I sort of feel bad doing this, like I've totally given up on the season, which I have, but since we've all been thinking pretty heavily lately about the Rams' needs, I thought I'd take a preliminary look at the 2008 draft.
At 0-5, it's likely the Rams will have a top three pick come spring. Since this is just a preliminary look - really, really, really - preliminary look, I only went to one draft site, Football's Future, which I found to be fairly helpful and offered honest, fair descriptions of players last year.
As far as team needs, take your pick. Bulger's wrapped up for a few years, so I left QB out of the equation for now. Running back is obviously off the table too with Jackson and an emerging Brian Leonard on the roster. After that, you can make the case for almost any position being the biggest Rams' need, but to try and limit that I stuck to these positions: offensive line, defensive end, defensive back, wide receiver, line backer. Ok, I might be better served to say it this way: I looked at every position except for QB and RB...oh, and tight end.
Today, we'll stick with two positions, offensive line and defensive end. We'll keep it short, since this is really more of an exercise in distraction and wishful thinking so far out from draft day.
Tackle is the biggest need on the line. Romberg, Incognito and Setterstrom give the Rams a young and talented group in the middle, and Barron seems to be getting himself into a form more expected from his high draft pick status, filling in modestly on the left side. Pace's days are numbered though, and if the Rams had a chance to take a blue chip OT in the draft, it wouldn't be the worst move in the world. Here are the OL rankings from Football's Future.
Michgan's Jake Long seems to be as good as any left tackle prospect in the last few seasons, and seems to have the skills to step right into NFL play without hurting the team. At 6'7" 313 lbs with room to grow, he mirrors Pace's size (6'7" 325 lbs) quite well. Could he mirror his ability?
USC's Sam Baker doesn't have the size that Long does, but his track record on that team speaks for itself.
Rankings here. Here's a question for you: If the Rams could take a DT like LSU's Glenn Dorsey, could Carriker move to DE? Hmm... Anyway, let's just start with the DE position for today, mostly because of this guy, Calais Campbell of Miami, yes, that Miami.
He's huge at 6'8" 280 lbs and reportedly has room to fill out. Not only that, he's a great athlete, which ties into his one criticism of being unrefined and getting by in college play on his athleticism alone. He gets compared to Julius Peppers and Mario Williams, but he's got to refine his game. The Rams have a pretty good track record developing their two impact rookies on the D-line, Carriker and Ryan, to contribute significantly this season. Still, Mario Williams took a year to develop and it seems to have been worth the wait.
Thoughts? What are the Rams' needs? Would any of these guys or these positions be worthy of a top three pick, assuming the Rams don't go on an 8 game win streak any time soon?