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What should the Rams do with the second pick? ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
St. Louis may hold the key to the draft with the No. 2 overall pick. What direction should the Rams go? Sports Illustrated Tue, Apr 22
 
NFL Draft Preview: Rams could wheel and deal (The SportsXchange) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- When Jeff Fisher was hired as head coach and Les Snead as general manager of the St. Louis Rams two years ago, they owned the second overall pick in the draft and had a roster that needed a major overhaul after the team won just 15 of 80 games the previous five seasons. Now, the Rams have won seven games in each of the last two years and enter the 2014 draft with the final payment from the blockbuster trade they made with Washington that enabled the Redskins to move up to No. 2 overall and select quarterback Robert Griffin III. Thanks to the Redskins' 3-13 finish in 2013, the Rams again have the second pick in the first round to go with their own choice at No. 13. Fisher likes what the trade with the Redskins produced, saying, "I believe right now with what we've got on the roster resulting from that trade that we've done well. The extra picks enabled the Rams to take a chance on cornerback Janoris Jenkins in the second round of the 2012 draft, trade up for wide receiver Tavon Austin in the first round last year and then trade down later in the first round while still adding linebacker Alec Ogletree. Yahoo! Tue, Apr 22
 
NFL Draft Needs: Plenty of quality receivers available; no excuses, Panthers (Shutdown Corner) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
Before the NFL draft on May 8-10, we'll be looking at all the key prospects and also breaking them down by position. In our "Draft Needs" series we will also examine which teams will be in the market at each position, looking to fill their remaining roster holes. RECEIVER/TIGHT END Carolina Panthers: Assuming Carolina does not plan to run a wing-T offense this season, the Panthers will need to draft more than one receiver. Carolina released all-time leading receiver Steve Smith, who signed with Baltimore. The Panthers allowed Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon to sign with other teams during free agency. Carolina replaced those receivers with Jerricho Cotchery (Pittsburgh), Jason Avant (Philadelphia) and Tiquan Underwood (Tampa Bay) ... not necessarily the second coming of Washington’s “Fun Bunch.” Carolina could use its first-round pick on USC receiver Marqise Lee, who won the 2012 Biletnikoff Award with a breakout season (1,721 yards, 14 TDs) before nagging leg injuries led to 791 yards and four TDs last season. He would be an instant upgrade to Carolina’s roster, but the same could be said about Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, who is similar to Smith. Carolina could justify selecting receivers in the first two rounds. NEED LEVEL: Extremely high Oakland Raiders: With all due respect to James Jones and Rod Streater, there is not a game-changer on this roster. Jones signed a three-year deal with Oakland this offseason. He played through nagging injuries last season, but still had a career-high 817 receiving yards. He led the NFL with 14 touchdown receptions in 2012, but Aaron Rodgers was his quarterback, not Matt Schaub. Oakland could add Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins and have a threat in the passing game. Texas A&M’s Mike Evans is a top 10 talent too, and he would be an instant upgrade as well. NEED LEVEL: Medium high Tennessee Titans: Nate Washington, Dexter McCluster and Kendall Wright are a good group of receivers, but Jake Locker still does not have a reliable No.1 option. Tennessee was hopeful Kenny Britt would emerge into a standout, but he made more noise for his off-the-field antics. Tennessee may not need a receiver in the first-round, but LSU’s Odell Beckham can stretch the field and would give the Titans more options. NEED LEVEL: Medium high St. Louis Rams: Most teams try to build around their franchise quarterback, but St. Louis has failed to give Sam Bradford some much-needed help. Tavon Austin excelled as a rookie last season, but Chris Givens took a step backwards, while Stedman Bailey is still developing. St. Louis should address pressing needs in the first-round, but Penn State receiver Allen Robinson, LSU’s Jarvis Landry or Beckham could make Bradford feel better about his options. NEED LEVEL: Medium Dallas Cowboys:  After Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, things gets really shaky. Former Cowboys receiver Miles Austin remains unsigned because of his annual hamstring difficulties, and considering Tony Romo is 34 and recovering from back surgery, Dallas’ window of opportunity is closing. Of course some might say the window has been closed for years, and that is a fair assessment, too. Dallas needs help defensively, but players such as Clemson’s Martavis Bryant, Fresno State’s Davante Adams, BYU’s Cody Hoffman, and UCLA’s Shaq Evans are realistic possibilities for Dallas after the first-round. Adding a tight end, such as Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins, is another solid option for Dallas. NEED LEVEL: Medium Other teams in need: N.Y. Jets, Kansas City, Seattle, San Francisco NFL Draft Needs series April 18: Linebacker April 19: Defensive line April 20: Offensive line April 21: Running back April 22: Receiver/tight end April 23: Quarterback April 24: Defensive back April 25: Running back - - - - - - - Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnwarRichardson Yahoo! Tue, Apr 22
 
NFL draft: Two-round mock draft projects trades up for Manziel, Bridgewater (Shutdown Corner) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
We’ve taken the next step here. Although our mock drafts this past year might outnumber our visits to the gym, this will be the first time we project trades. Are they going to happen just like we see them? Of course not. But it can be fun to envision scenarios that are not immediately evident, and yet we know that trades are a huge part of the draft landscape. There were nine trades involving first- or second-round picks that happened on the first two days of the 2013 NFL draft. In this scenario, we project a pedestrian three — enough to get our creative juices flowing and start the plate tectonics a bit, but not too many to cloud and skew the picture dramatically. But it's no coincidence that two of the three deals involve trades up for quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater. That sort of thing tends to happen on the clock when teams get antsy. We’ll check in the night before the draft — 16 agonizing days from now — with our final first-round predictions from the Shutdown Corner contributors. But here’s how the first 64 picks look right now. 1. Houston Texans — South Carolina DE-LB Jadeveon Clowney We’ve had him here in this spot for months and haven’t wavered much from it. Clowney’s pro day performance displayed what we suspected: that he’d have no trouble going in reverse, if asked to. The Texans might only be in their base defense 30 percent of the time, so Clowney will be quite comfortable rushing the Andrew Lucks of the world from a right-end spot — or wherever else coordinator Romeo Crennel wants to play him. That said, a trade down wouldn't be out of the question in our minds — something we hadn't really considered realistic previously. Shaun King's take: Major question marks and concerns 2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) — Auburn OT Greg Robinson The Rams’ offense must marry the power run game with the rhythm passing game, and Robinson can step in and help give it a boost. He’s already an NFL-caliber run blocker, and his athletic ability and work ethic should allow him to be a plus pass blocker in time. Jeff Fisher’s ties to Jake Matthews aside, this is the right fit. Robinson should dominate as a second-level blocker on the turf. Shaun King's take: Best run blocker in a decade 3. Jacksonville Jaguars — Buffalo LB-DE Khalil Mack Gus Bradley now has the makings of a deep and skilled front seven that can make them contenders. They face a slew of good quarterbacks, but they also face a handful of teams that could be starting rookies at the position, so the m.o. in Jacksonville will be to attack defensively and force turnovers to give the offense as many chances as possible. Mack was a turnover machine in college and is the perfect fit as the “Leo” linebacker in this scheme. Shaun King's take: Best pound-for-pound player in the draft 4. Cleveland Browns — Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews GM Ray Farmer has been on the job a little over two months now, and he’s weighed his options at No. 4. Knowing he has two more picks coming in the subsequent 30 slots, Farmer likely will want to make as safe a selection as possible here and maybe not tie himself to a quarterback in this spot. If they need to — foreshadowing alert — the Browns can trade up for a QB later. Here, they take their starting right tackle for a decade. Shaun King's take: Most polished player 5. Oakland Raiders — Clemson WR Sammy Watkins Watkins would be a huge upgrade over the inconsistent and unreliable Denarius Moore at the “X” receiver spot and give Matt Schaub a run-after-the-catch threat. The Raiders would be in decent hands with a top three receivers of Watkins, James Jones and Rod Streater; they can work with that. Ideally, they’d find their quarterback of the future here, but this is a pretty good alternative assuming they do not. Shaun King's take: Unquestionably No. 1 receiver in draft 6. Atlanta Falcons — Michigan OT Taylor Lewan Too soon? The Falcons were soft up front last season. Way too soft. Mike Tice is the new OL coach, and he likes players such as Lewan, who carry a real nasty streak. The Falcons can keep Sam Baker at left tackle for now and put Lewan on the right side, but it would not be surprising to see Lewan slide over to the left at some point. He’s exactly the guy to help add a little vinegar to their recipe up front. Shaun King's take: Has potential, but not refined 7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Texas A&M WR Mike Evans Prior to the trade of Mike Williams, the Bucs had depth problems at receiver. Now they have a talent deficiency, too. Evans and Vincent Jackson have some overlapping skills, but that’s OK. So, too, do Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and new Bucs QB Josh McCown might feel like he’s back in Chicago when he sees these two physical freaks running patterns. Shaun King's take: Second-best receiver in the draft Yahoo! Tue, Apr 22
 
Browns may have their choice of any QB (Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
One unnamed NFL head coach has described the process of deciding which quarterback to draft this year as torturous, according to Peter Kings MMQB blog. In fact, that lack of certainty extends beyond just whether the Houston Texans at No. 1 and the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 3 will take Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel. As MMQB offers, those teams could just as well not take a quarterback at all as neither would the St. Louis Rams, still committed to Sam Bradford, at No. 2 giving the Cleveland Browns their pick of the litter at No. 4. King writes of Houston: I still think the Texans would go with a more sure thing with the first overall pick than a quarterback. Yahoo! Tue, Apr 22
 
Current Roster
Quarterbacks College External Player News Links
Sam Bradford Oklahoma
 
 
 
 
 
Kellen Clemens Oregon
 
 
 
 
 
Austin Davis Southern Mississippi
 
 
 
 
 
Brady Quinn Notre Dame
 
 
 
 
 
Runningbacks College External Player News Links
Benny Cunningham Middle Tennessee State
 
 
 
 
 
Isaiah Pead Cincinnati
 
 
 
 
 
Chase Reynolds Montana
 
 
 
 
 
Daryl Richardson Abilene Christian
 
 
 
 
 
Zac Stacy Vanderbilt
 
 
 
 
 
Wide Receivers College External Player News Links
C.J. Akins Angelo State
 
 
 
 
 
Tavon Austin West Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Stedman Bailey West Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Givens Wake Forest
 
 
 
 
 
Austin Pettis Boise State
 
 
 
 
 
Brian Quick Appalachian State
 
 
 
 
 
Justin Veltung Idaho
 
 
 
 
 
Tight Ends College External Player News Links
Jared Cook South Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Cory Harkey UCLA
 
 
 
 
 
Lance Kendricks Wisconsin
 
 
 
 
 
Mike McNeill Nebraska
 
 
 
 
 
Kickers College External Player News Links
Greg Zuerlein Missouri Western State
 
 
 
 
 
Defensive Linemans College External Player News Links
Michael Brockers LSU
 
 
 
 
 
Matt Conrath Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Jermelle Cudjo Central Oklahoma
 
 
 
 
 
William Hayes Winston-Salem State
 
 
 
 
 
Kendall Langford Hampton
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Long Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Quinn North Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Eugene Sims West Texas A&M
 
 
 
 
 
Linebackerss College External Player News Links
Daren Bates Auburn
 
 
 
 
 
Sammy Brown Houston
 
 
 
 
 
Jo-Lonn Dunbar Boston College
 
 
 
 
 
James Laurinaitis Ohio State
 
 
 
 
 
Jake McQuaide Ohio State
 
 
 
 
 
Alec Ogletree Georgia
 
 
 
 
 
Phillip Steward Houston
 
 
 
 
 
Will Witherspoon Georgia
 
 
 
 
 
Defensive Backs College External Player News Links
Ray Ray Armstrong Miami (Fla.)
 
 
 
 
 
Matt Daniels Duke
 
 
 
 
 
Cody Davis Texas Tech
 
 
 
 
 
Cortland Finnegan Samford
 
 
 
 
 
Matt Giordano California
 
 
 
 
 
Janoris Jenkins North Alabama
 
 
 
 
 
Trumaine Johnson Montana
 
 
 
 
 
T.J. McDonald USC
 
 
 
 
 
Brandon McGee Miami (Fla.)
 
 
 
 
 
Rodney McLeod Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Quinton Pointer UNLV
 
 
 
 
 
Darian Stewart South Carolina