After the most successful campaign in more than half of a decade in 2012, the St. Louis Rams prepare for a building experience in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft. General Manager Les Snead along with Head Coach Jeff Fisher did a spectacular job of projecting talent from the collegiate ranks to the pros in last year’s draft, and fans expect similar results again this time around. The opening round is now just one week away, and the anticipation is building around the league for just what will take place on April 25th.
As of right now, the Rams are the holders of eight picks during the seven round selection extravaganza. They have their own picks in every round to go along with an extra first round pick courtesy of the Washington Redskins and the Robert Griffin III trade. There are three big needs that the team must fill with question marks looming at safety, receiver, and outside linebacker.
It’s nearly impossible to make a concrete plan on how to address these needs when there are 31 other teams trying to do the exact same thing. The Rams will have plenty of options at wide receiver throughout the draft, but safety and outside linebacker are two areas where depth may not be as much of a luxury in this year’s draft class. You could even throw running back into the mix as there is clearly some uncertainty surrounding that position for the first time in years with Steven Jackson’s departure this offseason.
Comparing the wide receiver spot to the running back position for the Rams is a very similar conundrum. There will be two second year players vying for the majority of the playing time at both positions with Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson at running back along with Brian Quick and Chris Givens at wideout. Certainly the Rams love the potential that all of these guys bring to the table, but the inexperience and unproven nature at both spots is worrisome.
Obviously the top option at running back is Eddie Lacy, and the Rams clearly won’t be the only team looking to add him. Several teams from picks 21 to 31 could be interested in adding a bruising back like Lacy so St. Louis may have to use at least their 22nd overall selection on the ball carrier if they truly want his services.
As for the receiver position, the Rams would love to add the dynamic Tavon Austin to their offensive equation, but his draft stock has been heading into orbit at this point. Some believe is Austin is poised to be a top 10 selection now with the desire to add a playmaker always rising just before the draft takes place. If he somehow finds his way to the Rams as he did in our collective mock draft here at Rant Sports, they would gladly scoop him up at number 16 overall.
In the end, it seems the closer the draft gets, the more uncertain things become. It is going to be difficult to nail down just who the Rams will select until just before they are placed on the clock by the Commissioner one week from today. What isn’t as difficult to solidify is that GM Snead and HC Fisher will be hard at work over the next week to make sure their draft board is ready for anything.