Team Needs: St. Louis Rams
NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 10 Needs
1. RB - 4.0
2. OT - 3.5
3. WR - 3.5
4. OG - 3.0
5. LB - 3.0
6. S - 3.0
7. DT - 2.5
8. CB - 2.5
9. OC - 2.5
10. DE - 2.0
Quarterback - While many jumped off the Bradford bandwagon after a disappointing sophomore year, the new heads of the Rams organization are unlikely to be among them. They will continue to try and surround Bradford with weapons. As for the No. 2 spot, they will likely opt to keep free agent Kellen Clemens over A.J. Feeley since Clemens has experience in Brian Schottenheimer's scheme. If anything, they might look to add a late round developmental prospect. NEED: 1.0
Running Back - The Rams will be on the lookout for the next guy that can replace Steven Jackson as their lead runner. And with Jeff Fisher and Schottenheimer calling the shots, they aren't likely to marginalize the ground attack either, making this position a priority. Players like Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood were band-aid solutions, and both are free agents. They might bring one back, but their focus will likely be using one of their higher picks in the draft to find an heir apparent to Jackson. NEED: 4.0
Fullback - This position was marginalized in Josh McDaniel's offense, but will likely be prioritized again under Schottenheimer. They could opt to go after a veteran on the market, or find a young player in the draft to groom for the future. But it's highly unlikely that Brit Miller will be atop the depth chart when next season starts. NEED: 3.0
Wide Receiver - Their top two options here Mark Clayton and Brandon Lloyd, both of whom are free agents. Lloyd is probably their top priority since he's the only obvious threat they have at the position. CLayton has played well in limited time in St. Louis, but his durability is a major concern. Both guys are will be on the wrong side of 30 when 2012 starts, which means that finding a good young playmaker at this position will also be a priority. While players like Brandon Gibson, Austin Pettis, Greg Salas, and Danny Amendola are nice young receivers, none have the potential to be more than role players. NEED: 3.5
Tight End - Lance Kendricks was a major disappointment in his rookie year, but it's likely the team will give him and Michael Hoomanawanui another shot to form a solid 1-2 punch. They might try and shore up some depth, but it won't be a top priority. NEED: 2.0
Offensive Tackle - The development of Jason Smith has been non-existent and he'll be asked to take a paycut or leave. Rodger Saffold struggled this past year at left tackle, and they could decide to move him to the right side where he could be a better fit. That would require them to find a better left tackle, which will likely come very early in the draft. Protecting Bradford is goign to be a high priority. NEED: 3.5
Offensive Guard - Harvey Dahl will likely move back to his more comfortable right guard spot rather than manning the right tackle spot. They will have to make a decision on whether to bring back either Jacob Bell or Adam Goldberg, both impending free agents. Bell is coming off a knee injury, and Goldberg is more of a backup than starter. If they are intent on remaking their line, it would be smart to find a good young left guard in the draft. NEED: 3.0
Center - Jason Brown has not been the upgrade at the center they were hoping for when they signed him. They could tinker with moving him to guard, where he was fairly solid at in Baltimore before arriving in 2009. If that is the case, then one can expect them to try and solidify this spot in the middle with an upgrade. NEED: 2.5
Defensive Tackle - Fred Robbins and Justin Bannan are a solid pair of starters, but neither are spring chickens and probably best in a rotation. They will be on the lookout for a solid interior presence that they can develop to anchor the middle of their line for years to come. NEED: 2.5
Defensive End - James Hall is 35, Chris Long is solid, and Robert Quinn had an up and down rookie year. But they are fairly solid here. If anything they might add another player to bolster the rotation and eventually replace Hall next year, as he's entering the final year of his contract. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - James Laurinaitis is the only really solid piece they have at this position. They'll look to make some upgrades here, adding some players that are a better fit in Gregg Williams' aggressive, blitzing scheme. That will likely come via the draft. NEED: 3.0
Cornerback - Brad Fletcher has flashed ability, but both he and Ron Bartell have struggled to stay on the field. At the very least, they need to try and enhance their depth, especially trying to find a quality nickel corner. Jerome Murphy, their top candidate is coming off a season-ending ankle injury from this past summer. NEED: 2.5
Safety - Quintin Mikell was not the major upgrade they were hoping for, but he should be a nice fit in Gregg Williams defense. At issue is whether or not Darian Stewart, Craig Dahl, or free agent James Butler offer enough at the free safety positon. The answer is probably no, and finding someone that can perform the ballhawk role that their new defense prefers will likely be a priority. NEED: 3.0
Kicker - Josh Brown is entering the final year of his deal and coming off a down year, but it doesn't seem likely they will be making a move besides bringing in some young competition. NEED: 1.0
Punter - Donnie Jones will turn 32 this year and is a free agent, but he has been solid in St. Louis the past few years, so he should be back. NEED: 1.5
Return Specialist - Nick Miller is a solid punt returner, but they might need to find another body to take over the kickoff return duties if Jerious Norwood is not re-signed. NEED: 2.0
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