With the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft, the St. Louis Rams addressed one of their biggest needs (wide receiver) with the selection of speedster Tavon Austin. Their other pressing need is safety, and there just happens to be a pretty good one still on the board...
|22. St. Louis Rams||Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International||S||6'0"||210||SR|
3k: "While the Rams' improved defense was the strength of the team in 2012, there were some structural concerns with the secondary. A large share of those concerns were pointed at the safety position. Veteran Quintin Mikell struggled early in the season, but he put in a strong second half of the season. It's still possible the Rams bring him back in 2013. The other safety position was manned chiefly by Craig Dahl who's now a San Francisco 49er. The collective reaction from Rams fans was just shy of a ticker tape parade. The Rams have used both safety positions interchangeably after the 2010 season; that offseason saw O.J. Atogwe out and Mikell join up.
"That being said, Cyprien would be a great fit for what the Rams are lacking at the back of their defense: aggression. Dahl's play was typified by passive tackling and poor angles that left Rams fans throwing things at their televisions. And his lack of natural pass defending and athleticism left the defense vulnerable especially in the red zone. Given the viability of the Rams' pass rush and cornerback talents, Cyprien's acclaimed weaknesses in center field coverage roles shouldn't be a huge issue. With San Francisco and Seattle loaded up for big seasons in 2013 powered by some offensive scheme we've barely heard in passing a few times (mandatory pistol sarcasm), bolstering the defense with fresh safety talent is a must for St. Louis this offseason. Cyprien checks off that box in a big way."
Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:
The Rams quietly have one of the best up-and-coming defenses in the NFL. While they need some depth like every other team, safety is the only hole amongst the starters. The issue comes down to how they have Cyprien graded compared to Kenny Vaccaro. If the grade isn’t high enough on Vaccaro to be the 16th pick (as was the case in this mock), is it high enough to take Cyprien 22nd? Of course if the Rams have Cyprien graded higher than Vaccaro, it’s a moot point. In fact, given that Cyprien is the better run defender, the Rams may have him higher. The write-up superbly noted, Cyprien can probably help more against divisional opponents San Francisco and Seattle.
Now that the Rams have completed their two first-round picks, the other team with two first-rounders is on the clock; Daily Norseman will be picking for the Minnesota Vikings at Noon ET.
|11||Bjoern Werner *||DE||Florida State||6'3"||266|
|19||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame||6'6"||250|
|20||D.J. Fluker *||OT||Alabama||6'5"||339|
|21||DeAndre Hopkins *||WR||Clemson||6'1"||214|
|22||Damontre Moore||OLB||Texas A&M||6'5"||250|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Geno Smith||QB||West Virginia|
|3||Oakland Raiders||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Dion Jordan||OLB||Oregon|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||LSU|
|8||Buffalo Bills||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|9||New York Jets||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|12||Miami Dolphins||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|
|15||New Orleans Saints||Alec Ogletree||LB||Georgia|
|16||St. Louis Rams||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee|
|18||Dallas Cowboys||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|19||New York Giants||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri|
|20||Chicago Bears||Arthur Brown||LB||Kansas State|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas|
|22||St. Louis Rams||Jonathan Cyprien||S||Florida International|