<
>

Los Angeles Rams beef up at receiver, but how do they fit?

play
Rams surround Goff with playmakers in draft (1:12)

Alden Gonzalez believes the Rams did a good job getting Jared Goff some offensive skill players, but neglected to fill some holes in the offensive line. (1:12)

Biggest post-draft questions still to be answered by the Los Angeles Rams:

How do the new receivers fit? The Rams drafted three new weapons for Jared Goff with their first four picks, giving them seven in a span of 10 selections dating to 2016. Among their new ones, one (Gerald Everett) is a pass-catching tight end who can be a downfield threat. Another (Cooper Kupp) is a sure-handed slot receiver. And another (Josh Reynolds) can line up on the outside and beat teams over the top. The Rams are happy with the way they addressed specific roles on offense, but it will be interesting to see how an offensive guru like Sean McVay can fit the rookies into what he has with Tavon Austin, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee and Pharoh Cooper.

Did they reach? The Rams' first pick, Everett, played at South Alabama. They also took two others, Kupp and fourth-round outside linebacker Samson Ebukam, out of FCS Eastern Washington. So those three had limited exposure to top-tier collegiate talent. Their first three picks -- Everett, Kupp and safety John Johnson -- ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62, 4.62 and 4.61 seconds, respectively. Not great. Clearly, though, the Rams saw plenty of transferable skills that prompted them to reach a bit with their first three picks. Will they regret not taking receiver Zay Jones or guard Forrest Lamp, both of whom were available at No. 37 before they traded down? Time will tell.

How much will the new defensive guys play? Johnson, who moved around in Boston College's secondary, joins the Rams as a free safety. Lamarcus Joyner is expected to play there when the Rams are in their 3-4 base set and might resume his typical role as a slot corner in subpackages. That could open up snaps for Johnson, depending on what he shows. Robert Quinn and Connor Barwin will be the Rams' outside linebackers, but new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will rotate at the position to keep pass-rushers fresh. That's where Ebukam could factor in. Tanzel Smart, a sixth-round defensive tackle, will have to beat several veterans for playing time.

Are Cory Harkey's days with the Rams over? Harkey has been a key blocking tight end and fullback, not to mention a core locker-room leader, over the past four seasons. But the Rams seemingly drafted his replacement in sixth-round fullback Sam Rogers, known for his toughness, relentlessness and versatility at Virginia Tech. On Friday night, McVay raved about his trio of pass-catching tight ends -- Everett, Higbee and Temarrick Hemingway, a sixth-round pick last year -- even saying he could envision all three of them on the field in '13' personnel. The next day, the Rams drafted Rogers, who has also factored into the passing game. There doesn't seem to be an immediate fit for Harkey.

What about the offensive line? The Rams did not draft a single offensive lineman, which was surprising. They took seven from 2014 to '15, but with Andrew Whitworth 35 years old and John Sullivan coming over on a one-year contract, the Rams still need to find their left tackle and center of the future. This draft was generally devoid of left tackles, but some intriguing centers were available in the middle and late rounds. The Rams didn't bite. Rams general manager Les Snead said new offensive line coach Aaron Kromer preferred to work with the young offensive linemen on his roster. Two of them, Greg Robinson and Robert Havenstein, are switching positions.