3 reasons why LA Rams should develop QBs to trade in the future
By Bret Stuter
Reason I: LA Rams have to compete with the 49ers
While the San Francisco 49ers had taken a rather unorthodox path to stockpiling quarterbacks, the outcome of those swings and misses have placed their team into a rather advantageous situation in the end. A year ago, the 49ers held a rather full quarterback room. They had selected QB Trey Lance with the third overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, had a returning veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, and then selected rookie quarterback Brock Purdy with the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.
The confusion over whose team it was compelled the 49ers to repeatedly assure their fans that this was Trey Lance's team. But when the 2022 NFL season started, that all proved to be a scripted narrative, and the 49ers quickly went off script. Now, in 2023, the 49ers' quarterback situation is once more as confusing as 2022, as the team is trying to determine which injured quarterback on the roster will heal first: Trey Lance or Brock Purdy. Some opportunistic teams are already asking about QB Trey Lance:
Now I am not suggesting that the LA Rams play follow the leader and simply go where the San Francisco 49ers go. But the 49ers stumbled of late, and have landed on their feet in the process. In short, the team drafted a top quarterback prospect in the belief that the front office would have no trouble unloading the veteran in free agency. Since Garoppolo had a bum-throwing shoulder, the 49ers were forced to keep both Lance and Garoppolo on their roster. So why add Purdy?
Rams need more than a game clock manager under center
Purdy was that insurance policy who served to ensure that the 49ers would have a viable quarterback just in case. Surprisingly, that just-in-case scenario translated into nine games for the rookie. Of those nine games, he played in six contests as the starter, and won all six games.
The 49ers system does not ask too much of their quarterbacks. They tout a great defense, a great rushing scheme, and a robust offensive line. A seventh-round drafted rookie quarterback can go undefeated piloting that offense and do. The LA Rams must analyze what the 49ers do right, and either do it better or find a way to neutralize their advantages. One way is simply to acknowledge that their offense needs more than a game-clock manager.
The Rams must acknowledge that fact if the team is to do better. If the Rams do so, they can rethink how the Rams roster commits to their backup quarterback position. Rather than treat the position as sunken costs, the Rams can treat the role as a pipeline of talent from the draft to the trade market. As the Rams become successful at creating better backups, their roster talent pool improves as does their return in the trade market.
The Rams are not the only NFL team searching for competent play at the quarterback position. But the team can position itself as a unique source for future NFL quarterbacks by rethinking their own backup quarterback position as a pipeline that flows, rather than as a swam that remains stagnant.
The Rams roster building process is pretty radical in 2023. Perhaps, a few tweaks like creating a pipeline for the backup quarterback position will help the team to avoid such radical do-overs in the future.