NFL

Offseason review: St. Louis Rams

How did the Rams do in the draft?
How did the Rams do in the draft?
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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at FOXSports.com. He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.

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Pre-draft needs

OFFSEASON REVIEWS

NFC East:   | | |

AFC East:   | | |

NFC North: | | |

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NFC South: | | |

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WR, DE, DT, RB, S, OLB, TE (depth)

Draft class

Round 1: Robert Quinn, DE
Round 2: Lance Kendricks, TE
Round 3: Austin Pettis, WR
Round 4: Greg Salas, WR
Round 5: Jermale Hines, S
Round 7: Mikail Baker, CB
Round 7: Jabara Williams, OLB
Round 7: Jonathan Nelson, S

Potential free agents of note

Ken Darby, RB
Laurent Robinson, WR
Mark Clayton, WR
Daniel Fells, TE
Adam Goldberg, G/OT
Cliff Ryan, DT
Gary Gibson, DT

Post-draft needs

DT, OLB (depth), RB (depth), S

Analysis

The Rams were one of the NFL’s most improved teams last season after a six-win increase, but they still failed to make the playoffs. And one of the ways they could get to the postseason is to add talent at two or three key positions.

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In order to help second-year quarterback Sam Bradford take the next step of his promising career, the Rams needed to add at least two receivers in this year’s draft or in free agency. And they already accomplished that in the draft with third-round pick Austin Pettis and fourth-round pick Greg Salas.

Pettis figures to play on the outside while Salas is capable of playing on the inside or outside.

The Rams should be in good shape with slot receiver Danny Amendola, who had a breakout season, and others return like Brandon Gibson, Danario Alexander and Donnie Avery.

Alexander, one of the Rams most intriguing players on offense, has battled knee injuries.

The Rams are hoping Avery, who missed last season due to a torn ACL, could give their passing game the badly-needed speed it had been missing.

The Rams were working on re-signing veteran wide receiver Mark Clayton before the transaction deadline in March. Clayton was playing at a high level before suffering a season-ending knee injury during the Week 5 game against the Detroit Lions.

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With veteran tight end Daniel Fells unsigned, the team attempted to fill the potential void with second-round pick Lance Kendricks. Kendricks was known in scouting circles as being one of the most athletic tight end's available for this year’s draft.

Another key need to fill coming into the draft was at defensive end, and they did with first-round pick Robert Quinn.

Quinn, while he didn’t play last season for the University of North Carolina due to suspension, was rated as the best pure pass rusher for this draft by many personnel sources.

The interior of the defensive line needed to be upgraded, but didn't address defensive tackle in this draft. The Rams probably need to add at least two veteran tackles to help complete the defensive line rotation.

For the second straight draft, the Rams were unsuccessful in adding depth at running back. Steven Jackson turns 28 in July, and while he’s certainly capable of handling a lot of carries, there isn't a viable backup for him under contract. It would probably be wise for them to start thinking about developing his eventual replacement since running backs tend to wear down in their late 20’s.

Tagged: Rams, Mark Clayton, Daniel Fells, Robert Quinn, Lance Kendricks, Austin Pettis, Greg Salas

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