I know, I know... can we enjoy the results of this offseason before we think about the next one?! Sorry, everyone, I just love offseasons almost as much as I love the regular season. Besides, nothing wrong with thinking ahead a little, no? So, I decided to approach this by taking a look at the weakest positions we have on the team. I don't know how our cap will look like, but we can take a look at most of the players that will be available in free agency as well as the best prospects in the 2015 draft. SO let's address this by position.
While this position has a lot of depth, it's arguable that we have a true #1 receiver here. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are great complimentary players. I think we have a lot of potential in the rest of the wideout corps, and I'm hoping some of the players realize it this upcoming season (I'm looking at you, Brian Quick). That being said, this position might need to be addressed in 2015 if it doesn't meet expectations.
- Players to look at in the draft: Amari Cooper
I'm under the impression, just like many here on TST, that we don't need any more receivers unless it a #1 wide receiver. Therefore, the only players we should pursue should be a #1 receiver. I listed the players I feel would fit best on the Rams and who are currently not signed through 2015. I would be happy with any one of these receivers on the Rams next season if it is necessary to address.
- Players to look at in the draft:Ben Koyack
I think Cook will be on the team in 2015. Also, we don't need a receiving TE such as Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, or Jordan Cameron since we have Cook on the squad. Ultimately, I went with players who I felt are good blocking TEs.
This is quite the dilemma. Will Sam Bradford be our guy? Needless to say, TST is very split on this matter and I don't want to address it much here. However, I think the direction the Rams go with addressing this position will be determined based on how this season goes for Bradford.
- Players to look at in free agency: N/A
- Players to look at in the draft: Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston
I think these two QBs in the draft have serious potential to be great in the NFL. TIme will tell if we need to go after them or not.On another note, Shaun Hill will be a free agent and we may need a backup QB if Gilbert still needs time developing.
There are some positions along the offensive line that are going to need to be addressed, even after drafting Greg Robinson. I expect Scott Wells to be gone in 2015. Tim Barnes and Joe Barksdale will be free agents in 2015 as well. I expect Greg Robinson to fill the RT position in 2015. Therefore, we will need a new starting guard and potentially a new starting center as well.
- Players to look at in the draft:
Although there is some stability on this squad with Saffold, Long, and Robinson, we still need to find some quality depth and solidify the center and other guard positions. There's a lot of good starters in free agency and depth in the draft.
Alec Ogletree and James Laurinaitis are my two favorite players on this team. A linebacker needs to be good at all areas of the defense, whether it be pass rushing, pass coverage, run stopping, sideline-to-sideline, etc. They fit this mold perfectly. However, that other starting linebacker position doesn't have a whole lot of stability. If Gregg Williams can't bring the best out of Dunbar, we're going to need an upgrade. Also, our depth is severely lacking along the entire linebacker corps, with just Ray-Ray Armstrong as the only player who can provide at least some production.
- Players to look at in the draft: Devonte Fields
Laurinaitis should be a perennial Pro Bowler already, and Ogletree is well on his way to being the same. If Dunbar can restore some of his 2012 luster, this could be one hell of a unit.
Arguably the most glaring hole on the Rams roster for the last 10 years (along with wide receiver), I like our current safety players.ll be free agents. ..as backups (aside from T.J. McDonald). This being said, McLeod is a free agent in 2015 and we need an upgrade anyway. Time and again, the free safety position is undervalued and ignored, and frankly, it's frustrating in a passing league such as this. I don't care if our division is run heavy, we still play 10 of our 16 games against teams not in our division.
- Players to look at in free agency: Devin McCourty
- Players to look at in the draft: Landon Collins
The best safeties came into free agency in 2014 and, as weak as the 2014 draft class was, the 2015 class is even weaker it seems at the moment. We should be trying to aggressively attack this position from here on out, but it's probably wishful thinking.
You would think we wouldn't need to ever shore up the defensive line for a few seasons. Only problem here is that, in 2015, Cudjo, Conrath, and Carrington will be free agents.. Also, we do not know whether Langford will remain on the team at that point. With Donald and Brockers manning the starting positions at defensive tackle, we just need to work on the depth.
- Players to look at in the draft: Leonard Williams
I do expect us to retain some of our own defensive linemen. Otherwise, we can shore up the position through the draft.
What do y'all think will be the most pressing needs next season and how would you like to fill them?