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Speculation: How Free Agency Changes Draft Plans

Does the players the Rams are interested right now change who they'll be looking at in April?


Throw out everything you've heard about the draft earlier than today out. The pictures are starting to get clearer, targets are being honed in on, and things are coming into place. The Rams, up to this point, have primarily targeted Jake Long, Louis Delmas, (and signed) Jared Cook and William Hayes. Can we glean any information from that for the Rams draft plans? Maybe.

Or perhaps I'm just stretching it for page views. You'll never know.

Athleticism on Offense

The Rams were linked to Victor Cruz early on, but such a move was pretty farfetched. Instead, the Rams moved in on Jared Cook, one of the most athletic offensive weapons in free agency. Last year, the Rams added Chris Givens, Brian Quick and Isaiah Pead in the draft, all three of whom have their own athletic skills.

But I don't think the Rams are done adding weapons just yet. It might come in April, or later this week, but the team is clearly looking for player makers with athletic, physical skills that aren't taught.

Cordarelle Patterson? Tavon Austin? These are names to keep an eye on.

Offensive Line Early

It's been displayed ad nauseum around these parts, but Jeff Fisher has never drafted an offensive lineman in the first round. But that shouldn't make you think he'll be looking elsewhere when the Rams pick twice in the first round. In terms of age, skill and talent, Rodger Saffold is one of the better offensive lineman on the team.

What did the Rams do? Did they look for a player like Louis Vasquez or Andy Levitre to fill a hole? No. They went after the biggest fish in free agency, Jake Long. Sure, it's all speculation at this point, but again, the Rams are looking for talent here. When healthy, Long has it. Droves of it.

The team isn't going to screw over Sam Bradford for the fourth year in a row. Give Paul Boudreau some serious talent, like Chance Warmack, and kick back and watch the fireworks.

Key Defensive Positions

Out of Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and WIlliam Hayes, you wouldn't think the Hayes would be the priority, given the Rams woes on offense. But the Rams made a point to bring him back, considering how important he was to the defense.

The Rams are also looking at Louis Delmas to fill one of the safety positions. This represents a different strategy- instead of going for the biggest, best players available on offense, those who could make an immediate impact regardless of position or need, they are looking for key positions to fill holes on defense.

Defensive line depth? Check. Looking at adding safeties? Check. It wouldn't stun anyone if the Rams drafted defense high, but don't expect it to be some random defensive end, unless some Star falls from the drop of the draft (oh, puns...).

All in all, it's an exciting week to be a Rams fan. Excpect more news to come out shortly...