Wade Phillips may be about to add a lot of “Wattage” to his defense if one Los Angeles Rams mock draft is to be believed.
T.J. Watt, brother of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, is the name that a Fox Sports mock draft projects for the Rams with the No. 37 pick overall that falls on Friday’s second round.
T.J. Watt, who played outside linebacker at Wisconsin, most likely would be the edge specialist (which Robert Quinn will assume for the Rams next season) under Phillips’ defense. The 6-foot-5, 243-pound Badgers junior had 63 tackles with 15.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in 2016. He also returned an interception for a touchdown and forced two fumbles.
Watt’s bloodline alone makes him an exciting prospect for the Rams, but it might not be welcome from all circles. Many L.A. followers have approved of Rams mock drafts that have targeted a wide receiver such as East Carolina’s Zay Jones or USC’s Juju Smith-Schuster that could give the team and second-year quarterback Jared Goff a potential No. 1 receiver.
It has been the play of the offense the past two seasons that have kept the Rams from seriously contending for a playoff spot. But the Rams have a lot of expiring contracts coming up on defense.
Drafting Watt could mean that the Rams might have faith in the skill-position players they selected last year that include wide receivers Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas, as well as tight ends Tyler Higbee or Temarrick Hemingway. Or it could mean that the scouting department doesn’t think the team can guarantee a No. 1 wide receiver from the spot in which it is selecting first.
Because the Rams may be a few years away from being considered serious playoff contenders, their draft this season may be all about finding the best-value players to upgrade the talent level overall.
But at least, the variety of the Rams mock drafts shows that the team could have a lot of options if the pick they really want is gone by the time their turn comes around.