So, our division rivals have the top pick as we all already know...to some the choice is clearly what appears to be everyone's #1 player in this class Ndamukong Suh, however in reality it looks like a 3 horse race.
The Rams still need to get better along the DL. They ranked 29th in total D (25th vs the pass, 27th vs the run & 30th in sacks with 25 total sacks). To date they have one player whom they should be building around up front and that is Chris Long.
The FA market holds a lot of defensive names (Peppers, Kampman, KVB, Dumervil, Ogunleye, Wilfork, Seymour amongst others however I do realize not all may hit the open market). And there is a rumor that Osi Umenyiora may be done in NY or be looking to get out after he saw a significant drop in playing time, so that may be a possibility to pursue via trade, especially considering the history between Spags and Osi.
Offensively they ranked 29th overall (28th passing offense). They surrendered 1 less sack than 2008 so they will need to further improve the OL as well, I'm guessing 2008 1st rounder Jason Smith will be moved over to the left side now (he only played in 8 games and started 5) in an attempt to improve pass protection. As we saw this year, Marc Bulger did not appear to be the long term answer in their WCO and Kyle Boller and Keith Null did not leave any hope for the future at the QB position either. Bulger has a fat contract on the books and rumors are swirling that he may be let go.
FA yields little to no hope for a short term answer with the best option possibly being a QB who may not even attempt to play again after suffering yet another injury to his shoulder (and now has had 3 surgeries on said shoulder) in Chad Pennington. Outside of the that there are the Kitna's, Culpepper's and Grossman's.
The trade market may have Jason Campbell, Kellen Clemens, Tavaris Jackson or Troy Smith. Some may wonder, well what about Kevin Kolb or the always rumored to be traded in the offseason McNabb. However there is nothing to support that Philadelphia wants to trade either. As of right now it appears the only 3 available via trade may be Jason Campbell (fell out of favor in Washington), Tavaris Jackson (who has been the subject of trade rumors) and Troy Smith (who has asked to be traded once the season concludes), and 2 of those guys have shown the ability to be anything more than backups. Smith has not really gotten opportunity and Kolb has looked really bad in some opportunities and pretty good in others so they are both hard to gauge.
The one thing that makes Kolb an intriguing name to the Rams is that their OC Pat Shurmur was his QB coach in Philly so there is familiarity between them.
Now while Suh is the consensus BPA in this entire class let's take a look at 1st & 2nd QB selections over the last 20 years and how that has panned out percentage wise :
2nd round QB's have an incredibly high bust rate percentage. In the last 20 years we have seen 4 (Drew Brees, Chad Henne (to date), Jake Plummer & Brett Favre) of 22 2nd round QB's become franchise signal callers. That's about an 18% chance of success.
Of 1st round QB's in that same span, 44 in total, 13 have become franchise QB's (Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Plamer, Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper, Peyton Manning, Steve McNair, Drew Bledsoe, Troy Aikman). Left off that list are Kerry Collins, Jay Cutler, VY as you may call them what you may. That's 30%.
So 1 in nearly every 3 first rounders are franchise QB's compared to 1 in nearly 5 second rounders are franchise QB's.
Personally I think they will not be sold on any one of the 3 until early April when they are able to see both Bradford and Clausen workout as both have had surgeries (Bradford on his shoulder, Clausen on his foot for torn ligaments in his toes which he played with almost all season long). In the end I think they will opt for one of the 2 QB's as they have passed on 2 franchise QB's in the last 2 drafts (Ryan and Sanchez) and not make the same mistake 3 times in a row.
With all this said, in your opinion who will the Rams take and why ?