The national football media has been throwing dirt on Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s grave for at least two seasons. But to paraphrase the great Mark Twain, the reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.
But that hasn’t stopped draft experts from pinning the Rams with a quarterback at #19 in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. Dane Brugler of The Athletic and NFL analyst, Bucky Brooks both selected quarterbacks in their latest mock drafts and both cited the reasoning for the pick as a replacement for an aging Matthew Stafford. They selected J.J. McCarthy and Bo Nix respectively.
It isn’t a bad idea for a handful of reasons; 1. The Green Bay Packers look like geniuses picking Jordan Love as a succession plan for Aaron Rodgers. 2. The Rams don’t have that in place. 3. Stafford is getting to be ‘that’ age. Matt Ryan‘s arm fell off at 37. Philip Rivers at 39. Peyton Manning‘s as well. Stafford will be 37 in a few weeks. So it is only a matter of time. This dropoff came unexpectedly for all. The same thing could happen to Stafford.
Why The Los Angeles Rams Shouldn’t Draft A QB In The First
Matthew Stafford is coming off one of the best years of his career. The counting stats won’t back that up, but his command of the offense has never been better. Once the Rams offense was sorted out and he had the support of a quality running attack, Stafford was the fourth-best quarterback in the league by EPA/play.
The Rams have bigger fish to fry for 2024. The Rams defense needs significant improvements on defense, specifically at edge rusher and outside cornerback. If the Rams are serious about making a deep run into the playoffs they will need to address one of these positions in the first round.
The Rams are now looking through a maximum two-year window with Stafford at quarterback. Drafting his replacement this year, especially Nix or McCarthy, isn’t the answer. There is the off chance that one could be the next Jalen Hurts or Brock Purdy, but that is a big gamble considering the needs the defense has.
In theory, the Los Angeles Rams could be setting themselves up for a perfect continuation of success by drafting the next great underrated signal caller, but would it be worth it to put 2024 at risk? There is a litany of first-round quarterbacks that never become a starter much less a franchise-defining player. As enticing as it sounds, the Rams drafting a quarterback should come in later rounds, just like teams Hurts and Purdy.