Los Angeles Rams replace coaching staff, bolster offensive line

The Los Angeles Rams ended their offseason program on June 14. Here's a look at how they fared:

Offseason goals/grade: The Rams' roster was at its maximum of 90 players as of Thursday night. Of those players, 34 were not there when the 2016 season ended. When the 2017 season begins, the Rams expect to have as many as six new starters on offense and three new starters on defense, not to mention three returning starters transitioning to new positions. It will all be overseen by a coaching staff that has only three holdovers from the Jeff Fisher regime. Last year, the Rams relocated. This year, they reconfigured. They needed an offensive-minded head coach, so they got one in 31-year-old Sean McVay. They needed to address their offensive line and their passing game, so they spent on a left tackle and a wide receiver. They needed to add players who fit the 3-4 scheme of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, so they brought in a linebacker and a cornerback who have history with him. The Rams still have a lot of work to do and a lot of holes to fill, but they made some solid moves that should finally set them on the right path. Grade: B.

Move I liked: Nothing is more important than protecting their quarterback, former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, who absorbed a whopping 25 sacks in the final six games of his disastrous rookie season. The Rams showed that by signing veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth to a three-year deal that guarantees him $15 million. Whitworth is 35, but he's a three-time Pro Bowler who remains one of the NFL's best pass-blockers. And he provides the Rams with another veteran for an offensive line that is still pretty young throughout. Eventually -- perhaps as soon as next offseason -- the Rams need to find their left tackle of the future. But Whitworth provides the instant, significant upgrade over Greg Robinson that they desperately needed.

Move I didn't like: The Rams have a lot of different weapons for Goff, with Robert Woods joining a team that has selected seven receivers and tight ends over the past two drafts. But the Rams still don't have a legitimate, go-to receiver. More specifically, they don't have someone who can consistently beat defenses over the top, a critical component to a McVay offense that thrived with a deep threat like DeSean Jackson in Washington. The Rams hope Tavon Austin can fill that void, but he's only 5-foot-8 and has yet to prove he's capable. If not Austin, they'll turn to Mike Thomas, who would have to make a significant leap in his second season. And if that doesn't work out, it'll have to be Josh Reynolds, a rookie out of Texas A&M who is raw in a lot of areas.

Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: How the targets will be dispersed. Austin and Woods figure to be the primary receivers, but beyond that it's seemingly wide open as to who will be on the field. Third-round pick Cooper Kupp and second-year receivers Pharoh Cooper and Nelson Spruce profile best out of the slot. Thomas and Reynolds are burners on the outside. Rookie Gerald Everett and second-year players Tyler Higbee and Temarrick Hemingway are tight ends who can stretch the deep middle of the field. It looks like three groups of competition here. The only other positions that seem open are right tackle, where Jamon Brown is a favorite, and the No. 2 cornerback spot, though Kayvon Webster's familiarity with Phillips should give him an advantage.

Salary-cap space: $4,087,306 (source: OverTheCap.com)

2017 draft picks: 1. TE Gerald Everett, 2. WR Cooper Kupp, 3. S John Johnson, 4. WR Josh Reynolds, 5. OLB Samson Ebukam, 6. DT Tanzel Smart, 7. FB Sam Rogers, 8. OLB Ejuan Price.

Undrafted rookie free agents signed: DT Omarius Bryant, RB Justin Davis, LB Kevin Davis, OL Michael Dunn, C Jake Eldrenkamp, DB Dominique Hatfield, DT A.J. Jefferson, OL Alex Kozan, TE Johnny Mundt, CB Aarion Penton, WR Shakeir Ryan, DT Casey Sayles, OLB Teidrick Smith, RB Lenard Tillery, TE Travis Wilson.

Unrestricted free agents signed: LT Andrew Whitworth, WR Robert Woods, OLB Connor Barwin, CB Kayvon Webster, C John Sullivan, RB Lance Dunbar, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, DT Tyrunn Walker, LB Carlos Thompson.

Players claimed through waivers: C Austin Blythe, DT Mike Purcell.