We are only a few weeks away from the 2014 NFL draft and the St. Louis Rams looks like a team trying to build through the draft. They have been the league’s youngest team for two years now and are looking to stay young for a third. The Rams have a solidified starter at most positions, but there is one that still needs improvement.
In 2012 the Rams signed cornerback Cortland Finnegan to a huge contract and picked up a gem in Janoris Jenkins in the 2nd round of the draft. Jenkins was an instant playmaker in his rookie year and Finnegan was the same old pest on defense. It looked as if the Rams’ secondary was going to be one of the best for years to come.
In 2013 Jenkins suffered somewhat of a sophomore slump and Finnegan became a liability. Although Jenkins still has the potential to be great, the Rams felt Finnegan was no longer worth the big contract and was released breaking up the cornerback tandem.
Heading into the draft the St. Louis Rams’ biggest need is at cornerback. The Rams have spent to many draft picks on offensive weapons, the line can be fixed with some late round talent, and the front seven is one of the promising defenses out their.
The Rams are fortunate enough this year to have two first round draft picks courtesy the Robert Griffin III trade. They are currently looking to move down and get some additional picks. If they were to fall somewhere near the low teens, they could use either pick on the best prospect at cornerback in Justin Gilbert.
With a 4.3 speed, Gilbert has what it takes to keep up with speedy receivers. He can play a receiver tight on the line or drop back in deep coverage and create problems for the receiver.
If the Rams decide to pass up on a cornerback in the first round, there is still good talent to find in the 2nd round, but it will require them to move up. Other names that could hear their name called by the Rams are Kyle Fuller out of Virginia Tech or Bradley Roby out of Ohio State.
With the league being so pass heavy, the Rams need to find the best talent at cornerback to even compete with big name quarterbacks like Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. The San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks all have shown that having the right cornerbacks can create havoc and carry the defense.