Rams WR plans: Brandon Lloyd or Michael Floyd?

Michael Floyd at the NFL Combine. Photo from Getty Images. It wasn’t quite Julio Jones-spectacular, but Michael Floyd had himself a very good combine.

While writing up the biggest risers and fallers among WRs in the NFL Combine for ThisGivenSunday, it was hard not to take notice of the very good day Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd had. In a way, this was his Super Bowl, an opportunity to flash his impressive physical frame and collection of straight-line skills and separate himself physically from the rest of the WRs in the first-round conversation. 

His impressive day made me take some time to rethink my long-standing grudge against Floyd where it comes to the St Louis Rams and their obvious need for a #1 receiver. 

@RamsHerd you should, best receiver in this class and gets the ball with authority.

Obviously, the first red flag people will raise is with his character, thanks to a DUI arrest. That bothers me less than reports that question his commitment or his consistency. But I also have a tendency to discount offensive talent from ND as being naturally over-hyped, and have rarely been proven wrong in recent history with Jimmy Clausen, Brady Quinn and Golden Tate falling far short of their hype.

Floyd may prove the exception to that rule, and may show that he has gained a maturity from his troubles over the past year that make him all the more pro-ready. Only time will tell on those fronts. Mike Mayock is a bias-free analyst, and appears impressed with Floyd’s dedication to the game, lauding him for cleaning himself up on and off the field.”

The interesting variable in calculating the Rams’ interest level in Floyd is to weigh their similar interest in Brandon Lloyd. At the Combine, Jeff Fisher confirmed that the Rams would at least make an effort to resign their top target. However, he didn’t exactly show his cards in terms of how seriously they intend to pursue the free agent. 

The obvious question is how much the Rams need a 31-year-old wideout who ate up targets but didn’t exactly light the turf on fire here. I expect Floyd to land as a near-finished product that, like AJ Green, will demand a majority of snaps. Indeed, it may make sense to line Floyd up at the X as often as possible and jump start the chemistry experiment between he and Sam Bradford, as the Bengals did with AJ Green by clearing out all of his competition for playing time. 

By contrast, if the Rams are serious about making a push for Brandon Lloyd, it may signal that they will be looking for more of a complementary piece on offense, someone like Kendall Wright (whose stock fell this weekend but still has a mountain of quality tape) who needs a player like Lloyd on the opposite sideline to succeed.

Could the Rams go after Lloyd and Floyd and give Bradford a sudden upgrade in weaponry? Possibly, and that would seem to fit with the Jets’ strategy of accumulating weapons for Mark Sanchez during Brian Schottenheimer’s time there. But I’m not sure it passes the chemistry test, a priority for Jeff Fisher’s teams, and something the Jets have failed at. Both players are target-hungry receivers, and this offense may not be designed to feed both of them enough to justify a double-down investment.