Round 1 – Pick 15: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Out of Memphis, Paxton Lynch has unheard of measurables (6’7”, 245lbs., 11.5” hands). The NFL is a passing league, and even though the Rams already have Todd Gurley as the focal point of their offense, pairing him with Lynch would make for a dangerous backfield.
I debated on whether the Rams should take a WR with this pick - as Laquon Treadwell will probably be on the board by this pick - but there always seems to be a deep receiving class, and there only appear to be three first-round QBs (Goff, Wentz, and Lynch).
Also, the Rams cleared a great deal of cap space by cutting, James Laurinaitis, Jared Cook, and Chris Long. This cap space could be used to go after a wideout in free agency, possibly Alshon Jeffery. The QB’s in this year’s free agency aren’t the best, so the Rams would definitely want to save money for a receiver.
Lynch has great touch on his deep balls and he was asked to throw the ball a lot in under Justin Fuente at Memphis. Todd Gurley will likely receive more carries, which should take the load off of Lynch and make his rookie season a lot less stressful. One of Paxton’s best traits is his great mobility in the pocket, similar to that of Big Ben. This will help him and the Rams tremendously, as he Rams still have a developing offensive line, so Lynch might see defenders in the backfield more than he’d like too.
Round 2 – Pick 43: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Doctson is a receiver who has a lot of hype heading into the season. He performed very well for TCU, posting 1,327 yards and 14 Touchdowns. It wasn’t until late in the season that his first-round draft grade started to disappear, as he injured his wrist in the game against Oklahoma State and would miss the rest of the season.
Despite the injury, Doctson averaged the highest YPG (Yards per Game) average in the FBS with 132.7. Doctson best trait is his hands. He is the same type of receiver that Laquon Treadwell is: great hands, great in one-on-one, but not a speedster.
Doctson compares very well to another star wideout in Texas, Dez Bryant.
The Rams can go with Treadwell in the first round, but getting Doctson is just as good. If it weren’t for the wrist injury that could cost him some time in training camp, Doctson would be in the same echelon as Treadwell and would be a sure-fire first round pick. In the first two rounds, the Rams got their QB and WR of the future.
Second Round – Pick 45: Vadal Alexander, OG, LSU
The Rams have two mid-round picks in the second round, and the second should be used on an offensive lineman. The Rams offensive line is young, posting starters like Greg Robinson, Rob Havenstein, and Jamon Brown. It’s no secret that the Rams could use some more hogmollies for Todd Gurley and hypothetical future QB Paxton Lynch.
Vadal Alexander is the widely considered the second best guard in this class, behind Cody Whitehair of Kansas State. Cody Whitehair will definitely be off of the board by either the early first round or late second round. There are just too many teams in the NFL in need of a good guard right now. If you missed out on the best guard, why not get the second best guard?
Vadal Alexander is a mammoth of a human being at 6’5” and 336 lbs. He is one of the biggest players in this year’s draft class. Vadal has versatility in his game too, as he played mainly right tackle for LSU but fits better as a guard in the NFL. Vadal Alexander is great at getting to the second level and blocking linebackers. He even excels at blocking some of the faster and more agile linebackers in the game. The Rams will need this for sure, as they face guys like NaVorro Bowman, Deone Bucannon, all of the Seahawks linebackers, plus Kam Chancellor, who like to plays in the box often, twice a year. This seems like a perfect fit to me.
Third Round – Pick 76: Miles Killebrew, SS, Southern Utah
Mark Barron is pretty much the poster boy for safeties converting to linebacker. He was a part of that trend in the NFC West along with Kam Chancellor, Deone Bucannon, and Jaquiski Tartt. Playing Barron at linebacker allowed the Rams defense to be faster and since Barron is known as a great tackler, they didn’t lose much by placing him there. This offseason, Mark Barron will be a free agent, and if he decides to leave, which is likely, the Rams will have to find a replacement for his unique position.
Enter Miles Killebrew, the 6’2” 220 lbs safety who racked up over 240 tackles in his last two seasons at Southern Utah. Killebrew is bigger than Barron and he could be the answer to the Rams hypothetical dilemma this offseason.
The stats obviously show that Killebrew is more than capable of making tackles and teams are starting to value a prospects college less and less. I mean, look at Carson Wentz, an FCS quarterback who will likely be a top-10 pick.
Fourth Round – Pick 107: Scooby Wright III, ILB, Arizona
After posting videogame-like stats in 2014 (163 tackles, 29 TFL, 14.5 Sacks, 6 FF), Wright went down with a torn meniscus in his left knee. This caused Wright to drop far down draft boards, eventually ending up being projected in the third to fourth round. The Arizona linebacker has always shown amazing instincts, but his build and speed is what drags him down. He isn’t the fastest, nor tallest, linebacker in this class, but his instincts are probably the best.
After cutting the long time Ram James Laurinaitis, Los Angeles could use another ILB besides Daren Bates. Scooby may not start immediately, but I feel that after a season or two, he could be starter material for the Rams.
Sixth Round – Pick 171: Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston
With no more assets to address in the draft, the Rams can choose from any number of positions. I chose WR here because the receiver position is usually the deepest and every year, there seem to be a couple of late round (6-7) picks that really exceed expectations and contribute well for their team. Demarcus Ayers is the pick here as the Rams take a chance on him and hope that he’s one of those “late round diamonds” that I discussed earlier.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Demarcus caught 99 of the 101 “catchable” balls thrown his way. That’s impeccable for any receiver, whatever round they are projected to go in. I have a feeling that he found be a find for the Rams in this draft.