There seems to be an agreement amongst everyone who knows anything about the NFL that the Rams would prefer to grab either of the top two receivers (AJ Green, Julio Jones) with their #14 overall pick. It it by far the biggest need for the team, and if either player slips to the 14 spot, then they'll easily be the best player available.
At this point, however, it seems as if the availability of either of them at that spot would be a surprise. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but the team is likely planning on looking elsewhere for their guy.
St. Louis fans and sportswriters seem to be in agreement on the Rams 'Plan B', and that is to pick the best defensive-lineman available. That strategy would likely generate a solid player for the team, as the top 15 (and the entire draft for that matter) is loaded with defensive-line talent.
The ideal situation would be to pick one of the receivers, if available, and if not, pick up the best lineman. It sounds like a simple strategy, but the lack of any elite quarterback or left-tackle talent in this draft could complicate things.
It is assumed that Tyrone Smith, Blaine Gabbert, and Cam Newton will all be selected before the Rams pick. But neither Gabbert or Newton are truly elite quarterback talents, and Tyrone Smith is certainly not a lock for the top 15.
So what if only one, or even none of those players get selected before St. Louis? It's not a likely scenario, but it would not be overly shocking if Gabbert was the only one selected ahead of the Rams. Stranger things have definitely happened on draft day.
This would mean that the Rams' defensive-line options would be greatly diminished. Robert Quinn, JJ Watt, and Nick Fairley are probably gone no matter what, so they were never possibilities. But this scenario could mean that guys like Aldon Smith and Ryan Kerrigan will be off the board.
So what are some other options, in case their favorite defensive-linemen are gone?
1) Mike Pouncey OG Florida
This pick would be very similar to the Roger Saffold pick last year. It would be very unexpected, not flashy at all, but very solid. It would be a reach, but Pouncey would be a day one starter at a position of great need. If you can't find the new franchise quarterback Sam Bradford any weapons at #14, then find him more protection.
2) Mark Ingram RB Alabama
It is usually not ideal to draft a back-up player in the first round, and Ingram would certainly be a back-up to Steven Jackson. However, Ingram is the only every-down back in the first round. He would add a weapon to the offense, and he would be able to keep Steven Jackson fresh for all four quarters, which would be an invaluable gift to the team. Not too mention, Jackson won't be around forever.
3) Jimmy Smith CB Colorado
Many people are satisfied with Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher at cornerback, but the secondary was the weak point of the Rams defense, and the departure of free-safety OJ Atogwe doesn't help the situation. Adding Smith to the roster would provide some depth, and possibly allow coach Steve Spagnuolo to be more creative with the personnel in an attempt to fill the void.