As a Rams fan, here is my wish list of whom the Rams should draft in the NFL 2016 draft.
This year will mark 21 years since the Rams left Los Angeles to go play in St Louis. Now they have returned for another shot in one of the biggest sports markets in the world. Over the past three years, the Rams have had six different starting quarterbacks: Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis, Shaun Hill, Nick Foles and Case Keenum. With none of them being able to lead the Rams to their first winning season since 2003, they decided to make a trade with the Tennessee Titans to acquire the first pick overall in the 2016 offseason.
Round 1 Pick 1 Jared Goff QB California
Jared Goff decided to enter the draft this year after having his best year in college, throwing for 4,719 yards and 43 touchdowns while only throwing 13 interceptions. In his three years as a starting quarterback for the California Bears, he succeeded at Cal by being calm in the pocket and throwing the ball deep down the field. He also managed to limit throwing turnovers having thrown only 30 interceptions in 1,569 pass attempts. In the 2015 season, the Rams finished last in total offensive yards per game (297.6) and passing yards per game (175.3). In last year’s draft they picked Todd Gurley as the 10th overall pick in the first round he would end finishing 3rd in rushing yards with 1,106 rushing yards only behind Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin, he also added 10 rushing touchdowns. With having one of the fastest wide receivers in football in Tavon Austin and one of the best-running backs in Todd Gurley, adding a quarterback that can spread the field and pick up their speed of play would improve their offense and help them be able to compete for their first division title since 2003.
Honorable Mention: Carson Wentz QB North Dakota State
While Carson Wentz has several tools that could make him a great quarterback his internal clock has come into question, he also struggles reading defenses and tends to force passes into tight coverage. He has only 22 games as a starter so there isn’t too much film out on him yet.
Round 4 Pick 110 Miles Killebrew SS Southern Utah
After losing Safety Rodney Mcleod in free agency, this year they will look to add one in this year’s draft. Miles has been called the hardest hitting safety in this year’s draft, as a senior last year, he had 132 tackles seven pass breakups and seven passes defended. Over the last several years, the Rams have been known for having an aggressive and hard-hitting defense. Miles is a linebacker/safety hybrid who would fit in perfectly with the direction the rams have taken their defense. Shortly before the trade deadline in the 2014 season, the Rams made a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and acquired safety Mark Barron. He was one of the several players that stepped up and helped a banged up Rams defense last year when former Rams Linebacker James Laurinaitis got injured. Mark filled in and started in 12 games while racking up 76 tackles, 37 assists, and three fumbles, mostly playing linebacker even though he has played safety for the majority of his career. If they can have some of the same success with Miles he will be a major steal in this year’s draft. He will also play a big role on special teams, being recruited out of high school special teams was one of the only things that got him on the team.
Honorable Mention: KJ Dillion SS West Virginia
KJ Dillion needs to polish his mechanics in order to succeed, on several occasions when a blown coverage would occur he caused unnecessary roughness penalties by grabbing on the opponents jersey. During the Combine, he only managed to get 11 reps on the bench press and concerns some scouts.
Round 4 Pick 113 Kenny Lawler WR California
A quarterback is only as good as his best wide receivers, Kenny Lawler was one of Jared Goff’s favorite targets in his three years at California. At 6 foot 2 inches tall he is just the thing the Rams need, with Tavon Austin only being 5 foot 8 inches tall he has been a great playmaker for the Rams but they lack a red zone threat who can win jump balls. In his college career, he had 1,706 yards receiving and 27 touchdowns he also averaged a touchdown every 5.3 receptions. He is able to reach top speed early and is also a great route runner but has been criticized for his lean frame and scouts worry about his durability. Kenny Britt was the Rams top receiver last year but he seemed to lack the ability to mesh with the Rams system only able to reel in 36 receptions while being targeted 72 times for 681 yards and three touchdowns. Already having a level of comfortability with Jared Goff should help both of them in their transition into the NFL. He has big play potential but tends to drop easy passes on occasion which is fixable with time get ready for the “Bear Raid” style of play to come to Los Angeles as the Rams prepare to have a young dynamic duo to go along with their young offense.
Honorable Mention: Charone Peake WR Clemson
Even though Charone is the same size as Lawler, Peake struggles to get separation from press coverage or find the hole in zone coverage. He does not show interest in his route when he isn’t the primary target and also doesn’t change his route when the quarterback is in trouble.