Originally written on cover32 - Rams  |  Last updated 5/29/15
In our own twist on projecting the makeup of the 2014 St. Louis Rams, we’ve decided to skip right past the offseason, not pass “Go”, and move directly to opening day 2014. It is way too early to be making projections like these, as we still have free agency, the draft, and training camp to look forward to as the offseason is just now getting underway. Think of this more as a way to both monitor the teams’ progress throughout the spring and keep tabs on how areas of need are being met. With that said, here is the February edition of cover32 St. Louis’ So-early-it’s-stupid projections for the Rams’ 2014 offensive starters. Any surprises? QB – Sam Bradford The debates have raged over whether Bradford is the guy moving forward, but at the very least he’s the guy for the short-term. Should he recover from his mid-season knee injury in time for the 2014 opener, he will be under center regardless of any additions the team has made to the roster through the draft or free agency. RB – Zac Stacy Duh. Stacy burst onto the scene in a huge way as a rookie in 2013, so much so that the team developed an entirely new identity surrounding his hard-nosed style in the wake of Bradford’s injury. At this point, Stacy is a lock to be the Week 1 starter. WRs – Austin Pettis, Tavon Austin, and Sammy Watkins No single Rams receiver (outside of Austin’s few big games) managed to truly separate themselves from the pack in terms of becoming the team’s No. 1. I would argue that Pettis is the most reliable among the trio of the position’s old guard, which includes himself, Chris Givens, and Brian Quick. Additionally, Stedman Bailey – while a promising prospect – may still be too raw to be inserted into the starting lineup Week 1. Austin won’t likely be on the field every play, but he figures to be a force out of the slot for the foreseeable future as he continues to adjust to the NFL. That leaves rookie Sammy Watkins on the other side, who the Rams will have selected with their first pick in the draft, either at No. 2 (a bit of a reach, I know) or slightly further back barring a trade. Love it or hate it, Watkins and Austin suddenly make this offense uniquely versatile and remarkably dangerous. OTs – Jake Long and Joe Barksdale The offensive line is the area that seems to be the most in-transition among Rams’ position groups, even including the defense. At this point, should Long fully recover from his injury, he’s at least earned the chance to start from Day 1 based on his highly prodictive 2013. This mock lineup assumes that head coach Jeff Fisher will stick to his historical tendencies and not select an offensive tackle on the first day of the draft, therefore leaving the incumbent (and stout) Barksdale in perhaps a more permanent role on the right. Gs – Cyril Richardson and Rodger Saffold If I’m going to completely butcher any position as these mock lineups evolve over the course of the spring and summer, it’ll be this one. Our February mock assumes that Fisher and general manager Les Snead get the interior line help that they desperately need in the form of Baylor guard Cyril Richardson, who can likely be scooped up in rounds two or three of the draft. Richardson is then inserted into one of the holes left by the departures of Chris Williams and Harvey Dahl, who were casualties of the Rams’ tight cap situation. This mock also assumes that the Rams will be able to re-sign Saffold, which – given emerging reports that he seems likely to test the waters of free agency – may be more wishful thinking than it is a likely scenario. C – Tim Barnes This may be a stretch, but Barnes filled in admirably in the injury-driven absence of starter Scott Wells. Wells, along with Williams and Dahl, may also fall victim to the cap, and even if the Rams draft a center in the mid-to-late rounds, Barnes’ game experience (as little as it may be) will put him slightly above any draftee or C/G Barrett Jones. TE – Jared Cook The Rams’ 2013 leading receiver will resume his role as the starting tight end, but the team will likely expect him to build on those numbers in 2014 to help justify his lofty price tag. Backup Lance Kendricks generally improved across the board in 2013, but Cook is still the guy for Week 1. What do you think of our way-too-early projections? Agree? Disagree? Expect our early look at the 2014 defense on Wednesday. Read why the Rams should just say no to Eric Decker if he becomes available. Make sure you follow @cover32_Stl and @cover32_NFL on Twitter for all the latest breaking news, columns, blogs and features from the Rams and the entire NFL. You may also be interested in:Obscenely early projections for the Rams’ 2014 starting offenseShould the Rams draft one of the top 10 running backs to pair with Stacy?Weekly Rewind: Kroenke’s Hollywood roles; Rams should bypass Decker
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Falcons waive Shembo after report of animal cruelty charges

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline


Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

Bulls GM: No teams asked to talk with Tom Thibodeau

Aaron Rodgers could take on more play-calling duties

Urban Meyer says Braxton Miller will return to Ohio State

DeMaurice Smith: NFL teams are blackballing Ray Rice

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Tigers' pitching woes make Scherzer loss more lamentable

Byron Maxwell guarantees Eagles play in Super Bowl 50

Australian paper runs "Bernie chokes on Kokk' as headline

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

For LeBron, it's about more than the ring

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.