To make the playoffs, the Rams need to upgrade the OL, WR, and S most out of everything. This year's draft can help them succeed in all three spots. The most deafening problem on the team in the lackluster offensive line. As of right now and the players from this past season, we have this:
Backups: Ts - Joe Barksdale, OPEN Gs - OPEN, Rokevious Watkins C - Rob Turner
With two starting spots and two backup spots open (although Turner can play G/C, it keeps two open whether it be C/T or G/T) help in this years draft is imminent.
Then, there's WR. As of now, it doesn't look good for the Rams and Danny Amendola. They haven't met with his agent at the combine and the number talks seem to be differing between the two partners. So, with these factors coming into play, our corp looks like this:
Starters: WR1 - Chris Givens WR2 - Brian Quick Slot WR - OPEN
Backups: WRs - Austin Pettis, OPEN
With only 3 players on the roster, it looks more and more like addressing this (again) in the draft will be needed. I know that this is only the 2nd year with Fisher & Co. and they look to have added two players who can contribute to the offense in Givens and Quick, I hate seeing one or two WRs taken every year. It gets older and older.
Finally, the 3rd biggest need is the S position. Quintin Mikell is a more than capable SS who is stout against the run. But, with his $9 million cap hit, I see him being cut and re-signed back at around a more modest $4 million a year. But, odds are that won't happen. So, this brings us to what we have here:
Starters: FS - OPEN, SS - OPEN
Backups: FS - OPEN, SS - Matt Daniels
Now, three spots need filled. This could be a good thing. Finding two young players to come in and be make an impact will be hard, but with the secondary coaching we have, I wouldn't be shocked if they had a Jenkins/Johnson result.
Free Agency this year isn't very strong. But a few players can come in and help us out. I do not see us signing more than one starter at this point. But, a few are available and I feel that these players can come in and help:
If I am the Rams, I focus my attention on either Moore, Vollmer, or Cook. I feel either one of these 3 could make a huge impact on the team. All would fill a hole and all will help out their respective positions. But, if a player like Moore is signed, look for the Mikell cut to be less hurtful. Also, if Cook is signed, look for Mulligan to be cut. Vollmer is the only player who can come in without making a good player expendable.
Draft day comes around and the Rams have some needs need filling. Based upon to likelihood that no impact free agent is signed, our draft day first two days could look a little something like this:
1.16 - Jonathan Cooper G North Carolina
Cooper is nothing short of a stud. He put on some weight since the season ended and is stronger than ever. His quickness is still there and he will be a great fit in the center of the offensive line.
1.22 (from WSH) - Tavon Austin WR/KR/PR West Virginia
Stepping into the slot is Mountaineer Tavon Austin. His is as fast as he is quick and is the home run threat that the Rams will kill for. No player is as athletic as he is and he will make a great trio with Givens and Quick for years to come.
2.16 - Eric Reid FS Louisiana State
Earlier in the year he was regarded as the best safety in the class, but now is about the 4th best. I still am one to feel that it is a toss up between him and Kenny Vaccaro as to who the best is, but, he can come in and play well in the Rams system as a cover safety and against the run.
3.16 - Barrett Jones RT Alabama
With his injury concerns, his stock has dropped a ton since the season ended. Seeing him fall to the 3rd would be a godsend for the Rams. He can play all along the line and will be a nice player at RT for years to come. This would be the steal of the draft.
4.16 - DJ Swearinger SS South Carolina
He's as tough as they come and is the kind of pounder the Rams need in place of Mikell at SS. His draft stock is loose as teams have him anywhere from 2-5 round on their board.