The St. Louis Rams are right on the cusp of being a playoff contender. They have a tough road in the NFCW, but I really do believe that they are a few players (QB) away from challenging the other teams in the NFL’s toughest division. Hell, they already play the NFCW teams tough; they need to be more consistent outside the division as well.
Looking at the upcoming draft, I think there are 5 main positions that the Rams could look to improve in the early rounds. They are OL, QB, RB, WR, and CB.
With that in mind, I am going to identify three players that the Rams might look at in each of the first three rounds of the draft.
ROUND 1- pick #10
I actually think the Rams will try and trade down in the first round, but if we assume they can’t find a dance partner, these are the three guys I think they could look at. In no particular order:
Yes, they just traded away Sam Bradford and got Nick Foles in return. I might be the only person on SKA that thinks the Rams got owned in that trade (outside of clearing cap space), but I don’t think Foles is the answer they need. Yeah, he is better than Shaun Hill, but everyone wants to remember his second season and forget about his terri-bad latest campaign. I think Foles is more Matt Flynn than Aaron Rodgers. Foles will also need a more expensive contract next season, negating most of the cap savings the Rams received by trading Bradford. That is why the Rams have to consider Mariotta if he is there at the 10 spot.
Brandon Scherff – or – La’el Collins
I’m cheating here. The Rams just drafted Greg Robinson, and I think he will work out, but they still need help at tackle and on the interior. Both Scherff and Collins have the skills to play tackle, but would also be ideal at guard in a power run scheme. There is no better way to help Tre Mason and Foles than to add a powerhouse to the OL. If for some reason Andrus Peat slips to them I could see that as well.
The Rams defensive front is tremendous, but they could use help at CB, which would also make their pass rush even deadlier. Waynes has all the physical tools to be a special player in the NFL, and should be there when the Rams pick at #10. Waynes would be an immediate upgrade over any of their current CBs, and they could then move either Jenkins or Johnson to the nickel. If they front office loves EJ Gaines’ potential then they might look elsewhere (WR), but Waynes would be a solid upgrade to a good defense.
ROUND 2 – pick #41
The Rams need a true #1 WR, and they could do that in the first round, but I think they wait until the second when there should still be plenty of talented WRs available. Green-Beckham has warts, but if the Rams could get him here then I think it might end up the steal of the draft. I actually expect him to go in the late first, but this would be a solid value pick if he last. Green-Beckham would make Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin more dangerous as he would force the coverage onto himself.
Tre Mason is a fine RB, but I think the Rams need a power back and Zac Stacy is not the answer. Grabbing Gordon in the second would add that power RB, and honestly it is an upgrade even over Mason. Mason could still act as the CoP back and primary backup. A one-two punch of Gordon and Mason would make the Rams offense more dangerous.
This is a little early for Cann, but he might be the best interior blocker in the draft. He provides good strength on the inside and can play both center and guard. If the Rams want to run the ball, this is a guy that can make it happen in the middle.
ROUND 3 – pick #72
I don’t really think the Rams will take Mariotta in the first round, which means they have to address it at some later point. Make no mistake; the Rams have to draft a QB fairly early this year. Hundley can sit behind Foles for a year or maybe more and be their QB of the future. No more need for Shaun Hill to provide excuses for Rams fans.
I like TJ McDonald. I was a little down on him in the draft, but he looked mostly solid as a rookie. The Rams still have Rodney McLeod at FS however and they need to upgrade. Yes, they have Lamarcus Joyner, but he has always been more of a playmaker than a true safety to me. The Rams could look to shore up their secondary with a safety pick instead of a CB. Harris is a bit light in the ass and is not ideal for run support, but the Rams have McDonald for that. He is also a little slower than I like a FS to be (4.56 in the 40). What Harris does well is defend passes (26 passes defensed and 10 interceptions in the last two seasons). The Rams could use that.
Another tweener guy that can play either tackle or guard. He is powerful, but a bit sloppy at times. Regardless, if the Rams have not addressed the OL in the first two rounds, this is would be a solid pick for them. He will not wow people as a tackle, but I think he could really excel as a guard.
That’s it. I know Rams fans will hate me for some thoughts, and yes, I think it is highly possible that the Rams want a WR at #10. I just think both Cooper and White will be gone and while I love Parker, I think Waynes is a better value pick. Send me your hate mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.