Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Should The St. Louis Rams Still Draft A Wide Receiver In Round 1?


 

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.

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Tags: St. Louis Rams Wide Receivers

  • UhhDuhh

    The teams that beat the Seahawks last year all did it by pounding it on the ground first, something the Broncos failed to do in the SB. The Rams ran Stacy in the first game and gave the Seahawks fits because Seattle has good pass rushers but not good run stoppers. But you are right when Seattle stopped Stacy in the second game, there was no passing game to make up for it. On the flipside, the teams that beat the 49ers last year allowed the 49ers to run the ball an average of 100 yards but also limited Kaepernick in yards passing so basically contain Kaepernick and you can win. Those are the two teams you need to worry about first so WR and FS are must picks in the draft. Arizona will be good too but so will the Rams if they fill their needs properly with the draft.

    • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

      you can still get a talented, tall WR in the 2nd round. O-line still takes priority over a skill position that is already stacked.

      • UhhDuhh

        By the same token, you can get talented OT’s in the second round as well and Paul Boudreau is a great OL coach. When our best receiver, Cook, is 59th in the league that means nearly every team averages two better receivers than our best guy.

        • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

          Take note that the Offensive Philosophy of the Rams is to the Run the ball with Zac Stacy and set up the pass. All this would improve if the Rams have a solid offensive line. With this type of offense you don’t necessarily need an elite WR (the 2013 Seahawks, the 2000 Ravens and the 1985 Bears didn’t have one). Take note the Rams 1999 and 2001 Teams have a franchise LT Orlando Pace to learn on to protect the QB’s. Jeff Fisher has his Franchise LT in Brad Hopkins so It’s time for the Rams draft his franchise left tackle in the upcoming draft. And as a famous quote from Tony Softli “Football games are won at the trenches”.

          Jared Cook has only played only one season on this offense so I still hold off my judgment on him.

          • UhhDuhh

            Offensive line was not the problem last year. It was passing offense and passing defense.

          • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

            HOw can use have an effective passing game if the O-line is so porous your QB is running for his life most of the time.

          • UhhDuhh

            As I mentioned in the other article, Rams were 8th in sacks allowed which is top 25% in the league which shows OL is fine. However, 28th in the league in 3rd down conversion means they can’t throw the ball to get first downs. Good teams can.

          • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

            With experience these your receivers will step up in 2014. With out a good talented O-line the Rams will struggle not only in 3rd down conversion but the whole offense in general. The receivers will struggle because the QB cannot pass the ball to them. Zac Stacy will have a problem running ball because the O-line cannot open lanes for him.

            The O-line has also contributed to the 28th ranking on 3rd down conversion because the interior of the line is has problems stop interior pass rushers and at time failed to open lanes for Zac Stacy specially against good defensive teams in the NFC West. Had the Rams have good talented O-line, the running game would not have a problem and Sam Bradford can take his time to read his progressions.

  • Gary Stewart

    safety corner and a dominant run game by adding a stud at 6 2 240 ish in the 3rd or 4th round to bruise the defense then send stacy back in. and the reason seattle shut down the rams run game in the 2nd game was they knew clemens couldn’t beat them with his arm. which they figured out in the last drive of game 1 when zac wasn’t in there, funny how people forget little things like that. if the rams do not trade down i like robinson or mack at #2. dix or gilbert at #13, and if they take robinson at #2 then go with a sideline to sideline lb in round 2. if they go mack in first round then take a flier on a wr in 2nd round or a joel bitonio as o line depth with the second rounder

  • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

    I don’t understand the clamor of wanting to get a “Number 1 WR” in the 1st round. With the way the Rams offense is operating now, they basically mirror what the Seahawks are doing: Run the ball /play action pass the ball to consistent pass catchers/play tough defense. This draft class is so deep in potentially good receiver that they can get a potential “go to guy” in the later rounds. Adding Kenny Britt also gives them an option. I still believe adding talent to an offensive line would protect Sam Bradford AND Zac Stacy against a division filled with tough defensive teams. Drafting either Greg Robinson or Jake Mathews may not be a “sexy” move, but as the old adage say “Football games are won at the trenches”. I also agree between the two OT’s Jake Mathews would be best pick between the two. Drafting a safety at #13 is by far the best course of action because it has been a problem position since Aeaneas Williams retired and opposing teams are exploiting this weakness week by week.