St. Louis has needs on both offense and defense. What one can expect to take place with the thirteenth selection will vary depending on who the Rams choose to pick with the second overall pick. If the Rams decide to take Sammy Watkins with the second overall pick, then adding more protection to the offensive line should get a strong consideration for the thirteenth pick. One name that might be available is offensive tackle Taylor Lewan.
If the Rams select Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews with the second overall pick, the likelihood that a receiver worthy of the thirteenth overall pick being available is next to zero. If they do wish to look at improving their receiving game, one name that might be considered here would be tight end Eric Ebron, who would give the Rams a Vernon Davis type player their starting quarterback could target downfield.
Another possibility here is that the Rams take Sammy Watkins or Greg Robinson with the second overall pick, but should he fall, which is possible, they may decide to roll the dice on Johnny Manziel with the thirteenth selection. Coupling a dynamic receiver like Watkins with Manziel would be exciting to watch, and it would generate a marked offensive improvement next season. Manziel’s name isn’t too popular in most debates I’ve had with fans concerning this pick, but it’s not out of the question.
On the defensive side of the field, the Rams could use an upgrade at both corner and safety. There’s little odds that Justin Gilbert will drop this far, but Darqueze Dennard will likely be available when the Rams make this selection. They could also use an upgrade at safety, which prompts one of the more popular debates concerning this pick, selecting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. If Clinton-Dix is off the boards, the team may also consider giving Calvin Pryor a look.
Finally, if the Rams don’t get a chance to select Jadeveon Clowney, and also decide to pass up on Khalil Mack with the second overall pick, it’s possible the team may consider Anthony Barr or C.J. Mosley with this selection, if either is still on the board. Barr or Mosley would make a huge addition to their already dangerous front seven, so their selection deserves its spot in this debate.
Taylor Lewan’s off the field legal issues may not keep the rams from drafting him for his tremendous upside at the next level. Lewan is a beast on the field. He pops and sets better than most in the draft, and he has an excellent balance of upper and lower body strength. He has quick hands which will give him a huge advantage in most situations, and aside from providing solid pass protection, he knows how to open lanes for the ground game. St. Louis has a good offensive line, but Lewan would push its production to the next level.
Eric Ebron may not make much sense if you are a fan of Jared Cook. But, in reality, he could help extend the playing field for the Rams offense by giving them a dynamic receiving tight end with Vernon Davis like abilities. If the Rams pass on Watkins, the best option they will have at thirteen to help their receiving core will be Ebron. He has excellent hands for a tight end and is fast in a foot race off the snap. He’s not a great blocker by any means, and such could compromise their running game, and the team has a big investment in Zac Stacy heading into next season. He has an outside shot at being the selection, so I included him in the debate.
Johnny “Football” Manziel. Wouldn’t he look great in a Rams uniform, especially if they take Watkins with the second overall pick? A huge plus to this selection is that at thirteen, they would allow him to bulk up during this offseason, and he could step in when needed if Bradford fails to product to expectations. A more durable Manziel would certainly spell bad news in the NFC West, already rich with athletic quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. St. Louis clearly intends to compete for the division title, and adding the best arm and accuracy in the draft would certainly help those odds. Watkins left, Stacy in the backfield, and Manziel at the helm, there’s an offense that would generate plenty of excitement next season.
Darqueze Dennard is a smart corner that can quickly indentify routes and running lanes. He has good speed, and he uses his size to be effective against the run. He makes quick adjustments, and due to his excellent footwork he won’t get burned off the snap. He would give the Rams an excellent option at corner, and he has the build and playmaking abilities the Rams like in their defensive backs. He has a solid upside at the next level, and his competitive nature is addictive.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is fast and would bring a very balanced game to the Rams if selected. He knows how to mix it up with opposing ground games, but he also flies in coverage. He has good hands for a safety, and he makes excellent reads following the snap. He anticipates each play and his reaction time is the best at the position in this draft. St. Louis needs a safety that can get down and dirty versus opposing run games, and can also make dynamic plays in pass coverage.
Anthony Barr would be a steal at this point in the draft if he’s still available. Barr would round out the Rams linebacking core and would add a puss rushing presence to an already dangerous defensive unit. He’s fluid from sideline-to-sideline, and he can mix it up on rushing downs. Having him line up behind Quinn or Long would be a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators. C.J. Mosley carries the same dynamic play making abilities, but he has better pass coverage skills than Barr. The risk here is Mosley carries an injury concern, but if he can stay healthy, the Rams defense would lower opposing offensive production considerably next season.
The excitement within this pick matches the excitement surrounding the second overall pick, since the Rams could go one of many directions with either pick. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a Rams fan!
St. Louis Rams fans, who would you like to see your team draft with the thirteenth overall pick and why? I like Lewan, Barr, or Clinton-Dix, but any pick that can help further increase the Rams’ level of play next season is welcome!
You can interact and debate this pick on twitter @TheeSethJC, or in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and have fun debating this pick!