LOS ANGELES -- Nick Wagoner breaks down the 2016 Los Angeles Rams draft class so far.
My take: When the Rams made the deal with the Tennessee Titans to move up for either Goff or North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, my take is that I wouldn't have made the deal, but I understood it. The Rams had reached a point of desperation in their need for a franchise quarterback. They did what they had to do to make it happen. Wentz might have been a better fit for what the Rams want to be offensively, but that doesn't mean Goff can't succeed in the NFL. The biggest question now is what the Rams will do to add receiving weapons and solidify the offensive line. They want to put Goff in position to get them over the hump so that the guys who traded up for him -- coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead -- will still be employed if (or when) Goff reaches his potential.
Start or sit? Fisher and Snead have repeatedly said they won't push any drafted quarterback to play until he's ready. But it's naive to think they traded all those picks in order to have Goff sit and watch. Don't be surprised if the team’s Goff plan models what Snead and the Atlanta Falcons did with Matt Ryan in 2008, when Ryan worked with Chris Redman through the third preseason game and then took over as the starter for the regular season.
Who's on the way out? With Goff in the fold, the Rams have four quarterbacks on the roster. They won't carry that many during the season, so someone has to go. Who will that be? All signs point to Nick Foles, the player the Rams traded for and signed in 2015 in hopes that he was the franchise signal-caller they needed. The Rams hope that Foles' deletion will come via trade. According to a league source, four or five teams have already reached out about the possibility of a deal. In all likelihood, a deal will have to wait for the next couple of days as teams select quarterbacks and others miss out on some. Those that miss out could find themselves in the market, with a late-round pick the likely compensation.
My take: The Rams have never shied away from players with off-field issues under coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead. They continued that with Higbee, who is facing second-degree assault and evading police charges as well as a public intoxication charge for an altercation that took place on April 10 outside of a bar. Higbee's attorney has said he plans to plead not guilty at the arraignment on May 5, and the Rams clearly feel comfortable it will get resolved. It's a bit of a risk, but probably worthy given the team's need at the position, Higbee's upside and where he was drafted.
Where he fits: After releasing tight end Jared Cook this offseason, the Rams had an obvious need for a pass-catching tight end. Higbee offers pass-catching ability even if he's not much of a blocker, so long as he can get past the off-field issues. He had 68 catches for 1,054 yards and 14 touchdowns in his college career.
My take: The Rams are taking the obvious and logical approach to the fourth round by adding help for Goff. They absolutely have to find weapons for Goff after their receiving corps combined for fewer yards than Atlanta's Julio Jones in 2015. Cooper might be a bit redundant with Tavon Austin in terms of size and skill set (not that he's as talented as Austin), but new passing game coach Mike Groh should be able to find ways to use him.
Where he fits: The Rams have a clear need for help in the slot. Stedman Bailey is recovering from two gunshot wounds to the head. South Carolina used Cooper all over the field, much like the Rams do with Austin, but the Rams simply need weapons and can find a place for Cooper in their receiving corps.
Move down: The Rams traded pick No. 113 to the Chicago Bears for picks 117 and 206. They now have three choices in the sixth round.
My take: I'd be lying if I said I knew much about Hemingway but this much is clear, the Rams are addressing needs in the passing game. Hemingway had modest numbers in his final year of college with 38 catches for 418 yards and a touchdown in 2015. But he's 6-foot-5, 244 pounds and ran a 4.7 second 40-yard dash. The Rams think he has some upside and can compete for a roster spot.
Where he fits: Hemingway joins fourth-round pick Tyler Higbee as the Rams continue to attempt to add depth and competition to their tight end group. Lance Kendricks will be the primary option from the position and Cory Harkey remains as a blocker but if Hemingway can prove adept at running routes, catching passes and chipping in on special teams, there's room for him to make the roster out of training camp.
My take: The Rams continue to fill needs by finding some depth at linebacker. They parted ways with James Laurinaitis and Daren Bates during the offseason, leaving them thin behind starters Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron and Akeem Ayers. Forrest should offer some insurance behind middle linebacker Ogletree. He's 6-foot-3, 249 pounds and finished 2015 with 93 tackles, six for loss, three and a half sacks and two interceptions.
Where he fits: Other than Ogletree, Barron and Ayers, the Rams have Cameron Lynch and Bryce Hager returning from the active roster last year. Forrest would seem to be in a good position to potentially win a roster spot. The Rams will undoubtedly bring in more bodies through rookie free agency, so it's no sure thing, but if he can pick up the defense and show some special teams ability he should have a shot.
Round 6, pick No. 190: Michael Thomas, WR, Southern Miss
My take: With the addition of Thomas, the Rams spent four of their five picks on Day 3 on either a tight end or receiver, selecting two of each. It was a logical approach for a team in serious need of help at both positions. Thomas is particularly intriguing and qualifies as a bonafide sleeper candidate after he wasn't invited to the combine. Thomas was productive in 2015, finishing with 71 catches for 1,391 yards and 14 touchdowns. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, he also offers some size to a receiving corps that can use some.