The Rams defense was very good last season, and at times carried the team on their shoulders. The Rams defense did share the lead the league in sacks with the Broncos, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. The defense needs to be better at creating turnovers, and as always stopping the run. The defense did make nice strides last season with the additions of Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, and Michael Brockers all in the draft. The Rams defense is now only a few pieces away from being an elite group, because of last year’s rookie class. Here are a few players the Rams should consider taking this year to fill the missing holes.
One defensive player the Rams should take is Sheldon Richardson. The Rams would be getting a bargain if he falls into the Rams’ lap at 16, Richardson would make an already good front four, one of the best if not the best. The Rams wouldn’t be taking a position of need here, but the best player available if Richardson fell. Richardson has good speed despite his size. He is also a constant disturbance in the backfield. Richardson doesn’t however have good upper body strength and can be taken down when off balance. The Rams should still take Richardson if he falls to them at 16.
Another player the Rams should consider taking is Kenny Vaccaro. With the loss of Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell, the Rams are in desperate need of a play making safety. Vacarro would be just that. Vacarro has good speed and change of direction. He is also a solid tackler which is important in the NFC West. Vacarro does need to improve as a back end defender and it is said that he lacks speed burst. Vaccaro would be a good option for the Rams at 16 and would be a good addition to the defense. If the Rams were to pick Vacarro, they would more than likely have to use their 16th pick because it isn’t likely, but not impossible that he would still be available at 22.
Finally, a defensive player the Rams should consider taking is Alec Ogletree. Ogletree would play weak side linebacker, a position the Rams struggled at last season. Ogletree would be a huge upgrade at the position and would make the Rams have one of the better front seven’s in the league. Ogletree has excellent speed and has the ability to get off blocks. He’s built like a linebacker, but has the ability to cover like a safety, allowing him to have to ability to cover the tight end, running back, or wide receiver. Ogletree has the tendency to overrun plays however, and he struggles breaking second level blocks. Either way Ogletree would be able to step in right away and contribute to an already good defense. The Rams could easily wait to take Ogletree at 22 and could possibly even trade down a few places and still grab him.
If the Rams added one of these three players in the first round of the upcoming draft this April, the defense would be one of the best units in the league and once again be able to carry the team when the offense is having is struggles.