Leading up to the draft we are going to take a look at every position to see what the Rams have at the position, what the Rams need at the position, if they should draft somebody at the position, and lastly a position grade. Last week we took a look at the quarterback . Today we will look at the running back position as we cover the rest of the offense throughout the week.
What The Rams Have
1. Zac Stacy
2. Daryl Richardson
3. Benny Cunningham
4. Isaiah Pead
5. Chase Reynolds
Last season the Rams found a diamond in the rough in the 5th round in running back Zac Stacy. Had Stacy started the entire season, there is no doubt he would have ran for over 1,000 yards, and had a legitimate shot at offensive rookie of the year. Still, in just 12 games last season, Stacy still managed 973 yards and seven touchdowns.
Stacy is an outstanding starting running back, but at every position you need depth and the Rams have just that. Richardson had a disappointing 2013 while dealing with injuries, but in 2012 he showed potential rushing for 475 yards. Richardson gives the Rams a change of pace speed back that can compliment Stacy’s style of running pretty well.
Undrafted rookie Benny Cunningham came out of nowhere and showed some good potential last season rushing for 267 yards and a touchdown which included a a 100 yard game against the Chicago Bears. Cunningham gives the Rams a reliable downhill runner behind Stacy, if he ever gets hurt, which did happen a couple of times last year.
Isaiah Pead has so far been one of the early round busts of the Les Snead regime, but he did begin to make a name for himself on special teams. Chase Reynolds is also a good special teams player.
What The Rams Need
The Rams really could use a reliable change of pace speed back that can at the very least push Richardson and Pead for that role. Richardson definitely has the ability to be the third down change of pace back, and it’s really time for Pead to step up and show what he’s got, if anything.
The Rams need somebody that can push these guys for a roster spot because adding some reliable speed to the Rams back field would add a lot of variety and give defenses just one more thing to prepare for.
Should The Rams Address This Need In The Draft?
This isn’t an immediate need for the Rams in this draft, but with 12 picks, they have a lot of options. If a speedy running back ends up falling to them in the fifth or sixth round, I don’t see why the Rams shouldn’t address this need in the draft.
It’s time to put some pressure on Richardson and Pead and put them on the spot. Adding some competition would give the Rams an idea of what those two are capable of for better or worse.
As mentioned earlier, Zac Stacy is a solid starting running back and can get the job done. He has the makings of becoming one of the better running backs in the league. And the Rams don’t just have Stacy, they have solid depth behind him in Cunningham, Richardson, and Pead.
However, the Rams are missing that reliable change of pace third down back. If the Rams only rely on Stacy, they will run him down and run his career short. The Rams need somebody that can take some of the load off of Stacy, and whether that guy is on the roster is uncertain at this point.