The St. Louis Rams are locked into the No. 16 spot of the 2013 NFL Draft, plus they have the Washington Redskins No. 22 pick. That Washington pick could change depending on how they fair in the post season.
Having picks in the middle and late portions of the first round it could possibly prove difficult to find a true play maker at that spot. There can be plenty of solid contributors in the middle of the first round, and that should be what the Rams should be shooting for. However, with two picks St. Louis has some options to get better quickly.
The Rams finished the season just under .500, and still have some work to do to get to the playoffs. One key area for concern to get them on their way is the offensive line, and that is where St. Louis is likely going to look with their first round pick.
CBSSports.com draft guru's Rob Rang and Dave Brugler both have the Rams going with an offensive lineman for their first pick. Rang has the Rams taking Jake Matthews of Texas A&M, and explains how Matthews could help the right side of the line:
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: When healthy, Rodger Saffold has played well at left tackle for the Rams. It is the right side that has been more troublesome. Should Matthews elect to leave A&M a year early, it would be a stunner to see Jeff Fisher not jump at the chance to work with him, considering the memories the coach likely has of Jake's Hall of Fame father, Bruce Matthews back with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Oilers.
Brugler goes with a MAC lineman in Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan:
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan: The Rams still have hopes that Sam Bradford will get back on track, but the front office will need to add blockers in order to protect the former No. 1 overall pick. Fisher isn't flashy, but he could cement his top-15 status with a positive week in Mobile.
If St. Louis is interested in Fisher they might prefer that he not have a great week at the Senior Bowl, so that his draft stock does not rise above their No. 16 pick.
With the 22nd pick the Rams currently have, the two experts split who St. Louis should go after. This time around there is an offensive lineman and a defensive back projected to the Rams.
Rang has St. Louis going with another offensive lineman, also from the SEC:
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama: Just a few years ago using a top 20 pick on an interior lineman might have seemed silly. The need to protect the quarterback, however, has changed everything. With the Rams having already found their tackle of the future with their own first round pick, Jeff Fisher and Co. can afford to double-down on the offensive line with the 2013 first-round pick acquired from the Redskins as part of the Robert Griffin III trade last year.
Brugler has the Rams moving away from offensive line, but instead selecting a defensive back:
Eric Reid, FS, LSU: The Rams upgraded their cornerbacks last season through free agency (Cortland Finnegan) and the draft (Janoris Jenkins) and should look at safety this offseason. Although he still has some maddening inconsistencies, Reid will likely be a hot commodity on draft day because of his size and speed.
Reid is a player that could make an impact, but it might not be the best option for St. Louis, since they do have other pressing needs.