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By: Blaine Grisak
ESPN tabs Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman as potential fit for Rams
The Los Angeles Rams could once again be in the market for a quarterback on day three in NFL Draft come April. This is somewhat disappointing, especially after the team selected Stetson Bennett in the fourth-round just last year. However, with Bennett’s future uncertain and no current backup for Stafford, drafting one makes some sense.
ESPN’s Jordan Reid recently ranked the top-12 quarterbacks in the NFL Draft and listed a potential team fit for each player. Coming in at number 10 was Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman. As the potential team fit for Hartman, Reid listed the Rams. Said Reid,
“Getting the ball out quickly hasn’t been a problem for Hartman, as he’s a quick decision-maker. But he has also been accurate on deep throws, even though he has arm strength limitations. Hartman had 11 touchdowns to one interception and an 88.5 QBR on throws 20-plus yards downfield this past season. Part of the reason that Hartman transferred to Notre Dame was to gain experience in a pro-style system…While he has had plenty of success in the pocket, pressure has rushed him into making premature decisions. When under pressure this season, Hartman completed only 45.5% of his throws, which ranks 71st in the FBS. He doesn’t have the playmaking ability to create extra opportunities outside of the normal structure of plays with any consistency. He will need to be in a system that’s predicated on rhythm and timing underneath, which matches his strengths as a passer.”
Hartman wouldn’t bring a lot of excitement if the Rams were to draft him. His ceiling is likely as a backup quarterback. It’s uncertain if Los Angeles would be able to bring back a player like Carson Wentz or if he gets an opportunity elsewhere. If that’s the case, the best option for the Rams to address the backup quarterback position may end up being in the draft.
The Notre Dame quarterback would be an option on day three, but he has very limited upside due to his physical limitations. Drafting Hartman would be the Rams trying to stick to the plan of last year which was to select a long-term backup quarterback. This would be trying to right a wrong after Bennett didn’t work out after an up-and-down preseason.
It will be interesting to see how the Rams address the quarterback position this offseason. They can’t ignore it as that’s how they ended up with Brett Rypien against the Green Bay Packers. At the same time, there’s also not necessarily a quarterback worth taking on day one or two that has developmental upside as a starter. The best option may be to draft a quarterback on day three and hope they are able to step in as a backup if needed.