Rams mailbag: Pre-draft edition

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Finally, mercifully, it's almost here. The NFL draft starts Thursday night and we are now less than one week away. So let us not waste any more time and get down to business. As always, you can find me on Twitter @nwagoner and submit your questions using hashtag #RamsMail.

@nwagoner: I suppose you can never rule that out but I don't get the impression the St. Louis Rams are in a spot where they want to give up any more of their picks, particularly for a guy who would likely play guard. They do like Brandon Scherff and I think he'd be at or near the top of the list if he slipped to 10 but I also think there's momentum building toward an end in which he's not available when the Rams pick.

@nwagoner: Ron Burgundy? I'm assuming the question here is whether the Rams are interested in Bryce Petty. I have been led to believe the answer is yes, very much so. I think if he's there in round 2, he'd be a strong consideration for the Rams. For what it's worth, after the top two quarterbacks, the names I'm keeping an eye on at quarterback for the Rams are Petty, Colorado State's Garrett Grayson and Oregon State's Sean Mannion. In that order.

@nwagoner: You win the award for excellent question of the week. One could make an argument for either or both given their advancing age and respective cap numbers. is a relative bargain this year with a cap charge of $4.275 million. He's due to count $6.425 million in 2016 and $8.35 million in 2017. But he's also been the picture of durability, leadership and production. While one could argue that they need to have their eyes open for his replacement or someone who can be the long-term replacement, I tend to think Chris Long is the more likely candidate. And that's for a few reasons. Long counts $12.5 million against the cap this year and $14.25 million against it next year. That's a lot of scratch for a player coming off injury. Unless he has a big bounce back year coming off the injury, it might be hard for the Rams to pay that money in 2016. Plus, this year's draft seems to be flush with pass-rushers so maybe that factors in as well. There aren't many 4-3 middle linebackers that look like obvious solutions. Ideally, though, both players perform well in 2015 and into the final years of their contracts and perhaps re-sign at team-friendlier rates.

@nwagoner: I'll give you two, one on each side of the ball. On defense, I don't think they'll be adding a safety. They clearly think highly of Rodney McLeod and though they theoretically could look for a long-term option at his spot as he enters the last year of team control, they seem to want him around for a while. Then you have T.J. McDonald, Mark Barron, Maurice Alexander and Cody Davis. Plus, it's a weak class of safeties in this year's draft so there's not much in the way of obvious upgrades. On offense, I'll go with tight end. That wouldn't have been the case had they not re-signed Lance Kendricks but they have a little bit of everything in place at the position. Veterans like Kendricks, Jared Cook and Cory Harkey and then some young prospects like Justice Cunningham and Alex Bayer. Again, not a real strong class at tight end so not sure who they'd add as a clear upgrade. Those would be my two primary guesses to not be added to the mix this year.

@nwagoner: Well, technically they don't have to replace anybody. It's pretty common to carry six receivers and they only have five that appear to have roster spots right now. But if they did, the obvious choice to go would be Chris Givens. I tend to think they'd carry six, at least at the beginning of the year while they determine how far along Brian Quick is in his recovery.

@nwagoner: Every team gets at least one prime-time game because every team gets a chance to appear in a prime-time game, so that's one reason. But I don't know if it'd be considered much of a gift. If the Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are out of contention in Week 15, it's entirely possible that the Edward Jones Dome will be pretty empty. That's not a good look for a city trying to keep its team though I suppose by then we'll have a good idea of the team's fate in St. Louis. Either way, I don't think anybody is all that enthused about that matchup being a nationally televised prime-time contest.

@nwagoner: Well, the Rams' version is that Isaiah Pead is healthy, ready to contribute and they liked his special teams contributions in 2013. I've heard all of those things. But the reality is, to me, that this regime isn't all that excited about giving up on a second-round pick that has simply been a bust. They can spin it however they want but it's hard to see how he's going to contribute enough to earn a cap number close to $1.3 million in 2015.