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Revisiting the Rams needs at receiver

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Not so long ago, last week to be exact, I had a post looking at the St. Louis Rams offseason decisions regarding their wide receiver needs. Among the first decision that need to be made will be whether or not to bring back Mark Clayton and Laurent Robinson

After yesterday's game, they should already have their decision made on Robinson. Punt. 

Robinson was targeted an astonishing 7 times, catching just 2 of the passes that came his way. His whiffs included some decidedly non-clutch moments when the Rams really needed him to come up big. 

Sando nicely sums up the picture from Rams Park on the receiver situation:

Every NFL team needs third and fourth wide receivers. The Rams suited up four of them Sunday.

Donnie Avery will return next year, and assuming he's made a full recovery, re-signing Mark Clayton would make sense as well, given the receivers' proclivity for injury. Beyond that, the only roster spots worth guaranteeing are those of Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola, both important situational players, not starters. 

Devaney and Co. will almost certainly draft a wide receiver. I once thought that maybe it would be best to hold off on a first round pick, but now I'm not so sure. Some of that would depend on what the free agent market looks like. You can see what a difference a player like Vincent Jackson would make for this team. But front offices are usually reluctant to let talent like that walk. 

Depending on what happens with the free agent market and the draft, there may not be any need to bring back Clayton. Ideally the Rams would add talent via both routes, and that would mean almost no incumbent roster spot is guaranteed. Not a bad thing by any means. 

The picture at tight end looks a little better with the return of Michael Hoomanawanui, who was becoming a legitimate receiving option for Sam Bradford. Watching what the Chiefs were able to do with Tony Moeaki, and the inconsistency of Daniel Fells, really drove home just how badly the Rams need a reliable tight end. It's a shame that Fendi Onobun was lost for the season because this would have been a great year to get some "development" reps and experience with the offense. He'll essentially be starting over next year. 

Expectations will be considerably higher for next year's Rams (if there is a next year) and they'll need established players in the system, not guys who are still in the development process, in the top spots on their roster.