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Jrry32 Post-Cooks Trade Mock Draft (04/11/2020)

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Posted (edited)

After the Cooks trade, I figured I'd take stab at it (thank you, BStan, for the motivation haha). Trades are always a crapshoot, so I'm just trying to make trades that are realistic in terms of value. There's no way to project what will happen on draft day, but I tried to embrace my inner Les Snead with all the trades (and hopefully didn't confuse myself and end up making a mistake on which picks are ours).

Trades

Rams trade Round 2 Pick #20, Round 2 Pick #25, and Round 3 Pick #40

Dolphins trade Round 2 Pick #7, Round 3 Pick #6, and Round 4 Pick #35

 

Rams trade Round 3 Pick #6

Vikings trade Round 3 Pick #25, Round 3 Pick #41, and Round 6 Pick #22

 

Rams trade Round 3 Pick #41

Jaguars trade Round 4 Pick #10 and Round 5 Pick #19

 

NFL Draft

Round 2 Pick #7 - Tee Higgins WR Clemson

Analysis: Y'all know me, I rarely propose trade ups. I usually only want to trade down, but this is a special circumstance. Some of y'all might think it's nuts to trade up for a WR, but Higgins is the guy that McVay has been searching for since he took over as HC. This is a kid who would go top 15 or 20 in a normal WR draft class. Higgins is 6'4" 215 with freakishly long arms (over 34 inches). Why do I want to move up for him? It's simple. He is the most dominant contested catch WR I've scouted since Mike Evans and Alshon Jeffery. I pounded the table for both of those guys when people doubted their separation skills. They call them 50/50 balls. But in college, they were 90/10 balls for Higgins. Why is he so dominant? He has stellar ball-skills and body control with a 6'4" frame, those freakishly long arms, and vice grips for hands. He just reaches over CBs and snatches the ball with ease.

In addition to his contested catch dominance, Higgins can separate. Like Mike Evans, he's a long strider with breakaway speed. CBs tend to underestimate his speed, and once he's past them, he stacks them and uses that big body to keep them on his heels. He's just absolutely dominating on deep passes. He caught 15 of the 23 deep balls thrown to him in 2019. On the season, he posted 59 catches for 1167 yards (19.8 YPC) and 13 TDs. That's despite the fact that he sat out during a lot of second halves when Clemson had large leads. Higgins is also a legitimate YAC threat with the balance, quickness, and strength to slip out of tackles and make defenders miss. A final huge positive for me? Higgins is a great run blocker.

What are the negatives? Higgins is an unpolished route runner who relies more on physical gifts at this point in time. He has a tendency to round off his breaks and drift. He also runs his routes too upright. He's going to need to work on sinking his hips and making sharp cuts. He also needs to improve his releases against press coverage. He's late with his hands, makes himself too easy of a target, and spends too much time dancing on the LOS. The good news is that with his quickness, freakishly long arms, and strength, he should be able to bully CBs off the LOS once he gets the technique down.

How does this kid fit into our offense? Josh Reynolds is a FA at the end of the year, but I wouldn't be surprised if Higgins finds his way onto the field a lot as a rookie. This kid replaces Brandin Cooks's ability to threaten vertically and offers us a red-zone monster to pair with Kupp. He will absolutely feast in our scheme in the intermediate and deep parts of the field. McVay took shots on Watkins and Cooks. Higgins finally gives him the red-zone monster and consistent deep threat that he has been seeking.

NFL Comparison: Mike Evans

Round 3 Pick #20 - Zack Moss HB Utah

Analysis: I have told many of you that I don't believe we need a hammer to pair with Darrell Henderson. I stand by that opinion, but when you have a guy with Moss's talent falling to this part of the draft, you draft him. And he's very much the hammer many of you want. Moss has a lot of mileage, some durability questions, and ran a 4.6 40. That's why he's still on the board. I don't care. He's a 5'10" 225 pound HB who runs with violence and does not go down easy. He has great contact balance due to his low center of gravity and does not shy away from any contact. If anything, his violent, physical style puts him at injury risk.

He also sees the field well. His instincts are top notch. He'll be an effective runner in both the outside-zone and the inside-zone concepts. But most importantly for me, Moss is a superb pass blocker and pass catcher. I think having a versatile HB is absolutely necessary in McVay's scheme. You need a guy who can play all three downs. You don't want to tip your hand to the defense. Moss is a guy who can stay on the field no matter the down. This kid is the perfect sort of player to pair with Darrell Henderson.

NFL Comparison: Kareem Hunt

Round 3 Pick #25 - Jonathan Greenard EDGE Florida

Analysis: I love Jon Greenard, and it's not just because I am a Gator homer. If you want to talk about violence, watch Greenard play football. The man looks like he's killing people on the field. He just absolutely decletes HBs and QBs when he gets the chance. There are so many things I love about Greenard's game. He has an explosive first step, he is a savvy pass rusher who uses beautiful footwork and varied pass rush plans to screw with the tackle he's facing, and he is extremely disciplined on the field. Add to that the kid has incredible character, work habits, and toughness (played through a bad ankle sprain most of the year and was arguably the best pass rusher in the SEC). He can drop into coverage (not his forte, though), and he plays the run extremely well.

But let's be honest, pass rushing is what matters the most here. I've talked a little bit about Greenard as a pass rusher. His explosive first step and knack for timing the snap count make him a headache for OTs. But adding to that headache is his footwork on his rushes. Unlike a lot of guys who just run the loop, Greenard throws a bunch of stutter and jab steps into his rushes. Because he's a legitimate threat to explode into the inside gap and get pressure, his fakes force the OT to react and soften the corner when he attacks the edge or opens up the inside move when he wants to jump inside. In addition to his footwork, he uses sophisticated rush plans to keep OTs guessing and has an array of moves (using clubs, arm-over swims, and rips most often). 

Why is Greenard still available? Because he didn't test well and has a long list of injuries. He wins as a pass rusher with an explosive first step, savvy, and technique. The question is if his physical traits are good enough for his savvy to work in the NFL. That all said, he still has some tricks to develop. He suffered a major wrist injury in 2018 and wasn't using one his arms the way he could. If he's willing to unleash that arm, he could develop a devastating stab move and speed-to-power rush to add to his arsenal.

NFL Comparison: Alex Okafor

Round 4 Pick #10 - Davion Taylor ILB Colorado

Analysis: Davion Taylor is a fascinating player because of his limited football experience and freakish athleticism. At 6'0" 228 pounds, Taylor ran a 4.49 40, a 6.96 three cone drill, and posted a 10'07" broad jump. Basically, he tested like a WR while being the size of a LB. Taylor was a track guy. He wasn't allowed to play football in high school because of his family's religion (he practiced with the team but couldn't play in games). He came to Colorado as a sushi raw JUCO transfer. He played for former NFL DC Mel Tucker. Tucker said Taylor is one of the most coachable kids he has ever had. And he plays like it. For a kid who is inexperienced as he is, Taylor is a disciplined, sound linebacker. He knows his assignment and sticks to it.

However, that's also part of the problem. Taylor hasn't played enough football to have the savviness and creativity that top LBs have. He is too rigid in how he carries out his assignments. Basically, his instincts are a work in progress. While he doesn't lack for the physicality, he also has a lot of developing to do technically when it comes to taking on blockers. That all said, Taylor can run for days, has the agility to cover just about anybody, and doesn't lack any of the mentality. He just needs experience, coaching, and time. I think he can be an effective subpackage player and special teamer early in his career with the potential to develop into a starting LB down the line.

NFL Comparison: Shaq Thompson (if he develops)

Round 4 Pick #20 - Nick Harris OL Washington

Analysis: I know that some of y'all won't like this because Harris is small and not an overpowering player, but he's very experienced and a great scheme fit. Harris had a rough Senior Bowl week and is undersized at 6'1" 300, but the Senior Bowl wasn't really a place where he'd stand out. It doesn't play to his strengths. Harris is a great athlete with outstanding movement skills and really shines as a combo blocker. He's also a very smart Center who uses angles well and is a quality technician. He's an active player who compensates for his lack of size with his aggression and core strength. Harris is likely to fall down the board due to his small stature and lack of positional flexibility, but he has the potential to be an effective starter in a ZBS like ours. 

NFL Comparison: Matt Paradis

Round 4 Pick #35 - Joe Bachie ILB Michigan State

Analysis: I think Joe Bachie is flying way under the radar right now because of his PED suspension during his final year at MSU. He tested much better than expected at the Combine (including a 4.67 40). I think a lot of people saw him as a try-hard dude with great instincts, but I think he plays to his athleticism. Bachie is a master of reading keys and watching film. He's one of the few guys I've seen overrun plays because he beats the HB to the gap he's supposed to run through. Bachie is a heady defender who plays balls to the wall every down he's on the field. He's very much an emotional leader sort of guy at the Mike. As a run defender, he has the strength and contact balance to meet pulling OLs in the hole and stonewall them. However, due to his lack of strength, he struggles to disengage once OLs get their hands on him. But he's strong enough to keep them from running over him. In coverage, Bachie is a heady and effective zone defender. That all said, he doesn't have the quick-twitch athleticism to stick with agile HBs. At a minimum, he's good depth and a heck of a special teamer, but I think Bachie could quickly earn his way onto the field.

NFL Comparison: Paul Posluszny

Round 5 Pick #19 - Julian Blackmon S Utah

Analysis: Julian Blackmon had a very rough start to the year after making the transition from CB to FS. USC (and Michael Pittman) absolutely victimized the kid. Blackmon was taking bad angles, not getting proper depth as a single-high safety, and was tentative attacking the football. However, as the year went on, his film changed greatly. By the time he suffered his knee injury against Oregon in the Pac-12 Title Game, Blackmon was a completely different safety. He was quick to trigger downhill on plays in front of him, he was reliable playing deep zone coverage, he showed the ability to tackle in space, and he was versatile enough to play single-high, play in the box, and man up on TEs. As a former CB, he has great ball-skills and the man coverage skills to make life difficult for TEs. He wasn't quick enough to remain at CB, but he has the physicality, tackling ability, and range to stick as a versatile safety. Once he gets healthy, I think he'll be an excellent third safety for us.

NFL Comparison: Jordan Poyer

Round 6 Pick #20 - Lavert Hill CB Michigan

Analysis: Lavert Hill is missing a lot of things. He's short. He doesn't have great speed. He's fairly light. But the man can stick to a WR. He's strong for his size and very physical. This can cause him problems on the outside when matched up against fast WRs and asked to cover them on vertical routes. He gets grabby. But in the slot, he has a lot of upside. He plays the game a lot like former teammates David Long and Jourdan Lewis. He's not the athlete that Long is, but he has that similar natural, sticky coverage ability. He's very physical with WRs at the LOS and disrupts throughout the route. He'll have to be a little careful in the NFL to not get penalized, but I think he could develop into an effective slot CB given the time.

NFL Comparison: Bryce Callahan

Round 6 Pick #22 - Quintez Cephus WR Wisconsin

Analysis: I had Cephus pegged as a fourth round pick before the Combine, and then Cephus ran a 4.7 40. But it's hard for me to write him off entirely due to the 40. I still think he's worth a chance. Cephus has vise grips for hands and catches everything in sight. It doesn't matter if the CB is in his grill or he's about to take a huge hit. He's fearless. He separates more based on precise routes, physicality, and boxing out defenders. His athleticism is very underwhelming. But he's also a great blocking WR. I think Cephus has the potential to be an effective #4 WR and possibly even develop into a good big slot. He's very sure-handed, physical, and savvy.

NFL Comparison: James Jones

Round 7 Pick #20 - Tyler Bass K Georgia Southern

Analysis: Kickers are hard to project, and I don't have the knowledge to say much about the position. From what I can tell, Bass has a strong leg and was consistent on PATs during his college career. He was up and down in terms of accuracy, but so were a lot of other successful NFL kickers in college. He seems like the guy most likely to be drafted after Blankenship. I don't want to spend a mid-round pick on Blankenship. I'd bring Bass, Sam Sloman, and at least one veteran Kicker into camp to compete.

Projected Starters

QB: Jared Goff

HB: Darrell Henderson

WR: Josh Reynolds

WR: Robert Woods

WR: Cooper Kupp

TE: Tyler Higbee

LT: Andrew Whitworth

LG: Bobby Evans

C: Nick Harris

RG: David Edwards

RT: Rob Havenstein

 

SDE: Michael Brockers

NT: A'Shawn Robinson

UT: Aaron Donald

OLB: Samson Ebukam

ILB: Travin Howard

ILB: Micah Kiser

OLB: Leonard Floyd

LCB: Jalen Ramsey

RCB: Troy Hill

SLCB: David Long Jr.

FS: John Johnson III

SS: Taylor Rapp

 

K: Tyler Bass

P: Johnny Hekker

LS: Jake McQuaide

Edited by jrry32

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I like it all a ton besides the Harris pick. Initially I thought I'd hate the Higgins pick but you make a great case on why he's worthy trading up for since you are targeting a skillset that we can use and isn't attainable with other guys in this class. 

 

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I like a lot of the picks here. Higgins is one of my favorite WR’s in this class, but with that said, I’m still not a fan of trading up for anyone. 
 

I really like Nick Harris and would be thrilled to nab him at that point in the draft. I still have a feeling he gets taken beforehand but either way I’d love to see him in horns. I actually think he’s arguably a better fit that Biadasz for us. 

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Posted (edited)

Doesn't Moss already have knee issues? No thanks

Edited by RamPackFan

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Posted (edited)

That’s uhh, that’s a pretty spectacular mock. Can’t even really nit pick it. 

I very much agree on your assessment of Higgins, it continues to surprise me that he is rarely mocked in the 1st round. He would be one of the few guys I’d be completely fine moving up for. I see what you are saying with the Evans comparison, alittle optimistic, but not outlandish.


LOVE the Zack Moss pick. He is really the only RB I want out of this draft. I would understand and be ok with Donnins, but I feel like the value/ immediate production from Moss would be a better pick. I’ve always compared him to Frank Gore, and paired with Henderson would be great. I wouldn’t worry about the knee, he just got it cleared, plus it’s pick #84, not a Top 10 pick. You shouldn’t ever expect more than 4 years out of your RB anymore, he might give you 6, but don’t pay for it. Go with that plan and you’ll rarely be disappointed. 


Greenard keeps slipping, and I don’t get it (just like Biadasz) but I’d love to take advantage of it. Like I pointed out in my mock, I gotta honk Floyd my play inside, which would push JG into a starting role and I would much enjoy that Lab corps. 


love that you filled out the depth with the rest of the picks, we’re gonna need it, but I guess the one question I have; while I also like Harris as a Center, especially in our scheme, would you really expect him to beat out Blythe to start the year?

Edited by StLunatic88

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Posted (edited)

Yeah I'm sold on Tee Higgins with our first pick even though I've made statements I think we go ILB, EDGE, IOL, and RB with first 4 picks.

You can't look at a draft as playing for solely next season, you have to look at the long term payoffs. If this draft is DEEP at WR, which it is, and we see a potential #1 fall into our laps like Higgins to play with Kupp then you have to do it. Not a huge fan of the Daivon Taylor pick at that spot, seems too soon for how raw he is. 

Love Cephus and Moss.

Edited by BStanRamFan

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1 hour ago, StLunatic88 said:

love that you filled out the depth with the rest of the picks, we’re gonna need it, but I guess the one question I have; while I also like Harris as a Center, especially in our scheme, would you really expect him to beat out Blythe to start the year?

Probably not. But I think it's possible. He's experienced, very smart (from what I heard), and is a better talent than Blythe. But it's also going to be hard for a rookie to beat out a veteran with the line-call responsibility.

6 hours ago, RamPackFan said:

Doesn't Moss already have knee issues? No thanks

I think he had a meniscus issue at some point in college. But we're not drafting him for 15 years. If we get five years out of him, he's worth it. Especially because of his ability to contribute in all phases of the game.

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Just now, BStanRamFan said:

Yeah I'm sold on Tee Higgins with our first pick even though I've made statements I think we go ILB, EDGE, IOL, and RB with first 4 picks.

You can't look at a draft as playing for solely next season, you have to look at the long term payoffs. If this draft is DEEP at WR, which it is, and we see a potential #1 fall into our laps like Higgins to pay with Kupp then you have to do it. Not a huge fan of the Daivon Taylor pick at that spot, seems too soon for how raw he is. 

Love Cephus and Moss.

I'm not sure he'll make it there, honestly. Yes, he's very raw, but he's also a high-character kid with the athletic profile of a top 20 pick. Him and Patrick Queen had nearly identical performances at the Combine. While Queen is raw too, I get that he's not nearly as raw as Taylor. But we're still talking about the difference between a first and fourth round pick. I could see a team jumping on Taylor's athletic skill-set before the 4th round. The kid ran a 4.39 40 at his Pro Day (before the virus shut everything down) after running a 4.49 40 at the Combine. How many LBs out there have that type of speed?

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3 hours ago, StLunatic88 said:

Greenard keeps slipping, and I don’t get it

It's going to be because, with all his past injuries - and also coming off a wrist injury - there's no real way of knowing who or how may teams actually got a chance to have their own medical folks check him out before this whole Corona Virus thing hit hard and affected the process.  I'm expecting similar effects to (likely) hit Lucas Niang (hip), Thaddeus Moss (foot surgery; and his 3rd foot surgery in his career), and Brandon Aiyuk (core muscle surgery).

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Posted (edited)

I just need the draft baby! Let’s get it. 

 

I hope we draft, Akeem Davis-Gaither. 

Edited by ITS_RAMMY_PLAYBOI

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Let me just first off saying its hard to deny ANYTHING @jrry32 says about the draft especially receivers after how the Kupp analysis turned out to be great. I will say though that my belief is the Rams should and I think will focus on the OL and front seven. They could draft a back somewhere in the first 4 rounds but I think they should focus heavily on the OL in the draft and the front seven on defense in the draft. Now its not sexy and when I see receivers and backs get drafted I get hyped because I love offensive weapons and it just in general make the draft fun BUT the Rams already have weapons on offense. Their main issues are the OL and front seven. With all this crisis going on the draft is the last thing on my mind. When it get here it get here and then Ill be tuned in to see what moves the Rams make to get better. Im just taking it one day and a time and trying to stay safe and I hope each and everyone of yall are doing the same thing. 

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1 hour ago, stl4life07 said:

Let me just first off saying its hard to deny ANYTHING @jrry32 says about the draft especially receivers after how the Kupp analysis turned out to be great. I will say though that my belief is the Rams should and I think will focus on the OL and front seven. They could draft a back somewhere in the first 4 rounds but I think they should focus heavily on the OL in the draft and the front seven on defense in the draft. Now its not sexy and when I see receivers and backs get drafted I get hyped because I love offensive weapons and it just in general make the draft fun BUT the Rams already have weapons on offense. Their main issues are the OL and front seven. With all this crisis going on the draft is the last thing on my mind. When it get here it get here and then Ill be tuned in to see what moves the Rams make to get better. Im just taking it one day and a time and trying to stay safe and I hope each and everyone of yall are doing the same thing. 

Finally a post that make sense ! I like the input for each player but drafting a WR and a RB with our first picks would be a bad decision. 

Without a good OL, they are useless. 

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they won't go heavy on ol.
noteboom, whit, havenstein, blythe, corbett, edwards, evans plus allen and we are already at 8.
7 of them are a lock making the 53.
and never forget kromers favorit. demby.

i can see them drafting an c or g, maybe t who can play inside. maybe. one.

fans should start to realise that maybe mcvay doesn't believe the ol was the problem last year:
kromer kept all of his jobs, they brought back two starters.
gurley was cut, peete cut, qb coack got downgraded.

same with the front.
donald, brockers, robinson, day, gaines. one open spot.
they could draft an edge early. but the depth on edge is already on the roster.

i remember what silver said.
he said it will be henderson and gurley or henderson and....?
it will be a duo. we need a second. rb.
they are gonna pick one on day two.
silver also said the rams really like reynolds, so i'm not sure they're gonna pick a wr early.
sure, like ol, it could be a plan b if a play they like is gone.

and the other big need is ilb.
 

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6 hours ago, Flounch said:

Finally a post that make sense ! I like the input for each player but drafting a WR and a RB with our first picks would be a bad decision. 

Without a good OL, they are useless. 

What are we defining as "making sense" though.  Because logic would suggest that the team isn't going to just write off guys that they recently acquired (within the past 2 years) and certainly not in a wholesale manner.

Right now we have Noteboom, Edwards, Allen, Corbett, Evans, and Demby who we've all invested draft assets either in the actual last two drafts or in trade in the last year.  We also have Blythe and Whit who we just issued fresh contracts to (albeit Blythe's is a one-year deal, so that bears consideration).  Throw in Havenstein still on the books and that's 9 OL right there (we have more under contract currently, as teams normally do going into a season and before cuts to a final roster) and we're pretty much at the number of OL we carried on the active roster last season already; I don't think we ever carried more than 10 active.  So if we're looking at logic, logic suggests that what makes sense in the context we're in is if we're drafting an OL it's likely 1 guy, and based off the spread of positions and players capable of playing various positions on the roster, that player would likely either be a center-capable player (and that's if they're willing to write off Allen entirely or view Blythe as a RG-only and a stop-gap only) or a developmental OT who could possibly also kick/develop into guard (not dissimilar to Noteboom), which is more of what we've seen in who we visited with (the likes of Matthew Peart).

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9 hours ago, stl4life07 said:

Let me just first off saying its hard to deny ANYTHING @jrry32 says about the draft especially receivers after how the Kupp analysis turned out to be great. I will say though that my belief is the Rams should and I think will focus on the OL and front seven. They could draft a back somewhere in the first 4 rounds but I think they should focus heavily on the OL in the draft and the front seven on defense in the draft. Now its not sexy and when I see receivers and backs get drafted I get hyped because I love offensive weapons and it just in general make the draft fun BUT the Rams already have weapons on offense. Their main issues are the OL and front seven. With all this crisis going on the draft is the last thing on my mind. When it get here it get here and then Ill be tuned in to see what moves the Rams make to get better. Im just taking it one day and a time and trying to stay safe and I hope each and everyone of yall are doing the same thing. 

McVay recently did an interview that indicates they're content with what they have on the OL. Now, he's obviously not going to give everything away, but if you look at the numbers we have on the OL, odds are that we're only drafting one OL this year. We're likely to carry 9 at most. Check it out:

1. Whit

2. Hav

3. Edwards

4. Evans

5. Blythe

6. Corbett

7. Rookie

8. Brewer

9. Allen

PUP. Noteboom

10. Shelton

11. Demby (definitely gone)

The other big problem with what you're proposing is you can't just force picks if the value isn't there. If there's not an OL or ILB or EDGE who is good value at #52 or #57, you don't just pick one anyways. This ILB class has a massive void between the top 40 picks and the mid-third round.

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