EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The ultimate judgment on the St. Louis Rams' 2014 draft class will come a few years from now after we've seen how the 11 players they added have panned out.
There's no denying the early returns are strong after one season. Given just that one season, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. took the opportunity to do an early re-grade of the class on the heels of its rookie season.
After the draft, Kiper gave the Rams' class a grade of A-minus but dropped the grade to B-plus for the purpose of this exercise. Kiper cites the strong performances of defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback E.J. Gaines as the brightest spots in the class and gave a tip of the cap to running back Tre Mason, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and offensive tackle Greg Robinson as well.
But Kiper explained his choice to slightly downgrade the Rams as a demerit based on failure to find a solution at quarterback with the many extra picks the Rams had from the trade with Washington.
It's hard to disagree with the argument that the Rams didn't do enough at quarterback in the 2014 draft class. While there were no sure things at the position, they waited until the sixth round to take a flier and that player (Garrett Gilbert) didn't even make the roster out of training camp and is now with New England.
The Rams could have used a developmental quarterback somewhere else in the draft, perhaps in the fourth round when they chose safety Maurice Alexander, for example? If nothing else, they'd at least have a player with a year under his belt heading into next season rather than potentially adding a quarterback in this year's draft knowing full well he'll be unlikely to help right away if needed.
A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we opened the day with a look at the San Diego stadium situation and how PSL's might not be an option there. ... We then broke down punter Johnny Hekker's new contract. ... The No. 7 play in the countdown of plays that shaped the Rams' season is the long touchdown pass from Shaun Hill to Kenny Britt. ... Finally, the Rams are still searching for an offensive coordinator but at least one outside candidate has emerged.
It's never too early to look ahead to next year for fantasy football and Matthew Berry has you covered in those efforts.
At 101sports.com, John Clayton discusses the Rams' need to make a move for an offensive coordinator sooner than later.
At stltoday.com, Bernie Miklasz writes that Stan Kroenke isn't the real issue when it comes to the Rams' future in St. Louis.