It is common knowledge that the Los Angeles Rams are coming into the 2017 NFL Draft with less options than most teams. The fact becomes more debilitating when considering all the holes the Rams’ need to fill on both offense and defense. No position groups pose a bigger need to the team that their receivers, followed closely by the need for players in the secondary.
With quarterback Jared Goff ready to start his first full season as the number one signal caller, he needs top talent to enable the passing game. On the other side, the team will need a strong passing defense to hold off the talent on the other teams.
Both units will need to be addressed in the draft. In fact, the Rams 2017 depends upon a proper drafting of these position groups.
Los Angeles Rams Top Draft Needs
Wide Receiver Priority
Though the safety position will be something on which the team will need to focus, the need for a quality receiver surpasses even that need.
The message has been that Jared Goff is the center piece of the new look Rams and the team has already brought in Robert Woods to boost their dismal passing game. However, with Tavon Austin not consistent enough to move forward, the team will need a true number one receiver. Of course, with their sparse salary cap, the draft will be their only option.
The Rams brought almost no offense back with them to Los Angeles and the fan base suffered because of it. It did not help that coach Jeff Fisher was flailing and the management was doing nothing about it. If for nothing else than to appease the fans, the Rams needs to use their prime picks to get an impactful receiver.
The Rams are already a young squad and with a new coach in the mix, the time is ripe to pick up a young receiver with which they can mold into their system. Even though Sean McVay has made his name working with a tight end focus, a big threat can be the difference between Goff’s arrival and talk using descriptive terms like “bust.”
Count on the Rams using an early pick, if not their first, on scooping up a target for Goff and a tall, fast one at that. With a deep threat on the roster, the Rams will finally be able to start developing a full, dynamic offensive attack.
The Rams defense was recently considered a growing force in the league, but a few poor personnel moves have weakened the unit as a whole.
In the past couple years, the team has lost strong players like cornerback Janoris Jenkins, safety Rodney McLeod, and safety T.J. McDonald. They managed to retain their star cornerback Trumaine Johnson, but at serious salary cap impact, placing the franchise tag on him twice.
From a general manager perspective, these moves may seem head-scratching. Fans must sit by idly as this strong class evaporates in front of them.
With the Sean McVay era heading into full force, repairs to this unit have begun. The team picked up former Denver Bronco Kayvon Webster to compete for the spot opposite Johnson. However, with McDonald now absent, they need to draft a safety that can start on week one.
There has been talk of moving slot corner Lamarcus Joyner to the safety position, at least in rotation. This will obviously be experiment-based and may not be the answer. They will still need to pick up a true safety in the draft and be sure that he can handle the starting responsibilities right away.
The Rams will look for a coverage specialist, no doubt, with Wade Phillips’ expertise being in the secondary. Also the move to a 4-3 defense will alleviate the need for the rover style of linebacker/safety fans saw last year with Gregg Williams using Maurice Alexander as a true dual-purpose player.
The point is that this team will be looking to take a top-quality safety as their second overall priority in the 2017 draft. If they can pick up a young player who can grow with this system and these players, the defense will be primed to pick up where they left off and finally lock in some consistency.