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Rams 2018 Mock Draft Roundup: Second Edition

Posted Jan 31, 2018

Check out the latest in analyst predictions for the Rams' first-round pick at No. 23 overall in 2018.

With the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday, it’s almost time for everyone in the league to officially turn their attention to 2018. But even before that happens, analysts from all across the web have tuned in predictions for who they think teams may select in the spring’s NFL draft.

And while all positions are not set, we know the Rams will have the No. 23 overall pick in the first round. With that in mind, here are some of the latest scenarios in the second edition of our 2018 mock draft roundup.

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We’ll start with Luke Easterling of USA Today Sports, who actually did a four-round mock draft. At No. 23, he’s sticking with the Rams selecting Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward — which is the same pick he had i his earlier mock draft before the playoffs began.

“If Trumaine Johnson doesn’t return, the Rams will have to invest premium resources in finding his replacement,” Easterling writes. “What Ward lacks in ideal size, he makes up for in just about every other area of his game, giving the Buckeyes another first-round talent out of a secondary that produced three last year.”

Ward has played extensive snaps over the last two seasons, though he was not technically a starter until 2017. After Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, and Gareon Conley all left for the pros, Ward stepped in and played well for the OSU secondary this season, recording a pair of interceptions and 15 pass breakups.

Later in his mock, Easterling has Los Angeles selecting Michigan offensive lineman Mason Cole in the third round, and Washington State edge rusher Hercules Mata’afa in the fourth round. The Rams traded their second-round pick to Buffalo as part of acquiring wide receiver Sammy Watkins last August.

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Over at NFL Media, Daniel Jeremiah has L.A. drafting Georgia offensive guard Isaiah Wynn at No. 23.

“Wynn was an undersized offensive tackle at Georgia, but I believe he has Pro Bowl potential as an interior offensive lineman,” Jeremiah writes.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 302 pounds, Wynn started 15 games at left tackle for Georgia in 2017, a year after starting 12 of 13 games at left guard. He was named first-team All-SEC recipient and second-team All-America by the Associated Press.

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Jeremiah teams up with Bucky Brooks for the Move the Sticks podcast, which put out a mock draft in its latest episode. Brooks had the Rams’ pick and chose Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver.

“They need a pure, cover-corner, someone that can either complement or replace Trumaine Johnson due to his uncertain status,” Brooks said. “This is a guy that, we always talk about at corner you need to be able to hit, run, and cover — he checks off all the boxes. Tough, physical, good ball skills, and he’s big. You have to be able to match up with some of those receivers in the NFC. This is nice fit for the L.A. Rams.”

Also at NFL Media, Lance Zierlein concurred with Brooks’ pick, as he also has L.A. taking Oliver in his first mock.

“Oliver is still a little raw in coverage, but his length and speed will be appealing to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips,” Zierlein writes.

Oliver recorded two interceptions and 13 pass breakups for Colorado in 2017. This season was also his first as a full-time starter, though he’s contributed on defense and special teams since his freshman season in 2015.

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Finally, two analysts have the Rams selecting Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis.

“If the Rams had a weakness in their huge turnaround from 2016 to 2017, it was at cornerback. They have to upgrade,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper writes (Insider subscription required - $$). “Davis had a great season and is my fourth-ranked corner. At 6-1, 200 pounds, he has good size.”

“With Trumaine Johnson heading to free agency unless the Rams can work out a long-term deal, cornerback should be a need for the team heading into the draft,” writes R.J. White of CBS Sports. “Davis brings similar size to Johnson at the position, and if he runs well at the combine, he could end up much higher than this when all is said and done.”

Davis started for three years at Auburn, making four career interceptions and recording three forced fumbles. He was a first-team All-SEC selection by the coaches, and a second-team All-America and second-team All-SEC selection by the AP.