The Rams find themselves in another definitive off-season. It is imperative for them to get each staff hire right, and have another successful free-agency period and draft. The NFC West has become a defensive arms race. To keep Seattle, Arizona, and San Fransisco at bay, the Rams will obviously need to improve their offense. But, the most crucial element may be continuing to improve their defense. By showcasing a top NFL pash-rush, the Rams will be able to establish themselves as one of the big boys on the block.
Some of this years standouts could find themselves quickly on the Rams radar. Although I still feel it is highly unlikely that Jeff Fisher breaks his pattern of never drafting an offensive lineman in the first round, a prospect like Eric Fisher could certainly force him to reconsider. More likely, Fisher's affinity for defensive backs will get the better of him. The question becomes who is the top safety in the class. The Scouts seems to be torn on the leader of the class.
Kyle Long seems to be impressing a lot of scouts with his natural ability and understanding of the game. However, he still lacks experience, and will likely have to play guard at the NFL level. From what he's done at the Senior Bowl so far, it's unlikely he will fall too far in the draft.
It looks as though Rob Ryan will be the Rams new defensive coordinator. His track record is murky, and frankly if that's how I judged the hire, I would be disappointed. However, I think this is a perfect fit for Ryan - who has never walked into a good situation on defense. His strengths play to the strengths of the Rams personnel. He will help get the best out of the players on the team, and his intensity will build upon the swagger the defensive squad developed last year.
The Rams apparently interviewed Micah Hyde this past week (as I'm sure they will hundreds of others). Hyde projects as safety at the next level, although I'd say he's a hybrid candidate. We know the Rams need help at safety. Craig Dahl's position is described by coaches and teammates as a "shepherd over the flock". Could Hyde make a good shepherd? Sounds like an important position to fill. The Rams are likely not done fielding interviews for the for role.
What are your thoughts on the inevitable hire of Rob Ryan? How will his presence effect the Rams free-agency period and draft? Happy Wednesday.