NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. DT - 4.0
2. LB - 4.0
3. TE - 3.0
4. RB - 2.5
5. DE - 2.0
6. WR - 2.0
7. CB - 2.0
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterback - Bradford had a strong rookie campaign and showed the type of tools that should have Rams fans excited for the next several years. And Feeley is a competent enough backup that there is limited concern here. They should bring in a third arm, but it's probably not worth using a draft pick on unless a really good player falls late in the draft. NEED: 0.5
Running Back - Jackson had a good year because he made it through all 16 games relatively healthy. But he'll be 28 at the start of next season, and has voidable years in his contract that 2011 might be his last in St. Louis. It would be smart for them to try and draft his replacement this year. Much like they did years back when they drafted him to groom for a year behind Marshall Faulk. NEED: 2.5
Fullback - Karney was fairly mediocre this year. He has another year left on his contract, but they might part ways with him in the off-season. Brit MIller is coming off a knee injury, so his future is in doubt. But they tend to use a lot more 2-TE sets to offset their needs here, so this is not a major concern. They can probably bring in a body off the street to fill in if need be. NEED: 1.0
Wide Receiver - They have a wealth of young talent here, but nobody that is clearly a go-to No. 1 target. Donnie Avery missed the whole year with an ACL injury, and it remains to be seen if he'll have that same explosiveness next season. But he is currently ahead in his rehab according to some sources. But keeping Clayton will be key as he was a nice possession target before he too got hurt. And with those two back in the fold, between Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Danario Alexander, Laurent Robinson, and Mardy Gilyard, they have enough young talent and speed to think that Bradford will have options. Finding a true No. 1 would be welcome, but they have bigger fish to fry. NEED: 2.0
Tight End - Fells is a competent receiver, but should be a backup rather than a starter. Hoomanawanui flashed talent in half a season, but he too is probably better working as a No. 2 option. They should target a go-to option that can help open up the middle of the field for them. NEED: 3.0
Offensive Tackle - Saffold had a pretty good rookie year, but dealt with injuries throughout the year. Jason Smith was serviceable on the right side, but hasn't lived up to his draft status yet. Smith can play either side, and Goldberg can also fill in here meaning they have decent depth. But they probably want to find more due to durability concerns with Saffold, as well as getting someone that can push Smith. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Guard - Bell isn't great, but gets the job done. Goldberg is valuable because of his versatility not because he's some stellar guard. He's a free agent, but might not be back. John Greco was solid in limited action and at the very least should be in a competition for a starting spot next year if not the lead dog. But it'd be smart to add more depth. NEED: 1.5
Center - Brown didn't have a great year in the middle, and they could tinker with the idea of moving him to guard. But that would likely be dependent on whether or not they can add a really good center prospect. That seems doubtful. So they might pick up someone to add depth and insurance, but it's not a major need. NEED: 1.0
Defensive Tackle - Robbins was a very good addition. The injury to Clifton Ryan didn't help matters. As they had to rotate guys like Gary Gibson, Dorell Scott, and Jermelle Cudjo, all of whom would be No. 4 guys on most NFL teams instead of starters. Robbins is 34, so this is a major area of concern since there are no really sound young options on the roster. NEED: 4.0
Defensive End - Hall and Long combined for 19 sacks this year, a significant improvement to the pass rush. Long is starting to look like the play they thought he would be when they drafted him in 2008. Hall is set to be 34 this off-season, and it remains to be seen if someone like a C.J. Ah You or George Selvie is ready to be a significant contributor next year. So if a prospect that can boost the rotation and also be an option to replace Hall in another year or two becomes available, it would be a good pickup for them. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - Laurinaitis is their lone guy here. They rotated a bunch of other guys around him, and all of them are better backups than starters. At the very least, they want to add one solid starter here that can work with Laurinaitis in their nickel sets. NEED: 4.0
Cornerback - Fletcher had a nice bounce back year after missing most of last year with an injury, and Bartell also had a good year after a down 2009. Their issue here is the nickel. They were hopeful a young guy like Jerome Murphy or Justin King would emerge, but neitehr played well enough to inspire a ton of confidence. But they won't give up on them, and it's probably smarter to use free agency to bolster this position rather than using another middle round pick. NEED: 2.0
Safety - Atogwe is a solid free safety. Between James Butler and Craig Dahl, they are okay at the other position, but there is room for improvement. But they have so many needs elsewhere, that it won't be a high priority. NEED: 1.5
Kicker - Josh Brown isn't young anymore, but they have much bigger concerns than him. NEED: 0.5
Punter - Donnie Jones has a big leg. He's entering a contract year, but he's still in the prime of his punting career at only age 30. NEED: 0.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.