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Jared Goff the Week 1 Starter? Not So Fast, Says ESPN’s John Clayton

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a fan of the Los Angeles Rams, you know a thing or two about headaches. Whether it be on-field blunders, off-field mishaps, or your level of intoxication that occurred as a result of either, you know the pain.

One facet of the Rams that’s caused headaches over recent years has been quarterback play. From Sam Bradford to Austin Davis, and Shaun Hill to Case Keenum, the Rams simply couldn’t find a viable solution at QB. Winning, it seems, is difficult without a good quarterback.

But the Rams took the necessary steps to address that this offseason, by trading up to take Cals’ Jared Goff with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.  Problem solved.

Not so fast, says ESPN’s John Clayton (In$ider), who contends we might not see Goff until October.

Even though it has taken time, coach Jeff Fisher is building the type of team he liked when he coached the Tennessee Titans. He has built a playoff-caliber defense. He got his Eddie George running back in Todd Gurley. The headache is seeing where the Rams are at quarterback. Fisher traded up for Jared Goff to be his franchise quarterback, but the question is how quickly Goff can turn into an NFL winner. The Rams averaged 17.5 points a game last season. There is no guarantee the Rams can score more than that with Case Keenum or Goff. The headache would be moving to Los Angeles and starting with a losing record.
Prediction: Keenum starts the season, but Goff gets to start in the first two months.

I assume Clayton’s skepticism revolves around Goff’s ability to familiarize himself with a completely new offense, and not so much about "turning into an NFL winner," though the two are probably linked. And despite how quickly fans may want to see Goff take the field, especially with a season opener on Monday Night Football, Jeff Fisher won’t necessarily rush his rookie QB onto the field.

Keenum, who knows a thing or two about headaches himself, was "a blocked field goal away from winning four straight" to end the 2015 season, according to Fisher. It remains to be seen who will ultimately get the nod in early September, and as tight-lipped as Fisher is on these matters, it might be early September before he makes the call.