With the signing of former Tennessee Titan’s WR Kenny Britt, the Rams have added an interesting piece to a receiving corps that is searching for a true ‘number one’ pass catcher for QB Sam Bradford. But, does that mean they should pass on a receiver in the first round? Absolutely not.
The only wide receivers on the roster that have the ability to strike fear in the heart of defenses are Tavon Austin and, to a lesser degree, Chris Givens. Brian Quick is not a threat, at this point, and Austin Pettis is a nuisance, at best, for opposing secondaries. Neither of those players are going to take over a game or force defenses to think twice when lining up with them. As for Stedman Bailey, his second year could be the year that he elevates himself to a legitimate number two. Until that happens, the Rams have a mixed bag of wide receivers that Bradford has to work with.
As for Britt, some believe he will be used like Pettis was used last year, but perhaps with more targets and plays to get him open. He remains a great redzone threat and he has the hands to haul in passes despite tight coverage. That being said, he has a lot to prove and, obviously, has zero chemistry with Bradford at this point. Training camp will be critical for Bradford to find a rhythm with Britt as well as re-establish what he had before he got injured with returning players and build on that.
That being said, the Seattle Seahawks have proved that having a deep and dominant secondary can shut down even the most explosive offenses (ahem, Denver Broncos). To counteract deep secondaries, the receiving corps has to be just as deep. The Rams still need players that scare defenses and create explosive plays for the offense.
The Rams will be an offense that heavily features running back Zac Stacy, but the more game changers you have among those 11 players, the better. When Stacy was shut down last year, the offense was anemic. The Rams need to establish balance, and in order to do that another impact pass catches is needed.
It’s no secret that two players fit that mold. Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans are both destined to be legitimate number one receivers in the NFL, Watkins for his game-breaking skills and Evans for his size and dominance at the point of the catch. Either player would be a great addition and both players have a deep desire to compete, something that Quick does not appear to possess.
Watkins is clearly the cream of the crop, but if Evans is available at pick 13 (a big if) that allows the Rams to improve their offensive line with their first pick and still grab an impact receiver. On the other side, if they want to take Watkins second overall, that would allow them to improve their defensive secondary with their second pick in the first round.
General Manager Les Snead and Head coach Jeff Fisher have some serious thinking to do between now and May 8th.