Bernie Bytes: Smart Approach By Rams
Bernie Bytes: Smart approach by Rams
2 hours ago ē BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist
NEW ORLEANS ē The St. Louis Rams can look to the San Francisco ***** and Baltimore Ravens and feel good about their approach to team building.
Many NFL teams like to talk about putting a priority on having quality drafts to keep the talent pipeline flowing. But only the smart teams actually follow through with the plan.
The Rams moved onto a positive track in 2012, the first season of GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher. Thatís because they received immediate impact from the 2012 draft and installed some young players that have a chance to make a difference for many years.
That list would include defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, wide receiver Chris Givens, kicker Greg Zuerlein, cornerback Trumaine Johnson. Of course, WR Brian Quick and RB Isaiah Pead had disappointing rookie seasons after the Rams invested second-round draft picks in them. But the team remains genuinely optimistic over Quick and Peadís chances to develop into playmakers.
The Rams will have an extra No. 1 pick in 2013 and 2014 as part of last yearís trade with Washington.
Not that the Rams need reassurance in how to go about their business, because Snead and Fisher are big on constructing a roster through the draft. So is Rams owner Stan Kroenke, and thatís one of the main reasons he hired the new regime.
But San Francisco and Baltimore are excellent examples of how far a team can go after a series of bountiful drafts.
The ***** have 32 of their own draft choices on the roster for Super Bowl 47, including linebacker Aldon Smith, middle linebacker Patrick Willis, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tight end Vernon Davis, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, running back Frank Gore, offensive tackle Joe Staley, linebacker Novorro Bowman and safety Dashon Goldson.
San Francisco GM Trent Baalke, formerly the teamís VP of personnel, used the draft to rebuild a loose *****í offensive line. In 2010 the Niners chose offensive tackle Anthony Davis in Round 1 and used a second-round pick on guard Mike Iupati.
Crabtree is another Jim Harbaugh success story. The 2009 first-round draft choice caught 48 passes as a rookie and 55 his second year. He caught 72 in 2011, and broke through in a major way with 85 catches for 1,105 yards and 9 TDs this season.
As for the Ravens, Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome long ago established an excellent history of successful drafts. Heís arguably the best in the NFL, and thatís why the Ravens have remained among the most consistent NFL winners for since 2000.
If you include players on injured reserve, 32 current Ravens were drafted by Newsome. The list includes 12 players chosen in rounds one and two.
Newsome has hit with so many great picks itís easy to forget some of them; the list is long. But the roll call includes linebacker Ray Lewis, quarterback Joe Flacco, safety Ed Reed, linebacker Terrell Suggs, running back Ray Rice, defensive end Haloti Ngata, guard Marshall Yanda, offensive tackle Michael Oher, wide receiver Torrey Smith, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, and defensive lineman Chad Kruger.
If the Rams stay the course, theyíll have a chance to compete in a Super Bowl in the relatively near future.
Thanks for reading Ö
Re: Bernie Bytes: Smart Approach By Rams
I agree with this theme. Now let's see if Bernie reacts consistently when the Rams "fail" to sign a FA target.