Morning Ram-blings: The receiver need

ST. LOUIS -- Most anyone paying attention during the preseason and training camp expected Chris Givens to lead the St. Louis Rams in receiving yards in 2013.

Givens did that but you'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone expecting that position-group-leading total to come in at a relatively paltry 569 yards. Tight end Jared Cook actually led the team in receiving yards but his total of 671 didn't exactly light the league on fire.

In Thursday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jim Thomas explores where the Rams go from here with this group of receivers. Thomas points out that the last time the Rams' leading receiver posted such a low total was 1986 with 447 yards.

The Rams are in a difficult spot with their receiving corps heading into next season. The group disappointed in 2013 though it was one of the youngest in the league. Rookie receivers generally take awhile to adjust to the rigors of the NFL and the Rams relied heavily on two rookies, two second-year players and a third-year, Austin Pettis.

That relative youth can make it hard to determine exactly where the group is headed in the future. At the same time, it seems the Rams are still without a truly reliable No. 1 receiver type of option. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey both seem to have bright futures but those could be brighter if combined with a top wideout.

The problem, of course, is that those types of receivers are hard to find, almost never hit the market in free agency and then if they're drafted will likely take some time to develop.

This is a subject we'll delve further into as the offseason rolls along, but for now, it's certainly something to consider.


A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we discussed the possible shuffling the Rams could have along the offensive line with links and more. ... We then honored the All-NFC West team with an explanation of the Rams' representation on the team as well as a notable snub. ... The news came down that Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney are officially entering the draft. That's good for the Rams if they do as expected and look to trade the No. 2 overall pick. ... Finally, we offered a look back at the 2013 season with grades, honors and more.


Over at NFL.com, Gil Brandt ranks the last-place teams in terms of their chances to get back in the mix in 2014. The Rams check in at No. 3.

Daniel Jeremiah chooses three top needs for each team heading into the offseason.

Pro Football Focus analyzes the race for Defensive Player of the Year.