Replacing Steven Jackson: Is The Answer In The NFL Draft?

Many Rams fans were left disappointed when the Rams front office let Steven Jackson walk in Free Agency. Let’s face it though. The Rams are building young, and Steven just wasnt that. History shows that running backs in their 30’s often dont produce well .Jackson left to go to  Atlanta where he will have the chance to win a well-deserved championship. All in all both sides were left happy.

A team just doesn’t replace an all-time great just like that, and it doesn’t look like the team will be spending the money on a veteran running back in free agency as the team spent most of it on TE Jared Cook and LT Jake Long. The Rams don’t have much cap space left and really cant do much else in free agency.

However, the Rams do have some very good options in the draft. Jeff Fisher has said that he would like to bring in a hard-hitting running back to compliment the speed of running backs Daryl Richardon and Isaiah Pead. Three college prospects that first come to mind that would be excellent fits on the Rams’ roster are Eddie Lacy, Le’Veon Bell, and Marcus Lattimore.

Eddie Lacy is 5’11 231 lbs and fits the role of being a  powerful, workhorse back back. Lacy played in arguably the best conference in college football, the SEC which consists of a lot of future NFL talent. Lacy has a huge upside and has the ability to be a good back in the league.  He has a strong lower body and is consistently running through tackles. He’s patient and allows his blocks to develop. He’s Light on his feet and is able to make quick, fluid moves. Most importantly he is not afraid to finish a run with contact and often falls forward. Lacy also has decent hands and can be a threat out of the backfield.  However, Lacy seems to miss a lot of openings and is inconsistent as a blocker. If the Rams were to take Lacy in the draft he could definitely be available when then team picks at 22 in the first round.

Another running back the Rams should consider is Le’Veon Bell. Many analysts believe that Bell is the best running back in this year’s draft. Bell is 6’1 230lbs and is also a powerful back. Bell would do well in a 2 back system, splitting time with Richardson or Pead. Bell is a north-south runner and is capable of making strong cuts that make him capable of breaking off big runs when the hole is available. Bell also has the ability to push piles and get the extra yard or two with his lower body strength. Bell is also agile which is surprising given his size.Bell’s weaknesses are is inconsistent pass protection and sub par vision. The Rams could draft Bell somewhere between the 3rd to 5th round which would allow them to address other needs earlier in the draft.

Finally the Rams should seriously consider taking a chance on Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is 5’11 221 pounds and fits the perfect mold for what the Rams are looking for. Lattimore is another north-south runner and has ability to run between the tackles. Like Lacy, Lattimore played in the SEC during his college career and had respectable stats against Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn. Lattimore has good vision and quick feet. He also keeps his legs moving to gain the extra yard. Out of these three backs, Lattimore is the best in pass protection, and has great hands out of the back field. The only real downside to Lattimore is his durability. Lattimore has had back to back season ending knee injuries. Both surguries were done by Dr. James Andrews who is one of the best surgeons in the country,  has a history of fixing up NFL players. Lattimore would definitely be worth the risk for the Rams, and would be a nice addition to the Rams offense that is in much need of weapons. The Rams could pick Lattimore in between the 3rd to 5th rounds, much like Bell. The Rams could go after other needs such as safety or outside linebacker in the earlier rounds if they waited to pick Lattimore.

St. Louis RamsMarcus LattimoreEddie LacyLe’Veon Bellfeaturedpopular



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