The Los Angeles Rams gave up the farm so to speak when they moved up to the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Rams selected quarterback Jared Goff from California with the pick. Although Goff ended up playing some snaps last season, he didn't come close to duplicating the success that the player chosen after him did.
Carson Wentz, the quarterback that Philadelphia chose with the second pick in Round 1, had about as good of a rookie season for a quarterback as you're ever going to see. There was no way Goff was going to duplicate that success playing for a run first team led by former Tennessee Titan coach Jeff Fisher.
This season, things could be different. In fact, after watching Goff play so far during the NFL Preseason, it's apparent he's improved. Check out some of the reasons why Jared Goff might not be a terrible mid-round QB pick.
Goff's Coach this Season is Sean McVay
This is the single most important reason for Jared Goff's seeming improvement. Sean McVay turned Kirk Cousins into one of the more reliable quarterbacks in the NFL. In the 2015-2016 NFL Season, Cousins threw for 4,166 yards. He threw 29 TD passes to only 11 interceptions. Last season, Cousins threw for close to 5,000 yards. He threw 25 TD passes to only 12 picks.
What makes McVay such a great quarterbacks coach? First, he understands the position. McVay has developed an offense that runs through the quarterback. This is much different than the Rams' offense from last season.
The Rams ran everything through 2015 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Todd Gurley. By becoming one-dimensional, Goff never had a chance. Not only that, but by becoming one-dimensional, the Rams' offense appeared stuck in mud. Gurley had a terrible second season in the league after such an impressive debut season.
McVay does something that the most successful teams end up doing, they rely on their quarterbacks to make decisions. Just giving Goff that kind of responsibility should make the gunslinger more comfortable in the offense.
But, McVay also believes in utilizing the tight-end for more than just blocking. McVay believes so much in utilizing the tight-end in passing situations that the Rams used their first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, pick 12 in Round 2, on tight-end Gerald Everett from South Alabama.
But, McVay didn't stop there. To prove to everyone that he believes that a good offense always starts with a quarterback, he went out and traded for one of the top 5 most talented wide receivers in the NFL, Sammy Watkins. Watkins' career so far has been plagued by injuries. When Watkins is healthy, there are few wide receivers in the NFL more capable of making a QB look good than he is.
Already, McVay's moves have had an effect on how Goff plays. In the Rams' first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, Goff was 3 out of 4 for 34 yards. What all fantasy football fans should notice is that Goff completed 3 passes at over an average of 10 yards per pass. Last season, Goff attempted passes at around 5.3 yards per.
Goff was more impressive in the Rams' second preseason game. In that one, Jared Goff completed 16 of 20 for 160 yards. He threw a TD pass. Goff looked like a 3-year pro while systematically taking apart Oakland's defense.
That's excellent news for those fantasy fans that are considering drafting Goff. It's also great news for those fantasy football fans considering drafting RB Todd Gurley. The better Goff plays, the better Gurley should play.
It's all Sean McVay. The Rams' 31-year-old head coach knows exactly what to do to make the Rams' offense productive this season.