The Los Angeles Rams do not have a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, so they must explore many options in the second round. Los Angeles’ first selection in the 2017 NFL Draft occurs at No. 37 overall. Therefore, they will need to address one of their many needs on offense or defense via their top draft selection.
Eastern Carolina receiver Zay Jones is my favorite for the Rams second round pick in the NFL Draft. He was my ideal fit in a recent seven-round Mock Draft. Jones brings the size and production that Los Angeles needs at receiver. A recent ESPN article detailed that the Rams are one of the most undersized receiver groups in the NFL. Adding Jones would give them a possession receiver to compliment the quick and shifty guys that they already have at the position.
Additionally, Jones has an NFL pedigree and he set a tone of collegiate records. He also answered questions about the competition that he played in college by impressing at the NFL Combine and Senior Bowl against the Draft’s top prospects. Jones has all the makings of a can’t miss second-round selection for the Rams.
Moreover, Penn St. receiver Chris Godwin deserves some consideration from the Rams at No. 37. Los Angeles needs to add some offensive firepower. Remember, their offense ranked as the worst unit in the league. Giving young quarterback Jared Goff some capable targets will be critical to his development. The Rams may find a pass catcher in the second round at tight end, but they should strongly consider Godwin if he is available.
When we last saw Godwin, he torched the USC defense for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the Rose Bowl. Godwin followed that by testing well at the NFL Combine. In fact, he and Jones have a very similar athletic profile. Godwin does not have the gaudy production of Jones, but he did play in bigger games. Los Angeles would be lucky to grab Jones or Godwin. Both could become a starting receiver from Day One.
Washington safety Budda Baker might deserve a first round selection. He was highly productive in college and he tested well by all accounts. There are some questions about his size and this NFL Draft safety class is deep. Thus, Baker could fall to the Rams in the second round.
For Los Angeles, they’ve lost a starting safety in the last two free agency classes. In 2015, Rodney McLeod bounced and T.J. McDonald left this past free agency period. Now, the Rams are trying LaMarcus Joyner at safety. Therefore, the Rams could use an instant starter at safety like Baker. Baker also played some corner in college, so he could play the slot corner position too.
Los Angeles did address the offensive line by signing free agents Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan. However, they still need young offensive linemen for depth. They may add one in the second round with the hopes that he can develop as a long term protector for Goff and running back Todd Gurley.
Insert Cam Robinson as one of the most logical options for Los Angeles in the second round. Robinson was productive at Alabama and played in some big games. However, there are questions about his ability to finish blocks and protect the quarterback’s blind side in the NFL. This could make Robinson available in the second round. He is an ideal prospect for the guard or right tackle position as he is a mauler who can open running lanes. The Rams need as much blocking help as they can get, so they should be happy to get Robinson. He could develop into a really good NFL starter.
USC corner Adoree Jackson may be available for the Rams due to questions about his size and a deep class of corners in the 2017 NFL Draft. That would be an ideal situation for the Rams. Los Angeles needs another starting corner opposite Trumaine Johnson. Jackson has the speed and ball skills to be an ideal man-coverage corner with the Rams.
Plus, the Rams could use Jackson as a returner. Jackson returned four kicks for a touchdown in college, so Los Angeles will gladly take Jackson’s big-play ability on special teams. Not to mention, Jackson’s USC connection would make him an instant fan favorite for the Rams. Jackson may be too tempting for the Rams to pass on in the second round of the NFL Draft.
At the end of the day, the Rams may not wait until the second round to make a selection. Los Angeles could trade back into the first round. Otherwise, they may find that none of these players are available in at No. 37. Regardless, Los Angeles should consider Zay Jones, Chris Godwin, Budda Baker, Cam Robinson, and Adoree Jackson during Day Two of the 2017 NFL Draft which begins April 28.
[Featured Image by David J. Phillip/AP Images]