Should the Rams give up on 2015 in hopes of a new QB?

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Tanking a season is something that comes up in all professional sports. Most leagues allow the worst teams to select at the highest positions when it comes time to divvy up draft picks. A backwards reward system if you will. Your team was very bad last season, so here is a chance to select a very good player. Tanking is certainly a taboo topic among die hard fans, but cannot be ignored. Why not throw away a few games if you know the team has no shot at a championship? It’s a sure fire way to jump in the fast lane for improvement, right? Not necessarily. There are far too many unknowns when it comes to these types of things, but let’s say for a moment the Rams didn’t quite play up to snuff in 2015 in hopes of landing a top 5 pick to take their quarterback of choice.

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The list of quarterback prospects that will be eligible for the 2016 NFL draft contains only a few potential first round selections. As things sit now, all projections are based off the 2014 season, so things may change by the time the NFL draft rolls around again next year, but let’s take a look at some potential first round selections.

The consensus #1 quarterback prospect for 2016 is Connor Cook out of Michigan State. As things sit now, Cook is not a top 5 selection, but with another successful season in 2015, he could find himself in the top 10-15 picks for the right team. Prime territory for the Rams selection. Cook was eligible for the 2015 draft, but chose to stay for his senior year at Michigan State. A decision that will benefit him moving forward. Last year Cook threw for over 3,200 yards, 24 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. As only a second year starter at Michigan State, these numbers showed great progression from 2013. The Spartans play a  pro-style offense, and Cook has shown he has the big arm to play at the next level, but there are some inconsistencies. He needs to work on his lower-half and get better on his feet. His accuracy, while pinpoint at times, is non-existent occasionally. Cook has good size and is a proven leader on the field, something a young Rams team could gravitate towards. He has some work to do yet, but with another good year at Michigan State, Cook could certainly live up to his high first round grade.

Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Nipping at Cook’s heels is another very highly rated prospect from Penn State, Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg was the blue chip recruit for former head coach Bill O’Brien, current head coach of the Houston Texans. He was named Big-Ten Freshman of the year in 2013, and improved his stat line in 2014 despite having a very weak supporting cast. Failing to crack 2,700 passing yards last year should not be counted heavily against Hackenberg. One of the worst offensive lines in college football forced Hackenberg into quick throws and broken plays. Entering his junior year, Hackenberg has the physical tools to play at the next level. Good size, at 6’4″ 234 lbs., and the ability to push the ball downfield. He should be on quite a few teams radars including the Rams. Another good year at Penn Sate and Hackenberg may be able to separate himself from Cook atop the draft board.

After Cook and Hackenberg, you find two of the more interesting prospects in the mix for next years draft. Cardale Jones from Ohio State, and Jonathan Goff from California.