Originally posted on Rams Herd  |  Last updated 1/13/13
Last week we weighed the St Louis Rams' top needs that we'd like to see addressed in the 2013 NFL Draft. But of course, every draft class is different, and none come with a perfect set of players jigsaw-cut to fill any one team's roster holes precisely. With that in mind, we reached out to Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting, a fantastic draft resource here on the Bloguin network. He and his team work year-round on draft content, and they will be providing us with their perspective on this year's draft class over the coming months.  Here is our first Q&A.  RamsHerd: The Rams’ primary needs look like right tackle, left guard, free safety and wide receiver (not necessarily in that order). How deep is the draft class at each position? Optimum Scouting: With Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews both returning to school, this class lacks as much as expected offensive tackle talent. Now, it seems after Luke Joeckel (Top 5) and Eric Fisher (likely Top 10), the class moves more towards right tackle only. But there’s quite a bit of depth there, especially in the mid-late first round. Guys like Justin Pugh, DJ Fluker, and Lane Johnson could all go into that mix. At guard, Jonathan Cooper of UNC may be in reach of the Rams, and he could be an impact interior presence. But after the top 40 picks, the guard class goes downhill fast, and the value then develops again in the late 4th round. There’s loads of free safety talent in the 2nd-3rd round area. Eric Reid (LSU), Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse), Bacarri Rambo (Georgia), and Zeke Motta (Notre Dame) can all have value in that area. And at receiver, even after investing heavily at receiver in the past two drafts, the Rams would be wise to capitalize on the receiver depth. We have close to 20 receivers with top three round grades. While they may change, it’s clear that, despite lacking an AJ Green/Julio Jones/Calvin Johnson type player, this class has loads of upside and depth.  Related: Optimum Scouting's 2013 NFL Draft Big Board RamsHerd: The East-West Shrine Game is coming up. Which players do you expect to catch your eye?  Optimum Scouting: While we’ll have a few preview on our site of both teams, both offense and defense, there are a few prospects that could be huge risers after this week.  At the skill positions, Matt Scott (Arizona QB), Marcus Davis (VaTech WR), Zac Stacy (Vanderbilt RB),and DC Jefferson (Rutgers TE). Offensive linemen Manase Foketi (West Texas A&M), Terron Armstead (Arkansas Pine-Bluff), and Dann O’Neil (Western Michigan) all could rise up to be 3rd-4th round offensive tackles, and maybe even higher. And on defense, we're looking forward to watching Mike Catapano (Princeton DE), Lerenetee McCray (Florida DE), DeVonte Holloman (S.Carolina OLB), Robert McCabe (Georgetown ILB),  Josh Johnson (Purdue CB), Terry Hawthorne (Illinois CB), and Cooper Taylor (Richmond SS). Related: Optimum Scouting East West Shrine Game Headquarters RamsHerd: Jeff Fisher manages to take a cornerback in nearly every draft, regardless of need. He has two starters under 6’ in Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan. Do you see any CBs with good tackle skills and playmaking instincts slipping to later rounds this year because they might be undersized?  Optimum Scouting: Starting at the 3rd round value, two guys come to mind. One is Adrian Bushell of Louisville. Feisty, aggressive, physical against bigger receivers, and finishes tackles on the outside, Bushell could work his way as high as the 3rd round. And, while he may be a bit too small, Oklahoma State’s Brodrick Brown fits that role as well. With a good workout, he could work his way to the 3rd-4th round as well.  And, of course, Tyrann Mathieu fits that mold, but he has more severe mental/character concerns than Janoris Jenkins had last year. Still, Jeff Fisher could consider him another character “project”, especially how well things worked this year with Jenkins.  Related: Optimum Scouting CB rankings Our thanks to Eric for his time. You can and should follow him on Twitter at @OptimumScouting for real-time thoughts and updates on the NFL Draft.  Follow @OptimumScouting !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://www.ramsherd.com//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gordon Hayward suffers gruesome injury in Celtics debut

Todd Frazier: Pressure is back on the Astros

Report: Court sides with Ezekiel Elliott, suspension lifted

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic in hospital after practice fight with teammate

Ranking the 12 teams most likely to make the College Football Playoff

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joel Embiid calls minutes restriction ‘f—ing bulls—‘

Report: Meeting between NFL owners, players on anthem was very positive

Alex Smith calls Mike Mitchell hit ‘about as flagrant as it gets’

Chris Paul criticizes Clippers' culture, says he had ball too much

Ben Roethlisberger takes shot at reporter over Martavis Bryant rumor

Kyrie Irving will never divulge why he left Cavs: ‘That’s not what grown-ups do’

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

College football 2017 Week 7 predictions

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker