With Super Bowl LII complete, there have been a good amount of mock drafts released over the last few days. Los Angeles will have the 23rd overall pick heading into 2018 NFL Draft, and many analysts are expecting the Rams to go with a particular defensive position in the first round.
Here are some of the latest predictions from around the league in our third edition of the Rams 2018 Mock Draft Roundup.
We’ll start at Bleacher Report, where Matt Miller posted his annual post-Super Bowl seven-round mock. In this particular scenario, Miller has Los Angeles selecting Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver.
“This pick has become so common in my mock drafts that I initially typed "Isaiah Oliver, Los Angeles Rams" instead of "Colorado" here,” Miller writes. “It's a fit both in terms of value and need as the Rams look to plug holes to stay on top of the NFC West after the team's sudden rise in 2017.
“Oliver doesn't get the hype of Denzel Ward or Josh Jackson, but he'll be a solid starting cornerback in the pros,” Miller continues. “He has the length and speed teams want and played the ball physically in the air. He uses his length well in challenging the ball and can reroute receivers with both leverage and size. That's perfect for the Rams if Trumaine Johnson leaves in free agency or even if he stays given the team's lack of size on the depth chart.
Oliver just completed his junior season at Colorado, where he recorded 13 pass breakups and a pair of interceptions. He was a first-team All-Pac 12 honoree in 2017.
But, Oliver wasn’t the only option Miller presented in his latest mock.
“Drafting an offensive tackle would also be a smart move if the Rams like the value here,” Miller writes. “Andrew Whitworth was a star this season, but he's 36 years old, and there is no successor on the roster.”
Here are Miller’s predictions for the rest of the Rams’ selections:
Rd 3, No. 87: OG Alex Cappa, Humboldt
Rd 4, No. 120: S DeShon Elliott, Texas
Rd 5, No. 151: EDGE Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest
Rd 6: 180 (via Detroit): CB Taron Johnson, Weber State
Rd 6: 181 (via Buffalo): RB Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
Rd 6: 184: LB Micah Kiser, Virginia
Over at Sporting News, Eric Galko concurs with Miller’s first-round pick, in part because cornerback Trumaine Johnson is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March.
“Oliver is a long, skilled vertical cornerback who can fill Johnson’s role well,” Galko writes.
At SB Nation, Dan Kadar has another cornerback for the Rams at No. 23 — Iowa’s Josh Jackson.
“Trumaine Johnson is poised to sign perhaps the largest contract for a cornerback in NFL history,” Kadar writes. “With Aaron Donald likely getting a new deal, that means Johnson may have priced himself out of Los Angeles. If so, a player like Jackson is a near-identical replacement.”
In his first season as a full-time starter, Jackson led the country with eight interceptions, recording three of them in Iowa’s dominant victory over Ohio State. He also had a penchant for big plays, returning a pair of picks for touchdowns against Wisconsin this season. He also led the nation with 26 passes defensed in 2017.
ESPN’s Todd McShay is one of the few analysts who has the Rams selecting an offensive player at No. 23 in his second mock draft. (Insider subscription required — $$)
“A plug-and-play starter, Price will help an improved Rams offense line on the inside,” McShay writes. “A four-year starter, Price has elite experience at both guard and center. An excellent leader, I would think he'd play guard for Los Angeles."
Price won the Rimington Trophy — awarded to the nation’s top center — in 2017. He set an OSU record with 55 consecutive starts over the course of his collegiate career.
Back on defense, NFL Media’s Chad Reuter has L.A. picking UCF cornerback Mike Hughes at No. 23 in his three-round mock.
“The Rams could use help in the secondary, even if Trumaine Johnson is re-signed,” Reuter writes.
Hughes just completed his junior season at UCF, where he started 11 of 12 games played. He had 11 pass breakups and four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
In the third round, Reuter has the Rams selecting South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard.
On this year's National Signing Day take a look back at some high school recruiting profiles for current Rams players.
Finally, Charlie Campbell at walterfootball.com has the Rams selecting Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis at No. 23 and Georgia edge rusher Lorenzo Carter at No. 87 in the third round in his three-round mock.
“The Rams could use a corner upgrade across from Trumaine Johnson, and the position will be a huge need if he isn't signed to a long-term contract,” Campbell writes. “Davis (6-1, 203) is a good corner who has size, length and press-man ability. He has nice quickness in the short part of the field and can battle big wideouts.”
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.
And on Carter, Campbell writes, “The Rams could use more edge-rushing talent across from Robert Quinn. This is a good fit for Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.”
“Carter (6-6, 242) was improved as a senior and is still full of athletic potential,” Campbell continues. “He showed dangerous edge-rushing skills against Notre Dame and made a lot of big plays to help the Bulldogs win in South Bend. Sources say they are giving Carter third- or fourth-round grades, although the team that likes him enough to draft him could take him earlier.”
Carter played in all 15 of Georgia’s games in 2017, starting 10 of them. He recorded 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 16 quarterback hurries en route to being named second-team All-SEC by both coaches and the Associated Press.