|South Carolina St.
Cal QB Jared Goff
In time, Goff's tenure will define this draft class.
The Jared Goff Era starts now...
Western Kentucky TE Tyler Higbee
It took 108 picks. That's how many the Rams had to sit and watch in between taking Goff and Higbee.
Higbee kicked off a three-pick run on targets for Goff and improving the Rams offense coming off of a season in which the Rams featured the 32nd-ranked offense in yards gained. Higbee has, well, the notorious off-field red flag, but...well, we'll be discussing it here at TST.
Until then, the Rams have added a talented prospect at tight end to reorganize the position depth chart in the wake of Jared Cook's departure.
South Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper
The Rams had been scheduled to pick 113th overall with one of the picks they received from the Titans in the Goff trade. Instead, they moved back another four slots to add a 6th-round selection later on in this draft.
Cooper can move, make no doubt about it. The question is how to fit him into the offense. The real concern is that this is the same thing you could have said, and probably did say, about Tavon Austin when the Rams drafted him in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. And going into his fourth year, there's fair criticism as to how the Rams have struggled to get the most out of Austin thus far.
Can they do better with a talent perhaps less explosive than Austin but with a bit more size?
South Carolina St. TE Temarrick Hemingway
With the other pick the Rams received from the Titans in the Goff trade, the Rams added their third target for Goff in as many picks with Hemingway.
I had a chance to talk to Hemingway at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. He was just ecstatic to be involved in the process coming from a program as small as SCSU.
Motivation isn't going to be a problem. The position has room on the roster as well. But will the lack of experience against quality opposition hold him back? If he does land on the practice squad to help the learning curve, how will he handle the slower transition?
Kentucky MLB Josh Forrest
It's hard to get a feel for the Rams' plans at linebacker in 2016. If Alec Ogletree does indeed slide inside to replace MLB James Laurinaitis and Mark Barron becomes a full-time fixture as the high OLB of sorts, how often do they play out of the nickel? Does Akeem Ayers get more time in 2016? Is Bryce Hager an option to push up at MLB and give more time to Ogletree?
Forrest, an athlete who has yet to really settle into the position, could help answer some of those questions...or just add more of his own.
Southern Miss WR Mike Thomas
With the pick the Rams received from the Bears in their 4th-round pick swap, the Rams turned back to offense with another wideout. This time, it's the overly productive Mike Thomas out of USM. Thomas tore up Conference USA in 2015, but doesn't really have a plus skill set for the NFL. He's not especially fast. He's not especially big. He's not especially...well, special. So how did he rack up such gaudy numbers? Work, technique and precision. Those things tend to go a long way in the NFL, so it's worth perhaps giving him a nod over most other sixth-round picks...
Well considering the grades between Bate and Wilkinson (three A's and three B's), it's going to be easy to see how this draft class is going to go down among the fans.
As I've said numerous times (and well, probably will until we start getting the early returns from the 2016 team), the Rams finished with the 32nd offense out of 32 teams in 2015. That's not good. So coming around and pulling in a new franchise QB at #1 overall and then four offensive prospects to support him is obviously going to gain support.
The question is how all this new talent is going to gel with the existing pieces and (and this might be the bigger factor at least in the short term) if the recently departed talent will weigh larger on the Rams' 2016 output than the inbound rookies.
For tonight though, it's fair to say the Rams made the necessary response to claiming the league's worst offense: doing damn near everything you can to remake it immediately and substantially.