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2014 NFL Draft

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft Needs and Targets

Content with Sam Bradford at quarterback, the Rams will look to give the vet more protection and receiving options in the draft.

Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams hold the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and with that, the team has the chance to pick up either the second-rated player on their board or trade down and acquire a player or multiple picks to fill more holes.

St. Louis is seemingly content with Sam Bradford under center, but could afford to help out the young quarterback with more receiving options and protection up front. After losing Danny Amendola to free agency last offseason, the Rams were down to Chris Givens and rookie Tavon Austin split wide, neither of whom produced close to a No. 1-type wideout. The team may also lose tackle Rodger Saffold in free agency, while center Scott Wells and guard Harvey Dahl are aging and tackle Jake Long may not return in time from his late-season knee injury.

Defensively, Cortland Finnegan is a likely cap casualty because of his $9 million cap hit for 2014, while free safety is a position of need. Both a corner and safety could be added in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft.

Should the Rams stay put at No. 2, they are likely to sure up their offensive line with either Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson, the No. 1 and No. 2 tackles in the class, which gives the team an insurance policy for Long and/or if Saffold leaves. Matthews has been a first-team All-SEC selection the past two years and is considered the closest thing to a “sure bet” when it comes to prospects. Robinson is one of the biggest risers in the draft since the NFL Combine with the potential to develop into an All-Pro pass-protector.

If the Rams elect to trade out of the No. 2 slot, they could have potential trading partners with teams in need of a quarterback or even Jadeveon Clowney if the Texans pass up on him. Moving back means St. Louis can still nab a tackle — a Taylor Lewan or a Cyrus Kouandjio — or address another need such as wide receiver. Depending on who the Rams traded with, No. 1-rated wideout Sammy Watkins could still be on the board.

St. Louis can address its secondary in the second or third round, and among the safeties that could be available include Lamarcus Joyner or Deone Bucannon. Joyner is considered a tweener between safety and corner, which may work for the Rams who could use him at both positions, while Bucannon, a first-team All-American, adds some aggressiveness and physicality to any secondary.

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