So last week, we talked about what position is the most important for the Rams to upgrade. It came down to wide receiver and and offensive line, it was decided that the Rams needed to give Sam more time. Even though both positions still need another player or two to help the offense be better than it was last year.
When I asked what positions was overlooked that the Rams need to upgrade, the results widely varied. Which shows that the Rams still have a way to go, before they can have a good roster. You know when people are talking about upgrading the punter, the tight end, outside linebackers, and a couple more positions, that the team is a mess.
Anyway, I'm going to let you guys, read the different responses, because I know I'm boring you guys by now. Like I said in the last post we want the readers out there to participate in the roundtables. This time three readers were selected to write for the roundtable, they are the first three responses. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy it and like last time leave your comments below.
I think the most overlooked position for the Rams is left guard. I know this has been mentioned fairly regularly, but I think it is one of those “fix this spot and you fix a lot of other spots” positions. I think it is ‘overlooked’ because it is just as important to fix as WR and LT, but those positions get most of the attention. You put a top level talent (either through FA or through the draft) in at left guard and all of a sudden you keep the Rams offense on the field a lot more, which of course improves your defense. You get Steven Jackson hitting the holes with a head of steam, rather than hitting the holes after dancing in the backfield or after already hitting someone in the backfield, and you have an extra YPC, you change the emotions of the game (opposing defenses are getting spanked and thus, disheartened), SJ39 is getting amped and on a roll, opposing teams blitz less, pressure is off Bradford, our defense rests, opposing DB’s are forced to tackle SJ (which tires them and makes them skittish) … it’s a beautiful thing. For all the talk about it being a passing league, you still need to win in the trenches, or you’re passing just to catch up.
I was going to go with DT but it's starting to gain some talk as of late. I'm torn between Punter & TE. Yeah I said punter, but I think I'm going to rock with TE, with the emergence of the Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Gresham, Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen, Dennis Pitta, and Ed Dickson, just to throw a few names at you. We could use an upgrade at TE. I wouldn't put this need at the top of the pecking order but this is one that nobody talks about. Yes we drafted Kendricks in the second round last year, but after him who do we have? Big Mike? Bajama? Spach? Big mike with the concussions hes suffered and throw in if he can even stay healthy at this level. Bajama is an okay back up, but doesn't scare you as a threat to catch passes, blocking was suppose to be his strength but he didn't do that well. Same goes for Spach. Kendricks will get another shot after teasing us in the preseason,I still don't know what to say about his rookie season, All bad should sum it up though. Bajama & Spach I believe are free agents, who I doubt will be back. With Brian Schottenhimer running the offense we know Dustin Keller was one of the primary weapons for him and Mark Sanchez, when they weren't running the ball. Looking at pretty much all the quarterback's in the NFL, they have a nice security blanket in their TE to throw to. Whether its through the draft or free agency I think an upgrade at TE would be another piece to help this offense gain respectability again.
What position are people overlooking that the Rams desperatley need help with? That is a very easy answer honestly, defensive tackle has been a swing and miss over the past DECADE. We have brought in guys via free agency and used late draft choices over the past five years, but, aside from one good year from Freddie Robbins, we have been absolutely dismal at that position. Why do we need to address this? Defensive tackles in a 4-3 scheme are vital in eating up blockers, they allow your defensive ends to play more aggresivley and they allow linebackers to roam freely to decimate runs. Watching the Rams defense over the past three years, we have been somewhat sound except against cutback runs, zone runs that bounce back after our DT's have been gobbled up by downblocks.This has to be addressed or we will be in the bottom half of the league again this year against the run. If Sam was not an option two years ago and we had Suh, can you imagine what our front seven would look like? Unreal. So, get ready Rams fans, a new DT will be anchoring this defense and it has to be a priority.
A position overlooked is the outside linebacker spots. We could have a great LB corps if we just add at least one more stud at OLB to pair up with JL55, like Urlacher & Briggs in Chicago.
- Eddie P
Brown is in the top 5 in salary but has a middling % of makes even though he plays in a dome. Donnie Jones hits way too many line drives right down the middle.
Punter. Just kidding :-) I have to say RB. Let's be honest, SJAX isn't getting any younger, and in 2-3 years when the Rams are knocking on the door for a potential SuperBowl bid, do you really want a rookie in the backfield? I think RB needs to be addressed this year, or next year at the LATEST in order for the timeline to work out.
Center. I think Jason Brown would fit better as a guard, where he originally played in Baltimore. He didn't play well last year, so a change of position might benefit him.
Outside Linebacker - The Rams defense desperately need an OLB that can cover hybrid tight ends and running backs in pass coverage, as well as add pressure from the outside as a pass rusher. I wouldn't be surprised at all if our 2nd round draft pick centers on this need.
Cornerback- There are so many good CB prospects in the upcoming draft, mainly Claiborne. Even though the Rams have solid talent at CB, there are injury questions and none of our CBs are as good as Claiborne or Finnegan who we can bring in as a FA.
While I don't think anything is being overlooked, I don't hear much talk about defensive tackle. The defensive line has one elite player in Chris Long and one potentially elite player in Robert Quinn. Bannan was solid. If you can add an elite DT that is an exceptional to elite unit. See my building the lines philosophy above. I'm crossing my fingers hoping Jerel Worthy out of MSU is there at the top of the second.
I don't know that it's being overlooked, but the Rams would do well to find a useful complement to Steven Jackson. Yes, AxJax needs to be spelled from time to time and it's also a position where the Rams can add speed and athleticism. They need to.