With some pretty big changes in store for the Rams, I wanted to give my input on our 'ideal offseason'. Note that I'm not a scout and I'm not an expert, I'm just a fan who's been around for a while and really wants to see the Rams turn the corner and get back to contention. Please feel free to add comments and questions. I'm open for a discussion.
Also note that, while the names may change as we get closer to the draft, the needs stay the same. This is obviously early for a rough idea of the draft, but I'm excited for the trade and first round that I've added.
Notable offseason changes -
Saffold signs elsewhere (I would love to keep him, but I don't see him staying)
Wells / Dahl released for cap space (Lets start building our OL of the future and save some space)
Finnegan deal restructured (Fisher is loyal. I'd like to see him gone, but I see him with us next year)
Alterraun Verner signed (Again, Fisher is loyal and he's going to give Williams the tools to open his game plan up)
ATL Receives #2 overall to draft Clowney. It's very possible he goes #1, but Texans also need a QB. If he's there at 2, I see the Falcons making a move on the best pure prospect in the draft at a position they need an upgrade at.
STL Receives #6, #37, and a 2015 2nd round selection.
1.6 - OLB - Khalil Mack [The biggest change to my board. Khalil Mack ist starting to look more and more appealing and I feel like, as with the Alterraun Verner signing, Fisher is going to give Williams the tools. This guy rounds out what could be the best front seven in a division built on the running game.]
1.13 - WR - Mike Evans [The Rams are build for speed and deception at WR. I believe this offense needs another legitimate deep ball threat and a guy that can win jump balls. At 6'5'', Evans gives Sammy another tool in his "prove it" year.]
2.5 - FS - Ed Reynolds [With the addition of Alterraun Verner, the Rams are a safety away from a huge secondary improvement from a year ago. There may be some injury concerns, and if either Clinton-Dix or Pryor are available here, I'd go with them, but Reynolds is the best available prosect in one huge position of need.]
2.12 - OG - Gabe Jackson [The Rams are in desperate need for interior offensive linemen. If there wasn't extreme value upgrades in earlier rounds, I'd be all for BPA on the OL earlier, but Jackson provides a great prospect to fill one of the G spots (yeah...that happened).
3.11 - C - Weston Richburg [Projected as a second or third rounder, so he may not be available. From what little I've read, he seems to be a smart and tough kid. He also started all 49 games in college, so he's durable.]
4.10 - DT - Justin Ellis [DT Depth with a big bodied run-stopper. We've got tons of pass rushers that can rotate. This guy gives us a 340 pounder to help free our backers to make plays when he's in.]
5.13 - RB/CB/OL - [Best player available with the focus on depth for the positions listed.]
6.12 - RB/CB/OL - [Best player available with the focus on depth for the positions listed.]
7.11 - RB/CB/OL - [Best player available with the focus on depth for the positions listed.]
What we miss out on:
- An elite OT prospect in the top 10 picks.
- Jadaveon Clowney (Bullet dodged, in my opinion. I'm very against tinkering with what works just based on pure potential.)
What we get:
- An elite linebacker to complete our young and talented group.
- A top WR prosect that changes the mold of what we already have established, opening the playbook for Sam.
- Pieces to what could easily be a Top 3-5 defense under Gregg Williams.
- Great second day prospects for Boudreau to work with to help re-build one of the Rams weakest positions in the last few years.
A small note:
Aside from our first round, where I have very specific players selected, players are really interchangeable based on how our front office feels. I'd like to keep the positions in rounds 2-4 roughly the same, because they are based off of needs, but who am I to say one player is better than another when all I'm basing them off of is write-ups and youtube videos :)
QB - Bradford
RB - Stacy, Cunningham
FB - Harkey
WR - Evans*, Austin, Givens, Bailey, Pettis/Quick
TE - Cook, Kendricks
LT - Long, Depth
LG - Smith/Jackson*, Depth
C - Richburg*, Depth
RG - Jackson*/Smith, Depth
RT - Barksdale, Depth
DE1 - Quinn, Hayes
DE2 - Long, Hayes
DT - Brockers, Langford, Ellis*
OLB1 - Ogletree, Armstrong
OLB2 - Mack*, Dunbar(?)
MLB - Laurinaitis
FS - Reynolds*, Depth
SS - McDonald, Depth
CB - Verner, Jehnson, Jenkins, Finnegan
* = New
(?) = If he's around
Taking a look at that, the biggest question mark is our safety play, but with a second rounder to invest in an upgrade at FS, I'd trust our front office to make the right choice. It's also the 'weakest' proposed option to upgrade our offensive line, which may end up to be a bad move halfway through the season. This is really banking on Jake Long making a return and Barksdale filling the RT as well as he did this year, along with Rookies playing up to snuff. I'd be interested in some more F/A activity to help shore this aspect up as well.