Positions: C, MLB, SS, DT, WR, DE
Well when your team goes 2-14, and 5-27 in their last 32 games you have a lot of draft needs. On offense the St. Louis Rams were 31st in scoring with a lowly 14.5 PPG. The Rams were 27th in total yards, 26th in passing, and 25th in rushing. On defense the Rams were 31st in points allowed, 28th in yards allowed, 29th in rushing yards allowed, and 19th in passing yards allowed. So where should we, and where do we start?
Let’s go over one thing the St. Louis Rams desperately need, and that is improved quarterback play. Many fans would love to get rid of Marc Bulger but his 60+ million dollar contract pretty much ensures that the Rams will not select a QB in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Marc was 30th in QB rating behind such greats as Dan Orlovsky & JaMarcus Russell this year. In 2007 Marc also finished 30th behind Hall of Fame candidates Cleo Lemon & Tarvaris Jackson. The Rams need to protect Marc better and provide him with more weapons in 2009.
The Rams have the number two pick in the draft which can be quite costly as we reported here. With the second pick you need to select a franchise type player. The only player I see in that mode at the top of this draft is Michael Crabtree. As we stated in our earlier mock draft we love the selection of Crabtree with this pick. Crabtree can help improve the Rams offense, give Bulger a go-to receiver, and eventually replace Torry Holt.
I believe the Rams can get away without taking an OT with their first pick. I would like to see them pick up a solid center in the second or third round like Alex Mack, Max Unger, or Eric Wood. Remember Orlando Pace and Alex Barron each have a year left on their contract so if you draft on OT someone is going to ride the pine. At a 50+ million dollar price tag that will be a lot to spend on a backup. Remember the Rams have a large quantity in the O-line department already, including John Greco, Adam Goldberg, Mark Setterstrom, and Roy Schuening. Maybe with better coaching we could have a solid line.
So on one hand I would love to see the improved offense taking shape with a better line and Michael Crabtree. On the other hand the Rams need to be strong up this middle. I don’t like any defensive player coming out of this draft well enough to take at #2, however if we could move down I would be all for upgrading the middle of this D. Rey Maualuga is being talked about which would help two-fold as Will Witherspoon could then move to his natural position on the outside. Then what if the Rams could come back with the 35th pick in the draft and get a hammer at Safety like Patrick Chung.
Many 2009 mock drafts have the Rams taking an OT. Of the last 50 mock drafts posted on HailRedskins.com 44 of them have the Rams taking an OT, and 28 of those have the Rams taking Andre Smith from Alabama. I am not sold on Smith, I believe he is actually too large and slow especially to play LT in the NFL. Also his footwork is simply not good enough right now.
With a new coaching staff under Steve Spagnuolo and a new GM in Billy Devaney the Rams will first have to decide on which players they will keep, what free agents they are interested in and based on their philosophy what players they will draft. So hey nobody knows anything yet, but it sure is fun to talk Rams football in January.