NFL Mock Draft 2012: The St. Louis Rams' Free Agency Experience Shifts Draft Priorities

After a brief break for NFL free agency, the 2012 NFL Mock Draft contingent is back in force—and tasked with rationalizing the changes worked on teams, some of which are already high up in the first round. The St. Louis Rams made some big moves—and with Cortland Finnegan and Scott Wells in, it looks like Morris Claiborne and Jonathan Martin are out. And Justin Blackmon is, somehow, even more in.

Claiborne was briefly seen as an interesting contrarian pick, as one of the very best players available and the stopped on a colossal positional hole made worse by a series of inexplicable injuries. But Cortland Finnegan's expensive arrival suggests the Rams consider the cornerback problem solved. Same with the various offensive line options—by signing Scott Wells, and, nearly as interestingly, not waiving Jason Smith, the Rams have already made a statement about protecting Sam Bradford.

But by failing to sign Mario Manningham, the Rams have made a statement by accident—that they have nothing to do to improve their wide receiver situation but to draft one. And last year's bargain picks, Greg Salas and Austin Pettis, haven't quite paid off. So: Hello Justin Blackmon. Again.

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