There’s been a growing contingency among fans this offseason pleading for the St. Louis Rams to add yet another wide receiver to their arsenal of weapons in the 2014 NFL Draft. The young corps the team already boasts hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations thus far, and many are growing restless waiting for results to finally materialize. But even though these young guys have yet to produce, patience rather than haste should win out for the Rams in the upcoming draft.
It’s been since 2008 that the Rams have had one wideout even reach 700 receiving yards when the great Torry Holt did so back in 2008. The usual benchmark of 1,000 yards, which Holt hit in 2007, is just a far off dream land for this team over the past half-decade. But yards and statistics aren’t the key to winning games as general manager Les Snead would explain to ESPN when asked about the team’s group of receivers. He maintains the notion that age is the main number in the Rams’ favor, and that idea is a very prudent one. When asked about the general consensus that the team still needs a No. 1 receiver, Snead was very matter of fact in saying:
“I go back to this and the answer is really ‘no’ on that. I think our receivers right now, I truly believe as they progress and the oldest guy just finished his third year, we cannot have another receiver around here and we’re going to be a good football team.”
Austin Pettis is that eldest member of the receiving corps who just finished year three, and he won’t turn 26 years of age until May. Though this group is still young there’s no denying the fact that the talent they currently possess remains untapped. Some of that has to fall on the shoulders of quarterback Sam Bradford who had been somewhat underwhelming when on the field up until this year when a torn ACL sent him to the sidelines for the remainder of the season in Week 7.
Though it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Rams add a value receiver – a la Chris Givens (fifth-round 2012) – later in the draft, it would be crazy to think they need to spend a pick in the first three rounds on yet another pass catcher. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are still in the infantile stages of their NFL development. The aforementioned Givens and Brian Quick need the starting quarterback on the field to have true success. As for Pettis, he is Mr. Reliable for this offense, and when Bradford was on the field he remained one of the most important players on third-down.
For those fans who think a Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins would fix a receiving corps that isn’t broken, keep dreaming. The Rams need to address many other areas of the roster – namely offensive line and secondary – before they even consider another receiver in the 2014 draft.