Just because Steven Jackson is a couple of weeks away from being an unrestricted free agent, that doesn’t mean he won’t be back in St. Louis. But what if that’s the case? What if he signs elsewhere once his contract is voided March 12, and the Rams’ backfield is without Jackson for the first time in a decade?
The first thing that must be considered before the draft is what to make of their three rookies from 2012 — Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Terrance Ganaway.

At the NFL scouting combine last Friday, coach Jeff Fisher said Pead was drafted not just to be a change-of-pace back spelling Jackson, but because the Rams thought he could be “the guy.” The feature back. Fisher said he felt Richardson could be an every-down back as well. That’s debatable given their size, with Pead at 5-10, 197 and Richardson at 5-10, 196.

But the Rams obviously believe both players have potential to do a lot more than was the case in 2012.

“Pead toward the end of the year, Daryl at the beginning and middle, proved they can play in the league ...” general manager Les Snead said. “They will all have a role. Richardson is going to have a role. Pead is going to have a role. They are all going to have a role and we are going to utilize those roles.”

If that comes on a 2013 Rams roster that does not include Jackson, the roles will be much larger. According to the NFL statistical service, Jackson was on the field for 707 offensive snaps in 2012, or more than twice the amount of Richardson, Pead and Ganaway combined.