Posted on: April 15, 2010 9:16 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2010 12:06 pm

Rams Draft - 2nd Annual Irish Dawg Mock Draft

So many holes, so few draft picks.

Actually the Rams have 10 picks this year including a 5th round pick they obtained in a trade that sent Will Witherspoon to the Eagles; a 7th round pick from Atlanta in exchange for Tye Hill; and another 7th round compensatory pick.  That still isn't enough for a team that has only won 6 games in three seasons.  My goal was to trade down and get more quality round picks.

Through trades I was able to accomplish my goal.  Before the draft I made a trade with Tampa Bay in which I exchanged the No. 1 overall pick for TBs first (#3), 2nd (#35) and 4th round (#101) picks. After trades with Tennessee and Houston, I ended up with a total of 12 picks including 2 in the 2nd round and 3 in the 4th.  Much has been made of how I "stole the draft" with the Tampa Bay trade, but I just happened into "The Perfect Storm" of events to take advantage of my position at #1 overall.

First, there was Suhmania.  I was once on the Suh bandwagon.  Whoever gets the guy - imagine the chant whenever he makes a play .... SUUUUUHHH!!!!

Yet as I analyzed the draft, I realized the QB rankings are very thin in this draft while the DT position is very deep.  Also, the Rams just acquired former Giants DT Fred Robbins, lessening the need to take a DT at No. 1 overall.  

I concluded that taking the best QB at the top was the right thing to do, rather then risking missing out on Colt McCoy in the 2nd round.  It looked like Sam Bradford was the right choice.  But there were still questions about his shoulder.
Bradford's pro day wasn't until Monday, March 29 but my deal with Tampa Bay was consummated on March 26th, the Friday before Bradford's performance.  I took advantage of Suhmania before it became evident the the Rams would draft Bradford over Suh.  It turned out I was able to have my cake and eat it too.

I tried to keep three things in mind in making my choices.  1) Devaney wants playmakers; 2) Spags wants a big, physical team; 3) Follow Spags' "Four Pillars", (faith, character, values, team first).  However, when Navorro Bowman was still available in the 4th round, I decided to select him, in spite of his checkered past, in hopes that his frat boy college days are behind him.

On to the picks.  Click on the links to see full scouting reports.

1 (#3) QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

There's little to add at this point.  Barring a blockbuster trade, Sam will be the Rams franchise QB for years to come.  His leadership, strong character, arm strength and accuracy make him an obvious choice as the Rams first pick.  His pro day performance confirmed that he was the right choice in this draft.

2 (#35) TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma

The Rams attempt at acquiring a playmaking tight end in the person of Randy McMichael ended in failure.  Gresham's familiarity with Bradford is a positive and his playmaking abilities are just what Bill Devaney is looking for.  I was pleasantly surprised that he dropped into the second round. 

2 (#35) WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech

Why settle for one big target when you can have two?  The Rams have a promising young group of receivers, but they're lacking the big receiver to make the plays on the fade route in the corner of the end zone.  Thomas is that guy. He finished his collegiate career with 120 receptions, 14 TDs and 2,339 yards.

3 (#71) CB Jerome Murphy, South Florida

Murphy is a big, physical CB with strong character that's played through injury.  He's perfect for Spags' defense.   As a senior, his four interceptions and eight pass breakups led USF and his 77 tackles were a career high.

4 (#99) OLB Navorro Bowman, Penn State

Navorro Bowman is the best 4-3 outside linebacker prospect for the 2010 draft.  --  FFToolbox.com
Bowman has 1st round talent but  had character issues in his past.  Maybe that's why I found such value in the 4th round?  I decided to take a chance on him at this point in the draft as he would be a good addition to the Rams.  In three seasons at Penn State he collected 214 tackles, 8 sacks and 3 interceptions.

4 (#101) DE Austen Lane, Murray State

Lane is a good pass rusher with a large frame to add some bulk.  Needs work on his run defense.  A Division 1-AA AP All-America first-teamer, Austen Lane had 19.5 TFL and 11 sacks in his senior year.

4 (#111) OT Kyle Calloway, Iowa

Jason Smith will step in as the starter at LT this season and Alex Barron is likely gone.  The Rams need someone to play right tackle, and who better to select then a guy that played RT most of his collegiate career?  Big, strong and athletic, Calloway could press for the starting job at RT, or at least provide quality depth on the line.

5 (#150) RB Deji Karim, Southern Illinois

I had my eye on this guy as soon as I heard the results of his Pro Day.  Karim is slightly bigger then Barry Sanders, but has the same quickness and speed.  Coming from a small school he didn't get much attention, but when he ran a 4.37 40 in his Pro Day, scouts took notice.   Karim rushed for 1,694 yards and 18 touchdowns on a 7.1 YPC average for Southern Illinois in 2009.

6 (#170) DT Earl Mitchell, Arizona

Mitchell is one of the many talented DTs in this draft.  As a USC Trojan fan, I witnessed the emergence of the Arizona Wildcat defense that ranked a respectable 25th in the nation in 2009, and Mitchell was a leader on that defensive line.  Earl Mitchell had 48 tackles, 12.5 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2009.

7 (#208) SS Kurt Coleman, Ohio State

This is one position where the Rams are actually in decent shape with James Butler, so drafting a safety was low on my priority list.  Imagine my surprise when Coleman - who's a projected 5th round pick - dropped to the 7th round.  His strong leadership, high character, physical play, strong tackling and ball-hawking abilities made it easy for me to select him with the first pick in the 7th round.  His collegiate career culminated with 221 tackles, 9 interceptions and 5 forced fumbles.

7 (#222) CB Nolan Carroll, Maryland

Carroll broke his leg early in 2009 in a season that was anticipated to be a great one for the big, fast CB.  His stock dropped as a result, but after recovering, and performing well at the combine and his Pro Day including a 4.37 40, he's a decent pick this late in the draft.  With his speed, and sure tackling skills, I hope he can be a solid special teams contributor, and at least provide depth at CB.

7 (#255) DT Nate Collins, Virginia

This pick shows just how deep this draft is with DTs.  In his senior season Collins finished second on the team in tackles with 77!  (77 tackles from a DT position!)  He also had 10.5 TFLs and 6 sacks.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com