Rams: Should quarterback or wide receiver be the focus in draft?

Since it’s never to early to talk about the NFL draft, here is my (early) look at what the Rams might be thinking with the draft still a few months away

Los Angeles Rams
2015 record: 7-9
Top need: Quarterback, Wide receiver
Other needs: defensive end, cornerback, center

Assuming the Rams work the free agent and salary cap angles to keep the key components of their current roster intact, they’ll approach the draft in April with two very specific needs.

If addressed, it could be the difference between the Rams being a legitimate division and playoff contender.
But that is a big IF, of course.

The positions in question have been long-term issues for the Rams since the Greatest Show on Turf closed production in the early 2000s.

The ability to secure a franchise quarterback and the elusive No. 1 wide receiver have haunted the Rams recently, epitomized by the No. 1 pick overall they spent on Sam Bradford in 2010 only to give up on him last year by trading him to Philadelphia for Nick Foles.

Foles was unable to stabilize the quarterback position, and if he is still on the roster come training camp he’ll face a stiff competition to re-gain the starting job.

That means the Rams will look hard at quarterback when they select 15th overall.

But with signal callers in such demand by the teams drafting in front of them, there’s no guarantee highly rated Jared Goff (Cal) Paxton Lynch (Memphis) or Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) will be on the board.

If not, the Rams could turn their attention to wide receiver, as they are in desperate need of a game-changing player at that position. Among the names to keep an eye on are Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Tyler Boyd (Pittsburgh) and Corey Coleman from Baylor.

Although the Rams’ defense is playoff ready as currently constructed, they have eight defensive backs that are potential free agents, including their two starting cornerbacks. The Rams have made re-signing cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson a priority and should have the salary cap wiggle room to make it happen. But if one or the other leaves for another team, the Rams could find a suitable replacement in the draft.

That could mean taking a look Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), or Mackensie Alexander from Clemson.

Beyond the first round, the Rams are getting a bit long in the tooth at defensive end and could have a pressing need at center, depending how free agency works out. And considering the flux they might face in the defensive backfield, expect them to address the issue somewhere along the line.


Carson Wentz, QB North Dakota State: A two-year starter, Wentz threw for 3,111 yards and 25 touchdowns and led the Bison to their fourth consecutive FCS Championship as a junior. Then last season, Wentz returned from a broken right wrist that sidelined him for two months to lead NDSU in a fifth-straight title game victory. He finished the season throwing for 1,651 yards and 17 touchdowns and four interceptions while also running for six touchdowns.

Paxton Lynch QB Memphis: At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds Lynch is a surprisingly good athlete with a quick release and a strong enough arm to make all the necessary throws. More of a dual-threat quarterback than a drop-back passer, Lynch has all the tools to be the big-armed quarterback the Rams desperately need. If he’s still around.

Laquon Treadwell WR, Mississippi State: Treadwell was dynamic this past season after suffering a serious leg injury the season before. He finished with 82 catches, 1,153 yards and 11 scores as a Biletnikoff Award finalist, All-American (second team Walter Camp, third team AP), and first-team All-SEC pick by league coaches. The icing on the cake for Treadwell was his performance in his final game for Ole Miss, catching three touchdowns against Oklahoma State in the Rebels’ Sugar Bowl victory.