It’s no secret that the St. Louis Rams will have to address their lack of depth at the wide receiver position following the free agent exodus on the outside. Both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson are with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins now respectively, and someone still has to catch passes from quarterback Sam Bradford in 2013. Even though the team has some highly drafted talent from a year ago returning, the 2013 NFL Draft seems to be the most logical place for the club to replenish the depleted receiver position.
As would be expected from General Manager Les Snead and Head Coach Jeff Fisher, the team is leaving no stones unturned in its search for the next big talent at wideout. Keenan Allen, Tavon Austin, Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson, Terrance Williams, and Quinton Patton have all visited the Rams as potential options for the team in various rounds of the upcoming draft. Allen, Austin, Hunter, and Patterson are all seen as first round material, but Williams could be a second round option while Patton may even sneak through into round three.
Just because these guys will be drafted a little doesn’t diminish their potential to become immediate contributors in the upcoming season. In last year’s draft, Brian Quick was taken early in round two while Chris Givens was selected in the fourth round. Draft position didn’t dictate on-field impact however, as Quick’s 11 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns paled in comparison to Givens’ 42 grabs for 698 yards and three trips to the end zone.
In short, it seems the Rams are much less concerned about which round they find their next productive receiver in and much more focused on making sure they land a high-quality player. This approach will serve them well as historically the explosive playmakers in any given draft class tend to rise as the draft nears. That seems to be the case with the small but impactful Austin who at 5’9” 174lbs. comes with some serious size concerns, but has tremendously dynamic open field ability. Teams like the Buffalo Bills at number eight overall, or even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 13 or Carolina Panthers at 14 could easily scoop up Austin before he gets to the Rams at 16.
While this is all conjecture at this point, it doesn’t do the Rams any harm to dot all of their I’s and cross all of their T’s. This team has clearly done its homework and that will only work to their benefit when the draft arrives. Regardless of which talented wideout the Rams end up with or which round he is ultimately selected in, rest assured that the team will land a solid weapon to their improving offensive arsenal.