After two straight seasons of improvement the St. Louis Rams are primed to make a run at the playoffs next season. Though they are in arguably the NFL's toughest division they are armed with the tools to contend with the best of the best. With the emergence of superstar Robert Quinn and late budding youngsters Tavon Austin and Zac Stacy the Rams have the weapons to be as competitive not only in the NFC West but in the NFL as a whole. But there are still some questions that linger amongst this organization. Will this be a make or break year for Sam Bradford? Can Jeff Fisher get the most out of his young team on every Sunday, on every down? Will the Rams be able to fill the minor holes this offseason to make them a more complete team? These are a few questions the Rams will have to answer before the start of the 2014 season.
With the offseason rapidly approaching NFL Draft talk is second only to the Super Bowl. Over the last two seasons the Rams have worked magic in the draft to only with intelligent selections but through trades (i.e. RGlll trade) and precise movement up and down the draft board. This year looks as though it should be just as promising. The trade of the number 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft now makes this organization look like geniuses. That has turned into two first round picks, including this years number 2 overall pick. Drastically improving the roster should not be difficult this year.
The biggest draft needs of the Rams are:
- Offensive Line
- Wide Receiver
A mean, bone crushing, run stopping outside linebacker would also be a help. Trading down from the number 2 spot is an option and depending on the number 1 overall selection the number 2 pick may become a hot commodity. But if they do decide to stay and make a selection I see them selecting Clemson WR Sammy Watkins there. Although this is a deep year at the Wide Receiver position, Watkins is a cant miss prospect. He has great hands, lightening speed and the power to run through DB's. With there second 1st round selection (somewhere in the 12-15 range) OT or FS should be their main focus. Taylor Lewan OT out of Michigan or HaHa Clinton Dix Safety out of Alabama may be there selection. Lewan came in the season as a Top 10 pick but inconsistency has hurt his stock a tad bit. Dix is an all-purpose safety who can play center field but also come up and make a hit on a ball carrier. Both of these prospects would be great options for the Rams and both could play from day 1. In the later rounds the Rams should look to strengthen their offensive line a little more and add that punishing linebacker they need. Don't be surprised if the Rams draft a QB somewhere in rounds 4-7.
If the Rams can execute this offseason like they have as they did the past two, they will be on their way to a very successful season and maybe a deep run into the playoffs.