"Rams need a legitimate number one wideout!" "Rams need an offensive tackle since Jake Long is injured!" "Rams need a quarterback since Sam Bradford is a bum that we're paying way too much" Blah. Blah. Blah. There's so much talk going around for what the Rams need and where they need to improve when a lot of people are just... wrong. Going into the 2014 NFL Draft, the Rams actually have a pretty solid team that could get into the playoffs...if they were in a different division. The Rams have holes, but not nearly as many as fans and analysts claim. There's areas the Rams need to add some depth but for the most part they're in great shape for the future. So which positions do the Rams need to absolutely fill in the draft this year? Keep in mind that a lot can change before the draft comes, but here is my personal opinion on what the Rams truly do need.
#1 Wideout - Okay yeah we really do need an actual #1 receiver. But the question is, will it be Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans? This train of thought could change very quickly though if the Rams go out and sign Kenny Britt which is looking more and more realistic by the day. But if we miss out on Britt, this need becomes more pressing. The Rams have a lot of young receivers and I know Fisher and Snead want these guys to develop, but what if they don't? This will be the third year for both Brian Quick and Chris Givens. Quick has never been able to establish himself and time is not on his side. Givens had a very good rookie season but saw his production decline and his drops increase. If the Rams find themselves with the chance to get a top wideout in the draft...I think they have to take it.
Free Safety - The Rams have two first round picks and a lot of people are assuming they'll go FS with the 13th pick of the draft. While I'm not sure if I agree with that move, I admit this is a big need for the Rams. HaHa Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor are two great athletes, I'm just not sure if they're worth that high of a pick. If the Rams were to trade down a bit to take one of those two guys between 16-20, I would be on board. But at 13 there's too much talent at other positions to consider one of those two guys as the best on the board. Bringing me to...
Cornerback - Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins will be a solid 1-2 punch with a few more years in the league. A lot of people loved Jenkins in his rookie year but I was hesitant to jump on that train. He has big play written all over him...but big play for who is the question. The guy can bring one to the house and then get beat deep just as quickly. Jenkins is just far too inconsistent and that was shown more last season. Johnson has the size and skill to develop into a top corner for the Rams but he just needs the experience. With the Rams signing Greg Reid and playing in a system that has them mostly in the Nickel formation, it's possible cornerback may not be a big need. But with the inconsistencies and the uncertainty of Greg Reid, if you can take a corner like Justin Gilbert at #13 it's something you have to consider.
Offensive Guard - A lot of people have the Rams taking an offensive tackle...I say offensive guard is a bigger need for us. On the left side you have Jake Long, on the right side you have Joe Barksdale who everyone forgets. Barksdale did a fantastic job stepping in last season and given another year to start he could turn into a premier right tackle for the Rams. That being said, with Saffold getting possible time at left tackle due to Long's recovery that leaves two holes at the OG position. The Rams can go any number of ways: trade down later into the first round or take an offensive guard in the second round. It is something that has to be looked at though if we plan on being able to block the big defensive tackles of the NFC West.
Quarterback - Hear me out here. I don't mean a quarterback to take the starting job over Sam Bradford. I don't even mean a quarterback to be 2nd string now that we have Shaun Hill. What I mean is we need a quarterback who can sit and develop under those two players and learn the system and the offense in case of the absolute worst case scenario. Austin Davis isn't an answer and the fact he's still on the roster in any capacity confuses me. The Rams don't have to spend a 1-3 round pick on a QB that could end up being an impact player. The talent at the QB position spans to the later rounds...players like Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Tajh Boyd, and David Fales could be available in those later rounds. Drafting any one of those players and developing them could prepare the Rams for the future while giving them a cheap backup for Sam.