Best and Worst-Case Scenario for St. Louis Rams' Top 3 Picks

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerFeatured Columnist IVApril 13, 2014

Best and Worst-Case Scenario for St. Louis Rams' Top 3 Picks

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    The St. Louis Rams will be on the clock in less than a month. By now, every St. Louis fan has their preference on what the Rams should or shouldn't do with the top draft selections. 

    The Rams have three picks in the first two rounds. With that kind of ammunition, the Rams could potentially have the best draft in the entire NFL. Then again, if poor decisions are made with those picks, the Rams could also choke and be stuck with the most disastrous draft class in football. 

    It's one thing if a team with only one pick in the top 50 fails on draft day. It happens. But for the Rams, a team with three picks in the top 50, failure is not an option. Jobs will be lost if poor decisions are made. 

    All of the doom and gloom can avoided by simply using common sense. So this article will highlight the best-case and worst-case scenarios for each of St. Louis' top three picks, which will give you an idea on which direction the team should take in the draft. 

No. 2 Overall

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    Best-Case Scenario: Trade Down to No. 4 Overall

    The Rams could draft Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson or Sammy Watkins at No. 2 overall, but the more ideal option would be to trade down to No. 4 overall with the Cleveland Browns

    It's possible that Cleveland has its eyes set on a specific quarterback and does not want to risk losing him to Jacksonville, which makes this trade down a remote possibility. 

    Trading down to No. 4 would be extremely beneficial to the Rams. Not only does it add an extra draft pick as compensation—probably a second-round pick—but it also allows St. Louis to come away with one of its top three targets (Clowney, Robinson, Watkins). 

    If the Rams can add an additional second-round pick and still come away with either Watkins or Robinson, it will be a great day for Rams fans. 

    Worst-Case Scenario: LB Khalil Mack

    Nothing would nauseate St. Louis fans more than watching the Rams stay put at No. 2 overall to select linebacker Khalil Mack. 

    Mack would be the third starting linebacker on defense, but with James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree in place, Mack would only be a part-time starter at a very unimportant position, which is not what the Rams need at No. 2 overall. 

    Also, the small-school standout faced watered-down competition throughout his college career. It's only logical to believe that he'll have a visible learning curve upon entering the NFL. And since the Rams have terrible luck selecting projects with lofty draft selections, this is not a move that would satisfy their fanbase.

No. 13 Overall

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    Best-Case Scenario: CB Justin Gilbert

    Cornerback Justin Gilbert has to be the favorite for St. Louis' No. 13 pick, but it's likely that the Detroit Lions (No. 10 overall) or the Tennessee Titans (No. 11 overall) will steal him away. 

    If Gilbert somehow falls to No. 13, the decision should be a no-brainer. 

    Gilbert is a true No. 1 cornerback with a bright future. Teaming him with Janoris Jenkins—another rising star—would give St. Louis a deadly pair of corners for years to come. 

    Worst-Case Scenario: A Quarterback 

    Quarterbacks Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr have all been discussed as potential top-10 picks, but don't be surprised if most of them slip out of the top 10. 

    With numerous talented quarterbacks sinking like rocks, there might be a slight temptation to grab one at No. 13 overall.

    This would give St. Louis a viable option in case Sam Bradford struggles or is injured again next season, but using a first-round pick on a backup player is a terrible idea. 

    The better option would be to give Bradford a competition-free shot in 2014. If he fails, the Rams can start over at quarterback by selecting the best passer available in the 2015 draft—a strategy that is far more comforting than wasting two additional years giving a fair shot to an underwhelming prospect such as Bridgewater. 

No. 44 Overall

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    David Welker/Getty Images

    Best-Case Scenario: A Plug-and-Play Safety

    There is a clear drop off at safety beyond Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, but it's still possible to find a competent Day 1 starter at safety in the second round. 

    The Rams need a free safety rather than a strong safety, making Jimmie Ward and Deone Bucannon questionable picks, but both players have promising potential and would upgrade the defense regardless. 

    If the team is set on drafting a free safety, both Dion Bailey and Terrance Brooks can be had in the second round. Both players are capable Day 1 starters. 

    Overall, don't be surprised if the Rams wait until the third or fourth round to grab a safety, as they did with T.J. McDonald last year. But since safety is a huge need, it would certainly be comforting if the Rams grabbed a safety in the first two rounds. 

    Worst-Case Scenario: An Outside Linebacker

    Drafting Mack at No. 2 overall would be a disaster, but waiting until the second round to grab a linebacker is not much better. 

    The Rams have Ray Ray Armstrong, Daren Bates and veteran Jo-Lonn Dunbar all competing for the third linebacker spot. Using a high pick on a linebacker is needless and reckless. 

    If the Rams want to add more competition at linebacker, it'd be best to do so in the fifth round or later.