As part of our 2010 NFL Draft coverage, I will be breaking down positional needs for all 32 teams, starting in reverse alphabetical order. Next up is the St. Louis Rams. Check out other team needs by clicking here.
A team doesn’t land the first overall pick in the draft without having a ton of holes that need to be addressed before the start of a new season. But even with all the areas of need that the Rams have, it all starts with the quarterback, which should be the Rams’ top priority this offseason. Marc Bulger turns 33 in July and ever since he signed a six-year, $65 million contract extension in 2007 he’s been worthless. Whether it comes in free agency or the draft, the Rams must upgrade the quarterback position this offseason and close the book on the Bulger era in St. Louis. They can’t possibly head into 2010 with Bulger at the top of the quarterback depth chart, especially considering they select at the top of each round in April and seeing as how Michael Vick could probably be had via trade. Rams GM Billy Devaney is familiar with Vick from their time together in Atlanta and Steve Spagnuolo has had nothing but positive things to say about the troubled quarterback so far this offseason. Vick could be acquired for cheap and while he certainly wouldn’t be a long-term answer, he would bring some excitement to the position and give the Rams more playmakers on offense. If not, the Rams could look at drafting a signal caller in one of the first two rounds.
2 & 3. Defense
The Rams need help on all three levels of their defense, so I might as well make defense all one category. Leonard Little and James Hall are both free agents and neither is a viable option anymore as a full-time starter. The Rams might bring one of them back as a situational pass-rusher, but the bottom line is that the defensive end position opposite Chris Long needs to be addressed. St. Louis also needs to add depth to the interior of its defensive line after Adam Carriker missed the entire 2009 season after tearing a muscle in his right shoulder during the preseason. Many pundits believe that the Rams will select either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy with the first overall pick in April, which certainly makes sense.
Outside linebacker is also a significant need for the Rams. 2009 second round pick James Laurinaitis was outstanding as a rookie last year, finishing with the team lead in tackles and emerging as the defensive quarterback. But after the team released Chris Draft and traded Will Witherspoon to the Eagles in October, it was left ultra-thin at both outside linebacker positions. David Vobora played well after serving a four-game suspension last season and Larry Grant will get an opportunity to compete for a starting job next year in training camp, but both players are unspectacular options, as is Paris Lenon. Whether it’s through free agency or the draft, the outside linebacker position will be an area that Devaney will address.
Cornerback is another position that the Rams will look hard at this offseason. Bradley Fletcher could be a long-term answer at the cornerback position opposite Ron Bartell, but there’s concern that he may not be ready for the start of the 2010 season after the tore his LCL and ACL in October last year. Even if Fletcher is ready, the Rams still need depth at the position.
Receiver, tight end, right guard and tackle (if the Rams don’t bring back Alex Barron, then tackle would definitely be a top 3 priority) and are all needs for St. Louis as well.
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Tags: 2010 NFL Team Needs, Adam Carriker, Billy Devaney, Bradley Fletcher, Chris Draft, David Vobora, Gerald McCoy Rams, James Hall, James Laurinaitis, Leonard Little, Marc Bulger, Michael Vick Rams, Ndamukong Suh Rams, Paris Lenon, Rams offseason needs, Rams offseason rumors, Rams team needs, Ron Bartell, St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Rams team needs, Steve Spagnuolo, Will Witherspoon