It's that time again!!!!!
Scouting and drafting time has arrived. The St. Louis Rams enter the offseason with the least amount of pressing roster needs they have had in a about four years. The problem is, their top needs have been the same top needs for that same duration of time...
Coincidentally it just so happens that the draft is it's strongest in the positions that aren't exactly top two or three needs For the Rams. Nevertheless, there is a solid overall amount of talent to help improve a team that, yet again, struggled mightily with consistency.
1. Laremy Tunsil OT Ole Miss
2. Jaylon Smith OLB Notre Dame
3. Desmond King CB Iowa
4. Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida
5. Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
6. Emmanuel Ogbah DE Oklahoma St
7. Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson
8. Shilique Calhoun DE Michigan St
9. Ronnie Staley OT Notre Dame
10. Josh Doctson WR TCU
11. Jalen Ramsey DB Florida St
12. Taylor Decker OT Ohio St
13. Scooby Wright LB Arizona
14. Myles Jack LB UCLA
15. Joey Bosa DE Ohio St
16. Jared Goff QB Cal
17. Corey Coleman WR Baylor
18. Noah Spence DE Eastern Kentucky
19. Vonn Bell SS Ohio St
20. A'Shawn Robinson DT Alabama
21. Jayron Kearse SS Clemson
22. Nick Martin C Notre Dame
23. Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
24. Tyler Boyd WR Pitt
25. Kendall Fuller CB Virginia Tech
26. Spencer Drango OT Colorado St
27. Cody Whitehair OG K-State
28. Kentrell Brothers MLB Mizzou
29. Sterling Shepard WR Oklahoma
30. Ryan Kelly C Alabama
31. Rashard Higgins WR Colorado S
32. Robert Nkemdeche DT Ole Miss
33. Reggie Ragland MLB Alabama
34. Carson Wentz QB N. Dakota St
35. Michael Thomas WR Ohio St
36. Jack Conklin OT Michigan St
37. Darian Thompson FS Boise St
38. Jason Spriggs OT Indiana
39. Shaq Lawson DE South Carolina
40. Leonard Floyd OLB Georgia
41. John Theus OT Georgia
42. Tre'Davious White CB LSU
43. Darron Lee OLB Ohio St
44. Germain Ifedi OT Texas A&M
45. Kyle Marz OT Wisconsin
46. Eziekiel Elliott RB Ohio St
47. Tyler Matakevich MLB Temple
48. Vadal Alexander OG LSU
49. Kenny Clark DT UCLA
50. Jordin Jenkins OLB Georgia
51. Adolphus Washington DT Ohio
52. Josh Perry OLB Ohio St
53. Andrew Billings DT Baylor
54. Kyle Murphy OT Stanford
55. Sua Craven OLB USC
56. Derrick Henry RB Alabama
57. Cardale Jones QB Ohio St
58. Hunter Henry TE Arkansas
59. DeForest Buckner DE Oregon
60. Cody Kessler QB USC
61. Dan Voltz C Wisconsin
62. Alex Collins RB Arkansas
63. Jordan Leggett TE Clemson
64. Evan Boehm OL Mizzou
65. Kenneth Dixon RB Louisiana Tech
66. Jonathan Bullard DT Florida
67. Josh Garnett OG Stanford
68. Le'Raven Clark OT Texas Tech
69. Braxton Miller WR Ohio St
70. Max Tuerk C USC
71. Connor McGovern OG Mizzou
72. Jeremy Cash S Duke
73. Connor Cook QB Michigan St
74. Deon Bush FS Miami
75. Michael Jordan CB Missouri Western
A FEW NOTES
- The quarterback position isn't as thin as it seems; however, it's not a particularly strong position. There's no one that anyone should bet the house on. There's no Jameis Winston in this draft. Still there's some good talent, and while there are probably only two legit first round talents in Goff and Lynch, quite a few are worthy of the second round.
- This draft isn't stocked with players who would go in the top 20 picks regardless of drafts. Initially, I compared it to the 2013 draft, but I do think it is slightly stronger than that one. Still, I feel that there are a plethora of second-round talents and not even a full 20 first-round talents. In my honest, yet early, opinion considering I have much more scouting to do, there's roughly 48 players with legit second-round grades. Again, it's still early and some grades will change, but that goes both ways as some will be added as well as removed.
- A lot of the most talented players in this draft should be drafted after some of the least talented players. Won't happen, but should. The less talented are some of the most polished I have seen in a draft class in quite some time. This should translate to a lot of players playing early and often during the 2016 season.
- Arguably the strongest position group is the defensive line. I can't remember the last time I saw this many quality defensive ends and interior defensive linemen in the same draft. It should be no surprise if we see 15-20 defensive linemen taken in the first 75 picks, and 40-45 overall. The depth here is great news for the Rams who surely will start looking for Chris Long's successor.
- The next best group has to be linebacker. Fear the backer in this draft. This is also more good news for the Rams as it will present an opportunity to draft a successor for James Laurinaitis and allow the reliable Mike backer to mentor the young stud for a year or two.
- Figured we should save the most obvious for last. The offensive line is loaded with talent. Though I still give the edge to the defensive line for most talented, this group is the cause of the statement starting with arguably. If that group is 1A this group is surely 1B. The Rams will be wise to strongly consider a permanent move to guard of Greg Robinson and drafting another tackle. In doing so Roger Saffold should become expandable. This would also be a great time to draft another center. Tim Barnes actually managed to get better as the season wore on, but he still lacks the raw physical talent and strength that the best centers have to go along with their intelligence. No one should question his effort or football IQ, but his physical limitations are apparent and can't be ignored.
So far, since compensatory picks have not been established. The Rams only have six picks overall. With the talent available in this draft, it would make sense to target either a receiver or quarterback fairly early this draft, as the talent drops off fairly quickly, and every other position can be loaded up on in the middle rounds.
The Rams biggest needs have to be Quarterback, Wide Reciever and Offensive Line. Anything after that should be considered a luxury. The opportunity to fix at least one of these holes once and for all, or at least the next 10 years, will be there. But it will be up to Jeff Fisher and the front office to finally put the emphasis on correcting the issue to make it happen before it's once again too late (third round and beyond)...