Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
Will the St. Louis Rams use both of their first-round picks to improve their offense in the 2013 NFL Draft?
The St. Louis Rams were competitive in 2012, as they only lost two games by more than two touchdowns all season. The NFC West is going to be a very tough division to try and fight to the top of, but the team has two first-round picks in the 2013 NFL Draft with which to work with.
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They'll try and address some big needs with both picks, and they do have plenty of needs on both sides of the ball. Dan Kadar of SB Nation released his latest mock draft on Monday and he has the Rams addressing a significant need with the No. 16 pick in the first round, taking offensive tackle Lane Johnson out of Oklahoma:
If one of the top three offensive tackles happens to fall to the 16th pick, the Rams should pounce. If they wait, a player like Johnson will be gone by the 22nd pick. Although he's best-suited for left tackle, Johnson can play on either side of the Rams' line.
The Rams need to address one of their tackle positions at least, and Rodger Saffold might actually be more suited for the right side, which means Johnson could start at the ideal spot on the left side in this scenario. If you doubt Johnson at all, you can find SB Nation's scouting report for him here.
Then, at pick No. 22, Kadar has the Rams sticking with the offensive of the ball, taking wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson out of Tennessee:
No Rams receiver broke 700 yards receiving last season and the team doesn't have a player that projects as a No. 1. Patterson isn't a refined pass catcher. His route running is raw and he catches with his body too much. But when he actually gets the ball in his hands, he's as dangerous as anyone in this year's draft.
The Rams definitely need a new weapon for quarterback Sam Bradford. They're sticking with Bradford, passing up a chance to draft Robert Griffin III last year, but they've been searching for a weapon for him for some time now.
As you can tell from Patterson's scouting report, he should be plenty explosive to make things happen with Bradford throwing the football, even if he isn't totally refined as a receiver. He could easily grow into the No. 1 role if given the change, though.