FanPost

Free Agents vs. Rookies

The mocks are in full bloom around Turf Show Times, SB Nation and several other websites, with writers trying their hardest to create the most realistic scenario for each team. Whenever the season ends, mocks are always drawn up to place teams with players that they are in need of, though most mocks don't take any free agent action into account. So with that said, let's have a look here at the upcoming free agent list and draft class, and how our needs of players compare between the two.

NEEDS: Safety, Wide Receiver, Guard, Linebacker, Cornerback

*SAFETY*

Notable FA's: Jairus Byrd, TJ Ward, Stevie Brown, Kendrick Lewis, Malcolm Jenkins, Donte "Hitner", Bernard Pollard...and Bradford's new bestie...Mike Mitchell.

Notable Prospects: Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor, Ed Reynolds, Dion Bailey and Deone Bucannon.

Breakdown: Once free agency starts, Rodney McCleod will be the elder safety on the team, and with that said...him and TJ McDonald were both first year starters. Do the Rams want the other safety spot to be manned by even more youth? Possibly. But we could also see a signing for a veteran back there, and with that, at what cost? I'd look for the Rams to target Stevie Brown if the big 2 (Byrd and Ward) are out of price range. Brown would come cheap, as he's coming off an ACL tear.

*WIDE RECEIVER*

Notable FA's: Eric Decker, Jeremy Maclin, Jacoby Jones, Hakeem Nicks, Anquan Boldin and Riley Cooper.

Notable Prospects: Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marquis Lee, Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews and Allen Robinson.

Breakdown: As far as receivers go, the Rams could more than benefit from having a veteran on the staff. Plenty of free agents would meet this criteria, but if the Rams do sign a FA receiver, my guess is he wouldn't be a depth guy or somebody that they don't see starting from day one. Same with receiver. Maclin is much like Stevie Brown in that his cost won't be as high due to his injury. As far as the rookie class, if Sammy Watkins isn't there whenever the Rams pick after their expecting trades, is there really a need to draft one? (My opinion only)

*GUARDS*

Notable FA's: Rodger Saffold (technically a tackle), Jon Asamoah, Kevin Boothe, Shawn Lauvao and Alex Mack (a center, but I'll explain later).

Notable Prospects: David Yankey, Cyril Richardson, Xavier Sua-Filo and Gabe Jackson.

Breakdown: As far as Alex Mack is concerned, at no point do I ever see him moving from center. I simply put him there because signing him at center basically would get us a guard, as Barrett Jones would move to that position (Jones was a better guard than he was a center in college). There really is no wrong way to move here for the Rams, however, a move HAS to be made to keep Stacy running and Sam standing.

*LINEBACKER*

Notable FA's: Brian Orakpo, Keith Rivers, Calvin Pace and Jo-Lonn Dunbar

Notable Prospects: Khalil Mack, Anthony Barr, Kyle Van Noy, Ryan Shazier and CJ Mosley.

Breakdown: This is one position that I say is heavily in favor of the prospects. Outside of Dunbar, the free agents are either old or would cost more than the Rams would have. I'd be perfectly fine with the Rams picking any of the prospect linebackers. However, the Rams seem to line up more in a nickel than they do a 4-3 (due to obvious coverage issues), so how much of an investment would you use for a player that won't see AS MANY snaps on defense?

*CORNERS*

Notable FA's: Vontae Davis, Alterraun Verner, Tracy Porter, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Aqib Talib, Brent Grimes and...forever and a day.

Notable Prospects: Darqueze Denard, Justin Gilbert, Jason Verrett, EJ Gaines, Lou Purifoy and Bradley Roby.

Breakdown: More young talent appears to be headed this way as the FA class will be demanding too much, though a Tracy Porter is very likely.

*CONCLUSION*

Just my opinion and brief overview. I know I forgot names, but this wasn't for a popularity contest. Just throwing out certain names that stick out. What do you all think?

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