By Jeff Gordon
Monday, March 17, 2008 01:00 PM CDT
Ryan: I'm very happy with the Al Saunders hiring. Do you think Saunders will be able to turn the Rams Offense around with the talent they have? We need O-Line help and receivers.
Jeff Gordon: The O-line is shaping up, with the addition of Bell, the retention of Goldberg and Gorin as reserves and the return of Pace, Setterstrom and Incognito from injuries. Justin Hartwig might be a nice addition at center.
As for the wide receiver corps, help is needed. The free-agent market was thin and overpriced, but the draft is deep and intriguing. Stay tuned.
Tiger J: What Up J-Gord. My apology if nicknames aren't your thing. My question for today is. It would seem like the Jets and Chiefs, would love to move up. The Chiefs could move up to get Jake Long or maybe I don't know why I haven't heard any rumors but why wouldn't the Jets try moving up to get Matt Ryan. I prefer the 5th pick with the Chief's 2nd we could draft a dominate DE. With the 5th we would still get a top of the line draft choice. OL and WR with the 2 2nds. Or just maybe parlay one of the 2nds for Sheppard. Many options!!! What do you think? The Ghost would be perfect but with the Jets pick he probably gone.
Jeff Gordon: I would expect the trade-down option to there for the Rams -- and a good route to go. Dorsey is exciting, but an outside pass rusher is what this team really needs. And like you say, the extra pick would allow the team to pick both a OT and a WR on the first day.
COGzilla: Don't you think all ram fans need to relax about our first pick? We will get one of the big four in the draft. The Long boys, dorsey, gholston. Whoever we get will make this team better. 33 is where it gets tricky. And now thanks to Fakhir's inability to stay away from the green our needs are even greater. Time to quit coddling bartell. Grow up, young man. It is your time.
Jeff Gordon: Cornerback is another need. Fans wanted the Rams to trade for Hall, but the second-round pick was too high a price to pay. You are right about the first pick -- the Rams will find quality, one way or another. If they can add another second rounder by moving down a bit, perhaps that makes the second pick easier to make.
Gabriel to Snow: Gordo, it is my understanding the entire Ram braintrust was at the Michigan pro day, focusing on Jake Long. Are they doing the same thing with the other top prospects? If not, they may be tipping their hand here.
Also, why have they seemingly dropped the ball on Justin Hartwig?
Jeff Gordon: All the potential first-round picks will get the same scrutiny, so the Rams aren't tipping their hand. As for veterans like Hartwig, the Rams have to take a good look at why their team released them on the fly. I don't know where that one stands.
Tackleberry: Please complete the following sentence: if the Rams missed a chance to trade their 2nd round pick for D'Angelo Hall I would be
Jeff Gordon: Fine. The team needs a corner, but that pick was too high to sacrifice. In a draft deep in tackles and WRs, that pick should yield big help.
Tim: Are the Rams looking at Darrell Jackson at all? I know he had a poor season but what other choices do we have for a No. 2 Reciever
Jeff Gordon: Well, he's worth a look. He won't make $4 million on his next deal, that's for sure. But he did catch 46 passes fro 497 yards and three TDs last season. He isn't a No. 2 receiver, but he will add depth to somebody's camp.
Tim: Heres A couple scenarios on what the Dolphins might do with the first overall pick. what do you think the Rams will do with their pick if one of them happens?
1. Draft Matt Ryan
2. Draft Chris Long
3. Draft Jake Long
4. Draft Vernon Gholston
5. Trade pick to some one that drafts Mcfadden
6. Draft Ellis or Dorsey
Jeff Gordon: 1. Draft Matt Ryan -- Rams take Chris Long second.
2. Draft Chris Long -- Rams move down a few spots, if a deal is there.
3. Draft Jake Long --Rams take Chris Long second
4. Draft Vernon Gholston --Rams take Chris Long second
5. Trade pick to some one that drafts Mcfadden --Rams take Chris Long second
6. Draft Ellis or Dorsey -- Rams take Chris Long second
Tim: ARe the Rams showing any interest in Takeo Spikes?
Jeff Gordon: At his age, he's iffy. The Niners are looking at Spikes for sure. He expressed interest in playing for a contender, so I'm sure where that puts Frisco . . .
Dave: Great work Jeff:
Am I just too much of a Cards fan or does it really look like the Birds are goiing to be able to at least hold serve in April and end up with a very solid and above average pitching rotation, for sure in the central, by mid May ?
I hope Mr. Kissell had enough time to critique Izturis's
'bunting for a hit' abillity since as the White Rat pointed out speed never goes in to a slump. Go Cards !!!
Considering the possitive off season moves made by the Rams and the upcoming draft position (looks really difficult to make a mistake with first 3 picks), have you (barring a load of injuries) upgraded your expectations for the Rams next season ? Go Rams !!!
Jeff Gordon: The Rams are having a decent offseason, but I haven't seen anything to revise my best-case prediction of 8-8. Perhaps that will change.
As for the Cards, Lohse will help them get through April. But what will Looper do? And Wellemeyer? And Reyes?
If everybody heals, the Cards could have a powerful rotation by midseason. But that is a big if, of course.
Jack Alexander: JG,this is the time of year for smoke and mirrors. Dorsey's medical concerns, Jake Long's inability to be a LT in the NFL, Gholston's rawness and Chris Long's speed. Common sense says the Rams need a DE, first and foremost, OL next. Is the "rise of interest" by the Rams in Gholston, directly related to Miami's interest in Chris Long? Last year we needed a DT (Okoye?) and went with a DE (perhaps because Okoye was gone), converting him to DT. Is it possible (if Dorsey is in fact the best defender in the draft) to get that DT now and move the DE back to his original spot? Despite the draft's depth at OT, J.Long is the clear cut #1 and with Alex B. playing LT real well and Pace being one arm extention away from IR, is he the best pick for the Rams? One final question; How do you seperate the wheat from the chaff with information coming out of Rams park (not suggesting your 'sources' don't give you reliable info or might want to 'spread a rumor' through the media)?
Jeff Gordon: Trying to predict the pick is silly, because the team is still making assessments and the potential trade market hasn't emerged. But since Carriker isn't a pass-rush end and given Little's advanced age, I still see pass rush end as the biggest need.
Best case scenario: Trade down to 5 or 6, take the best remaining DE, then take a tackle and a WR with the next two picks.
ramfan njersey: i think i will be sick if we dint take dorsey. finnally a dt that can play and is his natural postion. the only option i see to not take him is we get d roberson from the jets and a 3rd round pick and take golston with the 6th pick if hes there. we need wr and linebackers quesbeston showed me alittle last year can he play full time? if the draft was today who would the rams draft if miami took a qb and everybody was available ?
Jeff Gordon: If Miami takes a QB, I assume the Rams would draft Chris Long and start him opposite of Little.
john: With needs at DE, CB, WR, OL; please project the Rams' first four picks in the draft.
Any possible free agents signings this month.
Rams should draft Ohio States DE #2 then draft Auburn DE Q. Groves (6-3 259lbs, 4.3,) #33 in the second round. This will provide us with an overnight awesome push rush for years, and the secondary will improve with this instant pressure on the passer.
Jeff Gordon: I don't see them taking two defensive ends, given all their needs elsewhere. They may draft another one next year as Little ages some more.
Are we currently in the run for Justin Hartwig? Are we trying to schedule a visit?
I have noticed that we wine and dined Jake Long and Vernon Gholston, any plans for the same with Chris Long?
Any progress with the trade rumors for Lito Sheppard?
Any news on if we may bring back Chillar, since his options have been limited this offseason?
And, Finally, any news from the Rams front about upgrading at Strong Safety this offseason?
Thanks for answering our questions and keeping us informed.
Jeff Gordon: The Rams will work all the draft prospects hard. Don't read too much into any one visit.
The team still needs a cornerback, so nobody would be surprised to see the Rams strike a deal. The Torry Holt rumor was wild, eh?
Chillar's potential return is a good discussion point. Haslett raved about him last year, although many experts wondered why. At the right price, he could return. It's not like there is a great supply of available linebackers right now.
Adding a new center is a possibility, although the team does have some depth at the position -- since a couple of their guards can cross over and play it.
Michael N.: Jeff, last season Ram's running back S. Jackson suffered from a back problem that I think involved a disc. After he returned to action, I never heard anything further about that injury. In many instances a disc problem can return and become a progessively debilitating injury. Have you heard anything about the condition of his back or if the Rams have any worries about this?
Jeff Gordon: No big worries, although that would be one of the issues to be addressed when the time comes to negotiate a long-term deal.
Steve (Roch. NY): Gordo,
Why is everyone so worried about Fakir Brown possibly being suspended? I thought the reason for his suspension was because he missed a drug test due to a communication breakdown about the time and place. I would think that he would not make the same mistake again. Is there more to the story than we've heard about?
Jeff Gordon: Being out of strikes is a bad place to be. One mishap and you're done for a year. That is a perilous place to be. As for Brown's explanation of his last suspension, I'm not sure that was the full story.
Fletcher: Hello, ok I just read on nfl.com that D.Hall might be traded to the Raiders for their second rounnd pick. Why aren't we jumping in on that? We desperately need a corner, he's proven and Haslett can use the fire in his secondary. Not to mention Haslett can handle Hall's mouth. I know we are looking at an OL or DE in the 2nd rd (depending on the first pick). But he is worth it. Which brings me to my second point. Isn't (C)Justin Hartwig out there floating around in free agency. Why aren't we looking at him? If they brought in Hartwig (pro-bowler) traded for Hall(pro-bowler) then drafted C.Long or Gholston (likely future probowlers, mix that with what they have already done, it would be the best complete offseason since M. Faulk arrived. Then, don't let us get a steal at WR in the 3rd round. Tell me, is this too much wishful thinking, because it seems quite possible to me? Where are the holes in my thinking, if none please forward this message to Devaney.
Jeff Gordon: I addressed Hall earlier. If Hartwig is really a Pro Bowl caliber center, then the bidding for him will be high. He started 15 games last year and he doesn't turn 30 until midseason.
Fletcher: Why are they willing to let Chillar go? He has been solid, no he is not a star but, he is solid and dependable for us plus he knows the defense. One less worry and plus its a good, working, productive unit. It isn't like we are getting some elite player to replace him.
Jeff Gordon: Draft vs. Chillar? That is a toss-up.
Joe horvath: I've been a Rams fan since the mid 70's and let's just say last season was very hard to stomach. I like the addition of Bell on the O-line and I think drafting Long (OT) would be the best move for the rams. Beleive me, I live in the Cleveland area and have seen first hand what an improved ofensive line can do. Cleveland won 10 games last year and the O-line upgrades were the reason. I say invest in the ofensive line and at least we can go back to winning gams 49-42. I think Jackson would be the best all purpose back in football providing that every time he turns to catch a pass Bulger is not already laying on the ground. Bottom line is fix the O-line this year and spend the money on the Defense next year. Even though the defense gave up a lot of points last year I think Haslet has them playing pretty good considering the defense was on the field way too much last year. P.S. I like the coaching and management moves, But I'm still not to crazy about the head coach.
Jeff Gordon: Good thoughts, for sure, but taking Jake Long sounds like overkill to me. I'd rather go D-line there and hope the reconfigured coaching staff can bring Barron around.
mark: First r the rams still working on the major trade that has been rumored the last few weeks.Second are the rams gonna try to get hartwig??Please give us some good news about the rams seems like they are just sitting around doing nothing!!!!
Jeff Gordon: Piece by piece, the Rams are filling holes. Could they make a big deal? Sure, they have some pieces to do so. Adding a strong center, 29 going on 30, would be nice as well. I have no insight on that bidding, however.
Tiger J: Jeff, top of the morn to you. Posted my question earlier. But my comment is that we should, take Gholston if we have to keep the pick. If not trade down to the Chiefs for swapping places and AT LEAST an 3rd round pick. Take whatever is the best OL left in the 2nd. Trade either ours or the Chiefs 3rd to the Eagles for Sheppard. Because next year there will be the same stuff said about the draft picks. Like Thomas last year, Long this year and who knows next year. That's the media's job each year to excite us about the draft!!!!
Jeff Gordon: Lito for a third-rounder? That would be an easy deal to make. But is it possible?
Gholston would be a fine choice for this team, filling a need. Is there a way to get him and bank an extra pick as well? That would sure speed the retooling process.
G Money: Rams are in good position to trade down if they choose. They really seem to need a DE. If, Long is gone a trade down makes sense if we stay w/in the top 10 or so.(take Gholsten with that pick) What WR do you see available for us in round 2. Is LB or OT a larger need with that pick?
Jeff Gordon: I'd go WR or OT with the second-round pick, depending on which first-round caliber player fell there.
Michigan WR Mario Manningham could fall there. Tackle Gosder Cherilus is another candidate to slip out of the round.
Chris Scruggs: Hey Gordo, long time reader and longer time Rams fan here. I know you've posted about the Rams wideout situation before, but this is really something of great concern to me. What do you see as the Ram's options at this point to building depth? Do you see any great wide receiver options in the draft, maybe with a #2 or #3 pick?
Jeff Gordon: Yes, there will be WR options in the second and third round. A guy like Devin Thomas of Michigan State or Early Doucet of LSU could fall into the second round. I mentioned Manningham earlier. There could be nice draft opportunities.
Otherwise, hope that Drew Bennett starts earning his money . . .
Mike: Per chance the Rams do not select a DE in round one, do you know of other DE's that might be availble in the later rounds that the Rams are showing interest in? I'm interested in Cliff Avril and Shawn Crable, who I believe both participated in DE drills at the combine. I realize there a little light in the pants at this point but I believe they both have frames that will accomodate more weight, perhaps approaching Little proportions. They both appear to be excellent athletes who have
excellent rush end skills and are versatile to play the buck end position and some strong lb, while they grow and learn. Thanks, Jeff
Jeff Gordon: Crable ran a 4.64 at the scouting combine, a shade faster than Gholston. So a later move at DE is possible -- although I can't believe the Rams would pass on their first-round opportunity.
Chris DeZego: I'm a long time Rams fan (since 79') and I just want to vent my disgust over letting go of Isaac Bruce. I'm sure you've heard this 1000 times, but they should have paid him the 3 mil a year to stay, even if they thought he "lost a step or two". I've been a big fan of Ike since he came in the league and it is going to suck hearing "Bruuuuce" coming from the 49er fans. I know that it's a business, but really - resigning Bruce would not have broken the bank and he was such a great player off and on the field. I'd take him any day over underachieving Drew Bennett.
Jeff Gordon: As would almost every other citizen of Ram Nation.
ted: hey jeff now that we've got the backup guaterback situation resolved where else do u think the rams will address via free agency. Are the rams still focused in the draft on signing either one of the long's? thanks jeff
Jeff Gordon: Lot of ways to go in the draft. And there is still lots in free agency, since teams let veterans go on the fly. This team will have opportunities to make upgrades all the way to the end of training camp.
Armen Dacity: Gordo,
Why is the PD tap dancing around the Fakhir Brown issue? If you actually know something, report it. If its unconfirmed, or otherwise something that cannot be reported in detail, then don't "tease" the story. Isn't that Journalism 101? Or do sportswriters just exempt themselves from journalistic standards?
Jeff Gordon: All I know is the guy is one slip away from a year-long suspension. That is a precarious place to be. Any team with a No. 1 position player in that predicament would want to add depth.
Tom: Hi Jeff: What are the chances of Brett Romberg being re-sighned? Do the Rams still have interest in him? Also what about Chillar? Is there still interest in Brandon on the part of the Rams?
The Rams were supposedly interested in the recently released Hartwig, whatever happened with that?
Lastly: Do you have any info as to whether Fakir Brown will be playing for the Rams this year. There are rumors swirling around as to whether he might have failed a test. These apparently stems from Bernie's and Randy's response to a question on 1380 concerning Fakir's playing for us in 2008. Thanks in advance !!
Jeff Gordon: Didn't hear what Bernie said on that, so I can't comment.
If Hartwig proved too pricey -- and that could happen, given his experience and age -- then Romberg would be a viable option at center. Saunders prefers good athletes on his line to pure maulers with extra size.
Melly: Are the rams going to pursue a defense end via a trade ?
Jeff Gordon: They could, but there are plenty of second-tier DEs on the street right now and the obvious draft opportunities.
Jim Wittlich: Hi Gordo:
Any rumblings from the FO that the Rams are considering an elite WR @ #33...someone like Limas Sweed or Mario Manningham? Thanks, Jim
Jeff Gordon: As mentioned earlier, there will be opportunities to go there with that pick. There will be OTs available as well.
Dustin: Thanks Gordo,
Vernon Gholston-DE/OLB/Ohio State. I want him on this Rams team. Whats you take...or the Rams take on him.
Jeff Gordon: This is a very popular choice in Ram Nation, with the assumption that Chris Long goes first to Miami. He would fill the team's most glaring need.
big ben: hey gordo, how are you big man!!!!!!!!!!!! i mean what a pathetic joke giving green all that money........i'm sick of all th FOSl coming to our team ...... he ruined our team, get rid of that scoundrel!!!!!!!!!!! what do you figur 4-12 in 08......GOODBYE SCOTT!!!!!!!!!
Jeff Gordon: Saunders is a big Green guy. If Linehan had gone for a FOSL, he would have insisted on Culpepper - or the retention of his man Frerotte. I like Trent, but I don't like his concussion history. This, to me, is a big risk for everybody.
big ben: ALSO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GORDO !!!!!!!!!1 WHO ARE WE DRAFTING???????
Jeff Gordon: C. Long, Dorsey or Gholston seem to be the obvious choices.
Aron: What are the chances the Rams choose Dan Connor, LB from Penn State with their second round pick, or trade up for him, would it be worth moving Witherspoon back outside?
Jeff Gordon: I'd be surprised if they went there with that pick, given the other needs. I'd like to use Witherspoon outside in a blitz capacity, but I don't believe the Rams see that as a big priority.
Bee: Happy Shamrock Day!-Hi Jeff,
Obviously I am not any kind Coach or Assistant nor a Sports Writer. However, what is the scoop on our center Dustin Fry? He is 6-3 320lbs listed, did 36 reps of 225lbs. in 2006, a 655lb. squat lift, and was part of a line in that year that allowed only 1.2 sacks a game. I know there are the intangibles of learning the game that most if not all fans never see. On paper he looks good and not oft-injured. Why not give the kid a chance? Would save us a draft pick for sure. As for the rest of the O-Line; what about Barron moving over to LT after Pace retires-would make a lot of sense if they do draft Jake Long in this years draft. Fnas will see a DRAMATIC change when our O-Line gets shored up, just wait RamsFans! Thanks for you time.
Jeff Gordon: By his own admission, he had a terrible training camp. He did not get the offense at all. He has made strides since then, but now the Saunders offense will really challenge him. You have to be pretty nimble to handle his assortment of pass protection schemes. But Fry is a good kid and he was a heck of a college player.
Jack: Do you think the Rams draft Jake Long and improve the o-line? Or do they go d-line again and get Chris or Vernon Gholston? Also, do you think they should keep Brandon Chillar?
Jeff Gordon: Should they keep Chillar? Yeah, because better options haven't really emerged. As long as the price is right . . .
Taylor (AB, Canada): I am starting to think more and more that Chris Long has more potential than he is given credit for. Everyone is saying that he is a polished player, which he is, but that he has already reached his ceiling. I think this needs to be the Rams selection at the 2 spot, pending his availability. While I get the feeling he might be gone my next choices would be Gholston and Dorsey. If the Rams are sold on Gholston obviously he is the because of the position he plays. But if there is skepticism and Dorsey proves to be healthy and puts up good numbers at his pro-day I would love to have this beast. He is basically Chris Long in a DT's body. Then the Rams could run a 3-4 effectively with Dorsey and Carriker on the ends and Ryan plugging the middle. Glover could also be rotated in with either Carriker or Dorsey shifting inside. What do you think of the choice will be if Dorsey is healthy and Long is off the board? Also I believe the Rams go defense in the second round also, unless some good reciever slips. I would like the thought of two pass rushers in Gholston and Groves (at LB) chasing a QB and I am sure Haslett would too. Whether or not he is the choice there, I want the best defender available, whether it be another DE, LB, or CB. Would the Rams do this or are they targeting WR or a T in the second?
Jeff Gordon: They could go D in the second round, but the deep pool at WR and OT will tempt Linehan and CO.
Ram Dan: Jeff,
I like what the Rams have done so far this offseason.
I beleive we really need to bolster the D-Line and get back the pass rush that we had in '99. Wistrom, Carter, D'Marco Farr, and Ray Agnew. The dome needs to get loud again.
I'm an LA Rams fan who has made the trip to St.Louis every openning day since '98. (Good old Tony Banks Days) I always wear the watermelon!
Even if Chris Long is there at #2, I really think a trade down is the best case. Grab Gholston, and get that extra Day 1 pick!! We need several impact players.
Also, any rumors on locking up Jackson yet with a contract ext??
Jeff Gordon: Nothing on Jackson, yet.
Many Rams fans echo you other statement.
David (Ram fan in Las Vegas): With Isacc Bruce being cut this year, isn't it a shame that just one year ago Kevin Curtis got away? Couldn't and/or shouldn't they have seen this coming? Thanks Jeff.
Jeff Gordon: Curtis would interest Saunders, with his speed. But Linehan's vision of the offense was different.I'm not sure Kevin was worth the money he got, but he would have been a better investment than Bennett. Almost anybody would have been.
Steve Kent: What are the chances of the Rams taking Dorsey or Ellis with the #2 pick and moving Carriker to DE?
Jeff Gordon: Again, I have my doubts about Carriker's pass rushing skills at DE. If the Rams do go with a DT, then they believe he can make the move and become a Wistrom-type effort rusher.
That appears to be it for today. Thanks for all the questions!
Re: Gordo Live
Glad that he (as well as most people on these boards) see that Carriker moving to DE would probably be bad. Draft a DE in the first, and we just filled our biggest need.
Re: Gordo Live
I'm with you Moose... I don't see him excelling in the outside rush. Plus, he and Ryan are just fine where they are. Can't wait to see what they can do for the d-line in their second year.
Presently, I'm leaning towards the DE pick for the 1st round, too. ....especially if there's a deep pool of OL's and possibly WR's available for the 2nd and 3rd rounds as Gordo repeatedly suggests.