nab their future starter and there are few other obvious landing spots. But Los Angeles can open its new era by taking the high-upside Wentz, then seeing what he can do in camp.”
Los Angeles has the No. 43 selection from Philadelphia, and with it Burke has the club taking Alabama center Ryan Kelly, saying he could compete for a starting job in training camp and be in the league for a long time.
Then two picks later, Burke projects the Rams will take Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas.
“Thomas at [No.] 45 gets the Rams a game-breaking threat, even if he falls shy of the top receiver tier,” Burke writes.
Kelly received the Rimington Trophy -- given to the nation’s top center -- for the 2015 season, and was also a consensus first-team All-American.
A Los Angeles native, Thomas has been one of Ohio State’s primary wideouts over the last two seasons. He caught nine touchdowns each in 2014 and 2015, making 110 total receptions for 1,580 yards in those two years.
Finally, NFL Media’s Chad Reuter pretty much went to the max for mock drafts in February, putting out a four-round projection on nfl.com. In it, he has the Rams addressing quarterback, receiver, and the offensive line much like Burke. But in the first round, Reuter actually goes defense with Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Reuter calls him similar to pending free agent
A three-time, first-team All-SEC selection, Hargreaves recorded 10 interceptions and 27 passes defensed in his time at Florida. He’s foregoing his senior season to enter the draft.
You can check out the rest of Reuter’s projections in the list below. One notable selection is Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook at No. 43 overall in the second round.
43. Los Angeles Rams: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
45. Los Angeles Rams: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
76. Los Angeles Rams: Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
110. Los Angeles Rams: K.J. Dillon, S, West Virginia