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2014 NFL Draft: Updating the St. Louis Rams’ 5 Biggest Needs

Updating the St. Louis Rams' 5 Biggest Needs in 2014 NFL Draft

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams employed a wait-and-see approach to free agency this offseason, and ultimately that tactic paid off with the team retaining OL Rodger Saffold and landing wideout Kenny Britt as well. Though these signings help offset some of the pressing needs for the Rams, they by no means satiate every hole on the roster. These five big needs will still need to be filled via the 2014 NFL Draft for St. Louis to be competitive next season.

5. DT

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

5. DT

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This need may not rank as highly as others for the Rams, but the run defense was pitiful in St. Louis a year ago. Michael Brockers is still developing, but veteran Kendall Langford could be a roster cut due to his high cap number and limited contributions if a replacement can be found. The draft will have plenty of capable interior defenders available, and the Rams should look to land one at some point in the middle rounds.

4. LB

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

4. LB

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

To piggyback on the awful run defense from a year ago at DT, the linebacker spot was also less than stellar last season. James Laurinaitis remains a constant and Alec Ogletree is going to be a good one, but the Rams could still use help on the other side. There will be plenty of help available at the weak side linebacker spot in this draft class and a mid-round pick would be a wise investment for the Rams.

3. QB

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

3. QB

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking quarterback this high on the list of needs has less to do with Sam Bradford's ACL and more to do with the loss of Kellen Clemens. Charlie Whitehurst was signed after Clemens bolted in free agency, but he doesn’t inspire much confidence at all. Given their wealth of selections (12) in this year’s draft, it wouldn’t be a shocker to see the Rams take a guy like Zach Mettenberger in Rounds 2 or 3.

2. OL

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

2. OL

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Rams need help on the offensive line. Rodger Saffold may be back and Jake Long will get healthy, but the line has plenty of holes beyond them. Potential first-round targets could include someone like Jake Matthews early while second and third-round options include guys like Gabe Jackson or Ja’Wuan James. Regardless of position, the Rams just need additional depth in the trenches.

1. FS

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

1. FS

2014 NFL Draft St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

T.J. McDonald has potential to be a good one for St. Louis at SS, but the other spot is an entirely different story. The secondary was a real weakness for the Rams a year ago, and landing someone like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in Round 1 or a versatile defender like Lamarcus Joyner in Round 2 would be a much-needed pick. Look for the Rams to be aggressive in fixing a pass defense that allowed far too many easy completions a year ago.