Les Snead: ‘If Todd Gurley (fell) To 10, Take Him’

If you’re wondering whether the St. Louis Rams entered last Thursday night fully intending to take running back Todd Gurley with the tenth overall pick, well, they did.

“If Todd Gurley (fell) to 10, take him. That was Goal No. 1,” Rams general manager Les Snead said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We knew (we were) adding an explosive player in the offense to go along with Tre Mason, another explosive playmaker, and some of other weapons to try to score TDs. But Goal No. 2 was this: We needed to add quality offensive linemen – and not just one. We did four during the course of the three days.”

Among the linemen were Wisconsin’s Robert Havenstein, Louisville’s Jamon Brown, Iowa’s Andrew Donnal and Fresno State’s Cody Wichmann.

That’s a lot of beef up front.

“I think that was really Goal No. 2,” Snead said. “And Goal No. 3 was let’s finally add a QB that we’ve done a lot of work on that we think has a future in some form or fashion down the line.”

That quarterback would be Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, a third-round pick.

The Rams, who went 6-10 last year with Austin Davis and Shaun Hill, now have Nick Foles, Todd Gurley, several young offensive linemen and a menacing defensive front. But what about the skill guys outside? Do the Rams have enough quality guys to throw the ball to?

“Good question,” Snead said. “Obviously we signed Kenny Britt last year. We re-signed him. He was a 700+ yard receiver. We think he’s only going to get better. Our receiver from the second round a few years ago, Brian Quick, was actually our leading receiver when he had a very tough injury at KC. He’s a guy that can go get rebounds. I think he was ascending, and we expect him to recover. It was a tough injury on that shoulder. And with the change in philosophy on offense, we expect to get Tavon Austin more involved in the passing game. The key with the whole deal is we believe in those guys. We got to continue to develop them and we got to continue to utilize them and they got to do their part and make plays when called upon. Time will tell.”

In many ways, it seems like the Rams are following the Seahawks’ blueprint for success. Snead is more than okay with that comparison.

“It’s a nice blueprint to follow because they play really good defense, they run the football and obviously their QB is a weapon and can make plays when called upon,” he said. “You know what’s interesting? Whether we’re copying seattle – which is not a bad model to copy – it’s the philosophy of our head coach. And when (Jeff Fisher has) been most successful, that’s been what he does.”

Throw in versatile tight ends Lance Kendricks and Jared Cook, and Snead feels the Rams can put some points on the board next season.

Here’s hoping that St. Louis fans will still show up and watch.

There is speculation that the Rams could be moving to Los Angeles in the near future. Snead, however, said the speculation isn’t affecting what the franchise does on the field.

“It really doesn’t,” he said. “Ever since the season ended, we’ve focused on the offseason and kind of took an assessment of who we are and what we need to do to get better. And then you (evaluate prospects and free agents) and you get in the bunker and do this draft thing. Now we’ll get right out and do skill development, OTAs and we’ll take a break. Then it’s training camp.”

And then it’s Week 1 against Seattle, in St. Louis, blueprint versus blueprint.

“(The speculation is) . . . some noise that’s over in the left- or right-hand corner,” Snead said. “But it’s not right in our next step of what we’re trying to accomplish in 2015.”

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