RamsHerd Staff Predictions: Who will the be the Rams’ first round pick?

At the stroke of seven tonight, the Carolina Panthers will be on the clock and all the insanity of the last few months, all the speculation, all the debate will fall silent for a brief anticipatory moment.

Until they make their pick, that is. Then, all hell will break loose.

The glorious chaos of the NFL Draft — the real one, not all these mocks that we’ve been banging our heads on — begins tonight and we will be front row center (in front of the flat-screen tv) for it. The draft now stretches for three days, but analyzing and exploring the new shape of the team will fill up the next several months, for coaches and writers alike.

Thirteen very good players will come off the board before the Rams’ draft slot comes up, and there are guaranteed to be some Tyson Alualu-sized surprises in there. There might also be some Ryan Leaf-sized busts. You just never know. Obviously the draft is stacked at defensive line, and there are enticing wildcards at quarterback. And there are three known elites that could conceivably fill a need for any team in the league: AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Patrick Peterson. The top of this draft can unfold in myriad ways. With so much uncertainty, the RamsHerd braintrust gathered and made some draft predictions. Here’s what we came up with for round one:

Who Will the Rams Select in the First Round of the 2011 NFL Draft?

Brennan Smith:

Corey Liuget

Corey Liuget – DT (Illinois)

Still think it’s Liuget. Jones will be gone and Spags will get another high-motor guy to fill the need at DT.

Derek Pease:

Corey Liuget

Corey Liuget – DT (Illinois)

Spagnuolo is a defense guy. As much as he likes having #8 behind center I think he would rather build towards having a strong D-line like his Super Bowl winning D in NY.

Tim Shields:

Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith – DE (Missouri)

Raw & talented Justin Tuck clone, he will be given time to develop and put on the necessary weight to be a complete Defensive end.

Maurice Walker:

Corey Liuget

Corey Liuget – DT (Illinois)

The Rams will definitely be praying for Julio Jones to fall to them at 14. If he doesn’t, I see them staying pat and drafting DT Corey Liuget from Illinois so shore up that defensive line.

Will Horton:

Julio Jones – WR (Alabama)

Somebody has to be the crazy dreamer of the group, and I guess it falls to me. Somehow, some way, the Rams will get their man.