The smart play for a team with as many needs as the Rams is to build through the draft. They are not just one or two impact players away from success, so it doesn't make sense for St. Louis to go out and spend a bunch of money on free agents. This is exactly the approach the team has taken this off-season, and it bodes well for their future.
However they have made a couple small moves, including adding some depth along their defensive line. DE James Hall and DT Fred Robbins are both aging, but they should be able to contribute as part of the defensive line rotation. Hall is already familiar with Steve Spagnuolo's defense, having played under him while in New York.
He is not the only former Giant to sign with the Rams this off-season. Cornerback Kevin Dockery had a disappointing 2009, but he could be a very capable nickel back if he is able to rebound in 2010. Dockery is expected to compete with CB Quincy Butler for the job.
Staying on the defensive side of the ball, SLB David Vobora has re-signed with the team on a one year contract. 2008's Mr. Irrelevant saw extensive action last season, and he turned out to be the team's best linebacker against the run. His solid tackling ability may have earned him the starting job in 2010.
St. Louis also added some depth along the interior of their offensive line. Hank Fraley signed a 3-year $3 million contract with the club, and he is expected to compete with incumbent John Greco for the starting right guard position. The former Cleveland Brown has 119 career starts, most of them coming as a center.
After the jump I will discuss the team's remaining needs...
- Quarterback: ESPN has Keith Null as the number one quarterback on the Ram's depth chart. With all due respect to Null, that is simply not going to cut it. Expect St. Louis to take another quarterback early in the draft.
- Defensive End: St. Louis added a solid pass-rusher in James Hall, but getting pressure on the quarterback with the front four is key to Spagnuolo's defensive scheme. This is still a need area for the Rams.
- Defensive Tackle: Fred Robbins is coming off of microfracture surgery, so his signing does not preclude the team from taking another defensive tackle in the draft. They need to shore up the interior of their line, so look for them to add more depth via the draft.
- Cornerback: The Rams struggled in pass defense last season, and they could use an upgrade at the cornerback position. While improving the front four will certainly help the situation, they could target a value cornerback in the middle rounds of the draft.
- Wide Receiver: Donnie Avery is their number one, and they have some talented young players on the depth chart, however their lack of production means that the team could look to add another receiver at some point in the draft. Of course, having someone other than Kyle Boller and Keith Null under center would help the situation as well.
- Tight End: There are some quality blockers on the Ram's depth chart, but no pass catching threats of note. This could be an area they address later in the draft.
2009 Draft Picks
For this edition I've included the player's overall pick in parenthesis.
- OT Jason Smith (2)
- LB James Laurinaitis (35)
- CB Bradley Fletcher (66)
- DT Darell Scott (103)
- WR Brooks Foster (160)
- QB Keith Null (196)
- RB Chris Ogbonnaya (211)