The St. Louis Rams made a couple of big moves with the additions of OT Jake Long and TE Jared Cook on the open market, but lost a handful of solid contributors like CB Bradley Fletcher, WR Danny Amendola, WR Brandon Gibson and RB Steven Jackson in the process.
Let’s take a look at the Rams’ updated team needs heading into the 2013 NFL Draft (in no particular order).
1. Wide Receiver
Wide receiver was the Rams’ most pressing need before Brandon Gibson took his talents down to South Beach and Danny Amendola landed in New England, so they need to find a new tool for Sam Bradford right away on draft day.
Among the players on the active roster, the team’s leading receiver last year was fourth-round rookie Chris Givens (42 receptions for 698 yards and three TDs), second-year tight end Lance Kendricks (42 receptions for 519 yards and four scores) and second-year receiver Austin Pettis, who caught three more passes (30) for five more yards (261) and four more TDs (four) than he did in his rookie year.
Another rookie by the name of Brian Quick (second round pick) also caught 11 passes for 156 yards and two TDs.
Look for St. Louis to select Cordarrelle Patterson, Tavon Austin or Keenan Allen with one of its first-round picks. The team could also choose to take another receiver to compliment Patterson, Austin or Allen and add more talent and depth to the position.
2. Defensive Back
With the departures of Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell, St. Louis needs to solidify the secondary with two new safeties through the draft. The team picked up CB Janoris Jenkins (second round) and CB Trumaine Johnson (third round) on the second day of last year’s draft and could decide to do the same thing at safety in this year’s draft on April 26, which features the second and third round.
Several solid options should be available in the first three rounds, which could include Kenny Vaccaro, Matt Elam, Jonathan Cyprien, David Amerson and Phillip Thomas, along with Eric Reid and Tyrann Mathieu out of LSU.
3. Offensive Line
Coach Jeff Fisher knows better than anyone that a strong offensive line is one of the main keys to the success of any team. Adding new weapons is just half of the equation to improving the production under center from Sam Bradford.
The addition of Jake Long will be a big benefit, but more upgrades are still needed up front. D.J. Fluker and Menelik Watson could be considered with one of the Rams’ first-round picks due the rumors that the team will trade Rodger Saffold.
And albeit Harvey Dahl looked solid last year at right guard, the team needs a find a new starter to line up next to Long on the left side. Jonathan Cooper could be too talented to pass up at No. 16, but Larry Warford, David Bakhtiari, Kyle Long, Travis Fredrick and Barrett Jones could be solid available options on the second day of the draft if the team opts not to take a lineman in round one.
Related Team Needs:
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- Oakland Raiders Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Philadelphia Eagles Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Detroit Lions Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Cleveland Browns Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Arizona Cardinals Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Buffalo Bills Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- New York Jets Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Tennessee Titans Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- San Diego Chargers Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Miami Dolphins Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- Carolina Panthers Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
- New Orleans Saints Updated 2013 NFL Draft Team Needs
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter. Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!