St. Louis Rams 2014 Draft Preview

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Updated: 5/01 1:11 pm

(SportsNetwork.com) - St. Louis has two first-round picks for the second consecutive season and would probably like to trade down from No. 2 overall to build on the windfall it got in the Robert Griffin III trade.

If forced to stay put, however, it would be a prudent idea to get the best offensive tackle on the board because Jake Long coming off a torn ACL and Rodger Saffold has proven to be injury-prone.

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney remains the best pure prospect in this draft, but the Rams already have what Clowney projects to be (Robert Quinn), along with another solid end in Chris Long.

Texas A&M star Jake Matthews is the safer choice, but Greg Robinson's ceiling is much higher and he blew up at the combine, clocking 4.92 seconds in the 40- yard dash at 332 pounds, putting up 32 reps on the bench press and excelling in both the 3-cone drill and the short shuttle.

"I'm not at full potential right now. I still have a lot to go," Robinson said. "I started last year (and that) was my first season starting. Like the guys they have ahead of me like Jake Matthews, he started since he was a freshman. That's just something I feel I need to prove."

With their second pick at No. 13 overall adding playmaking ability with a bigger receiver opposite one of their top picks from a year ago, Tavon Austin, makes a lot of sense, especially if the Rams are really intent on moving forward with Sam Bradford at quarterback.

That said the two top receivers -- Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans of Texas A&M -- figure to be long gone. That could turn the Rams' mindset to the other side of the ball and the defensive backfield where a safety like Alabama's Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix or a cornerback like Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard would be options.

2013 Record: 7-9

Top Needs: OT, WR, S

First Three Picks: No. 2, No. 13, No. 44

Number of Selections: 12 (1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7)

CALLING THE SHOTS: General manager Les Snead shares the load with head coach Jeff Fisher and both seem to be riding with the idea that Bradford will eventually turn into a quarterback good enough to win with. Let's just play nice and call that a gutsy decision, especially in the ultra-tough NFC West.

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2013 - Tavon Austin (WR, West Virginia); Alec Ogletree (LB, Georgia); 2012 - Michael Brockers (DT, LSU); 2011 - Robert Quinn (DE, North Carolina); 2010 - Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma); 2009 - Jason Smith (OT, Baylor); 2008 - Chris Long (DE, Virginia); 2007 - Adam Carriker (DE, Nebraska); 2006 - Tye Hill (CB, Clemson); 2005 - Alex Barron (OT, Florida State); 2004 - Steven Jackson (RB, Oregon State); 2003 - Jimmy Kennedy (DT, Penn State).

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