Most of the 2012 NFL Mock Draft prognosticating done about the St. Louis Rams in the wake of their massive trade with the Washington Redskins has, justifiably, gone to Justin Blackmon, the presumptive wide receiver of Sam Bradford's near future. That seems like the likeliest outcome here in March, but SB Nation's contrarian mock draft earlier this month suggested the Rams might be just as well served by Trent Richardson, "the most talented running back to come along since Adrian Peterson."
That's quite a statement, and if it's true the Rams could certainly do worse than selecting him as Steven Jackson's eventual replacement and, in the interim, new Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's favorite toy. Jackson's got a lot of miles on him already on the road between St. Louis and Canton, and the Rams can't roll the odometer back forever.
But the example of Steven Jackson is exactly what makes me leery about the Rams picking him. The Rams have had a running back who's had a better career than Adrian Peterson ever since the end of the Marshall Faulk era—and they've still managed to have one of the worst offenses in football over that time period. You can do the same thing with wide receivers, but that's the point: running backs simply aren't the focal point of an offense that old-school football minds and fantasy football players believe them to be.
More NFL Mock Draft updates hand-picked from SB Nation St. Louis:
- We can talk all we want about Trent Richardson, but it's just hard to know why the Rams wouldn't pick Justin Blackmon.
- That said, the Rams have a lot of picks coming up, which might allow them to gamble on this one.
- But really, it's hard to hear anything except Blackmon, Blackmon, Blackmon among draft experts. And in my heart.