For years, St. Louis Rams fans have overcome the agony of frustrating seasons by looking forward to the NFL Draft. Each class could be the one to restore the organization to its elite status from a decade ago. Each player has had the potential to be a franchise-altering force. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, but a strong foundation is in place moving forward.
Now, 69 days until the 2014 NFL Draft, the Rams find themselves in an enviable position. Scratch that. They find themselves in two enviable positions: second and 13th, the slots at which the Rams will be drafting in the first round.
At both positions, the team will have the opportunity to significantly upgrade the roster.
Maybe South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus best athlete (“freak” is the word so endearingly attached to him) in the draft, is the pick at no. 2. Do the Rams need Clowney? Probably not. But then again, when has any coach ever complained of too many good players at a position?
Perhaps former Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is more the Rams’ flavor. During the NFL Scouting Combine, he clearly established himself as the top wide receiver, and maybe one of the top talents in the draft, period. But the Rams have spent high draft picks on wide receivers in each of the last two drafts.
Former Auburn tackle Greg Robinson opened eyes at the Combine and staked his claim to the top tackle. With all the adjustments potentially occurring on the offensive line for the Rams, it seems Robinson would be a welcome addition. Of course, head coach Jeff Fisher has never selected an offensive lineman in the first round.
The team could auction off the second overall pick, and seems to be all ears on any offers. The trade with the Washington Redskins prior to the 2012 Draft could be the gift that keeps on giving.
Having the 13th pick gives the Rams additional flexibility to draft another one of “their” guys or acquire more picks by trading it away. The options are plentiful.
Which is all the more reason why the Rams have to nail this draft. They have been presented a prime opportunity to improve an already solid team. This draft is being labeled as one of the deepest in years. The Rams can take the top talent, or they can collect a bevy of picks and reshape the roster with an influx of talented youngsters.
There will be plenty of speculation and smokescreens in the coming weeks. But in their positions, the Rams have the ability to work the draft to ensure they get the players they want.