Nothing the Los Angeles Rams did this offseason seemed even remotely remarkable at first glance, until the team mortgaged its entire future in exchange for a single pick in an underwhelming draft at their primary position of interest. Keep in mind that "remarkable" doesn't mean "good" or "smart", it means remarkable.
The trade is fascinating at this point. How it got made, what the Rams gave up, what the Rams will do with it, how the Tennessee Titans have to be laughing about their obvious fortune. They're going to be able to get a player with a similar skill and upside to the player they likely would have taken with that top pick and they absolutely took the Rams for a ride.
If Los Angeles ends up landing a franchise quarterback that stays with the franchise for the next decade then absolutely -- the trade was worth it. But if they get anything less, then they've made a big mistake. But we've some time until the NFL Draft actually hits and what we're going to do now is focus on free agency and what the Rams did and did not do there.
First, a look at their own biggest free agents:
CB Janoris Jenkins: Signed with Giants
DT Nick Fairley: Signed with Saints
CB Trumaine Johnson: Franchised by Rams
S Rodney McLeod: Signed with Eagles
DE William Hayes: Re-signed with Rams
DE Chris Long: Signed with Patriots
LB Mark Barron: Re-signed with Rams
TE Jared Cook: Signed with Packers
K Greg Zuerlein: Re-signed with Rams
LB James Laurinaitis: Signed with Saints
QB Case Keenun: Tendered by Rams
Free agency recap
The Rams had two starting cornerbacks hitting free agency and they decided to keep Johnson, which I can't argue with. Losing Jenkins hurts, but they did sign Coty Sensabaugh, which doesn't replace him by any means but it helps. Cornerback was a top need with Jenkins leaving and they at least addressed the position.
The defensive line was already a strength. Losing Nick Fairley and Chris Long hurt, but it was necessary to part with the latter and the former was no guarantee and didn't quite fit with the Rams anyway. They re-signed William Hayes and Eugene Sims, and also signed Quinton Coples. That isn't a need or a concern at this point.
Losing McLeod might hurt the most at this point. He was just starting to look like a really good safety but he's not left for greener pastures. Keeping Greg Zuerlein was nice. The biggest issue I see is tendering Case Keenum at the first round level, and re-signing center Tim Barnes and paying him like a starting center. Barnes is a bad player, and he's not going to get better. He's the Rams' Jordan Devey.
2016 NFL Draft needs
The biggest need is quarterback. They can talk up Keenum all they want, but he's never going to be a great quarterback and now they have the top pick in the draft and will likely bring in Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. I don't know which quarterback it will be but I'd be shocked if they didn't take one of those two guys.
Center is also a huge need, but I doubt it will be addressed given the contract for Barnes. With that aside, the Rams need at least two quality wide receivers. Their ever-running pursuit of a decent receiver should continue in this draft but unfortunately, they're going to be mining the later rounds for one as they've traded away all of their high draft picks.
Safety, tight end and middle linebacker are all areas of need. They need starters at the first two positions and they simply need improvements in the third. It's going to be tough to address all these needs in the draft but it is what it is.