We got started talking about the Rams off-season today, and I have a preliminary wish list of what I’d like to see them get. Here it is:
Free agent WR Sidney Rice, Minnesota. Rice provides a seasoned deep threat at the age of 24. Rookie wide receivers are a crapshoot. For every Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant, we can name Charles Rogers, Michael Crabtree or Mark Clayton. Not that I’m scared to take a WR first (more on that later), I simply want a proven commodity. Vincent Jackson, Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards all have varying degrees of substance problems, and Steve Smith of the Giants hasn’t played in a West Coast offense. So, Rice is my guy there.
Free agent WLB Chad Greenway, Minnesota. Far and away the best 4-3 outside linebacker in free agency. He would be a great addition to a Rams defense that lacks a true playmaker at outside linebacker.
Free agent G Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay. Tampa’s version of Adam Timmerman. A 27 year old, five year player who’s 6-3, 313. Once again, having played in Tampa Bay under Jon Gruden, understands the system the Rams are running. They need a rugged force on the offensive line’s interior, and Joseph is equally adept at run blocking and pass blocking and has been a Pro Bowl right guard (2008).
Oklahoma State WR Jordan Blackmon. Blackmon followed Dez Bryant with the Cowboys, and at number 14 would be a great complement to Rice at WR. If he’s not ready off the bat (as Bryant wasn’t with the Cowboys), the Rams still have their current receivers, plus Clayton and Donnie Avery coming back, to tide them over.
In no particular order in the draft, I’d like to see the Rams reinforce the Greenway acquisition with a guy like OLB Bruce Carter from North Carolina, get a young DT to develop behind 33-year old Fred Robbins, get a strong safety to develop (West Virginia’s Robert Sands?) and get a speed back to spell and eventually replace Steven Jackson. K-State’s Daniel Thomas has burst, but not that blazing straight-line speed. Other running backs worth a mention…and it’s early…are Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter and West Virgina’s Noel Devine. Signing Ahmad Bradshaw of the Giants or Darren Sproles of San Diego wouldn’t be too bad.
The needs are clearly defined for the Rams. Playmakers on offense, a sturdy guard, playmakers at outside linebacker and developmental depth on the defensive line and secondary. If they get that, the Rams can make another move up in 2011.