After this past weekend, we can finally put some names and faces to the draft picks that the Rams went into the 2016 NFL Draft with. Most of us suspected Cal QB Jared Goff would indeed be the number one overall selection but day three of the draft was much more of an unknown. What can we expect from this draft class?
|2016 NFL Draft Selections|
|4||#110||#12||Tyler Higbee||TE||Western Kentucky|
|4||#117||#15||Pharoh Cooper||WR||South Carolina|
|6||#177||#2||Temarrick Hemingway||TE||South Carolina St.|
|6||#206||#31||Mike Thomas||WR||Southern Miss|
Trying to keep it conservative and keeping in mind that some of these guys may not make the final 53 man squad and with Misone already giving his initial reaction on the draft class, here are some stat/role projections for the class.
QB Jared Goff
Goff may not start Week 1. but he should be inserted into the starting lineup very shortly after if all things go to plan. With that said, if he does not miss too many games, his rookie year should fall in line closely to what Sam Bradford did in 2010 and 2012, his rookie year and first year under Fisher.
TE Tyler Higbee
Higbee currently has a legal situation but in terms of TE competition on the current roster, has very little resistance to becoming the lead receiving TE on the team. With Higbee's sure hands and penchant for getting open and Lance Kendricks always coming up with big time drops, Higbee should be able to quickly find himself as Goff's security blanket. I don't think it's out of the question for him to match Jared Cook's 2013 season, but will more likely find himself in between that and Kendrick's 2015 season.
WR Pharoh Cooper
The WR position is a bit muddied currently but Cooper being a 4th round selection should bode well for him earning an opportunity early on. Some has been made of Cooper being similar to Tavon Austin but his usage might be much more along the lines of what Stedman Bailey's was prior to his head injury. With that in mind, here it goes:
TE Temarrick Hemingway
Hemingway is likely looking at the practice squad for 2016. I would consider it a shock if he gets much playing time at all on offense if he makes the 53 man roster this season. If he does it is likely on special teams. For that reason, we won't predict any offensive stats for Temarrick as of now.
MLB Josh Forrest
Forrest could be this year's Bryce Hager. He will likely be delegated to strictly special teams duties and possibly try and help fill the void left by Daren Bates. If Forrest sees a lot of snaps on defense, something probably went wrong on the injury front.
WR Michael Thomas
Thomas should have a clearer path to the 53 man roster than Hemingway does with the WR position being thin at the moment. It may likely come down to Thomas vs. Brian Quick in camp should there be a close battle and the Rams only deciding to keep 5 WRs. Should they choose to keep six WRs, Thomas should be safe because of the uncertainty that surrounds Stedman Bailey's health and game shape. Whatever the case, his offensive output for 2016 probably will not be substantial. Using a combination of both Quick and Bradley Marquez' rookie seasons, we have:
So there you have it. While it may seem on the low side of the projection scale, it is not too far off of previous Rams performers in this offense. Can Goff elevate this offense in year one? We will find out soon enough when the pre-season rolls around how these offensive players might fit into the plans for 2016.