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St. Louis Rams' Top Remaining Offseason Priorities

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) scores on a 19-yard run past St. Louis Rams safety Rodney McLeod (23) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson
Steven GerwelContributor IIIApril 2, 2014

The St. Louis Rams have a number of needs that must be addressed before the offseason is complete, and filling these spots will not be easy. 

The Rams managed to find cornerback, defensive tackle and quarterback depth in free agency. Also, the addition of wide receiver Kenny Britt (according to ESPN) will provide competition for the No. 1 wide receiver spot. 

But these low-key pickups do little to address the glaring weaknesses on the roster. A number of positions are still in desperate need of reinforcements. 

Here are the top needs still remaining... 

 

Safety

The Rams allowed Darian Stewart to sign with the Baltimore Ravens in free agency, according to Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com, leaving T.J. McDonald and Rodney McLeod as the only safeties with starting experience on the roster. 

McDonald and McLeod were St. Louis' starting safeties in 2013, so the departure of Stewart does not necessarily downgrade the position. But McLeod was underwhelming as a starter, so an upgrade is needed. 

The Rams may grab a safety with the No. 13 overall pick in the draft, such as Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Louisville's Calvin Pryor; the team may also wait until the second or third round to grab USC's Dion Bailey or Florida State's Terrance Brooks. 

Whether safety is a Day 1 or Day 2 priority remains to be seen, but it will be a major shock if the Rams do not grab a safety somewhere in the first three rounds. 

 

Left Guard

Rodger Saffold will secure the right guard position on the offensive line, but the departure of Chris Williams leaves a gaping hole at left guard. 

There are several ways to address this issue. The most surefire way to make left guard a position of strength in 2014 is by drafting Auburn tackle Greg Robinson with the top draft pick. Robinson will excel at guard next season and eventually take over at left tackle. 

If Robinson is not a viable option, the Rams can always wait until the second or third round to draft a true guard prospect, such as UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo. 

The third option is to ignore the guard position completely and have faith in second-year pros Barrett Jones and Brandon Washington. This is a risky path, but a realistic option nonetheless. 

Regardless, few people feel good about St. Louis' left guard situation, so don't be surprised if this is addressed early in the draft. 

 

Cornerback

Sue Ogrocki

As I've mentioned numerous times recently, today's NFL requires three starting cornerbacks, and the Rams only have two (Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson). 

Since top-notch cornerbacks are so rare in the NFL, an argument can certainly be made that No. 3 corner is actually a bigger need than safety for St. Louis. 

The Rams signed free agent Greg Reid, according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN, but Reid is an unknown commodity. Not only that, but Reid has character concerns and has already been arrested since joining the Rams, according to Jared Shanker of ESPN

According to a news release by the Valdosta Police Department, Reid was arrested Saturday in Georgia for violating his probation from a 2012 arrest for possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license.

With that in mind, Reid is not exactly making it easy for the Rams to ignore the cornerback position in the draft. 

Brandon McGee, who greatly struggled as a rookie, is the only other depth on the roster, so the Rams need to address cornerback early in the draft. 

The ideal move would be to draft Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert at No. 13. He's a true No. 1 corner and will give St. Louis more than enough breathing room at the position. 

If Gilbert is not available, the Rams can always pursue a Day 2 corner to help with depth. 

 

Defensive Tackle

The Rams signed Alex Carrington in free agency, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, which helps with depth at defensive tackle, but the team could certainly use another starter. 

Alex Carrington has agreed to a deal with the #Rams, source says. They find their D-line help.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 25, 2014

Kendall Langford has been reliable since joining the Rams in 2012, but he has also been underwhelming.

Whether defensive tackle is truly a need has been heavily debated, but the St. Louis run defense was far too hit-and-miss in 2013 to have complete confidence in Langford

The defensive-minded Jeff Fisher will surely be tempted to upgrade the position by drafting Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald at No. 13 overall. 

Even if defensive tackle is not an early priority, the team may very well pursue the position with a mid- to late-round draft pick. 

 

Steven Gerwel is the longest-tenured Rams Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and serves as the Rams' game-day correspondent. You can find more of Gerwel's work by visiting his writer profile or by following him on Twitter.

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