Team Needs: LB, OT, CB
Projected Top Three Picks:
Second Round — Taylor Moton, OT Western Michigan
Third Round — Adoree Jackson, CB USC
Fourth Round — Dawuane Smoot, DE Illinois
After the trade with the Titans that allowed the Rams to draft Jared Goff, this team is without a first-round selection in 2017. For a team that is devoid of talent, this is a huge obstacle during a rebuild. The Rams have holes at almost every position imaginable, so missing out on the Top 35 players in the draft will sting a little. In the second round, the Rams will kick the tires on OT Taylor Moton, as they try to stabilize their offensive line to help regain the confidence of their star Todd Gurley. We expect this team to focus heavily on the offensive line in this draft, as it will be the only way for them to compete while Goff continues to learn the game at this level. With their subsequent two selections, they will look to build depth on the defensive side, which struggled with injuries in 2016. New head coach Sean McVay will get a quick taste of life as an NFL coach during this draft, as he is many pieces away from even doubling his win total in his first year. Hopefully, the Rams’ front office has the patience required to give him time to build things his way.
Even in a horrible year Fantasy-wise, Gurley was the leading points scorer for this team, which tells you just how bad this team was on offense last season. As an owner who drafted Gurley in the first round last season, I don’t have to tell you just how awful his season was. Consensus had him as the second-best running back available in drafts, but if you pulled the trigger in the first round you likely failed to make the playoffs in your league. The inconsistent play at quarterback hindered this offense all season long. Couple that with the hesitancy in Gurley’s running style and it spelled doom for his Fantasy value. The only bright spot in all of this for Gurley was the uptick in his receptions. His 43 catches gave him some extra value in PPR formats, but his six TDs really brought him back down to Earth. Given the presumed emphasis on bulking up the offensive line with this draft, Gurley has to be licking his chops to prove last year was just a fluke. I expect him to rebound in 2017, getting back above the 1,000 yard mark along with close to 50 receptions. This will put Gurley inside the Top 12 at the position and based upon last year’s performance, owners could find him at quite the discount in drafts.
If the Rams are hoping for Goff to take that next step as the franchise QB, they will have to do a better job of surrounding him with talent at the skill positions. Robert Woods and Tavon Austin as the two starting wide receivers is not going to get it done. This team is without a true star at wide receiver, and the potential to draft one is always there. But without a selection in the first round, and a crack at one of the top tier guys, what they will be left with could be hit or miss. So, I expect for the Rams to ride what they have, and employ a ground and pound technique, along with a stout defense, to lead them to victories. Do not expect Goff to make any tremors in the world of Fantasy in 2017; he will be a QB that I would be shocked to be rostered during the season in any format. The Fantasy fortunes for this team lend themselves primarily just to Gurley and the defense without any other threats for the year. The Rams will be a team that owners will avoid come draft time.
Passing Offense — 184.4 (31st)
Rushing Offense — 101.9 (22nd)
Points Per Game — 14.0 (32nd)
Top Fantasy Performers:
QB — Case Keenum, 103 points
RB — Todd Gurley- 141 points
WR — Kenny Britt, 121 points
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