The St. Louis Rams need help at wide receiver. You don't have to be an NFL analyst to see that. Since the departures of Issac Bruce and Tory Holt, the Rams haven't found a consistent receiver for Marc Bulger or Sam Bradford.
In today's NFL, that is hard to believe.
Danny Amendola has been the closest thing to an "elite" receiver to roam the turf of the Edwards Jones Dome since the departures of Holt and Bruce. Amendola caught 85 passes in 2010, but has had a hard time staying healthy since then. He missed virtually the entire 2011 season with a hyper extended elbow, and is out again in 2012, this time with a severe injury to his clavicle.
So cyberspace is rampant with rumors of the Rams trading for a receiver.
The Rams would be stupid to trade for a wide receiver, and I'll tell you why.
First, it wouldn't matter if you lined up Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald outside the hash marks right now, because the St. Louis Rams can't pass block. According to Football Outsiders, the Rams are the worst pass blocking team in the NFL, allowing a sack on more than 10 percent of Sam Bradford's passing attempts.
That doesn't even take into account QB hurries, hits, and knockdowns.
You also have to remember, the Rams are going to have wide receiver options in free agency. Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowen will all be free agents this summer. So, for example, it wouldn't make sense to send the Packers a draft pick for Jennings, when he might land in St. Louis and the Rams could keep that pick to draft a safety or an left tackle.
If the Rams could swing a deal for an All Pro left tackle or an All Pro wide receiver, which one should they make?
So I'd love to see the Rams target a left tackle in a trade. Franchise left tackles are simply harder to come by than good wide receivers. There doesn't appear to be a Matt Kalil caliber prospect in the 2013 draft class, so the Rams might want to make some phone calls to teams that are in a hopeless situation this year, with a good left tackle on the roster that maybe needs multiple picks to reload.
The Philadelphia Eagles did this a few years ago, making a move to acquire Jason Peters from Buffalo for a first-round pick, a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick.
A first-rounder and some change, and Sam Bradford gets time to throw the ball?
Consider that deal done and done.
So who should the Rams call? What about calling up Oakland and asking about Jared Veldheer? Oakland is a mess, they need draft picks from having foolishly given up two first-rounders in exchange for Carson Palmer. The Rams have picks, and they could use Veldheer, a 6'8", 315 pounds wrecking machine.
Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller gave this description of Veldheer:
"It's no surprise that a Raider would be heavily penalized, but that's the biggest issue with Veldheer. If he can cut down on the flags, he would be recognized as one of the best in the game."
If the Rams do wait to snag a WR in free agency, which one should they go after?
I wouldn't give up a first-round pick for Veldheer, who is still developing at age 25. But I would dangle a second or third-round pick out there. The Raiders might make that deal.
There is another left tackle out there that might be available, and this one is going to hurt, Rams' fans. His team is a mess, and they could certainly use the extra draft picks.
I'm talking about Eugene Monroe, who plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Miller said this about Monroe:
"One of the best young tackles in the league, Monroe has a very bright future. Many don't recognize his play outside of Jacksonville, but he played at an All-Pro level this season."
Of course, Monroe was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He was the second offensive tackle taken, with Jason Smith, drafted No. 2 overall by the Rams, being the first. Smith was one of the biggest busts the Rams ever drafted, and was eventually traded to the New York Jets for Wayne Hunter and a Joe Namath autograph.
I'm just kidding. The Rams didn't even get Broadway Joe's autograph.
You get the point. Left tackles are hard to find. The really good ones, they never come available through free agency, at least not in the prime of their career.
So you either trade for one, or you draft one. In the draft, you might find Eugene Monroe, or you might find Jason Smith. If a good one is available, I vote we make a trade.
Of course, I don't have a vote. As always, thanks for reading.