Brandon Lloyd was the big pickup for the Rams in 2011.
The NFC West is proving to be a very tough division, with the top three teams at 4-2 and the Rams one game back. So through six weeks, how competitive are the St. Louis Rams? Can they make a possible playoff push with the pieces they have? Or will they have to make some moves at the trading deadline?
The NFL trading deadline was pushed back from the Tuesday after Week 6 to that of Week 8 this past summer. Many fans want to see the Rams win now, and adding some pieces could help to do that.
Realistically, there are only a couple of moves the Rams could make at the deadline, and while they probably shouldn't make a move at all, let’s take a look at what they could do.
Austin Pettis returned from his suspension in Week 5.
Danny Amendola will be out for a while after dislocating his clavicle against the Cardinals. This puts the Rams in dire need of a viable slot receiver. So the question is, where will that guy come from?
Fans remember how the Rams were in a similar position last year when Amendola was lost for the season on opening day. All the team had to do was give up a fifth-round pick to get Brandon Lloyd.
This year, the team has a ton of extra draft picks. Those include the two in the first round next year that they acquired in the trade with Washington for the second overall pick this year. So could they unload one of those first round picks? Yes, but they'd have to make sure they are getting the right guy who can learn the system and make a quick impact.
I wouldn't doubt that there are teams out there willing to give up a decent wide receiver for a first-round draft pick next year. But the Rams would be wise to keep their picks and focus on the young talent and potential of their current group. Guys like Austin Pettis and Steve Smith can be reliable options in the slot if they are given the snaps.
Richardson has started all 6 games for the Rams this season.
The only other realistic move I see the Rams making at the trading deadline would be adding an offensive lineman. The team has had just two players start every game on the line so far this season: Barry Richardson and Harvey Dahl.
It's been a unit riddled by injuries, and the guys who are there now have risen to the occasion. Sam Bradford has been sacked 18 times this year, and only six times in the last three weeks.
The key to this consistency in play is consistency in the starting lineup. Wayne Hunter and Quinn Ojinnaka have established themselves as mainstays on the left side of the line, and they have improved the overall play of the offense.
Part of that improvement has come in run protection. The line has done a good job of executing blocks, especially when Daryl Richardson breaks to the outside and the linemen have to shift over in protection.
So are the Rams in dire need of offensive line help at the moment? Rodger Saffold's initial diagnosis was a third-degree MCL sprain and a month away from the field. Week 6 marked one month since Saffold was taken off the field against the Redskins, and he still hasn't seen any playing time.
However, as long as the current unit stays healthy, the offensive line can only continue to get better.
That being said, don't expect St. Louis to make any moves at the trading deadline this year.