Kiper Jr. mock 3.0: Updated Rams thoughts

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
11:09
AM ET
Mel Kiper Jr. has updated his third 2012 NFL mock draft Insider to reflect the St. Louis Rams' trade with the Washington Redskins.

The updates did not affect his choices for Seattle, Arizona or San Francisco. But with a new outlook for the Rams, I'll provide an updated item in our series.

The Rams now own the sixth overall choice after trading the second pick to the Redskins. Kiper no longer projects Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon to the Rams in the first round. He has Blackmon off the board when the Rams are picking sixth.

I'll list Kiper Jr.'s projection below, plus his rationale and my thoughts.

6. St. Louis Rams: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Kiper's give: St. Louis may not be done. I can see them moving down again, as they have multiple needs and may not be in love with the value of this pick if Blackmon isn't on the board. However, if they remain at this spot, Claiborne makes a lot of sense. The Rams' secondary was a disaster last year, and they have a chance to take the top cornerback in the draft if things break this way. I can also see them going for either offensive line or defensive tackle help at this spot..

Sando's take: The Rams have addressed the cornerback position in free agency with a significant investment in former Tennessee Titans starter Cortland Finnegan. Claiborne would round out the position nicely without inflicting a prohibitive financial burden, given what top choices earn under the rookie wage scale. Iowa tackle Riley Reiff and Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe were still on the board when Kiper made the Claiborne selection on the Rams' behalf. Notre Dame's Michael Floyd was the second receiver chosen in the Kiper mock, but not until closer to the middle of the first round. The Rams need playmaking help for Sam Bradford, but free agency hasn't helped them in that regard. One question is whether the value for Blackmon was ever going to line up for St. Louis in the first round. Was second overall too early to take him? Will he still be available at No. 6?

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