NFL Free Agency: Five Receivers the St Louis Rams Could Target

Ethan NovakAnalyst IIMay 12, 2011

NFL Free Agency: Five Receivers the St Louis Rams Could Target

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Wide receiver James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the football during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    If we've learned anything over the past couple weeks, it is that the Rams are devoted to finding QB Sam Bradford all the weapons in the world.

    Passing up on bigger needs to take pass catchers in the second, third and fourth round made it evident that the Rams are very interested in becoming an offensive juggernaut.  Although that title may lie far off in the distance, they might decide to get there as soon as possible. 

    One of the keys in having a formidable offense is to fill it with plenty of adequate wide receivers.  You don't necessarily need a line-up full of pro bowlers, but you do need guys who can step up and make plays when the time calls for it.

    So if they do decide they want to load up on weapons, who could be one of those weapons for the St Louis Rams?

Mike Sims-Walker

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 26:  Mike Sims-Walker #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs after making a reception during the game against the Washington Redskins at EverBank Field on December 26, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    2010 Stats

    Receptions: 43

    Yards: 562

    Touchdowns: 7

     

    Evaluation

    Mike Sims-Walker would provide a nice presence on the outside for the Rams.  He has good size at 6'2" and 214 lbs, and at age 26, he still has plenty of room to grow as a football player.

    After having a breakout season in 2009, he regressed a little last season. But it shouldn't be a huge cause for concern.  Jacksonville averaged merely 191 passing yards per game, thanks in large part to the struggles of David Garrard.

Sidney Rice

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 28:  Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings in action against Asante Samuel #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 28, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    2010 Stats

    Receptions: 17

    Yards: 280

    Touchdowns: 2

     

    Evaluation

    Arguably the best receiver in this free agent pool, Rice would be the ideal signing for St Louis. 

    He has elite size at 6'4" and 202 lbs, and is capable of carrying the passing game on his back.  In 2009, he had his breakout season, amassing 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns

    He missed a majority of the 2010 season with a hip injury, but in his brief amount of playing time showed that his 2009 season was by no means a fluke.  Being only 24 years old, if the Rams could sign Rice to a long term deal it'd be huge for the future of the franchise. 

Vincent Jackson

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    SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17:  Wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball after a catch against the New York Jets during  AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo b
    Robert Laberge/Getty Images

    2010 Stats

    Receptions: 14

    Yards: 248

    Touchdowns: 3

     

    Evaluation

    Jackson's character has red flags all over it.  DUI charges, a violation of the league substance abuse policy and a contract holdout that lasted eleven weeks into the season are all on his resume. But his talent level is off the charts.

    In 2008 and 2009, he posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in the pass-heavy San Diego offense.  His elite size at 6'5" and 230 lbs would make him a very nice target for Sam.  It all just comes down to whether or not the Rams are willing to gamble on his character issues.

James Jones

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    ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Imag
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2010 Stats

    Receptions: 50

    Yards: 679

    Touchdowns: 5

     

    Evaluation

    Jones would be an incredible fit in St Louis.  His ability to get open along with the constant threat of beating the opposing team deep allows him to successfully spread the field.   

    Jones wasn't able to break out in Green Bay because of the surplus of weapons the Packers have. But he showed plenty of signs of being a big play receiver.  If he is ever given the chance to be a number one option, which should come this year, chances are he'll break out.

Steve Smith

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13:  Sheldon Brown #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Steve Smith #12 of the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 13, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    2010 Stats

    Receptions: 48

    Yards: 529

    Touchdowns: 3

     

    Evaluation

    Steve Smith is a great possession receiver who has all the tools to succeed in the NFL

    He doesn't have great size (5'11", 195 lbs), but he has very reliable hands and is dangerous in the open field.

    With the Rams, he would be a welcomed addition and could quickly blossom into the favorite target for Sam Bradford.  He knows how to get open and is adequate in getting back to the ball when his quarterback is hurried. 

    He plays a style similar to that of current WR Brandon Gibson—just, about fifty times better. 

Other Possibilities

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    LEBANON - JANUARY 14: New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress arrives at the Lebanon County Courthouse January 14, 2009 in Lebanon, Pa.  Burress is scheduled to appear in a civil trial in a dispute with an automobile dealer over what he owes in dama
    Chris Gardner/Getty Images

    Plaxico Burress: Prison-time served, Burress will be looking to have a Vick-like comeback in 2011

    Chad Ochocinco: Veteran who would provide an instant boost to the passing game

    Legedu Naanee: San Diego slot man with good possession skills

    Jacoby Jones: Houston Texans speedster who showed signs of life at the end of 2010

    Early Doucet: Arizona slot man who has showed flashes of potential

    Terrence Toliver: UFA out of LSU with a lot of upside