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The Rams are coming off their worst year since 1962, amassing only one win.
It's a win-lose outcome for the team, though. With the worst record in the NFL, they now have their pick of the litter in April. There are a number of potential franchise players in this year's class and any one of them could be the missing piece for St. Louis.
On offense, the Rams have all but lost their spark in recent years. Once the greatest show on turf, the team finished last in points accumulated and placed in the bottom 12 for nearly every offensive statistic last year.
Marc Bulger never became the missing piece the organization had hoped for when Kurt Warner departed, but Steven Jackson is still a viable cornerstone on which to re-build a team and newcomer wideout Donnie Avery looks more than promising.
The Rams don't look any better on defense, despite acquiring Chris Long in 2008. It will be a long road to recovery for the worst team in the league.
Biggest Needs: RT, RG, WR, QB
The offensive line has talent, but can't seem to stay healthy. First round pick Jason Smith suffered a concussion on Nov. 22 and didn't play a single game after. It's expected he will shift over to left tackle and Alex Barron, slated to become a RFA, probably won't return, opening up a serious need at right tackle.
It's a long shot, but Chad Clifton of the Green Bay Packers will be available and, if he doesn't call it quits, he could be a great veteran addition to the line. I doubt the organization will make a second consecutive first round acquisition to the offensive line through the draft, but if they're patient, they may get a shot at West Virginia's Selvish Capers or even Kyle Calloway out of Iowa.
Adam Goldberg has the ability to play every position at the line, but he's more attractive as a backup than as a starter. Jacob Bell will most likely return as the left guard next year so the only real remaining hole is at right guard, a position that John Greco took over in the final weeks.
I doubt the team is willing to leave that position in a weak state so expect them to target New England's Stephen Neal through free agency or take a chance on John Jerry out of Ole Miss in the second or third round.
Marc Bulger is no longer a starting-caliber quarterback and neither is Kyle Boller or Keith Null. Although a new quarterback isn't high on the list of priorities, the Rams may use the "best available" draft tactic rather than the "best for the team" decision.
If they decide to look at a quarterback in the lower rounds of the draft, they will have some good options to choose from. Fordham's John Skelton is a player who will be far enough under the radar to grab in the fourth or fifth round but Penn State's Daryll Clark is their best option for finding a decent slinger in the second or third round.
Donnie Avery and Laurent Robinson (while he was on the field) looked great but if the team does decide to pursue a new quarterback, additional weapons will be a high priority. Tulane's Jeremy Williams is a fantastic route runner and, if they wait long enough, Jacoby Ford of Clemson could be a great spark to their offense and special teams.
While it may not be considered an immediate need, it's also important to note that tight end Randy McMichael will likely not return to the roster in 2010, not that anyone in St. Louis will complain. A new tight end won't be on the list of needs, so it will be up to Daniel Fells to step up and display some consistency.
For the Rams defensive needs, go here.
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