As we continue the Team Needs series for the 2013 NFL Draft, we proceed to the team with the sixteenth overall pick; the St. Louis Rams. In what was deemed as another rebuilding year for the Rams, you have to look past the final record to see the improvements that were made with this club.
With a solid head coach addition in Jeff Fisher and some playmakers on the defense, this club is a lot closer than they appear on paper. Being in a tough division now with two teams that will be NFC favorites next year have them looking to do more than just stay the course; they need to make a splash in this draft and here is some things they’ll need to look to upgrade.
The Rams have an improving young quarterback that is in desperate need of a big time wide receiver. Danny Amendola was great in the slot and Chris Givens can make some big plays, but neither of those guys strike fear into defensive coordinators. Brian Quick was brought in to be that guy and he didn’t show much flash as a rookie. I expect the Rams to go tackle or wide receiver with their two first round picks based on how the chips fall. If Keenan Allen is still on the board here, I expect the Rams to bite.
Draft Possibilities: Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson
With the second pick in the first round that St. Louis is owed from Washington, they should look to replace Rodger Stafford and move him back to his natural position at guard. The offensive line isn’t horrid, but it could definitely use some polish to keep Sam Bradford upright and throwing to his possible new number one wide receiver. If the first pick is on a tackle, Eric Fisher is definitely the guy.
Draft Possibilities: Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson
In case you see the trend, getting Sam Bradford more options to throw to is the best decision in the draft, in my opinion. The defense was strong last year and other than Safety, nothing huge is needed early. So the next move would be to upgrade upon the disappointing play of Lance Kendricks, who was a second round pick just two years ago. If Tyler Eifert falls into the middle of the second round, he could slide in and break camp as the starter.
Draft Possibilities: Tyler Eifert, Jordan Reed
With Craig Dahl being a free agent, and not very good in 2012, a replacement is highly needed at free safety. I think the Rams will make a fun at free agent Glover Quin, but if they fall short there are some good prospects in the draft for the free side. Eric Reid could be a possibility in the middle of the second round.
Draft Possibilities: Eric Reid, J.J. Wilcox
If there was a soft spot on the defensive front for the Rams in 2012 it was on the strongside of the linebacker unit. It seemed to be one failed experiment after the other and a pair of rookies from this draft could be taken to help fill the void next to James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Staring with the middle rounds, expect to see some linebacking help selected with some speedy guys like Sean Porter.
Draft Possibilities: Sean Porter, Sio Moore
The Rams were highly competitive on every level last year as they lost more close games than anyone in their division. They were also the only team in their division to not drop a game to the eventual NFC Super Bowl representative 49ers. With a lot going for them, they have to improve the offense to compete with the stud defenses of San Francisco and Seattle now.
Jeff Fisher was always good at building up strong defensive teams in Tennessee and to think he won’t do the same in St. Louis would be a head scratcher. However, he knows how bad his offense was last season and will acknowledge that he needs to give his young quarterback a chance to succeed. Sticking with offense early and defense late should be the game plan in the St. Louis war room come April.
Tagged with: 2013 NFL Draft, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Cordarrelle Patterson, Craig Dahl, Danny Amendola, Eric Fisher, Eric Reid, Glover Quin, J.J. Wilcox, James Laurinaitis, Jeff Fisher, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Jordan Reed, Keenan Allen, Lance Kendricks, Lane Johnson, NFC, NFC West, NFL Draft, Rodger Stafford, Sam Bradford, San Francisco 49ers, Sean Porter, Seattle Seahawks, Sio Moore, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, Tyler Eifert, Washington Redskins