Wow. We've added a ton to the roster and to be quite frank, I feel this year is more difficult than last year to see where all of these parts are going to fit as opposed to last year. Nevertheless, we'll take a look here and see, in my best guesstamation, how things should pan out.
Since the Rams really seemed to focus on the offense, at least in the more prestigious rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft, we'll start there. Frankly, if I (we?) learned anything the last couple of days, we now know that Billy Devaney and Coach Spags are unpredictable but definitely have a plan. Overall, I like this draft. Are there some areas I'd have liked to see addressed either earlier in the draft or simply anywhere in the draft? You betcha'. But, sometimes that is easier said than done, and for a lot of the picks, it seemed to me, they truely were going Best Talent Available.
While I read some on here complaining about filling needs that already seemed filled (I'm guilty of that with the Gilyard pick), the more I thought about it, I don't think it matters as much when the team was so bereft of top end talent as the 2009 St. Louis Rams. A lot of our starters are better off being depth guys and while you might have been wondering why we didn't really address the LB unit, maybe strengthing another position was the better move at that point in the draft.
Who knows really, and that's the fun part. We get to watch now for a year and see guys develop in and around this roster. So, enough of my little personal recap of the Rams draft. Let's get on to the Depth Chart...The Offense
Thaddeus Lewis - NDFA
Here is one of those positions where its almost impossible to predict where these guys will fall come the first game of the 2010 NFL Season. In all honestly, any of those guys not named Mike Reilly or Thaddeus Lewis could start that first game against the Cardinals. I'm sure we'd all be estatic if Bradford were under center, but there's no guarantee. There's always the grim possibility he's not signed in time or that the coaching staff simply wants him to observe a couple of games before getting out there. My gut tells me, if signed, he'll be the starter. They've already gushed about how well he did in film sessions so if he's up-to-speed on the dicision-making stuff, he'll have no problem out playing Null and Feeley in the preseason.
Keith Toston - NDFA
DeMaundray Woolridge - NDFA
Alex "Highlight" Henderson - signed to a tryout contract
Obviously, if Brian Westbrook, or any other FA signs with the Rams, this will probably push everyone behing SJax down a rung but as of right now, this is how we look. Ogbonnaya could improve his position ahead of Darby, but as of right now, I think Darby has the edge.
Technically, Daniel Fells is listed as a FB, and he'll probably line up there on occasion, but this position belongs to Mike Karney as long as he's healthy. I doubt we see any additions.
Brandon McRae - NDFA
Rod Owens - NDFA
We've got ourselves a list here, don't we. And really, the lack of a legit, stud #1 receiver is all that is missing (2011 Draft????). This is a pretty good and deep unit and considering how thin this position was at this time last year is fairly impressive. If Sam Bradford and Spags want to throw the ball, there's definitely a whole host of targets he'll be able to look for.
Jamie McCoy - NDFA
Here's a position where I felt Devaney and Spags could have added something special in the 3rd round, but they didn't and this is what we have. Fells can catch and Bajema can block. Hoomanawanui can block and catch a little and Onobun can be really impressive running his 40-yard. There's definitely some upside and potential here but little to get really excited about.
At this point, Alex Barron has to either feel the flames touching his backside or he's in a coma (he might be in a coma). There's every possibility the Rams cut/trade/whatever Barron before the season starts to make room for Saffold but in all reality, they'll probably keep him, start him against the Cardinals, and then replace him in the starting lineup with Saffold by Week 6.
And how awesome is Adam Goldberg?
If Mark Setterstrom can finally stay healthy (a big IF), he could really shine on this line. He's definitely got the talent, but apparently was not blessed in the realm of durability. Who knows about John Greco. We've all been wanting to see the talent for a couple of years and have been left, for the most part, lacking. Between Bell, Setterstrom, and Greco (and Goldberg), there's some pretty good talent here. However, two injuries to any part of the O-Line might strain this Guard group a little too thin.
This is Jason Brown's position.
So, there's a look at your 2010 St. Louis Rams offense. It's definitely improved and should be a lot deeper in areas than last year. Even though they didn't add a legit backup to Jackson, an improved (and healthy) line, the addition of Sam Bradford, and a very deep receiving corps should take some defensive pressure away from Jax. This unit should give their opponents a little more to worry about come game-planning time.
C.J. Ah You
This is one of those positions a lot of people would have preferred Devaney and Spags would have upgraded, if not in the first round, somewhere in the top 3 or 4 rounds. Well, it didn't happen. Maybe Spags is looking at the addition of Robbins along with a healthy Gibson and a year older version of Scott and thinks this unit will be improved enough, at least until next draft. There are a lot of guys there that have actual NFL experience, so that is a positive.
Gotta be looking for a big year from Chris Long. He'll have James Hall to help him out and then a bunch of question marks. Personally, I'm very intrigued by George Selvie. This selection probably peaked my interest more than any other selection in the 2010 Draft. This guy has legit skills, and has performed well at a very high level. He might need some coaching or maybe just a little less attention from blockers. Whatever it is, he'll have an opportunity in this unit.
Simoni Lawrence - NDFA
Right now, it's pretty much James Laurinaitis and ??? To be honest, David Vobora has played pretty well outside and now that he's healthy again, should help Laurinaitis out. The acquisition of Diggs helps out too. Did the Rams solve their LB woes? Too tough to tell. The unit stills seems really thin to me, but once again, health (LB, DE, DT) will play a major role here.
We still don't have a good enough CB to push Bartell in to the #2 position which I feel he's much better suited to fill. Nonetheless, the Rams did strengthen and deepen the unit with the acquisition of Dockery and by drafting Murphy and Johnson. Hopefully, Fletcher is healthy and can continue where he left off. If he does, then this unit becomes, at the very least, respectable. Murphy is a big presence and very may well excel under Spags.
Jeromy Jones - NDFA
Honestly, I fully expect O.J. Atogwe to be on this unit soon. He's gotten no offers. I expect him to be signed by training camp.
With Atogwe signed, this unit become much better. Hopefully, Jones will emerge as a dependable backup to Atogwe since that seems to be the only weak spot of this unit. Once again, our safties will be counted on to make our CBs look better.
So, there's a look at our 2010 St. Louis Rams defense. Much less flashy in terms of additions when compared to the offense, but when you factor in the number of injuries this unit suffered last season, you have to expect an improvement.
Overall, this entire team is much deeper than it was last year and there appears to be more talent. These are good things. If this team can stay healthy and grow (this is a very young team), they'll be in a great position to swing for the fences a couple of times in the 2011 NFL Draft.