LA Rams rumors heating up linking team to this Pac-10 QB

Even as the LA Rams appear to have a stop-gap measures in place for the backup quarterback role, Rams rumors are heating up that link the Rams to Washington QB Michael Penix.

Super Bowl LVII - Previews, Pat McAfee
Super Bowl LVII - Previews, Pat McAfee / Mike Lawrie/GettyImages

Invariably, you seek to add when it's plentiful, not when you need it. That is true of crops that ripen and are purchased at the grocery store. It's true when you seek a loan, as having plenty of money in your bank account makes you far less of a credit risk. And it's true for NFL general managers, who must not only balance the roster needs of the team in the current year, but must adapt their thinking to the ebb and flow of positional talent in the NFL Draft.

To fans, the outcry of draft needs is based on what happened the year before, in total. The subtle improvements of young players do not constitute a solution. What do I mean? Rookie NT Kobie Turner put up 9.0 quarterback sacks in 2023. And yet, his rookie season was entirely different in terms of his production. In the first eight games of the season (before the BYE), Turner put up 1.5 QB sacks and 34 tackles. After the BYE, Turner put up 23 tackles, but his pass rush jumped to 7.0 QB sacks.

That's 7.0 QB sacks over nine games.

I have no doubt that the team will add some pass rush help in the 2024 NFL Draft. There will also be the occasion for the team to add help up and down the roster. Yes, even to add a kicker (although I suspect that kicker will be selected in Round 6 or 7). And yet the Rams rumored interest in adding a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft continues to persist. So let's explore the fact that the front office may view the 2024 NFL Draft as the right time and opportunity to select a franchise QB.

QB talent supply is at a peak in 2024

If you shop produce, you don't shop for apples in the dead of winter from a local orchard. You must plan that purchase ahead of time, when the harvest comes in, and then plan to store and use them while they are still fresh. That could mean baking and freezing pies, making applesauce, or simply overindulging in fresh apples. But however you view that scenario, the strategy involves acquiring apples at their peak availability today, and planning to make use of them later.

In many ways, the abundance of young quarterback talent in the 2024 NFL Draft falls along those lines. Why shouldn't the Rams choose a quarterback?

The Rams have an opportunity with the 19th overall selection in this draft to add a quarterback who can become the heir apparent to starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. Such as who? Well, the latest Rams rumors continue to link the team to Washington quarterback Michael Penix. Unlike some draft projections, the rumors suggest if the team wants him, they will need to select him with the 19th overall pick.

So the question is, will he be worth it?

I suppose that depends on your value system. If you perceive the value of a true NFL starting quarterback, then a 19th overall pick is a bargain for a starting quarterback who can win in the NFL. And there is the rub after all. It's tough to get behind selecting a prospect with such a valuable pick when that player may not compete for a year or two. Or, worst of all, he arrives to training camp and is unable to keep pace with his development track.

19. Quarterback. Michael Penix Jr.. Michael Penix Jr.. player. NFL Draft Buzz. Washington. Michael Penix Draft profile. NFL Draft profile. 51

But as far as we can tell, Michael Penix is thought to be a quarterback who can flourish in the NFL. Don't take my word for it. Former Rams star quarterback Kurt Warner shares his view:

That follows the story out of ESPN that former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum has mocked Washington QB Michael Penix to the Rams at the 19th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Are the Rams interested in Penix? Even as the team appears to be arming for a Super Bowl run in 2024, there are multiple reasons why having their successor at quarterback on the roster now makes complete sense.

Penix is a pocket passer who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 216 pounds. He has the size of an NFL quarterback, and the largest hands of this draft class (for gripping the football effectively). But what is most attractive about him is his ability to lead and rally the troops on the football field. The weakest attribute of Penix is the fact that some believe that he would benefit from sitting behind an NFL starter.

I am neither endorsing or decrying any Rams interest in adding Michael Penix this year. He won't last long, not with his skillsets and maturity. And so, I can see the logic of the Rams opting to add him in the 2024 NFL Draft. I hope that you can too.

Thanks for reading.