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  1. #1
    Bruce=GOAT's Avatar
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    Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    I am not exactly a draft guru like Mel Kiper Jr or Mike Mayock or Nick, but thinking back to tonights game really gets me thinking about the yearly draft and all the high picks the Rams have made that are key contributers today.

    Going back the last 3 years look at what the Rams have added:
    QB Sam Bradford--hands down ROY winner, broke records and took every snap
    LT Rodger Saffold--Allowed only 2 sacks all season at the toughest pos on OL
    RT Jason Smith--Solid anchor and run blocking beast at RT
    DE Chris Long--Run stuffer, gets off the ball well and torments the QB
    CB Bradley Fletcher--4 ints and a very solid corner and still young
    WR Donnie Avery--Burner who will stretch the field when healthy
    MLB James Lauriniatis--100 plus tackles and unquestionable leader on def

    This shows what an amazing job the Rams have done in the draft recently. If you go back the past few years, the only real home run the Rams were able to hit was in 05 drafting Atogwe and Bartell in rounds 2,3 respectively. However, Alex Barron was the Rams 1st rounder that year and including him, no player drafted in 06, 07 are on the team today.
    So in summation, the Rams have added solid bookend tackles, a franchise QB, an amazing MLB, a potential solid track-star WR, a great DE and solid CB in the last 3 years.

    Kudos to the front office and Billy D!


  2. #2
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    I generally agree with the sentiment here -- the drafting has gotten a *lot* better and it showed in this year's team. I would, however, add three editorial comments:

    1. If anything, these picks show how thin in talent the roster really is right now. We can't afford any bad pickups at this point.

    2. What has does Donnie Avery done in the last three years to earn this level of "praise"? I still hope the guy pans out, but we've seen nothing here to suggest he's anything better than a 2/3 receiver at this point. And even that remains in question. We'll see after he returns in the Spring.

    3. I honestly don't know what to think of J. Smith. Did we really spend the #2 pick on a RT? If so, that's a lot of cap money for the position and it suggests we blew the pick (or at least didn't do as well as we could've). And while he looks good some times, at other times he looks bad (the end of the game last night is an example). I'd say he need to have the kind of improvement next year that Long did this year to avoid being characterized as a bad pick. I'm willing to let him improve, though.

  3. #3
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    I feel that if Jason Smith is a RT, then we wasted that pick. If you look at the first round of the 09 draft, what would have been a better pick? We couldn't trade down (Unless we could have traded to Jets so they get Sanchez) so what's the pick, Arron Curry? or is Eugene Monroe a better tackle? because the only other tackle taken in the first round is Andre Smith and he seems to be worse then Smith. I think in the 09 Draft it was Smith or Curry and I don't know which one is better.

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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    We should trade down and pick up Michael Oher. That was my wish then, and I was right about that. However, nobody thouth Oher is better tackle then couple of Smiths and Monroe (something I really couldn't understand), but he was (and is). Just to prevent to self-proclame myself into football-guru, I must admit that I am the very same man who wanted us to draft James Butler instead O.J. Atogwe (can you believe this) and the more than very same guy whoo thought that 3rd round of 2006 draft (Wroten, Alston, Byrd) will propel us straight to dazzling bright future. I'll shut up now.

  5. #5
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    I don't think it's fair to asses how "bad" Jason Smith has been, but rather how "good" Roger Saffold has been. I think we can all say with certainty that he has been a pleasent surprise and good enough to hold down the LT spot as a rookie over a #2 pick from a year ago. It's a very fortunate problem to have, and I don't think it really matters when a player was drafted and how much he is being paid (to an extent), as long as we're putting the best 5 out there each week.

  6. #6
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    I don't think it's fair to asses how "bad" Jason Smith has been, but rather how "good" Roger Saffold has been. I think we can all say with certainty that he has been a pleasent surprise and good enough to hold down the LT spot as a rookie over a #2 pick from a year ago. It's a very fortunate problem to have, and I don't think it really matters when a player was drafted and how much he is being paid (to an extent), as long as we're putting the best 5 out there each week.
    I'd agree with you 100% if Smith were more consistent. He's not terrible, but we haven't gotten our money's worth yet.

  7. #7
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    If Smith protects Sam's vision side adequately for the next 10 years, I could care less where we drafted him and what we paid for him.

    Also, as beers said, it's not as much of a knock on Smith as it is on how much of a steal Saffold was. Smith is a good tackle and can work either side, but he's more of a mauler. Saffold is quicker on his feet and can deal with the speed rushers better, which makes him perfectly suited for the left side.

    If Sam stays upright and we have great bookend tackles for a decade, does it really matter who was drafted where and who got paid what?
    I believe!

  8. #8
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    I do think that Devaney has been doing a better job at drafting than past regimes, but to address your concern about the number of holes we still have...

    Where are the late rounders who have panned out into good starters? If we want to plug holes faster, we may need to drop the "swing for the fences" approach to our late round picks.

  9. #9
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    I do think that Devaney has been doing a better job at drafting than past regimes, but to address your concern about the number of holes we still have...

    Where are the late rounders who have panned out into good starters? If we want to plug holes faster, we may need to drop the "swing for the fences" approach to our late round picks.
    2007: Clifton Ryan, 5th round... solid pick, if not a home run

    2008: David Vobora and Chris Chamberlain, 7th round... Both started last night and did well until we got tired in the second half. I stand by my prediction: Vobora will be the first Mr. Irrelevant to get Super Bowl MVP! ;-)

    2009: Ok, fine.. No one yet.

    2010: Big Mike, 5th, Onobun, 6th... both were ok targets at TE until they got hurt. We'll see what they can do with full offseasons. George Selvie, 7th round... he played well last night from what I saw.

    If you wanna go back to 2005, 7th rounders Fitzpatick and Hedgecock were quality starters for the Bills and Giants... (And I want to give a big thank you to Linehan for cutting Hedgecock, BTW... that extra TE he got instead did wonders...)
    I believe!

  10. #10
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    I do think that Devaney has been doing a better job at drafting than past regimes, but to address your concern about the number of holes we still have...

    Where are the late rounders who have panned out into good starters? If we want to plug holes faster, we may need to drop the "swing for the fences" approach to our late round picks.
    In general late round picks are backups, and any GM will tell you that if even a couple stick around on your team from any given year, then you can call it a success. People call the first rounds a crapshoot, but it is really the late rounds. You don't often see late round picks coming out and starting, especially not right away. Does it happen? Yes. Should that be your draft strategy? No.

    I do agree that good teams fill their roster with late round picks, but that doesn't mean they aren't swinging for the fences. Any late round pick is pretty much considered a project by the coaching staff, one they hope to turn into something better. If you aren't swinging for the fences with the picks, you are playing it safe and drafting clear backups, something this team is already chock full of.

    Personally I think simply the fact the Uh Oh looks good (in the limited action) and Selvie has been a pretty solid player means our later rounds last year were a success. Hull might even be a good special teamer if he recovers well, same for Curry.

  11. #11
    berg8309's Avatar
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    Re: Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave2oo2 View Post
    I feel that if Jason Smith is a RT, then we wasted that pick. If you look at the first round of the 09 draft, what would have been a better pick? We couldn't trade down (Unless we could have traded to Jets so they get Sanchez) so what's the pick, Arron Curry? or is Eugene Monroe a better tackle? because the only other tackle taken in the first round is Andre Smith and he seems to be worse then Smith. I think in the 09 Draft it was Smith or Curry and I don't know which one is better.
    If Smith ends up a RT, there is no shame in it. RT is still a vitally important part of the line, and I think is underappreciated by fans thanks to the strong emphasis on LT. If a team can set themselves with a dominate LT/RT combo, they are going to have a tough line to play against. There have been plenty of lineman who made their name at RT.

    Also, as a side note, Jackie Slater, some of you may know the name, wasn't a starter his first three season in the NFL. I think some would argue he wound up having some moderate success in his career.

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