The drama that was built up for this year’s draft lived up to all expectations, some might even say there was more drama than there was in the movie “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner. The goal in every draft is to get better, and Jeff Fisher said in the post-draft press conference, that he believed they did.
“We’re a lot better now. We all know what (OL) Greg (Robinson) is capable of doing. He’s an outstanding young man, and that workout last week was really, really impressive. We’ll plug him in where we feel he’s got the best chance to be successful right now. We don’t know exactly where that is, but he may start out inside before we move him back outside. You talk about an athlete. Powerful, quick, great quickness and strength. He’s got a chance to be a dominant player inside initially. Then of course, (DT) Aaron (Donald) is very, very productive; he’s an outstanding young man. He’s way ahead in hand use on the line of scrimmage. He does an outstanding job with his hands.”
With that said, did the Rams in fact get better?
You take a look at the NFC West and what it takes to win in the division, and that is running the football, winning the line scrimmage, and playing tough defense. Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald will help those areas immediately.
Taking a look at last season the Rams had less than 50 yards rushing in three of the six division games and only had one game in which they ran for more that 75 yards. Granted, the Rams were without their starting quarterback, but the Rams still failed to control the line of scrimmage and get any push at all.
Moving Robinson to the inside, who specializes in run blocking, will help the Rams do two of the three things that it takes to win the NFC West. He helps the Rams control the line of scrimmage and he helps them run the football.
Aaron Donald will help the Rams with the defensive side of that. Donald was unblockable at the senior bowl, he won four of major defensive awards, and on top of that, he lead the NCAA in tackles for loss. This guy is going to be a force on defense despite his small size.
Last season Chris Johnson, DeMarco Murray, and Frank Gore all had their best games of the season against the Rams. Those are all good running backs, but to allow all three of them to have their best game of the season against you? That’s a problem.
To focus more on the NFC West the Rams allowed the most yards per game against the starting running backs in the division. The Rams allowed an average of 73 yards per game while the Seahawks allowed 60, the 49ers allowed 54, and the Cardinals allowed 51. Really, thats not even close comparing the Rams to the rest of the division, and Donald will help that area dramatically.
I wasn’t to keen on the Robinson pick and think that the Rams could have gone in a different direction with Mack or Watkins, but just think about it for a moment. Two of the Rams best position coaches in Mike Waufle and Paul Boudreau coach the defensive and offensive lines. The Rams will be just fine.
The Rams could have gone with Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins, only to watch the young rookies continuously get shut down by Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson, and have critics say the Rams once again messed up drafting a wide receiver.
The Rams could have traded back, but the Rams did something that they have been criticized for by some fans, and that is trading back rather than sticking to their board and taking quality over quantity, and the Rams got two quality players last night. The Rams got two players that ESPN ranked in the top 10 on their final top 100 prospects.
The Rams are missing a cornerback and a safety moving into round two, but Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson can man the outside, what the Rams need is depth behind them, which they got in Greg Reid, and there is still a lot of depth at the cornerback position left in the draft.
Where the Rams might struggle, is at the safety position, which is thin as it is and there were four taken in the first round. The Rams still can take one in the second round and if they need to they can trade up to take the next best one that fits their scheme.
The Rams have ten picks left in 2014. Drafts aren’t made or lost in the first round. James Laurinaitis was a second round pick, T.J. McDonald, third round pick, Stedman Bailey was a third round pick, the list goes on. You can find impact players in the second and third round believe it or not, and that is exactly what the Rams are going to do tonight.
To answer the question, did the Rams get better after the first round. Yes, the Rams got a whole lot better where it matters most and where games are won and lost.
Do you think the Rams got better? Let us know in the comment section below!
Tags: St. Louis Rams