Last year, the St Louis Rams drafted QB Sam Bradford with the first overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft and he panned out well for the Rams, this year, should the Rams consider drafting a running back as the eventual replacement for Steven Jackson? Jackson remains one of the more productive backs in the NFL, but he will be 28 this season and during his career, he has only played a complete season of 16 games twice. An effective running game is key for the continued development of Sam Bradford.
The most glaring need right now on the Rams roster is the lack of a play making wide receiver. WR Danny Amendola led the team with 85 receptions last season, but he is not a number one receiver. Free agent Randy Moss would be a good fit for the Rams if he wasn’t such a distraction, and therefore isn’t a good idea for a team with a young quarterback. Several mock drafts show the St. Louis Rams selecting WR Julio Jones with their first pick and I would have to agree.
I look for the Rams to draft a running back in the middle rounds of the draft this year since that is a particular area of need for the franchise. Kenneth Darby will be 29 this season and the other three running backs on the Rams roster are not serious game breakers, Keith Toston and Chauncey Washington.
Few teams in the league now employ a single back offense such as the Rams, running back by committee seems to be the current trend in order to keep backs fresh as the game wears on. With Jackson getting on in age, the selection of another back would be a wise choice.
One change of pace back which will likely fall into the later rounds is West Virginia’s Noel Devine. Devine is a burner at the running back position and could have come out after his junior season when he posted 1,465 yards and 13 scores. Devine is in the mold of a Warrick Dunn type back. Devine took a step backwards in 2010 while dealing with a foot injury which hampered him for most of the season. He finished his senior season with 936 yards and six touchdowns. He finished his career with 4,317 yards and 29 scores. Devine also proved adroit ability at catching the ball out of the backfield, logging 98 receptions in his career.
Devine would be a good fit for the Rams offense, providing a true change of pace back while spelling Steven Jackson.