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Mail Pail: TST Answers Your Questions

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Sean, Lanny, and Tevin tackle your questions in the first edition of the TST Mail Pail

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, TST gave our readers an opportunity to ask the staff anything they wanted as it pertained to their favorite NFL franchise. Here's the cream of the crop we received along with staff responses.

The Rams gave up the fewest sacks this season. For our rookie O-line that seems to be a good accomplishment. I would like to know how many sacks + pressures + hurries per snap ( or per pass play) we averaged and how that ranked in the league? (Brian Ramfan via comments)

Sean:

While I’m not negating the value of pass protection in any way, shape, or form… you have to consider the circumstances that led the Rams to lead the league.

The offense was historically inept. They were one of 5 teams with <500 pass attempts and didn’t have near the dropbacks that other teams had. When it comes to QB hits, the Rams are much more in the middle of the pack. They allowed 95 QB hits whereas the league leading Bengals only allowed 58 hits.

To get back to your question, Football Outsiders utilizes a metric to determine OL efficiency. When it comes to Pass Pro, the Rams stats matched their film… and it’s not pretty. The league average for their "Adjusted Sack Rate" is 6.4% and the Rams check in at 7.5%, which is good for 24th in the NFL.

I believe that the young group showed some promise in 2015 - particularly Rob Havenstein. But they clearly have work to do moving forward.

What would Greg Robinson do for a Klondike bar? (Dropped by Cook via comments)

Sean: Learn to make more pancakes.

Gurley’s habit of hurdling over defenders makes me nervous. I know he was a talented hurdler with a track background, but I wish he would come up with a few more moves to add to his repertoire. Could you offer some suggestions from other running backs or from other sources of inspiration? I was going to say the 3 stooges eye poke because Captain Insano shows no mercy, but I don’t think Goodell would approve.(Ferragamo via comments)

Tevin:

I have recently been re-watching Gurley. His goal is to not take unnecessary hits when he can. He is good at making Defenders take bad angles already, if he can get faster he will be able to exploit those angles more and make himself smaller like he does now. Personally I would love for him to add a good stiff arm to that combo.

Tevin:

On paper, sure. Both have the physical tools you look for in a franchise QB, but also are still flawed in their own ways. RG3 hasn’t had meaningful duty in over a year and needs to overcome the sting to his ego of being benched, and Cardale still has a ways to go before he can take over the car (see above). However, the Rams have Keenum, Foles and Mannion on the roster now, and probably aren’t going anywhere fast with that trio of QB’s.

Lanny:

I would be extremely intrigued, for obvious personal reasons (I’m a Buckeye) but also because he drops one's jaw once in awhile (mostly good). If Manning came to the Rams for a year, and the Rams brought in Cardale Jones with no pressure to be "the guy", Jones would have a year to listen and watch how to prepare as a pro. Eric Galko wrote a great piece about how Jones is a forgotten QB, and simply needs the snaps and confidence of the coaches to keep improving.

Tevin:

Per Spotrac, OT = $2.6M, OG = $1.6M, and C = $2M average. The C position pays better than OG due to extra responsibilities.

Lanny:

Cutting Cook saved $5.7M on the cap, and cutting Saffold would save $5.6M according to Spotrac. The Rams are in good cap shape, so they may want to keep Saffold for his experience and as a fall back LT option in case Robinson struggles (Saffold can play four positions at least adequately).

Tevin:

I don’t see the Rams drafting one this season. The Rams seem happy to give Gurley the bulk of the carries. If anything the Rams could bring a receiving running back in free agency because the team still needs weapons. How big would the market for Mason be? It is possible, but I would be surprised if he does not return.

Tevin:

Since QB is not an option, the first thought in my mind would be tight end, because the Rams could use a big-time playmaker there, but I would not consider that a premium position. The obvious answer seems to be receiver. The Rams will more than likely not find a guy that can become the next Calvin Johnson or Odell Beckham in his rookie year. We have been spoiled by rookie receivers putting up big numbers in recent years but it would be a mistake to think that is the norm.

Sean:

Gotta go BPA. Get an impact player that will help the team. Reaching for need rarely works in a team’s favor, especially when you consider the Rams poor player development in recent years.

Lanny:

I honestly don’t think so, Kroenke seems to be ironically frugal as he was hesitant to move on from Fisher partly due to paying him $7M to not coach. But, if there was no cap, and Kroenke indicated he wanted a championship, he has as much jack to do it as anyone not named Paul Allen.

Tevin:

Hell yes there is! You can play around with the roster as well

Sean:

A shit-ton of draft capital. No player in this draft is worth what it would cost to move up to #1. There is no Andrew Luck or Cam Newton in this draft. Even if Goff or Wentz was that caliber, it’d just drive up the price even further. You can’t mortgage the future like you can with other major sports. Draft picks are too valuable.

Assuming this mock had the Rams taking Lynch in the 1st, and Henry & Fuller in the 2nd, I only have an issue with Lynch. I would prefer not to get younger at the QB position with a top pick, although Lynch has tantalizing upside and mobility. The question is how long will it take for him to be a top 10 NFL starter? With Jared Cook’s release, it opens the door for Hunter Henry to make an impact. I like that pick in the 2nd. Fuller represents a game-breaking WR, and the Rams need to re-stock. Our friends at BGN are high on him.

Tevin:

Jared Cook is gone, makes sense he was overpaid. Will be nice to see what a new coach does with Kendricks and hopefully a rookie. One of my favorites is Thomas Duarte, could be an interesting mid-round pick.

Lanny:

I doubt that the Rams will be moving way up (top 10) in the draft for a QB, unless two of three guys they love go in the top 5 picks and they did not make any moves in free agency. Competition for the Rams between 5 and 14? 49ers (7th) and Eagles (13th). After today’s moves, the Rams have nearly $60M in cap room and could look to create even more if they release Rodger Saffold ($5.6M). After signing their own, they could certainly move on a player like RG3 or Manning (if he comes back) if the price was right.