The St. Louis Rams have improved dramatically since their dismal 1-15 season. A couple of good drafts, and a franchise quarterback have brought the Rams out of their laughingstock days. However the Rams still have plenty of holes and question marks, which makes this draft one of the most important draft in Rams history.
In 2010, the Rams benefited from having a horrible season with the 1st selection in the first few rounds. Having two great players like Sam Bradford and Rodger Saffold fall in the Rams lap helped, additionally the Rams picked up future starters/ and role players in the following rounds.
Now, in 2011 the Rams finally achieved some success, but with winning comes some problems. This will be the Rams first time not drafting in the top 5 since selecting Adam Carriker in 2007. There are many areas that the Rams could improve, and this list might change after the combine and more scouting reports are done. However the only way this list will change drastically is if there isn't a free agency before the draft, if that is the case I will make a top 5 list before the draft. Now let's look at the positions and players the Rams should be looking at.
1. Defensive Tackle
For most of the season the Rams were great at getting in the back field, as a team the Rams had 43 sacks. Looking at the numbers you would never guess that this is the number one need for the Rams. However the Rams best defensive linemen are old, Fred Robbins and James Hall aren't getting any younger. The Rams run defense needs to improve more than 5 yards a carry on the ground was allowed.
I have faith in Chris Long and our two rookie DEs to keep progressing, but a DT to help bring pressure up the middle would help the whole defense. Spags love to move his D-Lineman around so a player with a big body and quick could take the Rams defense to the next level.
Players of interest
1. Marvin Austin
2. Christian Ballard
3. Stephen Paea
4. Marcell Dareus
5. Allen Bailey
2. Outside Linebacker
James L. Is a good enforcer in the middle of the defense, he makes good calls at the line of scrimmage, and he is a solid tackler. However the Rams are lacking on the outside, which is a position that they have just been waiting around and hoping that one of the current OLB's to carry the load. So far Larry Grant, David Vobora, and the rest of the Rams linebackers have showed they would be good depth, but nothing close to an impact on the field.
I have heard that Spags doesn't need a star at OLB to make his defense work, but an upgrade is needed. The Rams need someone who can cover and is fierce. Bryan Urlacher has Lance Briggs, Ray Lewis has T. Suggs. Two good linebackers would make the Rams defense twice as good as last year. What hurt the Rams most last season was that if James L wasn't on the outside defending the run it would be a long gain, and the same for TE's and running backs from the backfield.
Players of interest
1. Von Miller
2. Justin Houston
3. Bruce Carter
4. Akeem Ayers
5. Mark Herzlich
3. Offensive Guard
The Rams need help in the interior of their line. Adam Goldberg shouldn't be a starter, and last season should have been more than enough to prove that. It would be nice if John Greco would have gotten a better chance to show what he can do, but obviously the Rams don't trust him. It got so bad that when the Rams got into the red zone they would have to throw two or all three times. Thats horrible when the Rams have a beast at running back, a rookie QB, and didn't have good options at wide receiver. at the time.
I'm all for getting a veteran to help the Rams at offensive guard since we just drafted two offensive tackles, but the draft is most likely the best chance the Rams can address one of their biggest holes on the offense. For those who don't think guard is a big issue just remember the shovel pass where Goldberg got pushed back.
1. Marcus Cannon
2. Ben Ijalana
3. John Moffitt
4. Mike Pouncey
5. Rodney Hudson
I know that those three positions aren't sexy, but it's what the Rams need if they want to take that next step. Oh also I don't believe that the Rams should draft a wide receiver, and I know running back is a big need, but I think these are just a tad more important.
This game I'm sure everyone remembers, these highlights show the Rams weaknesses.
Atlanta Falcons 34 St Louis Rams 17 (via nextkobe111)