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Thread: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

  1. #121
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    The Rams 1st pick yesterday, IMO, was a very good one -- not just 'good'. All things considered, i.e., players, trading pics by the Browns and the Jags, then drawing a deal with Dallas, I believe the Rams, for their first pick in RD 1, have a valuable investment in their hand in Brockers.

    Sure, like many of us, I didn't know much about MB but now, I'm glad he'll be wearing the Rams horns and getting much attention to speed up his pro development.

    I'm also happy to see there are some highly positive opinions here about this selection for, a) the player himself, a young BIG kid that I think is just besides himself with the opportunity to show what he can accomplish in the NFL as a Rams DT, and, b) the planning and decision making the FO has done up to now, especially after those aggressive early jumps by Cleveland and Jacksonville.

    In short: Brockers, our new DT + 2nd + 3rd round picks = EXCELLENT 2012 DRAFT

    Okay, much too early to rate the players AND this year's draft. But I got a good feeling about both.


    Michael Brockers
    LSU DT 6-5", 325 lbs.



    Turned 21 years old in December.


    From NFL Draft 2012...

    Draft Analysis: Grade 87.0

    Mayock's take:
    "Think about the defensive tackles in St. Louis. They've been beat up inside at that position. Their defensive ends are solid, but they need some help inside. Brockers will step in immediately in the inside."

    OVERVIEW

    Brockers is an elite athlete with positional versatility. He came to LSU as a thick linebacker prospect before putting on weight and shifting to the defensive line. Teams that run a 3-4 defense could be interested in playing him as a defensive end, because he is athletic enough to work from the edge in a scheme that requires bigger ends to maintain their blockers and keep the linebackers free. Brockers, however, has more value as a 3-tech defensive tackle within a 4-3 defense. He will make an immediate impact as a rookie.


    Strengths

    Brockers has a massive frame and the ability to play a number of different roles depending on the scheme. He can handle double-teams, which he regularly demands, while working inside. He excels against the run and would shore up the middle of a team's defense the second he arrived at camp. With thick, powerful legs, he was able to out-leverage nearly every lineman he faced in the SEC. Brockers is able to take advantage of his long arms, and can work off his block toward the ball. He sniffs out plays, possessing an uncanny ability to diagnose screens and draws.

    Weaknesses

    Brockers has been a starter for just one full year, and is still developing. He has poor pass-rushing technique and relies on his natural ability in many phases of the game. He has a tendency to stand upright, causing him to lose a lot of power. Brockers is slow to use his hands to defend against jolt blocks and exposes his frame on most plays. He is a raw player who has grown physically at a rapid pace and is still getting a feel for his body.

    --

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


    RAMS OFFICAL WEBSITE

    Rams Trade Down, Still Get Brockers

    Posted Thur midnight, Apr. 26
    By Nick Wagoner


    When the Rams came on the clock with the sixth pick of the first round, they gave strong consideration to drafting LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers.

    In fact, the Rams had Brockers rated as one of their top players in the entire draft, certainly in the top six. But, instead of drafting Brockers, they struck a deal with Dallas to move down to No. 14 and pick up a second-round pick.

    After dropping eight spots, the Rams began considering what their options would be and looking at other players. But when they came back on the clock, they found themselves overjoyed to see Brockers staring them in the face again.

    Coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead briefly considered trading down again but didn’t hesitate much to make the move to get the guy they coveted eight picks before. As it happened, Fisher and Snead actually watched film on Brockers again Thursday morning before making the decision.

    “We had Michael up there with number-six value and he was one of our considerations,” Fisher said. “We had other players up there with that number-six pick value, so when you have a number of players up there and the guy that you have interest in is no longer there, it makes sense to go. We talked about our needs and to be able to get pick number forty-five from Dallas was a deal we couldn’t refuse. So now you wait and things start falling into place, and there was a run on defensive tackles and the only club we really had to wait on was Arizona and Michael fell to us.”

    For those paying attention when Fisher and Snead discussed the numerous options the Rams had entering Thursday night’s first round, the possibility of making a move to add picks to help fill their numerous needs continued to crop up.

    In one of the wildest openings to a draft of all time, every pick from No. 2 through No. 7 changed hands at least once and the sixth pick was moved twice.

    Cleveland started it off with a bang, dealing three picks to Minnesota to move up one spot to grab Alabama running back Trent Richardson. With Richardson off the board, the Rams soon began exploring trade options.

    Fisher acknowledged the Rams still had Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon in the crosshairs but after Minnesota took USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, Jacksonville jumped over the Rams to No. 5 to snatch Blackmon away.

    That left the Rams considering whether to take LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne in a group that also had Brockers and Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

    Dallas didn’t hesitate to capitalize on the chance to move up for Claiborne, though, as it coughed up its second round pick (No. 45) overall and the 14th pick to move up and grab Claiborne.

    The Rams scooped up Brockers and suddenly found themselves with one of the league’s most formidable young defensive lines led by one of the league’s most respected defensive line coaches, Mike Waufle.

    In other words, the Rams are confident that Waufle can help Brockers reach his vast potential.

    “Our defensive line coach is one of the best in the NFL,” Snead said. “I’ve always heard that, but now living with him, I see it and feel it. He has a philosophy, and I think everyone who visits our games will see his philosophy. I think pass rush comes from a unit and we’ve got four players. We’ve got two ends that can rush the passer. This guy is very strong. He can push the pocket and can cause the quarterback not be able to step up and now the ends…I don’t know if we can still hit quarterbacks in this league, but at least we can pressure them or maybe touch them, two-hand touch. But it’s not all about sacks when you’re talking about rushing and pressuring the quarterback.”

    A 6’5, 322 pound monster, Brockers will be expected to step in right away next to free agent signee Kendall Langford and help the Rams solve a major run defense deficiency that saw them finish 31st in the league last year.

    Add talented young ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn and the Rams are thrilled with their front four moving forward.

    “He was one of our top rated players on the board,” Snead said. “We felt like we have two young, good to very good ends and we signed Kendall Langford, so being one of our better players on the board, not only do we get one of the players we wanted, but we made the defensive line unit one of our strongest units on the team.”

    Although Brockers was just a one-year starter for the Bayou Bengals, he made an immediate impact in the run game, regularly taking on and forcing multiple offensive linemen into a stalemate.

    In his final season in Baton Rouge, Brockers posted 54 tackles, 10 for loss with two sacks and a forced fumble as LSU’s defense was nearly impossible to run against, holding opponents to just 90 yards rushing per game, good for fifth in the nation.

    That performance was enough to draw the attention of scouts everywhere labeling Brockers as one of the premiere run stuffers in the nation. That is what Brockers believes is his biggest strength.

    “I want to make a team one-dimensional like I did at LSU,” Brockers said. “I want to make a team want to throw the ball and then as a professional, turn into a great pass rusher as well so I can get some of those sacks I didn’t get in college and just become an All-Pro player in the league.”

    Although Brockers doesn’t have a ton of game experience, Fisher said he’s not concerned with his ability to develop into a well-rounded tackle with the pass rush skills to complement his run stuffing ability.

    “He’s a big man,” Fisher said. “At 322 pounds he’s explosive, he’s very instinctive. For not having played, for not being a four-year starter, he’s very, very instinctive. He can play across the face of blocks, he pushes the pocket, he can collapse, he can get on an edge, he plays with effort. I mean, what else can you say? And there’s so much more ahead of him. He’s going to develop into a fine player. And he’s an outstanding young man, great character guy, hard worker. He’s the complete package, now. He’s what you want in a defensive tackle, especially in our division with the down-hill runs and things like that.”

    With Brockers on board and the need for a defensive tackle checked off the shopping list, the Rams now turn to what figures to be a busy Friday night.

    Between now and the 6 p.m. start, the Rams will likely field plenty of phone calls for the first pick of the round, No. 33 overall. Of course, they follow with picks 39 and 45 and hold the second pick of the third round.

    Talented receivers, outside linebackers, cornerbacks and offensive linemen remain, positions of serious need for the Rams. Essentially, no team is better prepared to load up on talented players and fill needs in the second and third round.

    “That’s exactly right,” Fisher said. “We feel real good. There’s not a head coach or a general manager right now talking about their pick that doesn’t feel good, but we feel really good about this. We’ve got different needs than other clubs. We got another pick. We’re going to get a top-notch player at 45, and we’ve got a guy that’s going to be a dominant impact player for our defense.”
    Can't wait for the Rams' 2nd Round selections!

    Oh, BTW, all the best to you MB! Welcome to the Rams!
    Last edited by RealRam; -04-27-2012 at 06:00 AM. Reason: Welcome!


  2. #122
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    I know it seems like I'm on the Kool-aid at times but I think Brockers is a solid pick at 14.

    The second round is where I think we will make hay. With 3 picks in the first 13, we will pick up some impact players, including one, if not two, big-body WR's with speed to stretch the field.
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    STL Today, Fri 27, 12:35 a.m.
    by Jim Thomas

    Rams pick 'explosive' DT Brockers

    Louisiana State defensive tackle Michael Brockers looks the part. He's as big as a condominium at 6 feet 5, 322 pounds. He has a massive wingspan of 83 7/8th inches — or just under seven feet

    "He's explosive; he's very instinctive," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "For not being a four-year starter, he's very, very instinctive. He pushes the pocket, he can collapse (the pocket), he can get on an edge. He plays with effort. What else can you say?

    "He's what you want in a defensive tackle. Especially in our division with the downhill runs. One person I know that's smiling right now is (Rams linebacker) James Laurinaitis."

    But is quarterback Sam Bradford smiling?

    The Rams missed out on the top two wide receivers in the NFL draft Thursday night in a wild first round full of surprises and last-minute trades. And twice, they saw one of those wide receivers snatched away right under their noses.


    ..."When ... the guy that you have interest in is no longer there, it makes sense to go (down in the draft)," Fisher said. "We talked about our needs and to be able to get No. 45 from Dallas was a deal we couldn't refuse."

    For the Rams, this was like falling out of a 10-story building and landing on a plush, well-cushioned mattress. All along, the Rams' top three options in Round 1 were Richardson, Blackmon, and a trade-down for an extra pick.

    Two players that made a lot of sense for the Rams at No. 14 were Mississippi State defensive tackle and Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd. (The Rams were comfortable with taking Floyd despite his three alcohol-related incidents in college.)

    But Cox went to Philadelphia at No. 12; the Eagles had traded up to that spot with Seattle. And then Arizona grabbed Floyd at No. 13 leading to groans throughout Rams Nation.

    Were the Rams disappointed about missing out on the two top receivers?

    "Remember it's a seven-round draft," general manager Les Snead said. "We do have a plan for wide receiver and multiple other positions. We were comfortable in what happened, I can tell you that."

    Brockers was the third defensive tackle taken in this draft, behind Cox and Memphis' Dontari Poe (who was taken No. 11 by Kansas City.) And he's the fifth defensive tackle taken by the Rams in the first round since the move to St. Louis in 1995. The others: Adam Carriker in 2007, Jimmy Kennedy in 2003 and Damione Lewis and Ryan Pickett in 2001.

    Brockers "was one of our top-rated players on the board," Snead said. "Not only did we get one of the players we wanted, but we made the defensive line unit one of our strongest units on the team."

    The Rams have former first-rounders Chris Long and Robert Quinn starting at end, with Brockers joining free-agent pickup Kendall Langford at defensive tackle.

    Brockers, who turned 21 in December, spent only three years at LSU and he was a starter only in 2011 registering 54 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two sacks. He was redshirted in '09 and had only one start in 2010, registering 25 tackles and one tackle for loss that season.

    "He's NFL ready," Fisher said. "He's not what you refer to as a project that's going to take a couple years to get on the field and make a play here and there."

    Brockers was one of the "top 30" visits to Rams Park this month.

    "I feel like at 322, I can move a lot better than some other guys can move," Brockers said. "So I feel like that's my biggest strength — how big I am and how quick I am."

    Bottom line, when both Richardson and Blackmon were taken, I too was hoping for a WR or, Cox, who definitely was the most coveted among the DTs. But I'm happy the Rams managers did their homework early, studied ahead of exam day, and then made a good, solid decision for RD 1.

    Encore for RD 2!
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  4. #124
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    At #14 Brockers is a great pick and great value. Took me a night of sleep to let it sink in fully.

    The 2nd round is going to be awesome.


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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    As I said before I wanted David Decastro at 14, David is not the sexest pick but I felt that offense is the biggest need. I am still disapointed just because we missed on the two best WR and Worthy is still available in the second round. I will have faith in Snead and Fisher(the same faith I had in Spags/Devaney) I guess I just wanted offense because the DT area of the draft was deeper.

    On to the next pick, just not WR Stephen Hill..... I don't like people who jump that much on a draft board because of their workout.
    I can't wait for the next pick so we can rip them apart.

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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    Quote Originally Posted by Tampa_Ram View Post
    At #14 Brockers is a great pick and great value. Took me a night of sleep to let it sink in fully.

    The 2nd round is going to be awesome.
    Took you a night to sleep it off! Hahaha
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    The contract ... I'd be interested to take a peek at that when ready. I'll ask the FO to forward me a copy.

    Regardless, congrats / kudos to Brockers.

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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    No sexy pick at all, but the guy occupies blockers, he is always double teamed. Thanks to him, Laurinaitis, Long and Quinn will be better. I hope we could find 3 other starters with our second rounders.
    Si vous croyez en vous, que vous avez de la fierté, et que vous ne lâchez jamais, vous serez un gagnant.
    Le prix de la victoire est chère, mais la récompense en vaut la peine.

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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    I'm sure today the Rams will take their three picks and select a tight end we don't need, another defensive end and an interior lineman from Australia who'll be ready to contribute as a situational pass rusher in 2015. Then people will praise the wonderful job we did and wonder why six weeks into the 2012 season we've scored 17 total points.

    Rumor has it Sam Bradford spent the night vomiting.
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    it took me off guard (i wanted DeCastro,but no pun intended) however when people stop thinking about what we didn't get and more on what we did (of which most is yet to be decided) i see a lot of things to like about Brockers and what he brings to the team.

    looking forward to a lot of 3rd and Longs next year now. it`s gonna be exciting to watch our D pin back their ears and go after the QB more often because of it.
    they talk about and MB does it himself,about him improving his pass rushing skills but that`s just an added bonus. if he becomes one of the best run stuffing DT`s in the league like expected we have just drafted a stud for the next 10-14 years.

    there are only 3 or 4 "can't miss" types taken in the 1st round. only DeCastro do i see as one of those we passed on and Richardson,back when we were picking 2nd. not the wideouts..even Blackmon has bust potential,with his body being probably maxed out,him coming from a totally WR friendly system and not having elite speed or height. i don't want to rubbish Blackmon to make my point,i really like him still but let`s not make it out we passed on Megatron to take a nobody just because he isn't who you had deemed the Rams should pick,all sports teams have access to see more than what we possibly could,sitting from the comfort of our armchairs.

    it`s sad that people still don't understand that we have a new regime and want to use the same old sorry F.O nonsense.
    i aint gonna try and alter your minds but i just hope for the sake of others you are less paranoid with the people you have relationships with.
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I'm sure today the Rams will take their three picks and select a tight end we don't need, another defensive end and an interior lineman from Australia who'll be ready to contribute as a situational pass rusher in 2015. Then people will praise the wonderful job we did and wonder why six weeks into the 2012 season we've scored 17 total points.

    Rumor has it Sam Bradford spent the night vomiting.
    What's completely ridiculous about this post is that I'm not sure I've seen one person in this thread (1) suggest the Rams pursue an over the top strategy like the one you've put forth or (2) deny the Rams' vast needs on the offensive side of the ball. Some just aren't chicken littling at the fact that the Rams opted to address another need first. If the Rams underwhelm in their attempt to address WR in the rest of the draft, I will be just as frustrated as the next guy.

    But there's really no reason to paint the opinion of others as something it's not. Everyone understands this team's need for offensive help; some just aren't jumping off rooftops or condemning a new regime because they didn't address it in the exact manner we wanted with the one pick they've used so far. If you can't at least respect that some people feel differently in that regard and that different perspectives are fine and valid, then perhaps sleeping on it wasn't enough time for you to get it out of your system.
    Last edited by Nick; -04-27-2012 at 07:58 AM.
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  12. #132
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    Couldn't have been happier getting a freakishly huge DL and yet another 2nd round pick, we should've seen it coming as soon as Blackmon was taken @5. Our defense will be something to fear as it's filling out. Day two will be huge, add an OG and some speedy offensive weapons and let the rest play out from there. Let's get 'em.

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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald_81 View Post
    I agree with everything you have said Nick, but I absolutely love how you try to put a positive spin on everything. Hell, if we took Bruce Irvin you'd make us all believe he was the second coming of Deacon Jones.


    It's the season of positivity for me. Everyone is 0-0 and we're adding talented new players to our team. Still, even my positivity during the draft has its limits. Maybe I'll have to go back and pull up some of my reactions to the Brian Leonard pick and see a real test of whether or not I could stay positive.
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    Here's a write-up from National Football Post, which had Brockers as theit #5 overall prospect...

    Came to LSU as a 6-6, 255-pound strong side linebacker recruit. Has added significant weight since than and really filled out his thick, broad frame. Displays impressive lower body strength through his lower half, with a thick set of legs and strong bubble. Possesses natural bend when asked to sit into his stance for his size and generates an explosive snap off the football. Plays the run game about as well as any 6-6 prospect I have seen inside. Is able to keep his pad level down, gain leverage and sit into his stance. Showcases the ability to anchor vs. the double team as well, despite his size and is a bear to move off the football. Would like to see him do a more consistent job extending his arms into contact. However, has the length and upper body strength to extend through contact, overpower/shed the block and make plays off his frame. Is a solid athlete off his frame, but is better in tighter areas where he can use his length to wrap on contact. However, when he does extend his arms off the snap showcases the burst and athleticism to create a jolt and slip his man, allowing him to get into the backfield. Exhibits "plus" ball awareness and overall instincts for the game as well. Routinely is able to sniff out the screen game, locate the ball inside and make his way toward the carrier.

    Now, is still developing as a pass rusher. Showcases a good get off burst and when he keeps his pad level down has the ability to gain leverage, extend his arms and use his long arms to shed. Showcases some nasty with his length in order to keep himself clean and shed. Also displays some natural body control and suddenness off the snap in order to slip blocks initially and get up the field. However, too often allows his pad level to get upright initially when trying to slip blocks on contact and through the play. He's so naturally powerful/gifted that he can still force his way up the field. But is easy to seal from the action and stick to through contact. Looks athletic enough to stunt toward the edge and displays some know how of when to work his club toward the edge; at times will even try to turn the corner. But again gets upright and will expose his frame. Uses his powerful club inside as well and can gain a step, but eventually pops upright in the process. It's just a matter of him learning how to be a more effective pass rusher though because he displays the suddenness/length and natural power to overwhelm initially on the bull rush and shed.

    Doesn't have a ton of experience playing inside either. Is a redshirt sophomore who started only one year at the position and is still raw. However, he has displayed the willingness to put on the weight off the field and keep himself in good shape. Plus, he's an instinctive kid who finds the football. That tells me he puts in the work, has a passion for the game and will continue to get better.

    Impression: He might be a little raw and could have used some more work at the college level. However, he's an NFL talent with "plus" upside but can also come in and play vs. the run at a high level right away. Should get looks at both the three and five-technique spots and in my mind has the ability to become one of the better defensive lineman in the NFL down the line.
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    Re: 2012 Rams First Round Pick (#14): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    What's completely ridiculous about this post is that I'm not sure I've seen one person in this thread (1) suggest the Rams pursue an over the top strategy like the one you've put forth or (2) deny the Rams' vast needs on the offensive side of the ball. Some just aren't chicken littling at the fact that the Rams opted to address another need first. If the Rams underwhelm in their attempt to address WR in the rest of the draft, I will be just as frustrated as the next guy.

    But there's really no reason to paint the opinion of others as something it's not. Everyone understands this team's need for offensive help; some just aren't jumping off rooftops or condemning a new regime because they didn't address it in the exact manner we wanted with the one pick they've used so far. If you can't at least respect that some people feel differently in that regard and that different perspectives are fine and valid, then perhaps sleeping on it wasn't enough time for you to get it out of your system.
    No- the point is that most people when faced with multiple weaknesses address the area of HIGHEST NEED first. We didn't do that, and I think the Rams were dead wrong for failing to do so. There is no question we need defensive upgrades, but we have an even greater need for playmakers in a league where you ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE THEM to win consistently. We have no such animal, and while our defense at least kept us in games last year until they had to go back out there every four downs, our offense is a total embarrassment.

    With their past failings to get excellent receiving help in rounds 2-7 (covering multiple coaching/front office regimes, I might add), forgive me for not jumping thru hoops hoping the Rams will click on some "find" rather than take the one guy everyone associated with professional football felt was a game breaker- someone the Rams most desperately need.

    I am dead set against picking a defensive tackle with the first pick of a draft. Remember a few years ago when some people wanted us to pick Glenn Dorsey with the 2nd pick in the draft? He was the next "great" defensive lineman, and a guy held in much higher regard than Michael Brockers. What exactly has Glenn Dorsey done with Kansas City? Is KC some kind of defensive juggernaut now?

    I just find it amusing that NO ONE- fans or pundits- extolled the virtues of Michael Brockers going into this draft as far as the Rams targeting the guy, now all of a sudden people "love" the pick. Why? Because we're Rams fans and anything resembling dissatisfaction is a sign of disloyalty? Maybe the guy will turn out OK, but I fail to see where this guy's body of work warrants him generating all kinds of excitement. "Upside" and "potential" are two words that do nothing for me. Early in a draft give me a guy with a proven track record at his position EVERYTIME over the guy who is raw and unproven.

    And the Rams' recent draft history shows us we've frivolously wasted picks on guys to fill secondary needs (tight ends, for instance) or on picks to compensate for previously bad selections rather than to address primary needs- hence the facetious post. More than a few people-including myself- questioned the wisdom of selecting Lance Kendricks with a 2nd rounder, or even Robert Quinn when we had Long, James Hall and Selvie (who sucks, as it turns out).

    If St. Louis doesn't select AT LEAST ONE guy targeted as a potential star wide receiver in today's 2nd round, there is no possible justification or defense.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -04-27-2012 at 08:38 AM.

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