NFL Draft: NFC West

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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The pick: Tre Mason, running back, Auburn

My take: This is the first pick the Rams have made that caught me off guard. I thought the Rams might grab a receiver or quarterback if they were going to add at the skill positions but didn't expect any running back to be the choice this early. I have to think this was one of those situations where value was too good for the Rams to pass up. Reuniting Mason with tackle Greg Robinson allows them to get the nation's most dynamic rushing combo back together. Honestly, I feel as if the Rams could have had similar value at a position of need. Even doubling down on Florida State defensive backs with safety Terrence Brooks would have been a good play. Mason is a good back and could actually push for starter carries, but the Rams could have waited and taken another back to contribute later.

Message sent: At the scouting combine in February, coach Jeff Fisher said he wanted to give the bulk of the carries to Zac Stacy and though that's still possible, Mason has the ability to eventually wrest the job away. Barring that, the rest of the running back group has been put on notice. The Rams like Benny Cunningham and this move would seem to put Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead in danger of not making the roster. The Rams would probably be happy to get a pick for either at this point.

What's next: The Rams dealt their fifth-round pick to Buffalo earlier in the night, leaving them with a pick in the fourth, two in the sixth and four in the seventh before calling it a draft. The Rams still have needs at quarterback, on the offensive line, linebacker and in the secondary.

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Rams 

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
12:15
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Armed with the second and 13th picks in the first round and 12 overall selections, the St. Louis Rams sit in prime position to be one of the 2014 NFL draft's movers and shakers.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's fourth 2014 NFL mock draft Insider came out on ESPN Insider today, and though the two-round exercise has a familiar name for the Rams with their first choice, McShay's selection at No. 13 comes as a bit of a surprise.

Analyzing Kiper 3.0: Rams

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
2:00
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Long before free agency ever brought suspicion to reality, it was no secret that the St. Louis Rams were likely going to have to address the offensive line at some point in the 2014 NFL draft.

With the crazy turn of events that took place Wednesday night that ultimately landed Rodger Saffold back with the Rams, the need might not be as pressing as first feared.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the Rams won't continue to bulk up the line in this year's draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. is standing by his consistent choice Insider of an offensive lineman for the Rams with the second pick in the draft. In his third shot at a mock, Kiper is again going with Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson at No. 2 but switching from Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans to Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 13.

Adding Robinson would be no surprise. He has been a favorite of mock drafts for some time and he would provide the Rams a hammer in the run game with plenty of upside as a pass-protector. It might be considered a little high for a player who might have to follow the Jonathan Ogden plan and play guard for a year but either way, Robinson would bring a much-needed elite talent to the offensive line for the long term.

The Rams have watched as the safety market exploded and teams moved quickly to remove them from the shelves. Which means it's likely going to be a position the Rams must address at some point in the draft. Clinton-Dix is a logical choice because of his range and cover skills though I've been a bit underwhelmed when watching him. Adding a quality corner or even another high quality offensive lineman such as Notre Dame's Zack Martin might represent better value but that's not to say that Clinton-Dix wouldn't make sense.

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