Sitting at the number two and number thirteen overall picks, the St. Louis Rams have a plethora of options that they could go to come Thursday. Whether it be trade up, trade down, or stay put, one question remains, will the Rams go offense or defense in the first round?
The Rams have needs to address on both sides of the ball, and all of those needs can be addressed with the so-called elite prospects, but just which positions with the Rams fill with those elite prospects?
On offense the Rams need a wide receiver for what seems like the 10th draft in a row. The Rams have not had a 1,000 yard receiver since Torry Holt left the team, and really haven’t had anything close to that since.
They could also use some offensive lineman as Sam Bradford also just spent most of last season hurt for the second time in his short career, having offensive lineman that can keep him upright would be nice.
Luckily for them a premier wide receiver sits atop the draft in Sammy Watkins, as well as two premier offensive lineman in Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson. The Rams could also shoot for Mike Evans or Taylor Lewan at 13.
On defense the Rams desperately need depth in the secondary, an outside linebacker, as well as some depth on the defensive line.
Last season the Rams allowed opponents 15.1 yards per attempt last season on passes thrown 15 plus yards downfield, that was the worst in the NFL. They were 28th in completion percentage outside the numbers (52.1%),going 86 of 165, both those numbers ranked 29th. They also allowed five touchdowns to outside wide receivers, also last.
In the secondary the Rams could draft cornerback Darqueze Dennard or shoot for the best safety in the draft in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The draft is however, deep at the cornerback position and the Rams could get still a solid starter in the third round.
Some would consider defensive line and outside linebacker as a strength, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved. In the NFL you need to strive for the best, and certainly it is something the Rams should consider doing come Thursday.
If the Rams sit at number two and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or linebacker Khalil Mack are right there for the taking, there won’t be much contemplating about what to do. And at number 13 the Rams could have the chance to draft a special player in defensive tackle Aaron Donald or linebacker Ryan Shazier.
The Rams have a lot of option, and there are so many different scenarios you can go crazy just thinking about them. However, something that may come into the Rams decision making is that Jeff Fisher has never drafted on offensive lineman in the first round of any draft, he did however coach Jake Matthews’ father Bruce in Houston/Tennessee.
The Rams also play in the NFC West which is a division dominated by defense. To win in the West you have to play tough defense and win in the trenches, something the Rams only did once last year against division opponents in week eight against the Seahawks.
Jeff Fisher is a defensive minded coach which could sway his decision to the defensive side of the ball if the Rams do have the chance to draft Clowney, Mack, or Donald. All those players are unique prospects and it would be tough to pass any of them up.
This is a deep draft with a lot of great prospects, and the Rams sit at a good spot with 12 picks. Les Snead and Jeff Fisher will have a lot to think about come the draft on Thursday, but whatever decision they do make, it will be to hopefully get the Rams over the hump in 2014.