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  1. #1
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    Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    09.01.2009 4:36 pm
    The Ramsí Draft Disasters
    By Bernie Miklasz


    1. Why the Rams Bottomed Out: On Tuesday the Rams traded cornerback Tye Hill to Atlanta for a 7th-round draft pick and included tight end Joe Klopfenstein among the cuts to reduce the roster to 75. Weíve seen once again why the Rams won 5 of 32 games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The 2006 and 2007 drafts undermined the franchise. You have to score well on the premium picks, the guys selected in the firt three rounds; they should be forming form the young nucleus of a roster thatís transforming the franchise from loser to winner.

    But look at these premium picks from 2006, which was particularly awful: CB Tye Hill (15th overall), TE Joe Klopfenstein (46th overall), DT Claude Wroten (68th overall), LB Jon Alston (77th overall), TE Dominique Byrd (93rd overall.) The Rams had five of the top 93 picks in the draft, and three seasons later, all of them are gone. Hill started 21 games, but only 11 over the past two seasons. And last season Hill gave up completions on 19 of the 22 passes attempted against him. Klopfenstein was technically a starter for 37 games but had a limited participation level. He caught 13 balls over the last two seasons and never developed competitive toughness. Wroten, Alston and Byrd never started a regular-season game. Alston, in fact, never dressed for the Rams in a regular-season game. He was cut in camp. But at least Alston didnít have run-ins with the law (like Byrd) or violate the leagueís substance-abuse policy (Wroten.)

    This was an unbelievably bad draft class. And a double blow. Not only did these busts fail to do a job and help turn the Rams around, but the team has to invest additional draft picks in replacing them.

    These drafts were conducted by head coach coach Scott Linehan and GM Jay Zygmunt. Both are gone from Rams Park. Horrible personnel decisions were a substantial part of their demise, and the impact is still reverberating. The new regime of GM Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo inherited a stripped-down roster and will need plenty of time to clean up the mess caused by Linehan and Zygmunt.

    In drafting Hill, the Rams actually struck out twice. They had the 11th overall pick and could have used it to pick QB Jay Cutler. But they traded down to No. 15 and Denver moved up to take Cutler. You can make the case that Cutler didnít work out in Denver; despite passing for 9,024 yards and 54 TDs in three seasons he had a falling out with the new Denver regime and was traded to Chicago earlier this year. But Cutler is an elite talent. And the Broncos received two No. 1 picks, a No. 3 draft pick, and QB Kyle Orton in return for Cutler. Thatís quite a shipment. The Rams got a 7th-rounder from Atlanta for Hill.

    (The Rams were apparently so embarrassed by this that they refused to divulge the nature of the draft pick obtained from Atlanta.)

    Had the Rams kept the No. 11 pick, they could have chosen Cutler, DT Haloti Ngata (12th overall) DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley (13th overall), DT Brodrick Bunkley (14th overall). But in taking Hill at 15th, they passed on LB Chad Greenway (17th), CB Antonio Cromartie (19th), DE Tamba Hali (20th), WR Santonio Holmes (25th), RB DeAngelo Williams (27th) and DE Mathias Kiwanika. There were four cornerbacks drafted after Hill in the first round and all four have done more in the NFL than Hill to this point.

    And the 2007 draft hasnít produced a big payoff, either. The Rams chose Adam Carriker in the first round at No. 13 overall. Heís battling to keep his starting job. Carriker has 44 tackles and only 2.5 sacks in 25 NFL starts. Injuries are an ongoing issue. In the second round (52nd overall) the Rams took RB Brian Leonard. He played in 18 games in two seasons and is already gone, having been peddled to Cincinnati earlier this year. The No. 3 pick (84th overall) was CB Jonathan Wade. He has speed and some promise. Heíll move in as a starter at Hillís spot. But Wade has started only two NFL games in two seasons and obviously has a lot to prove.

    The bottom line on the 2006-2007 Rams drafts, first three rounds: 8 players. And 6 are gone. Only 1 is a starter (Wade) and 1 may be a starter (Carriker).

    But at least Devaney-Spagnuolo are turning the roster over and methodically dumping players who canít perform at the NFL level.

    As the roster stands now, the Rams would enter the regular season with only two corners, Ron Bartell and Wade, who have taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game. Thatís rough.


  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    And last season Hill gave up completions on 19 of the 22 passes attempted against him.
    THAT is a devastating stat. If it didn't seal his fate, getting posterized by Tony Gonzales in the endzone did.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    I thought the same thing and I have much respect for those that had the foresight to realize he was a bust from the start!
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    Personally, I didn't like the guys playmaking ability or "lack-there-of". He was consistently burned and hurt. We have to turn the page and move on.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    These are just the most recent disasters, but the Rams draft woes go far beyond 2006. Bernie didn't mention it, but we're still paying for drafts as far back as 2001. We actually had a Superbowl contender on the field and not 1, not 2, but three 1st round draft choices in the 2001 draft. None of them received a second contract offer from the Rams and the rest is history. That to me, is by far the worst draft disaster in Rams' history

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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    These are just the most recent disasters, but the Rams draft woes go far beyond 2006. Bernie didn't mention it, but we're still paying for drafts as far back as 2001. We actually had a Superbowl contender on the field and not 1, not 2, but three 1st round draft choices in the 2001 draft. None of them received a second contract offer from the Rams and the rest is history. That to me, is by far the worst draft disaster in Rams' history

    totally agree, this all started way before the 06 draft

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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    These are just the most recent disasters, but the Rams draft woes go far beyond 2006. Bernie didn't mention it, but we're still paying for drafts as far back as 2001. We actually had a Superbowl contender on the field and not 1, not 2, but three 1st round draft choices in the 2001 draft. None of them received a second contract offer from the Rams and the rest is history. That to me, is by far the worst draft disaster in Rams' history
    Players from that 2001 draft were pretty big contributers to the Rams defense and certainly not complete busts. The 2000 draft is another story though.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    I could be wrong but I think Quincy Butler has played in ONE game. I think Quincy has earned a spot on this roster with his play. Experience in the DBs is limited to say the least.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    09.01.2009 4:36 pm
    The Ramsí Draft Disasters
    By Bernie Miklasz


    1. Why the Rams Bottomed Out: On Tuesday the Rams traded cornerback Tye Hill to Atlanta for a 7th-round draft pick and included tight end Joe Klopfenstein among the cuts to reduce the roster to 75. Weíve seen once again why the Rams won 5 of 32 games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The 2006 and 2007 drafts undermined the franchise. You have to score well on the premium picks, the guys selected in the firt three rounds; they should be forming form the young nucleus of a roster thatís transforming the franchise from loser to winner.

    But look at these premium picks from 2006, which was particularly awful: CB Tye Hill (15th overall), TE Joe Klopfenstein (46th overall), DT Claude Wroten (68th overall), LB Jon Alston (77th overall), TE Dominique Byrd (93rd overall.) The Rams had five of the top 93 picks in the draft, and three seasons later, all of them are gone. Hill started 21 games, but only 11 over the past two seasons. And last season Hill gave up completions on 19 of the 22 passes attempted against him. Klopfenstein was technically a starter for 37 games but had a limited participation level. He caught 13 balls over the last two seasons and never developed competitive toughness. Wroten, Alston and Byrd never started a regular-season game. Alston, in fact, never dressed for the Rams in a regular-season game. He was cut in camp. But at least Alston didnít have run-ins with the law (like Byrd) or violate the leagueís substance-abuse policy (Wroten.)

    This was an unbelievably bad draft class. And a double blow. Not only did these busts fail to do a job and help turn the Rams around, but the team has to invest additional draft picks in replacing them.

    These drafts were conducted by head coach coach Scott Linehan and GM Jay Zygmunt. Both are gone from Rams Park. Horrible personnel decisions were a substantial part of their demise, and the impact is still reverberating. The new regime of GM Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo inherited a stripped-down roster and will need plenty of time to clean up the mess caused by Linehan and Zygmunt.

    In drafting Hill, the Rams actually struck out twice. They had the 11th overall pick and could have used it to pick QB Jay Cutler. But they traded down to No. 15 and Denver moved up to take Cutler. You can make the case that Cutler didnít work out in Denver; despite passing for 9,024 yards and 54 TDs in three seasons he had a falling out with the new Denver regime and was traded to Chicago earlier this year. But Cutler is an elite talent. And the Broncos received two No. 1 picks, a No. 3 draft pick, and QB Kyle Orton in return for Cutler. Thatís quite a shipment. The Rams got a 7th-rounder from Atlanta for Hill.

    (The Rams were apparently so embarrassed by this that they refused to divulge the nature of the draft pick obtained from Atlanta.)

    Had the Rams kept the No. 11 pick, they could have chosen Cutler, DT Haloti Ngata (12th overall) DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley (13th overall), DT Brodrick Bunkley (14th overall). But in taking Hill at 15th, they passed on LB Chad Greenway (17th), CB Antonio Cromartie (19th), DE Tamba Hali (20th), WR Santonio Holmes (25th), RB DeAngelo Williams (27th) and DE Mathias Kiwanika. There were four cornerbacks drafted after Hill in the first round and all four have done more in the NFL than Hill to this point.

    And the 2007 draft hasnít produced a big payoff, either. The Rams chose Adam Carriker in the first round at No. 13 overall. Heís battling to keep his starting job. Carriker has 44 tackles and only 2.5 sacks in 25 NFL starts. Injuries are an ongoing issue. In the second round (52nd overall) the Rams took RB Brian Leonard. He played in 18 games in two seasons and is already gone, having been peddled to Cincinnati earlier this year. The No. 3 pick (84th overall) was CB Jonathan Wade. He has speed and some promise. Heíll move in as a starter at Hillís spot. But Wade has started only two NFL games in two seasons and obviously has a lot to prove.

    The bottom line on the 2006-2007 Rams drafts, first three rounds: 8 players. And 6 are gone. Only 1 is a starter (Wade) and 1 may be a starter (Carriker).

    But at least Devaney-Spagnuolo are turning the roster over and methodically dumping players who canít perform at the NFL level.

    As the roster stands now, the Rams would enter the regular season with only two corners, Ron Bartell and Wade, who have taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game. Thatís rough.
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  10. #10
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    Quote Originally Posted by jmk321 View Post
    Players from that 2001 draft were pretty big contributers to the Rams defense and certainly not complete busts. The 2000 draft is another story though.
    Yea, the 2001 at least had contributors. Arch was a pro-bowl caliber player until he got hurt. Pickett as well. He led all NFC DTs in stops his final year. The Rams tried to re-sign him, but the Packers offered more. I was never a Lewis fan, but he too had his moments.

    But 2000..........dang, that was an awful draft.


    Well, look, it's a new regime. Time to look forward.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  11. #11
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    This is what happens when you don't have football people making football decisions. It's not just the 2006 draft, but that is the highlight, as well as the poster for the Limpehan regime. And it's just one more reason why we're rebuildings. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! DeSpags will lead us there!

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