Every day, Pro Football Focus publishes a “Daily Focus”, their morning roundup of random bits.
We all know this format. We do it here at TST with Random Ramsdom. SBN has their morning link roundup. Pro Football Talk does it with their morning one-liners.
But today’s PFF Daily Focus is of particular interest for Rams fans as it endorses Case Keenum as the starting quarterback over 2016 NFL Draft #1 overall pick Jared Goff.
While it makes sense to start Keenum early in the year if Goff isn’t quite ready, Rams fans will be eager to see their quarterback of the future, especially after such an impressive 2015 college campaign. His final season at Cal saw him grade higher than both Jameis Winston’s final season at Florida State and Marcus Mariota’s final season at Oregon, and both of those players finished their NFL rookie seasons with an overall positive grade. That doesn’t mean Goff will definitely play well as a rookie, but it’s interesting to compare him to two players who handled themselves fairly well in their first pro seasons.
It’s easy to understand why the Rams want to ease Goff into the pro game gently, rather than throwing him in at the deep end, but he was the top player selected in this draft for a reason, and has the arm to make big-time throws in the NFL. He excelled throwing the ball downfield in his final season at Cal, completing 44 of the 100 passes he attempted over 20 yards or more downfield. It looks like Keenum will open the preseason as the starter, but it also wouldn’t come as a shock to see Goff outplay him and win the top job before the season begins.
There’s more in the article than that, and I certainly recommend giving it a full read.
It’s just an uncomfortable place to be in three days before the Rams kick off their 2016 preseason schedule against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Rams traded away quite a bit of valuable draft capital to land Goff. They did so at the expense of using those picks to improve the 32nd-ranked offense in the NFL in yards in 2015 or to help re-stock a defense that lost a starter at each of the four defensive levels form last year. For him to not make good on that trade by immediately paying dividends in 2016 would be difficult to justify. Each of the last five QBs drafted at #1 overall have started in Week 1 of their rookie season.
The last QB not to? Oakland Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell.
One month from Friday, the 2016 Los Angeles Rams will kick off their regular season against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.
If Jared Goff isn’t starting, you have to wonder why the people running the Rams are still doing so.