Don’t be surprised to see the Chargers try to move up to get Johnson earlier. With Joeckel and Fisher going with the first two picks, it’s hard to imagine eight more picks would go by without another player from the second-most important position on the field taken, but that’s what I’ve got.
San Diego may not take the risk that he falls, but they are absolutely intent on coming out of the first round of the draft with a new left tackle. That’s almost a guarantee.
12) MIAMI DOLPHINS select Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina
Many in the scouting community think Cooper is one of the best prospects in this draft, regardless of position.
A very athletic blocker along the line, Cooper would be a tremendous fit in the zone blocking scheme the Dolphins use.
*I fully expect the Dolphins to complete the trade for Albert. By adding Albert and Cooper, plus all the moves made in the offseason (notably the Mike Wallace signing) the front office is doing all it can to put the right pieces around QB Ryan Tannehill.
13) ***Trade*** ST. LOUIS RAMS select Tavon Austin, WR/KR, West Virginia
Wow! Bold move from GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher.
It’s no secret that the Rams have failed to put legitimate playmakers around QB Sam Bradford since he was taken No. 1 overall in 2010. Ironically enough, the most productive wide receiver he’s worked with while in St. Louis, Danny Amendola, is no longer on the team.
I would argue vehemently that the best or most talented wide receiver he’s ever thrown to in St. Louis is former Mizzou standout Danario Alexander. Unfortunately, Alexander was hurt when the new regime took over last year and they decided to cut him because they could never see him play with their own eyes.
Of course, he shredded defenses with the San Diego Chargers once he got healthy enough to play again. Philip Rivers is happy to have him, I’ll tell you that.
Like Alexander, Tavon Austin is a threat to score any time you give him the ball. He’s not the physically dominant player you can just throw the ball up to like DX, but try to stop this guy in space.
4 receptions, 82 yards
21 carries, 344 yards, 2 TD
146 kick return yards
572 all-purpose yards
Is this not exactly what Bradford and the plodding Rams offense needs? Austin = playmaker. Plain and simple.
The move, however, is certainly not without its concerns. The Rams, after all, aren’t exactly an immediate Super Bowl contender and need all the picks they can hoard. Trading away to move up is dicey.
Austin is also the smallest player in the draft. He’s physically strong, but how many 178 pound players thrive in the NFL?
That being said, Austin has never missed a game or practice in high school or college, and you have to hit him to do damage. Good luck with those moves and his 4.3 speed.
14) CAROLINA PANTHERS select Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Most pundits mock Richardson to the Panthers, and I can’t disagree.
The Panthers desperately need help at defensive tackle and Richardson provides that.
Like Sharrif Floyd, Richardson is a prototypical 3-technique with a relentless motor and superior athleticism. Any team that ends up taking Richardson – headaches and all as Tiger fans can attest – will be happy it did so.