With an Early Draft Choice Looming, Who Are Potential Fits With St. Louis?
Before the season started, when I was taking a look at college players that could potentially be future St. Louis Rams, I was thinking of guys more along the lines of Trent Richardson or Jeff Fuller.
Now that the Rams' season looks very bleak, the idea of adding a big name player like Alshon Jeffrey of Justin Blackmon seems all the more likely.
There's still a chance that the Rams make the playoffs, and don't have a high selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, but for now these potential prospects are with the assumption that St. Louis is drafting in the Top-10.
Here's five prospects that the Rams could be looking at this upcoming Spring.
Alshon Jeffery, WR South Carolina
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Alshon Jeffery is arguably the best receiver in the country.
He has great size at 6'4", 230 pounds, and he has some of the best hands out of any receiver in this draft class.
Jeffery has been a consistent producer at the University of South Carolina.
He recorded 763 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman at South Carolina, and followed that up with a 1,517 yard, nine touchdown season as a sophomore.
If Alshon produces big time numbers again this season, he could be a target for St. Louis.
Sam Bradford desperately needs a receiver and Alshon Jeffery could be the big time player he needs. Bradford's performance could increase dramatically with the addition of a legitimate receiver.
The only question mark is that by adding another receiver with average speed, defenses will continue to play close to the line of scrimmage.
Matt Kalil, OT USC
Jeff Golden/Getty Images
It's hard to believe that after drafting Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold in the past three seasons that St. Louis could be looking at another offensive lineman.
If they do decide to go that route, Matt Kalil appears to be the hands down best offensive lineman.
Kalil is a 6'7", 300-pound offensive tackle from the University of Southern California.
He started last season for USC, and is starting at tackle for them again this season. This kid is an athletic freak for being his size.
USC has even given him chances to play defensive tackle in the past even though he he was a starter at tackle. By the way, he has come away with a blocked field goal this season against Utah.
The Rams have struggled terribly this season in pass protection. Even though they have already invested a lot into the offensive line, you have to continue to try and improve it to protect your franchise QB.
Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State
Brett Deering/Getty Images
The 2012 Draft class is pretty deep at receiver, and if Alshon Jeffery is gone when the Rams choose, Justin Blackmon is every bit as good.
It appears that the difference between Blackmon and Jeffery is the fact that Alshon can make some spectacular plays and the fact that he plays in the SEC.
Justin Blackmon could very well end up being the better NFL receiver.
The only player that may be as consistent as Blackmon is Ryan Broyles. Blackmon simply does not drop passes.
He caught 111 passes last season for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns and only dropped five passes. Wow!
If St. Louis goes the route of choosing a wide receiver in the first round, they simply cannot lose. Both Alshon Jeffery and Justin Blackmon appear to be sure fire studs at the next level.
Alameda Ta'amu, DT Washington
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
This kid has been exceeded all expectations early on this season.
Alameda Ta'amu looked like a very gifted player whose talent was just waiting to be tapped into, but it appears somebody has figured out a way to get that talent out of him.
Much like the way Ndamukong Suh came out of nowhere to dominate the Big 12 in 2009, Ta'amu is looking to do similar things to the Pac-12 this season.
He has massive size at 6'3", 335 pounds to anchor down any teams defensive front.
He may not collect the sacks that Suh was able to, but his presence is definitely felt in both the run and passing game.
One of the biggest holes on this St. Louis Rams team is at defensive tackle.
The Rams are very old up front, and the production of players like Fred Robbins and Justin Bannon is clearly dropping off. Ta'amu could come in immediately and make a difference up front.
Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
Butch Dill/Getty Images
Morris Claiborne looks like he will be the best cornerback prospect when the 2012 NFL Draft rolls around.
He has played a key role in LSU's rise to the No. 1 spot in the polls.
Claiborne has already intercepted two passes this season against Mississippi State in a game that was tight the whole way.
He also had five interceptions a year ago. Claiborne doesn't have great size at 6'0", 180 pounds, but he still is able to cover the best receivers that the SEC has to offer.
He also brings an added element to the return game as he has already taken a kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown.
St. Louis needs help at cornerback. Aside from Bradley Fletcher, who may not be healthy to start next season since he tore his ACL, they have nobody.
The 30-year-old Ron Bartell may never play again with the broken neck he suffered this season.
Drafting Claiborne would give the Rams a solid cornerback prospect, and would allow them to draft a guy that could be a second round steal in Ryan Broyles.