The 2014 NFL Draft is officially a wrap, which means offseason additions are just about complete. There will be some small free agent additions here and there, but training camp rosters are just about set. With that in mind, we are back to review each of the 49ers 2014 opponents. Each team has gained and lost numerous players, so this series will help get you more familiar with the rosters of each opponent.
Last season, the Rams inconsistently rode their way to a 7-9 record, occasionally looking like one of the best teams in the NFC. Since the team is so young, this shouldn't come as a major surprise. Youth, of course, is an asset in this league. Youth means cheap talent, and in a league that is burdened with a salary cap, cheap talent correlates with success.
Of course, the inconsistency stemmed from the QB play too. Admittedly I haven't watched enough games to have a firm opinion about his play (for what it's worth, I think he could be successful in this league if he can avoid injuries), but the Rams were going to need to decide what to do with the position. And, they did address the QB position in free agency and the draft, as we will soon see, but in such a way that suggest the Rams aren't necessarily looking to take the starting role away from Bradford. It's still his job to lose; and, it could continue to be his job into the future.
Frankly, I think this team can be really good. They probably aren't good enough to win the division - but, hey, Football. Anything could happen. The defense is going to give teams a fit each and every game. Particularly that defensive line.
Additions: DT Alex Carrington, QB Shaun Hill, WR Kenny Britt.
Subtractions: OT Chris Williams, QB Kellen Clemens, OL Shelley Smith, CB Cortland Finnegan (cut), TE Mike McNeill, S Darian Stewart.
The Rams were pretty quiet in free agency, and that absolutely makes sense. As I mentioned above, large portions of the team are young. With a good amount of picks in the draft, the Rams made the decision to stock up there rather than by spending money in free agency. If they can draft well, it's a winning strategy.
I do like the signing of Britt, though. He has a lot of upside and could be an effective weapon for Bradford. Or, for newly-minted Ram - iiiiiitttttt'ssss Shaun Hill! He's back, my friends, and he's ready to run around with a helmet, oh wait the refs are blowing the whistles - never mind. I guess he is going to have to throw the ball now.
2. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
13. Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
41. Lamarcus Joyner, S/CB, Florida State
75. Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
110. Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State
188. E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri
214. Garrett Gilbert, QB, SMU
226. Mitchell Van Dyk, OT, Portland State
241. Christian Bryant, S, Ohio State
249. Michael Sam, DE, Missouri
250. Demetrius Rhaney, C, Tennessee State
That's a whole lot of players, ain't it? Snagging both Robinson in Donald in the first round is a drafting coup. Both players could be huge, impact players and mainstays in the NFL for years. Everybody is criticizing the Rams for picking up Mason in the third round since they already have a stable corps of RBs, but I'm a 49ers fan, so I'm fine with picking about a hundred RBs before getting concerned. Picking up Gilbert later in the draft could be a developmental pick, but it could also be a third QB pick.