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Rams' Draft Focuses On Offense


L.A. Rams

Rams top selection Jared Goff

The Los Angles Rams focused on the offense as the dust settled following the 2016 NFL Draft that concluded on Saturday, April 30. The team chose one quarterback, four receivers and one linebacker for its six choices in this year's draft including the league's No. 1 selection:

Round 1 (#1): Jared Goff, quarterback, California

Round 4 (#110): Tyler Higby, tight end, Western Kentucky

Round 4 (#119): Pharoh Cooper, wide receiver, South Carolina

Round 6 (#177): Temarrick Hemingway, tight end, South Carolina State

Round 6 (#190): Josh Forrest, linebacker, Kentucky

Round 6 (#206): Michael Thomas, wide receiver, Southern Miss

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Thursday, April 28: "With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft the Los Angeles Rams select Jared Goff, quarterback, California."

The L.A. Rams were suddenly dominating the local sports talk radio stations as well as the social media texts, tweets and chats.

The Rams are banking on Goff to be the face of the franchise for the next decade. The team traded away seven draft choices to the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago to move from the #15 pick to the top spot in the draft.

Here are a few of Goff's responses to the numerous questions asked in the days following the draft including his initial reaction:

"It was a crazy time, and it's still kind of going fast right now. I'm trying to take it all in, and enjoy it as much as I can, but it's a little bit of a whirlwind right now, but I am trying to enjoy it.

"I think myself, and really everyone coming into the NFL as a rookie, you want to transition to the speed. It is something I am ready for, and excited for the challenge."

"At first, just kind of come in and put your head down and work hard, and just kind of stay low and gain their respect... I think I'm going to bring a hard-working mentality, and a hard-working attitude, and start with that."

Rams general manager Les Snead and Ram head coach Jeff Fisher spoke about the team's selections:

Snead: "I think for the most part, but there were defenders on the board that you could have picked from but maybe they went before you wanted to pick them and things like that."

"So, there were some defenders definitely on the board, but we did know that it would be nice to help the offense. Like you said, the tight end position and the wide receiver position to add some weapons. And blockers – right – tight ends don't just catch the ball."

Fisher: "Well, here we are. Really, it seems like this thing has been going on for weeks now, but we feel like we had a very productive day today. Really excited about the way things went. Obviously, as you look, offense was the priority for us."

"Really excited to have the tight ends be in the situation where they were, where we could help to add depth to that position. Of course the two receivers are going to help that depth as well. Just really excited about how things went off.

"We go through this every year, where you got a guy up there and then all of the sudden he's gone and then you have to maneuver and all of that. But, did a great job picking up the extra pick, so we got an extra play with that."

The draft picks also expressed their views:

Tyler Higbee: "I'm just out here trying to do my job and play football. I'm trying to look forward to bringing a championship to the Los Angeles area and on the football field."

"I think I can create some mismatches with the linebackers and safeties. I'm going to get out there and be physical on the smaller guys, and use some of my speed on some of the bigger guys. I'm just looking forward to getting out there and getting to work with Jared, and looking forward to the future."

Pharoh Cooper: "It's going to be great. Jared, I threw with him at the combine. He is a great quarterback. Just to go in there and work with the No. 1 quarterback drafted overall. You know, it is going to be great to start strong with him and build chemistry with him when I get there.

"My biggest asset would probably be making plays after the catch. Once I catch the ball, I can easily get another five to 10 yards after I make the catch."

Temarrick Hemingway: "A lot of people might think of me as a receiving tight end. I see myself as a physical tight end as well. I catch the ball in traffic. I like to get yards after the catch.

"I don't want to be a heavy tight end with no muscle. I feel like if I could gain maybe 10 more pounds, that'd be really great for me. I came a long way from 229 at the beginning of last season to 248 now. So I feel like picking up weight shouldn't be too much of a problem."

Josh Forrest: "I am just in shock right now. I started off just trying to do something with my time away from basketball season. So football was the thing I was chose to do. One of my best friends talked me into playing. I just fell in love with it from there.

L.A. Rams

L.A. Rams 2016 draft choices

"Then I started eating healthy. I got with a nutritionist, and we sat down and got a meal (program), and I stayed on it. I gained about 10 pounds until I got up to 250, and right now that's where I am at."

Michael Thomas: "It's a great feeling. There's a lot of great people in the organization. They've got a great receivers coach. I talked to him earlier. I'm just blessed. I'm thankful. It's a happy moment for me"

"I bring dynamic playmaking skills. I can stretch the field, make things happen, make plays, execute plays, and that's what I'm looking forward to doing with the Rams. Keep making plays, executing, and winning games."

The immediate next stop for the six Ram draftees will be attending the L.A. Rams 2016 two-day rookie minicamp this weekend just up the coast in Oxnard. It's only just begun.


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