Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Offensive line
Maybe the Rams know something no one else does about Brandon Washington and Tim Barnes. On paper, there isn't a worse offensive line in the league. LT Greg Robinson and OG Rodger Saffold are the only bankable starters, and Robinson is coming off a rough rookie year. St. Louis needs three new starting linemen, ideally at center, right guard and right tackle. To stay competitive in games, the Rams are built to be a team that runs the football with volume and plays top-notch defense. Therefore, St. Louis should target proficient run blockers in the draft.
No. 2 Team Need: Quarterback
The Rams traded for Nick Foles, but he is entering the final year of his contract. On the field, Foles is best suited to manage games. The Rams are expected to use a second-day pick on a quarterback, although this year's QB class isn't quite brimming with potential future starters in rounds two and three. The system new OC Frank Cignetti intends to run also isn't exactly clear. He will presumably design the offense to maximize Foles' strengths and minimize Foles' weaknesses. Foles is an immobile pocket passer whose mechanics and accuracy tend to nosedive the longer he holds onto the ball. Cignetti should encourage Foles to get the ball out of his hands quickly.
No. 3 Team Need: Wide receiver
The Rams may also target secondary help in the draft. Wide receiver has appeared to be a weakness in St. Louis since the days of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, although poor quarterback play has had a limiting effect on those wideouts' numbers. Particularly if Brian Quick's reconstructed shoulder hinders him into the season, St. Louis will need a legitimate No. 1 receiver. Stedman Bailey is best suited to a No. 2/3 role, while Kenny Britt isn't the vertical presence he once was. Tavon Austin is a bust. The Rams could use a physical tackle breaker after the catch to complement Foles' passing style.
Norris’ Mock Draft
Round 1 (10): OL La’El Collins, LSU - I absolutely love Collins’ fit with the Rams. However, I’m not sure how he fits on the right side - which Evan mentioned as the need. Collins is a mauler who will move his man off the ball in the running game. In the passing game his strength compensates for possible movement deficiencies, but I think Collins moves much better than given credit for.
Round 2 (41): LB Benardrick McKinney, Miss State - My friend Tony Pauline has consistently linked McKinney to the Rams, either after trading back in the first round or trading up from this selection. The team can easily move on from James Laurinaitis after this season, but who knows if they are willing to. McKinney is an aggressive linebacker who prefers to move forward and intelligently work through defenders. The Rams lack that among their linebackers.
Round 3 (72): WR Kenny Bell, Nebraska - It is difficult to nail down which receivers will be available in the third round. Bell should be selected earlier than many are predicting. There is body control, agility, and speed in his game.
Round 4 (119): QB Garrett Grayson, Colorado State - The Rams are likely in the market for a quarterback, but the pickings are slim. Grayson has experience working through “progressions,” albeit many were simplified, but teams will like that background. His ceiling might be as a backup with a chance to start in spot situations.
Round 6 (215): EDGE Cedric Reed, Texas - There were high expectations for Reed, but the edge rusher was limited due to a meniscus injury. I was actually impressed with the flashes Reed produced. The Rams likely need to re-do Chris Long’s deal next offseason.
Round 7 (227): OL Trenton Brown, Florida - More mass up front. Brown likely plays guard at the NFL level. He is a behemoth who will need to use his power to compensate for a lack of movement. This fits the line of thinking that the Rams want to focus on a powerful running game.
Rams Current First-Team Offense
QB: Nick Foles
RB: Tre Mason
WR: Brian Quick
WR: Kenny Britt
TE: Jared Cook
TE: Lance Kendricks
LT: Greg Robinson
C: Tim Barnes
RG: Rodger Saffold
RT: Garrett Reynolds
Rams Current First-Team Defense
LE: Chris Long
RE: Robert Quinn
DT: Aaron Donald
NT: Michael Brockers
MLB: James Laurinaitis
WLB: Alec Ogletree
SLB: Akeem Ayers
CB: E.J. Gaines
CB: Janoris Jenkins
FS: Rodney McLeod
SS: T.J. McDonald