(FootballStL) -- We’ve dissected what the Rams could possibly do as far as adding to their quarterback stockpile in free agency – hint: it’s not a lot – so the next logical place to look for QB help is the draft. Now, given the fact Jeff Fisher will be entering his fourth season as coach in St. Louis it’s highly unlikely he’ll he’d go with a rookie starter in 2015.
Fisher needs to win and win now. And he knows it.
So anybody drafted at the QB position will be with an eye towards 2016 and beyond and not necessarily 2015. But the draft is also the best and most effective way to find a franchise signal caller.
That said, here are the Rams options for the draft broken down into tiers:
The Elite - Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and Jameis Winston (Florida State)
These are the cream of the crop in 2015. They’ve been at or near the top of everyone’s draft board since the start of the season and, as of early January, they’re both still projected to be high picks. Both, however, have very different sets of strengths and weaknesses.
Mariota is a terrific athlete who knows when to run. He has the perfect amount of escapability that teams look for but he doesn’t take off without it being the absolute last resort. Mariota’s got a quick release, a strong arm and by all accounts has all the intangibles teams look for. He’s a leader. Questions revolving around him revolve around accuracy. But that’s it.
Winston on the other hand is more of an x-factor. Just by judging him on the field and on the field by itself, he’s the #1 pick in the draft. Winston has a cannon for an arm, he’s an unbelievable athlete and he’s a great on field leader. The problem is these players are judged by more than what they do on the field. And Winston has had a lot of run-ins with the law. These allegations haven’t kept the man off the field in Tallahassee but it’s enough to make teams think twice before drafting him. Winston was never kicked out of school like Janoris Jenkins or Dorial Green-Beckham so he won’t tumble down draft boards as much as you’d think. But there’s a chance he could fall from the top two or three to ten or so. And that’d be right in the Rams wheelhouse if they so choose.
Tier 2 – Bryce Petty (Baylor) and Brett Hundley (UCLA)
These two are very nice prospects in their own right but don’t have the jaw-dropping measurable of Mariota and Winston. Petty, a senior, had another nice season for the Bears but wasn’t quite as great as he was as a junior in 2013. His yards went down from 4,200 to 3,855 and his TD-to-INT ratio decreased from 32 and 3 to 29 and 7. Petty’s QBR also went from 80.0 as a junior to 65.8 as a senior. The size and arm strength are adequate but you have to wonder if the inflated numbers are more due to Baylor’s up-tempo offense than anything.
Hundley is more of an athlete as evidenced by his 10 touchdown runs including the Alamo Bowl against Kansas State. He’s a very smart guy who apparently is the hardest worker on the Bruins that sets an example for everyone else. Hundley appears to be accurate enough and has very good arm strength. Decision making isn’t an issue after throwing just 12 INTs in his sophomore and junior seasons. The three year starter appears to be very solid across the board but, again, doesn’t have anything that wows you.
Tier 3 – The Rest
Michigan State’s Connor Cook and Nevada’s Cody Fajardo are among the next group of QBs who will likely be taken in the mid-to-late rounds come the spring. The Rams could very well elect to wait and grab a signal caller by then. At this point it’s hard to tell how much of a priority they’ll make the position.