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NFL Weekend - L.A. Rams and San Francisco Need Draft Day Hits...

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2016 NFL Draft only weeks away, it's fair to say - like can be said each year - that there's a few teams who need to hit big with their picks. Los Angeles and San Francisco are on my list of NFL franchises who can't afford to swing n' and miss in the coming NFL Draft...

Yes, Cleveland is on my list, but they're there every year. The difference here being the Rams and 49ers have a chance to take a step up if they get this Draft right, while the Browns remain mired in position mediocrity across the board; and seem destined to underachieve once again in 2016. Let's face it, when the Browns find themselves pinning their hopes on the return of wide receiver Josh Gordon from yet another suspension, there's not much else to say. On the other hand, Los Angeles and San Francisco have talent laden rosters, yet key position holes are glaring for both teams...

The Los Angeles Rams are in a tough position. Newly returned to Southern California, they need to turn a few heads while they await their new digs in Inglewood, CA; scheduled to be completed in 2019. Their impressive 54,000 season ticket requests looms large, as does the portent of another team joining them in the area for 2017. They have to hit the ground running in 2016 to retain their share of fans should a rising Oakland Raiders team decide to jump into their market. I think San Diego will find a way to keep the Chargers, but if I were Stan Kroenke - owner of the Rams - I'd be hoping they don't. The Raiders have a fan base in L.A., while the Chargers seem more likely to be the "odd man out" if they move north...

The Rams need to make a splash in this draft, so I wouldn't be shocked if they move up to grab a top talent. I'm not sure they want to rush a decision on a young quarterback just yet. While the pressure to win has increased for the seemingly perennial 7-9 Rams, I believe Jeff Fisher and Les Snead will lean toward fixing off season player losses on defense. Their Draft Day focus could very well bend toward Florida State's Jalen Ramsey, or UCLA's Myles Jack, if they somehow slides into an affordable trade range. If they stay put at #15 overall, Alabama's Reggie Ragland could be the guy tabbed to replace James Laurinaitis at middle linebacker. With Michael Brockers in his option year, don't be surprised if the Rams - at #15 overall - select Baylor's defensive tackle Andrew Billings. We talk about having bookend defensive ends, but imagine tomes like Aaron Donald and Billings side by side, sealing the middle of the front seven for the Rams?

They could take a minor flyer on a wide receiver, but Laquan Treadwell's sloth-like speed at the NFL Combine - and his Pro Day - may very well have driven the position out of Top 20 pick contention for the first time in quite a while. None of the quarterbacks scream Day 1 starter, and the media hype train at the position right now is borderline absurd. The only team who would throw a Carson Wentz or Jared Goff to the wolves on opening day in 2016 would be Cleveland...

The San Francisco 49ers are in deep trouble. While they have a ridiculous amount of picks in the 2016 NFL Draft - 12, in rounds 1 thru 6; four being compensatory choices - they have a "needs" list which can't be completely addressed this year. Yes, if they somehow hit every pick big, returning to former glory would be possible. Yet, the last few drafts for the 49ers have only showed they're good at building depth, and not finding starter quality players. You typically don't recover from the mass exodus of players they experienced in 2015 overnight...

They desperately need to find someone to pair with linebacker Navarro Bowman, and a "cover corner" wouldn't be a bad idea too. It's on offense where this team is going to be downright abysmal if running back Carlos Hyde can't stay healthy. Their offensive line - once one of the best in the NFL - is a shadow of what it was only a couple of years ago. They have no one at wide receiver; marginal talent at best at tight end, and Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, with a possible QB nutty in the works if Colin Kaepernick is still around. Add in the coin flip of just how successful new head coach Chip Kelly will be installing a "jury is still out on" offense, and the 49ers are... It's ok, you can say it: They're totally screwed if they don't find a way to hit this draft with at least five solid gold picks...

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The pressure on every NFL team to get the draft right is a given. They spend oceans of money every year trying to slice n' dice college talent, but the success rate in the NFL Draft seldom waivers beyond hit or miss levels. For the Rams and 49ers to stay competitive in the NFC West - let alone the NFL as a whole - they have to find a way to make this coming NFL Draft franchise altering in some way... Can they do it? If not, both these teams can look forward to a troubling 2016 season...