Hello, Jared Goff, you’re in the NFL. Welcome to the NFL party as the newest member of the Los Angeles Rams. Since you were the quarterback for the University of California, you did not have to travel too far to be at your new home. But does your new home with the Rams fit you?
That is the question which, not only are the Los Angeles Rams interested in, but the rest of the NFL. Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, courtesy of ESPN, is the newest multi-millionaire on a franchise, which has new stomping grounds.
How Goff handles his newfound fame and fortune will go a long way. How he handles NFL defenses will go even farther. Not only does Jared Goff have the burden to live up to, and the expectations that comes with being the No. 1 pick of the NFL Draft, there is more. He will have to justify the king’s ransom that the Rams gave up in order for him to select him. Is Jared Goff a good fit with the Los Angeles Rams?
Jared Goff fared well enough during the college football season last year to warrant an early-to-mid-first round pick. He is not, and would not be, the consensus overall pick on most team’s draft boards. With the Rams, he fits two needs.
It was painfully obvious that the Rams needed a quarterback. What they also needed was some generated buzz surrounding the franchise as it is moving back to the Los Angeles area after a 22 year hiatus. Jared Goff fits both descriptions, so he is somewhat perfect for the Rams.
In terms of arm strength, Goff has plenty of it. How far he can sling the football will work well with the blazing speed of Rams’ received Tavon Austin. Teams will no longer be able to put eight, and at times, nine defenders close to the line of scrimmage to stop Todd Gurley’s rushing attempts.
All Jared Goff has to do is execute his reads and make his throws. Given that he struggled at times with his accuracy, it will take some time. Patience is needed as he finds his way in the NFL. Goff has to be a pure student of the game if he wants to be successful. There are certainly going to be some adjustments that will be made.
The Rams will have some tinkering to do as well.
Jared Goff never took a pass under center during his time at Cal. Having worked almost exclusively in a pistol or a spread offense, Goff is at a disadvantage. If the Rams want to get the best out of their investment in him, they must not rush him out on the playing field just yet. Just as Goff has to be a student of the game, it is a must that the Rams give him the best education possible.
Not playing in a pro-style offense will hurt Jared Goff early on. Hopefully, the Rams develop an offensive scheme which takes advantage of his strengths. Goff ran the pistol to precision for the most part at Cal. There are a handful of quarterbacks who run the pistol well in the pros. Peyton Manning is the first passer that comes to mind.
No one is suggesting that Goff will be a player of Manning’s magnitude. How he performs will depend on the offense the Rams run this season.
Jared Goff does have other weaknesses outside of accuracy and lack of experience under center.
He has small hands for his six-foot, four-inch frame. That could lead to the quarterback having fumbling issues. Protecting the football has to be preached about early and often. Goff does have the ability to escape a pass rush. He has not seen anything in college that he will see in the pros. As long as he tucks the football, he should be fine.
When the California Bears struggled, Jared Goff struggled. His consistency must be better in order to lead the Los Angeles Rams to promising times. He did not get rattled much when Cal struggled, and plenty of the Bears’ ills were on defense.
Cal gave up 28 or more points in eight of 13 games last season. Five of those games ended up in losses. Overall, as a starter, Jared Goff finished with a dismal 14-23 record. That cannot repeat itself in the NFL. There are a couple of offensive-rich teams in the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks in the Rams division, so he will be asked to air it out in order to stay close in games, if he plays right away.
To help him, the Rams will have to make adding an offensive line to protect him as the next major priority. It is expected that the Rams will collect a couple of offensive lineman later in the draft. It will not be a second round selection though. The Rams jettisoned both of their second round picks in their trade with the Tennessee Titans to acquire the No. 1 pick, via NFL.com. Expect the Los Angeles Rams to draft a lineman or two in the middle rounds of the draft.
The Rams seem to have Jared Goff in their sights the entire time. As long as everyone makes a couple adjustments, Jared Goff is a good fit to lead the Los Angeles Rams to for at least the next five years.
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]