Our 2013 Community Mock Draft returns to St. Louis! In this annual exercise we put the fates of all 32 teams in the hands of our community. This exercise accomplishes several things. For one, we often have a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to the NFL. We will get a glimpse into the needs of each of the franchises. It also helps us get familiar with each of the first-round prospects because like last year in a trade up for Morris Claiborne, you never quite know what the future holds for Dallas.
Every GM has been informed of their team's needs and is ready to roll. Let's see who will be selected with the 22nd pick in the draft!
Selection: (RB) [Eddie Lacy, Alabama]
Here's our GM with his explanation of the selection:
Why the pick: I really was hoping for Alec Ogletree to make it to this selection because he would've been the pick as the Rams list OLB as their highest priority need. However given the division that St. Louis is in offensive production is a must against teams like San Francisco & Seattle and while running back is a position that is widely considered to be losing value in today's NFL for a team like the St Louis Rams, however, that just lost their near decade long starting tailback in future Hall of Famer Steven Jackson this offseason, the position still holds plenty of merit.
It's hard to poke holes in Lacy's game, for his size, Lacy is light on his feet and displays some great open field moves and elusiveness to evade tacklers. He runs with a low pad level and delivers the blow rather than absorbing it on contact.
His physical running style would be the ideal complement for the two backs already on the depth chart. He is a near SJ39 look-alike too with his running style and body type.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Feature Back, Feature Receiver, Guard, 43 Middle Backer, Free Safety, Strong Safety
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Quarterback, 43 DT, 43 Defensive End
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Possession Receiver, Slot Receiver, Right Tackle, Tight End, Center, Left Tackle, COP Back, Cornerback
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): 43 Middle Backer
NFL.com Draft Grade: 82.0
-- Drafttek.com ranked #42 Overall, #1 at the position
-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #88 Overall, #6 at the position
SUMMARY - Eddie Lacy looked like a superstar in the National Championship game against Notre Dame, where he ran around and through the Irish all night en route to another title for Alabama. However, in depth film study of his game reveals limitations to his game that will prevent him from becoming a top level every-down player at the next level. As is often the case for backs his size, he is a slow twitch athlete that lacks the speed and explosion needed to consistently win the edge or threaten to break off huge gains. While he runs with excellent power between the tackles and lowers his shoulder to initiate contact, he also tends to lower his head, rendering him unable to properly recognize and exploit holes in the defense. He is a highly effective blocker on 3rd down because of his competitiveness, strength and natural leverage, but as a receiver out of the backfield he consistently fights balls away from his frame and appears to lack natural hands. While he may hear his name called earlier than I have him graded because of his strength running inside and his blocking ability, he will need to significantly improve his vision and his hands in order to become a top all-around back at the NFL level.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #28 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #33 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #46 overall, #1 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #30 overall, #1 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #1 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
STRENGTHS: Has the leg drive to push the pile and keeps his legs churning through contact, often resulting in broken tackles. Lacey reads his blocks nicely, showing enough lateral agility to avoid defenders as well as the burst to stick his foot in the ground and accelerate through gaps quickly.
He's a well-built back, but shows good balance (including an often-used spin move) and athleticism (leaping ability) to surprise defenders anticipating that all he has is power. Runs tough and determined with an angry attitude to finish each run and pick up positive yardage.
WEAKNSESSES: Needs to stay healthy as he's been hampered at times with foot injuries (ankle sprains, turf toe). Put the ball on the ground a few times early in his career, but improved in this area.
Now On The Clock: Minnesota Vikings
Previous Picks: Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Jaguars: CB Dee Milliner, Raiders: DE/OLB Jarvis Jones, Eagles: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Lions: DE Ziggy Ansah, Browns: DE Sharrif Floyd, Cardinals: OT Eric Fisher, Bills: QB Geno Smith, Jets: DT Star Lotulelei, Titans: OG Chance Warmack, Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Dolphins: CB Xavier Rhodes, Buccaneers: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, Panthers: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, Saints: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas, Rams: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia, Steelers: WR Cordarelle Patterson, Tennessee, Giants: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU, Bears: OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, Bengals: LB Alex Ogletree, Georgia