Feb 21, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray speaks to the media in a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Day 3 Preview: What The St. Louis Rams Need To Address


 

Two days down, one day to go! By most accounts, the St. Louis Rams have knocked this 2014 NFL Draft out of the park in the opening two rounds. Heading into the Draft, the Rams had a laundry list of needs, including both starters and depth players. To quickly recap, they took the top graded offensive line prospect, Greg Robinson, to fill an immediate need at guard, as well as providing offensive tackle depth. Next they stole Aaron Donald outside of the Top 10, adding the consensus top interior lineman to the Rams already-ridiculous defensive line.  To start off Day 2, the Rams jumped up the round, targeting Florida St. defensive back phenom, Lamarcus Joyner. The multi-dimensional defensemen could immediately step in as the Rams nickelback, or seamlessly move back to free safety to bolster the Rams secondary. Then, to end the night, Jeff Fisher and Les Snead snagged arguably the top running back prospect in the class, Tre Mason. The somewhat surprising move adds another dimension to the St. Louis Rams offense, while helping to extend the career to Zac Stacy by taking some of the workload off his massive shoulders.

Now, heading into the final day of the NFL Draft, what positions need to be addressed by the St. Louis Rams?

 

Quarterback

To put it simply, if Aaron Murray is on the board when the St. Louis Rams are on the clock in the 4th Round, he will be sporting the golden horns in 2014. If he is gone, the Rams should have plenty of options, including players like Tom Savage and A.J. McCarron. Either way, fully expect to hear a quarterback’s name called early this afternoon.

 

Defensive Back

Much like the Greg Robinson pick, the St. Louis Rams found a way to address two needs with one pick in their selection of Lamarcus Joyner. With the ability to play nickelback or safety, the St. Louis Rams can take truly draft the best available defensive back on their board. As it currently stands, there appears to be far more talent left on the board at cornerback than safety, with players like Pierre Desir and Keith McGill still waiting to hear their names called.

Bashuad Breeland is also an intriguing option, and might be as close to “ballhawk” as you’ll find on Day 3 of the Draft. He has plenty of size to fill at any position in the secondary, and with some schooling from Jeff Fisher, could certainly make the transition to safety sooner, rather than later. As mentioned in our Day 2 preview, Dion Bailey may also be a Day 3 sleeper pick for the Rams. With USC ties and his connection to T.J. McDonald, the move could give the Rams a viable option at safety, while infusing immediate chemistry into the deep secondary.

 

Offensive Line

At this point in the Draft, there will be few, if any, NFL-ready offensive linemen still on the Board. The most interesting player still available may be Furman OL Dakota Dozier, a former offensive tackle who is projected to move inside to guard at the next level.

COMPARES TO: Jonathan Cooper, Guard, Arizona Cardinals – Dozier’s “plus” athleticism and movement skills are extremely impressive for a big man, and may remind some of last year’s seventh overall pick Jonathan Cooper. Dozier’s limited experience against high-level competition and very recent conversion to guard (Shrine Game) certainly differentiate him from Cooper in terms of draft value, but his upside could be massive and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him gone by the end of round three. -Derek Stephens

Paul Boudreau has had excellent success in transiting offensive linemen from the outside-in, and with Greg Robinson expected to fill the void at left guard, Dozier could essentially take a “redshirt” year to acclimate to the position and to the speed of the NFL. There are plenty of other late-round, developmental options. St. Louis will most certainly take at least one before the night is over.

 

Tight End

With Mike McNeill out the door, St. Louis currently has only three players to fill their hybrid tight end/fullback position on the roster; that includes Jared Cook, who is certainly more receiver than he is tight end. At this point in the draft, the available personnel will likely include mostly “well-rounded” prospects, who figure to be No.2 or No.3, rotational players. One prospect that stands out is Arthur Lynch, the former teammate of Aaron Murray, who is a viable pass-catching/in-line blocker hybrid player. If Murray is the pick in Round 4, giving him his college tight end to grow with wouldn’t be the worst decision in the world. Like offensive line, there are plenty of options remaining at tight end. Jeff Fisher and Les Snead will add one by the end of the day.


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  • Kenny Newhouse

    I’d really like Tajh Boyd.

  • Gary Stewart

    the rams did not go qb with their 4th rounder either and if im not mistaken do not have a 5th rounder i think their next pick is 6th round 188 they took maurice alexander a big hitter out of utah state at safety with the 4th at 110, he converted from linebacker, sounds like a hybrid williams may be able to use . my guess is the rams may trade for a kirk cousins or ryan mallett if they do not package their other selections to move up and get one of the 3 SEC qbs or taj boyd or tom savage