Thursday, March 13, 2014
Analyzing Kiper 3.0: Rams
By Nick Wagoner
Long before free agency ever brought suspicion to reality, it was no secret that the St. Louis Rams were likely going to have to address the offensive line at some point in the 2014 NFL draft.
With the crazy turn of events that took place Wednesday night that ultimately landed Rodger Saffold back with the Rams, the need might not be as pressing as first feared.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the Rams won't continue to bulk up the line in this year's draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. is standing by his consistent choice of an offensive lineman for the Rams with the second pick in the draft. In his third shot at a mock, Kiper is again going with Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson at No. 2 but switching from Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans to Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 13.
Adding Robinson would be no surprise. He has been a favorite of mock drafts for some time and he would provide the Rams a hammer in the run game with plenty of upside as a pass-protector. It might be considered a little high for a player who might have to follow the Jonathan Ogden plan and play guard for a year but either way, Robinson would bring a much-needed elite talent to the offensive line for the long term.
The Rams have watched as the safety market exploded and teams moved quickly to remove them from the shelves. Which means it's likely going to be a position the Rams must address at some point in the draft. Clinton-Dix is a logical choice because of his range and cover skills though I've been a bit underwhelmed when watching him. Adding a quality corner or even another high quality offensive lineman such as Notre Dame's Zack Martin might represent better value but that's not to say that Clinton-Dix wouldn't make sense.