Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the St. Louis Rams, at No. 14 overall.
With the 14th overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the St. Louis Rams select Corey Liuget, defensive tackle, Illinois.
Ryan Van Bibber of TurfShowTimes.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Rams, and checking out Turf Show Times for all of your Rams needs.
Ryan Van Bibber explains: In the year of the defensive end, the St. Louis Rams opt for a defensive tackle. Passing on Aldon Smith pains me greatly. Corey Liuget, however, is not a consolation prize. The Illinois standout fits this spot for value as well as need for the Rams, a win-win.
Steve Spagnuuolo and his defensive coordinator Ken Flajole did a tremendous job with the Rams' defensive line last year. The Rams were among the top teams int he league in both their sack rate and the total number of sacks. Stats deceive. Nobody confused this group for Spagnuolo's front four from his Giants days, and against tougher offensive lines the Rams were never able to sustain an attack on opposing quarterbacks. The biggest hole in the unit was at the three-technique, where the Rams lacked a player capable of holding his owner with bigger guards, much less getting through them. Liuget gives that unit an instant upgrade in both the pass rush and run defense, as well as providing something of an insurance policy if 34-year-old Fred Robbins' career renaissance was just a one-year phenomenon.
Dan Kadar reacts: The top needs for the Rams have become quite obvious. As Van Bibber alludes, they're a three-technique, defensive end and wide receiver. Unfortunately, it's become clear for the Rams that Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones will not be available.
Smith would carry the most value with this choice, by far. The Rams have Chris Long at one end spot, but not much else. Smith would give them the speed rush they haven't had in a long time. Liuget isn't a bad pick, though. While he's become a little overrated, he fills another big need for the Rams. [Corey Liuget Scouting Report]
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|9||Aldon Smith||DE||Missouri||scouting report|
|10||Mark Ingram||RB||Alabama||scouting report|
|11||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||scouting report|
|13||Justin Houston||OLB||Georgia||scouting report|
|14||Stephen Paea||DT||Oregon State||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn||story|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama||story|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||story|
|8||Tennessee Titans||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||story|
|9||Dallas Cowboys||Tyron Smith||OT||USC||story|
|10||Washington Redskins||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||story|
|11||Houston Texans||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||story|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||story|
|13||Detroit Lions||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||story|
|14||St. Louis Rams||Corey Liuget||DT||Illinois|
|17||New England Patriots|
|18||San Diego Chargers|
|19||New York Giants|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs|
|24||New Orleans Saints|
|28||New England Patriots|
|30||New York Jets|
|32||Green Bay Packers|