One of the biggest questions that the Los Angeles Rams will need to answer this offseason is who is going to be backing up quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Rams could decide to draft someone once again, or recently, they’ve been a popular team among potential trades for a young, backup quarterback.
The Rams initially addressed the backup quarterback position last year by drafting Stetson Bennett, but after he left the team and didn’t return, it left some questions behind Stafford. Los Angeles didn’t sign anybody to replace Bennett and instead rolled with Brett Rypien who struggled in his lone start against the Green Bay Packers.
Rypien’s performance motivated the Rams to go out and sign Carson Wentz. The former number two overall pick played well, filling in for Stafford in Week 18 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Rams could once again go to the draft or they could opt to keep Wentz to be their long-term backup. However, Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young thinks they should go a different route. Speaking on the Adam Schefter Podcast, Young said via the Deseret News that the Rams would be a perfect option for Jets quarterback Zach Wilson,
“To me, the place he needs to be is in LA. Go with Sean McVay. Follow (Matthew) Stafford and just sit there and watch the magic and then see if you can pick it up,” Young said. “If you can, then you can be one of the best because you have the talent for it. But he has to get to one of those spots...There’s these innovative minds taking advantage of the rule changes. Heneeds to get to one of those spots. He needs to join forces. If we’re going to see anything out of Zach Wilson into the future, he needs to get away from these places that are not quarterback friendly.”
Wilson does make sense sense for more reasons than Young mentioned. Rams offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur coached Wilson while he was with the Jets. There would certainly be some familiarity there.
Additionally, the Rams have been a good environment for quarterbacks looking to get their careers back on track. In 2022, Baker Mayfield resurrected his career by playing well for the Rams after they picked him up off of waivers. Mayfield continued playing good football this season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading them to the playoffs.
While Wentz only got one start, he showed that he is still a capable quarterback. It will be interesting to see if he garners any interest this offseason like Mayfield.
Wilson would be an interesting option as he is clearly talented being a former number two overall pick and could be exactly what they need. He would have the luxury of being able to sit behind Stafford and develop which is something that he needs. It is worth noting that Wilson is still only 24 years old. He’s younger than prospects like Michael Penix and is only six months older than Bo Nix.
The Rams would be smart to find a young quarterback to sit behind Stafford. That’s a big reason why someone like Wilson or even Trey Lance who is only three months old than Nix at 23 make a lot of sense. There’s not necessarily a Jordan Love type prospect worth taking in this year’s draft, unless a team really believes in JJ McCarthy. Finding a young quarterback may be the better way to go.