Rams' free-agent priorities include a makeover on defense

Here are the moves the Los Angeles Rams should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday:

Replenish at outside linebacker: Robert Quinn was traded to the Miami Dolphins, Connor Barwin is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and suddenly the Rams are down both their starters at outside linebacker. They like what Matt Longacre has provided in limited snaps and remain intrigued by the promise of Samson Ebukam, but the Rams need some outside help at this position. Barwin is a scheme fit, but was graded 103rd among 106 edge rushers by Pro Football Focus in his age-31 season in 2017. The free-agent market here is pretty dry, however. The best of the bunch might be Julius Peppers, and he's 38.

Improve against the run: Opponents averaged 4.76 rushing yards per carry between the tackles against the Rams last season, second-most in the NFL. And now the Rams need some bigger, run-stuffing bodies along the interior, at nose tackle and at inside linebacker. The Rams cleared a spot in the latter with a stunning move that sent Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants last week, clearing up additional cap space and adding to their draft capital. Two under-the-radar free agents who can help against the run: defensive tackle DaQuan Jones and inside linebacker Zach Brown.

Figure out a solution at center: John Sullivan, 32, is a free agent, and now the Rams have a hole here. Sullivan was a valuable asset for young quarterback Jared Goff last season, because of his knowledge of McVay's offense and his ability to identify coverages from the line of scrimmage. But the Rams might want to find a younger, more long-term solution here. Their left tackle, Andrew Whitworth, is 36, and three other starters -- left guard Rodger Saffold, right guard Jamon Brown and right tackle Rob Havenstein -- can all be free agents next year. The Rams could wait to address center in the draft, but is that too risky?

Re-sign Nickell Robey-Coleman: The Rams' biggest need was cornerback when the offseason began. That is no longer the case. They acquired All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters from the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 23, then acquired All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib from the Denver Broncos on Thursday -- mere hours after signing former Pro Bowl cornerback Sam Shields, who spent most of the last two years away from football because of concussions. The Rams now have some really good depth at cornerback, enough so that they will let Trumaine Johnson depart via free agency. But they would still like to bring back Robey-Coleman because they value what he brings to the slot.

Move on from Sammy Watkins: The Rams' hopes of retaining Watkins were squashed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, when the former No. 4 overall pick chose to sign a three-year, $48 million contract with the Chiefs. Now the team is expected to replace Watkins internally, likely with Josh Reynolds, who projects as a vertical threat and impressed as a rookie last season. Reynolds can join Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp in three-receiver sets and offer a similar dynamic to the one Watkins offered in 2017. But he's still a little raw. And there might be some receiver options near the bottom of the market to help the Rams supplement some depth. They won't spend much here, if anything. But it's worth a look.