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Thread: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

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    Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    With free agency only hours away and the draft quickly approaching, the Rams have a number of needs they need to work to fill. What are those needs, exactly? After taking an in-depth look at the roster, here are the overall areas of need I’ve come up with. I will continue to edit this post as the Rams address these needs either in free agency or the draft.

    Needs are listed in no particular order.


    RUNNING BACK
    Description: The Rams have a talented, established runner in Steven Jackson, but they’ve spent years trying to find a capable back-up to work behind him. At this point in Jackson’s career, the Rams may not just need a viable back-up, but an heir apparent to Jackson’s backfield.
    Need: Back-up/future starting running back
    Solution: Drafted Isaiah Pead (Cincinnati) and Daryl Richardson (Abilene Christian)

    WIDE RECEIVER:
    Description: Since the decline of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, the Rams have struggled to find legitimate starting wide receivers. In-house options like Brandon Gibson and Danario Alexander were underwhelming. Mark Clayton showed flashes before an injury took him out of the running. A trade for Brandon Lloyd was promising but didn’t turn out as fans expected, and now the Rams are poised to let Lloyd leave in free agency. The Rams need not one but two new starters at receiver.
    Need: Two (2) starting wide receivers
    Solution: Signed Steve Smith (Giants/Eagles), Drafted Brian Quick (Appalachian State) & Chris Givens (Wake Forest)

    OFFENSIVE LINE
    Description: One could make the argument that the Rams’ offensive line is in shambles. Roger Saffold took a big step back in 2011; is he still this team’s left tackle? Jason Smith remains a big disappointment, and may still be asked to take a pay cut to remain with the team. Harvey Dahl is solid at one guard spot, but Jacob Bell is a free agent who may not return, and the Rams lack an anchoring force at center.
    Need: Center, left guard, possibly offensive tackle
    Solution: Signed C Scott Wells (Packers), OL Robert Turner (Jets), OL Quinn Ojinnaka (Colts), Drafted Rokevious Watkins (South Carolina)

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE
    Description: When Steve Spagnuolo came to St. Louis, he brought big Fred Robbins with him, and Robbins enjoyed a quality first season with the team. But he declined sharply in 2011, and joined Justin Bannan on the cut list. With Darell Scott and Jermelle Cudjo the only established tackles on the roster, this spot needs a major retool.
    Need: Two (2) starting defensive tackles
    Solution: Signed DTs Kendall Langford (Dolphins) & Trevor Laws (Eagles), Drafted Michael Brockers (LSU)

    OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
    Description: Brady Poppinga and Ben Leber were big free agent disappointments last year. Chris Chamberlain saw time in the line-up but he’s a free agent. Bryan Kehl was a Spagnuolo player from New York that played situationally but likely won’t be asked back. This position remains a thorn in the side of the Rams.
    Need: Two (2) starting outside linebackers
    Solution: Signed LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (Saints), Drafted Aaron Brown (Hawaii)

    CORNERBACK
    Description: Starting cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher suffered season-ending injuries last year; Bartell has been cut by the team and Fletcher is rehabbing his second ACL tear. Replacing Bartell in the starting line-up will be an offseason priority, and the Rams need to carefully monitor Fletcher’s progress. The Rams also have some situational depth in Jerome Murphy and Josh Gordy, but competitive wouldn’t hurt.
    Need: Starting cornerback, possibly depth
    Solution: Signed CB Cortland Finnegan (5-yr, $50 million), Drafted Janoris Jenkins (N. Alabama) and Trumaine Johnson (Montana)

    PUNTER
    Description: Donnie Jones is a free agent this year, following his worst season with the Rams. Prior to that, Jones was punting at a high level, high enough that the Rams considered placing the transition tag on him before the deadline this offseason. That shows they’re interested, so it’s possible they’ll work something out. If they don’t, the hole will need filling.
    Need: Punter
    Solution: Signed Tom Malone (Seahawks), Signed UDFA John Hekker (Oregon State)
    Last edited by Nick; -04-29-2012 at 02:10 PM.

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Just as an addendum, you could make the case for some other team needs as well (TE depth, DE depth, S), but I went with the ones I thought were primary, indisputable needs for this team. Feel free to discuss the merits of them or what you think is missing from the list, but I wanted to try and come up with a group of things most if not all Rams fans could agree need to be addressed.
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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Can I play too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    RUNNING BACK
    Description: The Rams have a talented, established runner in Steven Jackson, but they’ve spent years trying to find a capable back-up to work behind him. At this point in Jackson’s career, the Rams may not just need a viable back-up, but an heir apparent to Jackson’s backfield.
    Need: Back-up/future starting running back
    Solution: If the Rams stay at #6, and Trent Richardson is the only one of the "elite" prospects remaining, I'd pull the trigger. Otherwise, I'd look at Round 2 options such as Lamar Miller or Doug Martin, or maybe Round 3 with a guy like Chris Polk.

    WIDE RECEIVER:
    Description: Since the decline of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, the Rams have struggled to find legitimate starting wide receivers. In-house options like Brandon Gibson and Danario Alexander were underwhelming. Mark Clayton showed flashes before an injury took him out of the running. A trade for Brandon Lloyd was promising but didn’t turn out as fans expected, and now the Rams are poised to let Lloyd leave in free agency. The Rams need not one but two new starters at receiver.
    Need: Two (2) starting wide receivers
    Solution: My hope is that Justin Blackmon will be the pick at #6. I'd also love to see VJax or Marques Colston. Finally, I'd look at who is left in Round 4. Two players who intrigue me and could still be on the board are Tommy Streeter (UM) and Nick Toon (Wisconsin)

    OFFENSIVE LINE
    Description: One could make the argument that the Rams’ offensive line is in shambles. Roger Saffold took a big step back in 2011; is he still this team’s left tackle? Jason Smith remains a big disappointment, and may still be asked to take a pay cut to remain with the team. Harvey Dahl is solid at one guard spot, but Jacob Bell is a free agent who may not return, and the Rams lack an anchoring force at center.
    Need: Center, left guard, possibly offensive tackle
    Solution: Carl Nicks and Ben Grubbs would be great additions in FA, but they won't come cheap. If the Rams trade down from No. 6 into the late first round, two guys to watch are David DeCastro and Peter Konz. If we look at OL in Round 2, Keleche Osemele is a guy I have my eye on.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE
    Description: When Steve Spagnuolo came to St. Louis, he brought big Fred Robbins with him, and Robbins enjoyed a quality first season with the team. But he declined sharply in 2011, and joined Justin Bannan on the cut list. With Darell Scott and Jermelle Cudjo the only established tackles on the roster, this spot needs a major retool.
    Need: Two (2) starting defensive tackles
    Solution: I'm not about to start a "Sign Haynesworth" petition, but if Jeff Fisher thinks he can motivate the guy (and the $ is right), I'd consider signing him. The FA market is a bit thin. Paul Soliai and Jason Jones could be targets. In the draft, I truly wish there were a top 10 talent at DT, but I'm not seeing it. Jerrell Worthy, Devon Still and Brandon Thompson are possible second round options.

    OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
    Description: Brady Poppinga and Ben Leber were big free agent disappointments last year. Chris Chamberlain saw time in the line-up but he’s a free agent. Bryan Kehl was a Spagnuolo player from New York that played situationally but likely won’t be asked back. This position remains a thorn in the side of the Rams.
    Need: Two (2) starting outside linebackers
    Solution: Steven Tulloch is a guy I like in FA, and he's a former Jeff Fisher player. In the draft, there's not much there. I like Zach Brown as a 2nd round prospect, but he may be gone by then. We may have to look to Rounds 3 and 4 to fill these spots. Sean Spence of Miami could be an option.

    CORNERBACK
    Description: Starting cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher suffered season-ending injuries last year; Bartell has been cut by the team and Fletcher is rehabbing his second ACL tear. Replacing Bartell in the starting line-up will be an offseason priority, and the Rams need to carefully monitor Fletcher’s progress. The Rams also have some situational depth in Jerome Murphy and Josh Gordy, but competitive wouldn’t hurt.
    Need: Starting cornerback, possibly depth
    Solution: Cortland Finnegan is Plan A for me for FA. In the draft, Morris Claiborne would be a great choice at No. 6 if he lasts that long. Otherwise, Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina would be a great value at No. 33. I'd also consider Janoris Jenkins at that spot, though he comes with quite a bit of baggage.

    PUNTER
    Description: Donnie Jones is a free agent this year, following his worst season with the Rams. Prior to that, Jones was punting at a high level, high enough that the Rams considered placing the transition tag on him before the deadline this offseason. That shows they’re interested, so it’s possible they’ll work something out. If they don’t, the hole will need filling.
    Need: Punter
    Solution: I'd restructure, but keep him.
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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    It'll be fun to watch them fill the holes.
    Trading down from #6 and acquiring more picks and players (Mike Wallace) is still going to be very attractive as we go through April.

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Nice post by both the Mod's nice job guys...

    The closer we get to the draft, I'm starting to like not just settler for but like Trent Richardson at #6. Some may consider this a luxury but I agree with Nick it's a need. We would be drafting a playmaker and one of the elite players.

    At WR VJax would be unreal if we landed him but I think it will be more like Marques Colston. Not sure I would draft another receiver in this years draft, having drafted Salas and Pettis and both showed signs they can contribute. I would consider using one of our two first round picks next year to get an elite receiver.

    On the O-line we need three players... I like Konz if we stay at six I hope he falls out of the first round. If we move back and get more picks he would be the guy I would target in the first round. We have to get some help in FA today!

    DT as AV said there really is not top ten talent but this position is deep in the draft.. if we don't get a vet in free agency I can see us drafting two young DT this year, the draft is that deep one will fall and be a great value pick.


    LB is going to be the hardest to fill this year IMO in the draft and FA... we may have to get this fix next year.

    Cornerbacks I hope the Buc's break the bank on Williams, that should make it easier for us to get Finnegan. We can use one of our second round picks to add a DB.

    Punter really.... re-sign Donnie

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Can I play too?


    Solution: My hope is that Justin Blackmon will be the pick at #6. I'd also love to see VJax or Marques Colston. Finally, I'd look at who is left in Round 4. Two players who intrigue me and could still be on the board are Tommy Streeter (UM) and Nick Toon (Wisconsin)
    If Blackmon is there at #6, whom did the Browns select with their #4 overall? I doubt there is a person on this board who wouldn't be thrilled if Blackmon lasted until #6, but I believe Cleveland will take him.

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    If Blackmon is there at #6, whom did the Browns select with their #4 overall? I doubt there is a person on this board who wouldn't be thrilled if Blackmon lasted until #6, but I believe Cleveland will take him.
    Richardson is the other favorite choice, though Claiborne is a possibility. Some think Tannehill is a dark horse if the Browns don't land a free agent QB, but I'm not sold on that one.
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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    The lack of a decent back-up RB drives me nuts! Linehan and Spags failed miserably in finding that quality back-up! The NFL has become a passing league and a lot of teams have gone to the 2 back system as well. Why is that we can't fill that position?

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Updated for CB Finnegan signing.
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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    BTW, in the running back department, who will be our real FB? A real Fullback.

    The NFL has become a passing league and a lot of teams have gone to the 2 back system as well. Why is that we can't fill that position? -- LARAM0

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    The lack of a decent back-up RB drives me nuts! Linehan and Spags failed miserably in finding that quality back-up! The NFL has become a passing league and a lot of teams have gone to the 2 back system as well. Why is that we can't fill that position?
    Who says we need to fill it in the first round? I agree Richardson has talent, but given the growing emphasis on passing and the shelf life of your typical modern NFL running back (or lack thereof) makes me think that the 6th pick is just to high to take him.

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Updated w/ Wells signing.
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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Updated w/ Langford signing.
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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    I hope Rams sign OLB Manny Lawson.
    Will be cheap and a young addition. Rams can save the LBer position for later in the draft.

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    Re: Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition

    Updated with the Laws signing.
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