- Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff Writer
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- If you're tired of all the quarterback talk from the past few days. I understand. Feel free to proceed directly to the links at the bottom of this space though I'll caution that many of those links take you to more quarterback chatter in various other places.
It's not breaking news that the general quarterback depth of the NFL is sorely lacking right now. The St. Louis Rams and their fans were reminded of it this week as the team perused the available options.
What isn't helping is that so many teams in the league don't even have reliable starters let alone proven backups capable of stepping into the fray.
In one of his latest pieces, ESPN Insider Mike Sando details the many teams in need of help at quarterback and puts each team into one of four categories: situation critical, just getting started, time to move on? and keeping contingencies in mind. By Sando's count, there are 13 teams that fall into one of those designations. Those categories are listed in descending order from most pressing need to least.
Without going too far into the piece, the Rams are indeed one of the team's making an appearance on the list. But Sando doesn't rank the Rams among the likes of Cleveland and Jacksonville as teams that desperately need to make a move for a new quarterback as soon as possible.
A quick morsel from Sando's piece on the Rams:
"For the first time since 2010, however, the Rams have reason to at least consider drafting another young prospect at the position. The Rams and Browns are the only teams holding more than one first-round pick in the next draft. Those teams have greater flexibility as a result."
As we've mentioned in this space over the past few days, the Rams and coach Jeff Fisher have made it pretty clear that they intend to bring Sam Bradford back as the starting quarterback in 2014. Whether or not they give him a contract extension or whether he will indeed be back to full health in time for the season are questions that can only be answered in time but Sando brings up a point that is absolutely worth noting.
If the Rams believe that Bradford is their long-term answer at the position then it's reasonable to think they may not pursue a quarterback too early in next year's draft. But what they'll have to sit down and carefully consider is the opportunity that comes with having multiple first-round picks. Assuming they do their diligence on next year's quarterback crop, it's possible the Rams could fall in love with a top signal caller.
If they really like someone, can they say no to adding one knowing that they may not have a chance to get a player of similar caliber soon after? There's a lot of guesswork involved in this whole thing right now, especially because the offseason is so far off. That guesswork is evident in projecting Bradford's comeback as well.
To me, the Rams are in a position where they have to at least draft a young signal caller who can backup Bradford and potentially take over the position long term. As the likes of Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick have shown, you don't have to spend a first-round pick to find talented quarterbacks. It's hard to find them late in the draft or as undrafted free agents but finding one in the second or third round would be a good step toward keeping the Rams from moving from the "keeping contingencies in mind" to "situation critical."
A roundup of Wednesday's Rams-related stories here on ESPN.com. ... We began the day with our weekly QB Watch, looking back on Sam Bradford and ahead with Kellen Clemens. ... Next was this week's buzz discussing, you guessed it, quarterbacks. ... Next was a look at Clemens and what he is and is not as a starter. ... We ended the day with a look at why the Rams wanted a sweep from the baseball Cardinals.
Grantland.com's Bill Barnwell has a fun read on obscure players getting their shot with a section devoted to running back Zac Stacy.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas logs the first work for newly-signed quarterbacks Austin Davis and Brady Quinn.
At stlouisrams.com, Jonathan Webb looks at the Rams bringing "Monday Night Football" back to St. Louis.
Turf Show Times offers an in-depth look at the long day cornerback Janoris Jenkins had against Carolina receiver Steve Smith.
Yahoo! sports presents an argument why the Rams should have gone with Tim Tebow as a quarterback option. So there's that.