With the 2016 NFL Draft only a week away, the time is fast approaching on who the Rams will take with the first overall pick. So what better time to dive into the discussion full throttle. Who will the Rams take at number one overall. Will it be Jared Goff, or will it be Carson Wentz?
The Rams have gotten all of their first round picks right since the Jeff Fisher and Les Snead era began (save for Greg Robinson who's entering a make or break year). Which leaves a lot of room for good faith that they will get this pick right this time. Since their arrival, five of six first round picks made, has either been very productive or a All-Pro.
However, the Rams have not made the greatest decisions under this regime at the quarterback position. Which creates room for doubt that they will get this pick correct. One thing can be said with almost complete certainty, Jeff and Les has to hit this pick on the head. After years of the same mediocrity over and over being put on the field, and not yet eclipsing the .500 mark, and now trading away a plethora of picks, the Rams need to get the ball rolling and get over the hump.
Which brings us to who will be the better man for the job?
Before I dive into my pick, I reached out to two wise young gents that follow the scouting world relatively closely. In speaking with both, TST's very own, Tevin Broner and Eric Nagel, one thing is clear, the Rams have a tough decision to make.
Nagel makes an interesting point in shedding light on Goff leading a not very good team in Cal for the last three seasons. This stands out because the Rams have been so up and down and inconsistent, that his ability to handle a situation like this stands out. Goff is amazing at standing tall in the pocket in the fave of danger and firing an accurate pass to the receiver due to his bad offensive line play in college. This has to be extremely attractive to the Rams, after watching Nick Foles curl up from shadows flashing past him last season.
Tev makes a great point in highlighting Goff's pocket awareness. He has some sweet, sweet, feet in the pocket. His smooth footwork and quick release make him an ideal pocket quarterback for any NFL team. Goff presents a lot of classic traits, which has to be awesome and extremely comforting for any coach.
Both guys make interesting cases for their choice, and it's hard to argue any points made about either player.
Here's my take...
I view both guys as being worthy of a top pick. I think both players are day one starters. Simply put, I don't think either guy is a bad pick. However, I do believe there is a right pick. It's no secret I have long been a supporter of picking Wentz. That still stands today.
When I look at Goff, I see a solid QB who will become a solid pro. I think he has all of the tangibles and intangibles you need to succeed at the position. I'm obsessed with his ball placement. Anyone that knows me and my scouting of QB's I often speak of ball placement when discussing accuracy. Ball placement is the definition of accuracy in this game. I love his toughness. It's enough to make you fall in love, and pull the trigger on the pick. His footwork and pocket presence is unbelievable for a 21 year old. Goff has shown the resiliency that you see in future champions. I believe with a solid receiving core -- and yes solid as in just three legit number two receivers will probably do it -- he can have a prosperous career. Give him a true number one, and a solid two, and he'll likely be a beast!
Then there's Wentz. I see him as the most NFL ready between the two. It's not his physical ability that brings me to this conclusion. From a cerebral stand point, he's ahead of the curve. Wentz comes from an NFL style offense. One that is eerily similar to the one the Rams run. He also was given 100% freedom at he line of scrimmage. He is so used to taking on a lot mentally, that a quick adjustment to an NFL playbook, and making reads should at this level come easier than most. Historically, college QB's who have been given these type of heavy loads in college, have had moderate to extreme success in the NFL. Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Terry Bradshaw, Philip Rivers, and many more, are all on record saying that they not only ran a pro style simulation in college, but had free will at the LOS.
When I look at Goff, it was a spread offense, with some easy reads, and basic concepts. Not quite as basic as an Oregon offense, and there was some NFL concepts sprinkled in, but in all honesty, it reminds me of Sam Bradford's Oklahoma offense, just lacking the playmakers and explosion. The Rams had to really dumb down their offense his rookie season. It paid off as he was the NFL Rookie of The Year, but imagine the success your team can have when your not going in reverse.
Essentially that's what happens when you dumb down your offense for your QB. You have 10 other players on the field, who usually are a few years in on the system, and your basically stopping their growth for someone else to catch up. Add in his physical ability and what Fisher has repeatedly said he looks for -- a big tall QB with mobility, strong arm, smart, and tough -- and you have the ideal Fisher pick in Wentz, as he could be the closest thing to Steve McNair, if not better, since Steve McNair. And it's not like his mechanics are terrible or something. He's not far off from Goff. But make no mistake about it, Goff is further along in this area. I like Wentz because he is already the closest mentally to what the Rams need...
So for that reason they will probably pick Goff, but I have Wentz as my best pick for the Rams.