The long-suffering Rams are about to embark upon yet another massive rebuilding effort, with former Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher tabbed to lead this latest project, and establishing roles and getting a bevy of incoming talent to blend together will be the focus of the new regime.
Many of St. Louis’ 10 choices in this most recent draft have a path to immediate playing time if they’re up to the task, with hulking first-round tackle Michael Brockers and controversial second-round cornerback Janoris Jenkins penciled in as immediate starters on a defense that’s undergoing a major makeover. The Rams could have a pair of first-year players contributing at the outside receiver flanks as well, with both good-sized second-rounder Brian Quick and speedy fourth-round selection Chris Givens set to get crash courses in coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, though veteran Steve Smith may have a say in the matter if the ex-Eagle can demonstrate he’s completely over a knee problem that greatly curtailed his 2011 production. Getting 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford healthy and back to form after an injury-plagued and ineffective sophomore campaign is also a high priority for the new staff, and that cause would be aided if tackles Roger Saffold and Jason Smith can stay on the field after each missed substantial time a season ago. There are also decisions to be made at left guard and outside linebacker, where free-agent additions Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Rocky McIntosh and Mario Haggan are vying for two open spots.