This week I have the pleasure of joining the #NFLUKMOCK Draft crew for a post free agency mock and am representing the Los Angeles Rams. I might be a fan of the Seattle Seahawks who play in the same division as the Rams but I have a lot of respect for the way they play and the talents of their players. Robert Quinn is one of the finest rushers in the league, Aaron Donald was an exceptional rookie and former Ram James Laurinitis – well he is the son of the WWE Vice President and nephew of Animal from the Legion of Doom – what’s not to like?
I go into the draft with the aim of improving the offensive line protecting new quarterback and Ryan Gosling look-a-like Jared Goff, and providing him with the weapons he will need to succeed as well as tooling the new Wade Phillips defence. I drafted on behalf of the Rams 2 years ago and found myself with similar aims, drafting Andrus Peat in round one. Quite amusingly my alternative pick was Todd Gurley but was talked out of that pick as running back wasn’t a need.
Tough decisions are going to need to be made because of a lack of high draft picks since the trade for Jared Goff. He did not have a great start to his career and requires both protection and receivers. However Wade Phillips defence finds itself lacking in the all-important linebackers and defensive backs, with only really Ogletree, Quinn, Johnson and Joyner providing any quality in these areas.
Round 2 Pick 5 – Evan Engram, Tight End, Ole Miss
Having watched Engram for the last few years in College football this was an easy choice. Yes there are receivers available to help Jared Goff such as Cooper Kupp and Zay Jones but in Engram you have a receiving tight end which is a position of need for the Rams. Goff and Engram can grow together and form an elite partnership. Evan Engram has the look of a Jimmy Graham so Goff will lose nothing by not taking a receiver here, it also a deep receiver draft.
Round 3 Pick 10 – Ethan Pocic, Centre, LSU
The Rams have 4 of 5 places filled on their offensive line and just need that 5th body to protect investment Jared Goff. With the drafts 2 best centers still available I decided to make a modest trade down 5 spots in exchange for a 7th round pick from the Eagles. The trade was possibly worth more but I still got the player I wanted in Ethan Pocic. Also considered was Pat Elflein but as with the Browns lineman Cam Erving, the temptation may be to move him about the line should he not make an immediate impact. I wanted Pocic to make up the 5-some of Whitworth-Robinson-Pocic-Saffold-Havenstein to become an elite and consistent unit to help the offence grow.