The Los Angeles Rams are in need of a quarterback. That might be the understatement of the century for Rams fans, but that's where things sit in 2016. Once the Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams have been reduced to the Weakened Weekened Webseries. Now the Rams organization is looking at a new stadium, new city, and new media environment.
It might be fair to say that the Rams have been in Los Angeles before and they're going to be used to it, but a lot has changed since 1994 and the round-the-clock coverage of the NFL teams in major markets has changed the dynamic of what's expected from ownership and management. Head coach Jeff Fisher has already been with the Rams for a healthy amount of time, veteran Los Angeles press will waste little time demanding answers from him about the Rams' minimalistic offensive outputs. There will be added pressure for him to expand his repertoire or it won't be long before the media is suggesting he is past his time and era as a head coach.
Given the fact that he's approaching a decade without a winning season, there may be some relevance to that statement, but Fisher knows the area, has dealt with the Los Angeles media before, and will be given the chance to get things turned around in 2016. His biggest test will how he handles the dwindling production from Rams QBs, either through the Draft or the market.
Should the Rams go the free agent route, Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Johnny Manziel, and Peyton Manning (likely) should all be available should the organization wish to try and negotiate. There will likely be stumbling blocks with Manning and Cousins -- will Manning want to keep playing and will Cousins look to sign a one-year franchise offer from Washington -- but Manziel and RGIII should be up for grabs, though both would have to be considered projects for different reasons.
If the Rams opt to go through the Draft to find their next leader, there will be several enticing options likely still available at No. 15 spot, unless the Rams decide to trade up for Cal's Jared Goff. It's hard to see Fisher parting with quality picks or players for a quarterback, but stranger things have happened. The most common name tossed around is Paxton Lynch out of Memphis, but the NFL Combine always seems to reorder what we "know" and there are a couple names on the list who could end up bumping Lynch much further down the list.
Ohio State's Cardale Jones and Alabama's Jacob Coker both represent huge-armed, big-framed quarterbacks cabpe of delivering NFL throws. Both guys have limited tape, question marks on the film they do have, and could end up being busts, but they could also both end up being the future of an NFL team. Stanford's Kevin Hogan is another name that could see some Draft board movement based on the Combine and Pro Day.
Hogan is a bit smaller than Jones and Coker, but he did more winning in an NFL-ready scheme than any quarterback on the list and he's proven he has the hunger to succeed. He doesn't have the sexy name appeal of some other names on the list, but Combine meeting rooms should give him a chance to shine on the meeting side of things. He's also greatly improved as a player.
Whatever the Rams do, it's clear that the franchise will have to get things right under center if they are going to have any hope of winning a defense-heavy NFC West. Carson Palmer has seen a career renaissance with the Cardinals and Russell Wilson isn't hurting for success in Seattle. Depending on what happens up north with Chip Kelly and the Santa Clara 49ers, the Rams may be looking up at a stiff climb to success.