2010 NFL Draft Preview - St. Louis Rams

New feature at Sports by Blayze. With the draft about a month away, I'll give a team by team preview of the 2010 NFL Draft. With top positional needs and who I think they will ultimately take in the first round. It is sort of my unofficial mock draft, so to speak.

And I will actually finish this, unlike my aborted MLB countdown. This is more a football blog though, right?

2010 record: 1-15
Key additions: QB AJ Feeley, DT Fred Robbins, CB Kevin Dockery, TE Darcy Johnson, OG Hank Fraley
Key departures: WR Ruvell Martin, CB Jonathan Wade
Unrestricted free agents: DE Leonard Little, TE Randy McMichael, RB Samkon Gado, QB Kyle Boller

The St. Louis Rams, once the Greatest Show On Turf, have reverted back to the Rams we knew 15 years ago. They are a league doormat again. Drafting in the top two for a third year in a row, they need help at pretty much every position. They are set at running back, with workhorse Steven Jackson in his prime. Other then that, it's a free for all. Let's go with their top five needs.

1. Quarterback. As is usually the case with the team picking first overall, the quarterback situation is a mess. Marc Bulger hasn't been good since signing a monster deal following the 2006 season, and it looks like he fill finally be shown the door shortly after the draft. AJ Feeley was brought in as a temporary starter. If the Rams decide they don't want to go after a quarterback with the first overall pick, they must address that position in round two. They just have to come out of the draft with a signal caller of the future. They can't wait another year, or whatever hope fans have for the future of the franchise will be shot.

2. Cornerback. The secondary is a mess. They had only 8 interceptions all year, last in the league, and were in the bottom third of the NFL in passing yards allowed. And only the pathetic Lions gave up more points. It's not like the Rams haven't tried to shore up this position. Tye Hill is a former first round bust. Ronald Bartell was given a nice contract extension prior to the start of the season and is the Rams top cornerback, but he did not have an interception. Bradley Fletcher shows promise, but he's coming off a devastating injury. You couldn't name another Rams cornerback.

3. Wide receiver. Donnie Avery was the first receiver picked in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft, a very deep group that year. He was picked over DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal and Mario Manningham. Of course, so was James Hardy. I think Avery was a fine pick, but he has not developed as the Rams would have hoped. Most notably because he just can't stay healthy. He stays healthy enough to play, but not healthy enough to play to his potential. I think he's a good player. The problem is they have absolutely nothing after him. Like many other positions, they are just too thin. They could use a big possession receiver to let Avery be the deep threat.

4. Outside linebacker. The Rams had a rare hit with Baby Animal, James Laurinaitis early in the second round of the 2009 draft. He led the Rams in tackles, was named a TSN All-Rookie and looks to be the leader of that defense for the next decade. On the outside though? Ugh. Former starters Will Weatherspoon and Chris Draft were traded and released respectively. Paris Lenon and David Vobora are listed as the starters right now, meaning upgrades need to happen as soon as possible. With so many other needs, however, I think they wait a bit to address this position.

5. Offensive line. Upgrades are needed all along the line. Alex Bannon has been a disappointment and will be a free agent after the season, and the interior is weak. 2008 #2 overall pick Jason Smith had a weak season and the jury is still out on him.

First round possibilities.

QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma. He is the logical choice in my opinion. I have stated this time and time again during my mock drafts, but if you are picking first overall chances are you need a quarterback. If a quarterback presents himself you just have to take him. It energizes the city, gives the fans something to talk about, and of course, you usually don't win without a quarterback. There are plenty of questions about Bradford, but he was the projected first overall pick before the season and is back up to that spot.

DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska and DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma. The only other options for the Rams. Suh was a beast in college, and is a rare play maker at the position. He would definitely fill a need for the Rams. McCoy is also another option if they opt to go with a bigger, stronger player at the position. But, I just can't really talk about anyone other then quarterback. They just have to go Bradford here. Suh and McCoy are "only" defensive tackles. The Rams have used two high picks at the position recently with little to no results.

Second round possibilities

WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech is pretty much the last place a receiver would want to go, but they occasionally develop some pretty good prospects. Thomas somehow managed to haul in over 1000 yards and 8 touchdowns in the Yellow Jackets offense. He offers Calvin Johnson like size and would be a very good compliment to the Rams group of smurf receivers.

DE Greg Hardy, Ole' Miss. Chris Long has not lived up to his draft slot, as the Rams were one of the very worst in rushing the passer. Part of the reason the secondary struggled so bad. They need to get to the quarterback. Hardy has better strength and size then Long, but struggled his senior year in college and has had trouble staying healthy.

OG Mike Iupati, Idaho. With so many other needs they won't take a guard in the second round. But Iupati is the one elite prospect at the position. If he falls they will have to think long and hard about taking him.

Overall, the Rams just have to go quarterback. From round two on, they could realistically go with best player available every round and help themselves. They have a shockingly lack of talent and depth on this team.

It is essential they strike it big in this draft. They have really swung and missed with their previous first round picks. Jason Smith, Chris Long, Adam Carriker, Tye Hill, Alex Barron, Steven Jackson, Jimmy Kennedy, Robert Thomas, Ryan Pickett, Adam Archuleta, Damione Lewis, Trung Canidate. Those are the Rams first round draft choices since 2000. And you need to look no further to see why they are so pathetic.

With the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams take

QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

Jonathan Carrano

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