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Morning Ram-blings: Watkins to declare

1/5/2014

ST. LOUIS -- As Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins repeatedly abused the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl on Friday night, my Twitter feed exploded with St. Louis Rams fans clamoring for the team to select him in this year's NFL draft.

On Sunday afternoon, reports surfaced that the Rams will indeed have that opportunity as Watkins is poised to declare for the draft. According to our draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay as well as most of the other draft pundits out there, Watkins instantly becomes the most desirable receiver in the draft.

Kiper provided further analysis of Watkins' draft stock in thisInsider Insider piece. In it, Kiper identifies some teams that could be good fits for Watkins. At the top of the list? You guessed it, the Rams.

"The Rams could move off the No. 2 pick they have from Washington," Kiper wrote. "But a year after drafting Tavon Austin, they could still use an elite perimeter receiver to challenge for balls in the air and stretch defenses over the top."

It remains to be seen just how much interest the Rams have in Watkins or any top receiver after moving up to spend the No. 8 pick on Austin a year ago and drafting a total of four wideouts in the past two drafts. But, as I've written here on multiple occasions, it would be in their best interests to give Watkins a long look.

As Kiper points out, the Rams have been lacking an elite perimeter receiver since the days of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. On the rare occasions in which one of those wideouts has been available, the Rams have not been in position to draft one. Assuming Watkins is one of those players, they are now finally in a draft spot at No. 2 where they could have a shot at him. It's also not out of the realm of possibility they could move down a couple spots and still nab him.

Regardless, Watkins should be a player the Rams give strong consideration to choosing as the draft approaches.

I.C.Y.M.I.

A roundup of Sunday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we discussed the chances of the Rams making the giant leap from last in the NFC West to first in one year. ... We also went around the league, catching up with former Rams playing in the postseason and a quick glance at teams the Rams played during the regular season that are still going in the playoffs.

Elsewhere:

At FoxSportsMidwest.com, Nate Latsch discusses the importance of next season for quarterback Sam Bradford.

Chris Long tells 101sports.com that there's reason for optimism in 2014.

Tuf Show Times explores the permutations and possibilities of trades for the Rams and Texans at the top of the draft.

Stlouisrams.com writes about Fisher's belief that the Rams were better in 2013 than 2012.