Pro Football Focus has a list of the biggest need for every team, and their pick for the Rams comes on the offensive line:
Pick a position and it’s arguably a need for the Los Angeles Rams. Aaron Donald does it all for the defense and makes everyone around him better. Robert Quinn has struggled since hitting a massive peak in 2013 and they are rolling out Connor Barwin opposite. E.J. Gaines is currently slotted at cornerback opposite Trumaine Johnson and the wide receiver position is a concern after allowing Kenny Britt to leave via free agency. The Rams added pieces in the draft to address all their needs except at RT. Greg Robinson has been a bust as the No. 2 overall pick and graded positively in just one game in 2016. His best season was his rookie year at 41.3, so having him be a piece to protect your franchise QB is risky.
It’s certainly hard to argue against. Prior to the Rams signing LT Andrew Whitworth back in early March, the prospect of Robinson starting yet again at left tackle likely would have stood out as the biggest position need. Now that he’s been shifted over to right tackle, it’s a fair target. I would contend that Greg Robinson is the nominal starter at right tackle...in May. The assumption that he’ll hold on to that position throughout the offseason into training camp, the preseason and beyond is just an assumption. I’m not sure it’s a fair one.
In terms of roster needs, our official TST roster needs poll results offer a fair starting point. Back on April 11, the top needs (in order of prominence) were center, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, tight end and offensive tackle. Now we ran that poll before the signings of C John Sullivan and CB Nickell Robey-Coleman as well as the entire draft and UDFA period, so the results aren’t entirely applicable to the current roster makeup. So perhaps center and cornerback slide back because of the veteran depth with wide receiver, safety and tight end all falling considerably due to draft investments. The only position that wasn’t addressed since the poll opened? Offensive tackle.
If I were tossing another contender in the ring, it’d be outside linebacker. The Rams got some decent depth for Quinn and Barwin in the draft and the UDFA class, but I do have some concerns about the viability of the pass rush as it’s currently set up. The Rams were 24th in sacks last year, and that was with a nearly entirely healthy front all season. The only player to miss significant time was Quinn who started just eight games accounting for just four sacks therein.
What would you say are the Rams’ biggest roster needs as you look across the depth chart? What would you project is the biggest need next January as we look ahead to the 2018 NFL Draft? What position do you think looks like a need but could be in for a surprise with a candidate to step up and fill it adequately?