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2018 NFL Draft: Candidates for Rams to replace Sammy Watkins


Sammy Watkins is on the move. The Kansas City Chiefs are planning to sign the fifth-year receiver, who spent last season with the Rams, to a three-year deal when free agency opens on Wednesday, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

How will the Rams replace Watkins, a deep threat who led the team with 8 touchdown catches last season?

Head coach Sean McVay still has a talented young stable of pass-catchers for QB Jared Goff, but here are three candidates -- with a round noted for when they could come off the board -- that could be good fits for the defending NFC West champions in the 2018 NFL Draft should they choose to pursue another young target for their up-and-coming QB.

NOTE: The Rams do not have a second-round pick because they traded the pick to the Buffalo Bills for Watkins before last season.

Round 1: D.J. Moore, Maryland

The Rams might need to move up from the 23rd spot in the first round to have a chance at Moore, but GM Les Snead has proven himself willing to make a deal ... or two or three. In my opinion, Moore locked up the No. 1 receiver slot in this year's draft with his NFL Scouting Combine performance earlier this month, so I suspect he'll be selected late in the first half of Round 1. Moore is a thick receiver with very good speed, strong hands, and an ability to make plays after the catch. Jared Goff should be able to find him for big plays downfield.

Round 3: Tre'Quan Smith, UCF

Smith certainly didn't disappoint in the team's undefeated 2017 season, and turned in a solid combine performance to maintain his status as a value pick in the top half of the draft. While he's not elite in any one category, Smith can win with strength in the short game, and make plays deep, as well, which gives him a chance to be a very good pro receiver.

Round 4: Michael Gallup, Colorado State

Gallup is not the fastest or strongest receiver in the class, but he's athletic enough to succeed, runs professional-grade routes, and is willing to fight defenders for the ball. He'll make an impact for a NFL offense sooner rather than later. He might be available early on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) of the draft, when the Rams (or another team) would do well to grab him.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.



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