Gordo Live: 4/14/08
By Jeff Gordon
Monday, April 14, 2008
Tim: Of the "Big Four" which one would yo rather see the Rams draft? It looks like no matter who they draft its a huge pickup and they will have an immediate impact on the team.
Jeff Gordon: I'd go with Chris Long, adding an all-purpose DE to start next to Little, Ryan and Carriker. Hall could spell him on third down passing situations. Adeyanju could replace Little on third-down run downs.
Gholston has boosted his stock, as Jim Thomas outlined. This leaves the Rams open to a trade down -- one that could help them get a quality WR and a viableOT after taking a defensive lineman at No. 5 or No. 6 overall.
Tim: Could we possibly see a Barron for Birk deal? Obviously is wouldnt go down until we knew for sure the ther is a 100% chance Jake Long slips to No.2 but picture that line
Pace Bell Birk Incognito Long with solid backups
Stussie Setterstrom Romberg Goldberg Gorin
Jeff Gordon: I don't see center as a big priority. I understand the appeal of getting a potential Pro Bowler for the middle of the O-line, but Romberg has been OK in that slot and Setterstrom could be more than OK.
As for Barron, he reminds of other inconsistent Rams OTs (Ryan Tucker, John St. Clair) who played on after leaving St. Louis. Other teams will be intrigued by him. He has athletic ability that cannot be dismissed. And in some cases, players really do mature after a change of scenery.
Bryan S: With everybody talking about Jake Long being the next great offensive tackle...didn't they said the same thing about Robert Gallery in Oakland?
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, but, again, great OTs are almost impossible to find. Long is a stellar workout guy and a young man of great character, but he still has to adapt to the pro game - which is a LOT different than playing Big Ten football. Long has the tools, but he is hardly the same sort of natural athlete that Pace was coming out of school. Pace was (and still is) and physical freak, a huge man who is very light on his feet.
For me, an ideal scenario would be to bring him back for one last chance -- while also drafting potential replacement high in the second round.
With draft day approaching who do you think is the most likely candidate for the Rams number two choice and why?
Jeff Gordon: Mock drafts put Manningham in a Rams uniform for the obvious reasons. He could fall to the second round in a deep receivers draft and the Rams need an impact WR. That is entirely plausible.
Loren: Have you heard anything about a S. Jackson extension . I hope we get it done before the Draft if at all possible. Anybody who thinks this team would be better off trading him and drafting Mcfadden is crazy in my opinion. He is a stud with obvious passion for the game. He stays out of trouble and truly wants to win. With a health productive offensive line he could carry this team.
Jeff Gordon: Talking to Devaney, he agrees wholeheartedly. Jackson offers a freakish size/speed/hands combo. The Rams do need to extend him -- but that could force the club to make a hard call on another veteran to make the cap numbers work.
Dejan Prole: After the Big Four visited the Rams Park on Sunday are there any brighter signs of wich player will Rams draft this April? My vote goes to Vernon Gholston!
Greetings from Serbia Rams fans!
Jeff Gordon: Gholston has boosted his stock. He is a big work ethic guy and he would address a serious need. I don't know if the Rams would take him at No. 2, but they could move back a few notches and gladly take him AND another decent pick via a trade.
Ted: Hey Gordo, whats the lastest draft news with the rams it looks like miami is going to take jake long so do u think they will take chris long? Whats the status on fahkir brown is he still going to be able to play this season. My final ? is do u think this is the year tye hill steps up and rewards us for selecting him with our #1 pick in 2006. thanks Gordo
Jeff Gordon: Don't have official word on Brown, but the Rams are understandably eager to add another veteran CB. Hill needs to be a take-charge CB this year, but "shutdown corner" is asking too much. I don't know that he will ever reach his stated goal of becoming a Pro Bowler.
Rich: Hey Gordo,
What kind of WR are the Rams looking for in this draft?
Are they looking for a guy to eventually take over the number one postion or are they just looking for a speedster to man the slot.
It seems every week a top flight WR candidate finds a way to tumble down the draft board so there will be choices in the top of the second and third rounds.
Jeff Gordon: The Rams need speed and growth potential at WR. They don't need a lead guy for next year, obviously, but a strong third receiver to replace Bruce is a must-get. And given Bennett's sad showing here in '07, the Rams need somebody good enough to push for the No. 2 role ASAP.
Tom S.: Hey Gordo, I think the rams need to change their image. See if you can talk them into getting rid of the white golf shoes they've always worn and wear some black ones. What do you think?
Jeff Gordon: Don't white shoes make you appear faster? What worked for Billy Johnson works for us.
Mick: how early is too early for the rams to pick a developmental QB? Thanks Mick.
Jeff Gordon: Given all the other needs, I'd hate to see them jump quicker than the fifth round. But the guys they really like will be long gone by then. So this is a tough call. Perhaps if the Rams can get an extra pick through a trade down, it will make it easier to jump at a QB earlier in the second day.
bfulton: Apparently, your colleague Jim Thomas reports that OT Alex Barron hasn't much attended the Rams' off-season workout program. Do you know Barron's side of the story?
Jeff Gordon: Either you are there or you aren't. And if you have been inconsistent as a pro -- as Barron has -- then you ought to get there. He can't be trusted to work out on his own. He hasn't earned that trust, as guys like Bruce did over the years. Coaches really hate it when young guys don't go "all in" for off-season conditioning.
Although I don't advocate dealing Barron, this bit of off-season news would make such a trade more understandable.
bfulton: Assuming Fakhir Brown can't play this year, how do the Rams: 1) fill the roster spot; and, 2) fill his starting spot?
Jeff Gordon: The Rams continue to explore veteran options at CB. Like LB, CB doesn't seem to be one of early priorities for the Rams in this draft. For now, the team must hope that Hill, Bartell and Wade keep improving.
Ed Wernle: What is your opinion of Glen Dorsey missing this past weekend visit because of the "flu"? I hope the Rams organization considers this an indication of his character and work ethic (ie. Jimmy Kennedy). He is in line to make millions of guaranteed money and he can't get on a plane because of a fever. This would make a great cambell soup ad though. Big, strong Glen Dorsey missed a paid trip to a possible new employer because he didn't eat his cambell soup..
Jeff Gordon: Let's see what sort of impression he makes when he does come. The last time I talked to Devaney, he admitted that players can hurt their draft stock by blowing their team visit. It happened last spring when Devaney was in Atlanta.
As for the Kennedy comparison, I wouldn't go that far. Dorsey played hard and play hurt in college. Kennedy did have a tendency to take plays off, which is why he fell to the Rams in his draft year. There are no such concerns about Dorsey.
Francisco Prado: Gordo, thank you for taking my question. I always look forward to your chats. Do you believe the Rams will select a fullback in the later rounds? I believe Leonard is not a true lead blocking fullback. This was very noticeable last season as we struggle in short yardage blocking( Thanks for Linehan for releasing Hedgecock). In a division where Patrick Willis and Lofa Tatupu are middle linebackers we need a hammer to put on those players.
Jeff Gordon: Richard Owens ending up in that role last year and that wasn't good enough. Leonard is a solid utility back with terrific third down blocking/receiving skills. The team does need a true power blocker, especially if that guy can also become a special teams force.
superjim: Hey Gordo,
Looking ahead a season, next year the Rams are going to be in a tough position. Alex Barron will be at the end of his deal, O.J. Atogwe will be a free agent, Steven Jackson's deal will have run out and more holes will have developed in the roster. Orlando Pace will strongly consider retirement with the same applying to Glover, and potentially Leonard Little if he doesn't recover from his toe injury. Corey Chavous had a drop in his play last year and I expect one again this season in truth, while Torry's knees worry me, and could go at any time. My point is this: I think we only have one season to get a quick fix before returning to the 6-10 mediocrity which we've seen over the last few years.
This season we have enough good players left over, plus the free agent additions, plus at least 3 instant starters from the draft to mount a playoff run. However, if we don't draft well like in recent years I don't think we'll be seeing winning football played in St. Louis for a long time. In an ideal world, I would take Gholston or Dorsey in round one and Kenny Phillips or a receiver like mario manningham in the second. What chance do you think that this will happen, I hear we're having Desean Jackson for a visit next week? Will we trade up into the end of round 1 for a second pick? What are your thoughts on all this?
Jeff Gordon: I don't know if the Rams need to move up into the end of the second round, given the caliber of player likely to fall to them early in the second. But the Rams do need to add several impact guys in this draft. They must also make great progress with some earlier picks because, as you noted, several veterans are coming to the end of the line. The franchise faces many tough decisions as Little and Pace age and guys like Jackson need new deals.
Frank: Jeff -
Even if Dorsey IS a beast, shouldn't the team avoid taking any chances by picking him (and his possible long-term injuries)?
This team can't afford to make a mistake with this high a pick! Your take??
Jeff Gordon: I don't know that his leg injuries are a long-term concern. But the Rams can't take any risk on this pick, on character or talent or health. I believe the Big Four are all solid. But Dorsey could be viewed as redundant at DT, so I have the other three ahead of him.
Martin: Everyone is suggesting the Rams pick a corner in the 3rd or 4th round, why is that? They did that last year, and almost every year since 2000. Is management not happy with Jonathon Wade or Ron Bartell or do people quickly forget about draft picks after the 2nd round?
Jeff Gordon: The Rams need a cornerback, one away or another. Hill, Bartell and Wade all figure prominently into the '08 plans. But Bartell can play safety and is better as a utility back. Another pure corner would really make a difference.
Martin: Vernon Gholston and Chris Long BOTH had 14 sacks last year. Why would the Rams prefer the "sack master" over a Hall-of-Famer's son who is much more consistent? I'm hoping they get C.Long at number 2.
Jeff Gordon: Gholston is a speed rusher and Long is an effort rusher. Against NFL left tackles, Vernon is likely to get more pressure and Long is likely to make more plays overall. So either guy has value, just in different way.
Scott Linehan: Why do I still have a job?
Jeff Gordon: Because you had a year left on your contract and Chip Rosenbloom needs that year to get acclimated to his new role.
Jake Long: Hey Gordo,
If you guys take me, aren't you basically screwed on the D-line? I mean, is there any DE in the second round worth taking? If you take me, doesn't that mean no pass rush?
Jeff Gordon: Well, Jake, if the Rams take you, they will still have Little and Hall to rush the passer. Both guys were hurt last year, but both have credentials. Beyond that, the Rams WOULD have to find a good athlete, perhaps a smallish DE/LB to groom as a specialist.
ramsfansam: What is the over/under this year on:
"Oh the Humanity" forum postings by you?
Side line chewing outs by players to Linehan?
Barron false starts?
Games before Loserhan is replaced by Saunders or Haslett?
Love your columns,
Jeff Gordon: Let's hope we're done with the fiasco post-game chats, but something tells us this year will be no better than 8-8. And if that happens, Linehan would survive the year but fail to earn a new long-term deal. He is in a funny spot with Haslett still here and Saunders locked in for the longer term.
AS for Barron, if he doesn't get to work this off-season, he might not make it to the regular season. Rams management will read all these "trade Barron" posts and take them to heart.
merlin olsen: Don't you think Saunders is being prepped to be the coach when Linehan finally screws up?
Jeff Gordon: Contractually, he is in position to take over. He has the experience. This is why Linehan is trying to assert him and create a fresh (and more commanding) image to his players. Let's see how it plays.
Keith: Hey Gordo...Most NFL reps are down on Michigan WR Mario Manningham, due to a poor 40 time at the combine & some slight character issues. I believe it would be a BIG mistake for the Rams to pass on him with the second pick in round 2. Some scouts still believe his skill level makes him the best receiver in the draft & that he could be the next Chad Johnson. Imagine Torry "Big Game" Holt & "Super Mario" Manningham making plays for the Rams this season. Now that's an exciting offense. What do you think?
Jeff Gordon: A lot of mock drafts have him failing to the Rams in the second round. At second-round dollars, he would be a solid bet, no?
Joey Drilllings: I actually go to the draft. Will you or any other writers be there? My question is, do the Rams consider Brock Berlin their QB of the future, or will they be spending a third or fourth pick on a QB? I know this is not an immediate need, but since a QB takes a year or two to groom, it may be a bigger need then we think.
Jeff Gordon: Berlin is NOT their quarterback of the future. The Rams would like to draft a developmental guy, but, as Jim Thomas notes, the class is thin.
We cover from the draft from team headquarters. Aside from a new national guys, that is how the draft gets covered. The GMs and coaches work from their war rooms.
darrell hoskins: if dominique rodgers-cormatie is on the board for the 33rd pick. would you draft him and do you think the rams would draft him.i think he is a playmaker and they don't have many of those.
Jeff Gordon: Scouts Inc. has him ranked 14th overall. So if he plunged to the second round, the Rams would be pretty excited. He is a potential starter.
shanks: hey jeff,this has been bugging me all weekend but did you read that column with linehan ( "free agent pickups"). how trent green is going to help mark bulgar out a TON!what is he talking about.wasnt mark one of the top qbs in the league before linehan came.is trent going to block for him? i know a TON of ram fans that would kiss rodney harrisons feet if they could.i also know a TON of people that want to see linehan gone. linehan also says green brings "credibility and leadership". hey scott is"nt that what you were supposed to bring? anyway i guess my question is, jeff do you agree with me?
Jeff Gordon: That is a bit harsh on Trent. Fact is, Trent knows the offense. And Trent has proven to be a tough guy, often to his own detriment. Had he never been injured here, he would have quarterbacked the Greatest Show on Turf. We'll never know if he could have done what Warner did, but he put up great numbers with awful WRs in Kansas City.
I like Bulger, but he has to come out of his shell and lead this team this year. The Rams WILL block for him, given their improved depth. Now he has to regain his old confidence.
Tim: Of the big four who would be the better fit for the Rams?
Jeff Gordon: Linehan wants Jake Long, it appears, but I'd favor Howie's kid.
Ray R.: Jeff:
Your thoughts on the Rams taking the best available defensive player with our second round pick? I think Dorsey should be the pick at No. 2. But instead of then going OL or WR, I would also take an impact defensive player with our second round pick. Hoping Tenn LB Jerod Mayo falls!!
Jeff Gordon: Devaney isn't optimistic about LBs. The Rams aren't taking one of the good ones in the first round and he doesn't expect to see a quality LB in the second round. The depth at OT and WR is much better.
Jason: The Rams would be silly to take J.Long,but then again,we do have Scott Loserhan as the head coach.
Jeff Gordon: Adding Long at huge dollars is an issue, for me, because you still have Pace and Barron. If you are convinced Pace is about done and you want to get Barron out of the lineup, then, sure, J. Long makes sense. But to me the needs are more immediate at DE.
HEG: Gordo- I believe of the big 4 in upcoming NFL draft that Dorsey would best serve the Rams for their #2 seletion!!! Do you agree????
Jeff Gordon: No, I like either DE more than him -- just because the Rams hit on two interior linemen in the last draft, Ryan and Carriker. Dorsey would displace Carriker, moving him into rush-down DE role. Meanwhile the team would be hoping that Hall stays healthy and provides passing down pressure.
Jordan: I tried to submit a question last week in the JT chat, unfortunately I had no luck so hopefully I can get my question answered today.
Is Gholston even being seriously considered at #2? I know the talk has circulated around Dorsey, C. Long, and J. Long, but is Gholston even being considered?
Jeff Gordon: J.T. just covered this topic in the P-D. The Rams ARE interested. Don't read too much into the fact that Linehan didn't go to his pro day. Gholston's stock is rising. But, again, I believe the Rams would take him only if they moved down a few spots to add another pick.
Bill Belichick: I was relieved to see you guys on my schedule. I didnt know we were getting two by weeks this year.
Jeff Gordon: Come on, Bill, you know the Rams will be fired up over Spygate. Expect a fight to the death!
Martin: Hey Gordo,
I am getting bored with waiting for the draft. I feel like our organization is not going to make any exciting moves or anything. Gosh I wish Scott Linehan wasn't our coach. He looks like MacGyver's clueless non-mulleted younger brother.
Anyway, will Devaney try any kind of blockbuster deal?
Jeff Gordon: Like the cultural reference. As for a blockbuster, those are rare in the NFL -- but the Rams are sitting in great spot at No. 2 overall. Somebody is bound to come calling with something interesting.
Donald: How bad to you think the Rams will have to do before they fire the Head Coach?
Jeff Gordon: If the Rams don't have a dramatic bounceback - getting to the high side of .500 -- I don't see how Linehan gets another deal.
Cory Radford: Gordo, in your opinion who is the best 1st round pick of the Rams since moving to St.Louis in 1995?...
1997- Orlando Pace (#1 overall)
1999- Torry Holt (#6 overall)
2004- Steven Jackson (#24 overall)
Jeff Gordon: Pace is a future Hall of Famer and a cornerstone of two Super Bowl teams. It's hard to pick against him, despite his more recent injury woes. I think O.P. still has a crack at the Hall of Fame.
mike porter: With the many holes that need to be filled. What is our best hole to fill in your opinion? Offensive line or defense, whether it be a DE or a DT?
Is the talk with jake long just a show or are they for real? With all the articles out there sometimes it seems like just a show or distraction.
Jeff Gordon: Jake Long is a real commodity. That is why the Dolphins are taking a serious look at him. Again, though, DE is a more immediate need for this team. With Pace seemingly on the mend from a freak injury, the Rams would have to move people around to put J. Long to work. At DE, the guy the team picks starts right away, no questions asked.
Cory Radford: Jeff, the NFL announced the regular season schedule wil be announced tomorrow (Tuesday April 15) @ 1 PM CST on the NFL Network. Can you give us a sneak preview of anything you know about who and when the Rams might play? Maybe who they open with? (For the first time since 1999, I don't think they will have any prime time games.)
Jeff Gordon: Outside of the division, they play Dallas, the Giants, Chicago, Buffalo and Miami at home and Philly, Washington, Atlanta, New England and the Jets on the road.
So a return to 8-8 is possible. To do better than that, the team will really have to improve.
I'd be surprised if the Rams got a marquee time in there . . .
Nick: Hey Gordo,
Is it too far-fetched to see Will Franklin in a Rams Uniform next season?
Round 1: Vernon Gholston
Round 2: Jeremy Zuttah?
Round 3: Will Franklin
Round 4: Erik Ainge
What do you think?
Jeff Gordon: Scouts Inc ranks Zuttah at this 15th-best guard with bulk issues, so that is not happening. The Rams seem to like Franklin, although that might be too high for him.
Ainge is ranked as the ninth best quarterback, whiich isn't great in a bad year for quarterbacks. So he goes later, too.
dagjagdida: Hi Gordo, greetings from England. If the Rams take Chris Long or Gholston with the No 2 pick (with DE being the priority position to upgrade)are they likely to consider LB or Safety if one of the first round grade players fall to our 2nd round pick or are they likely to stick with their predetermined positiom based needs of WR, OT & CB?
Jeff Gordon: Devaney isn't optimistic about a quality LB being there in the second round. The draft is thin there. OT and WR are better positions for that pick, but you never know.
Ram King: Hey Gordo,
With the addition of Saunders at OC and a new mix at WR do you think the Rams offense will look and perform completely different than the ho hum offense we have seen from Linehan the last couple of years? I'm not expecting the GSOT part 2, but can we at least be a little optimistic that the offense will be a sort of exciting to watch?
Jeff Gordon: I would expect a different look, with more 3-WR sets and better use of the tight end in the passing game. Saunders knows how to use Pro Bowl-caliber running backs, too. He didn't have great receivers in Kansas City, yet his teams put up big numbers.
Of course, he DID have great offensive lines. It remains to be seen what becomes of that Rams unit in '08, but it has to be better, right?
Warren Arnold: For the Rams in the second round of the draft, what do you think of Earl Bennett from Vanderbilt? He quietly set SEC records as the only receiver on that team.
Jeff Gordon: Scouts Inc has him down at 84, suggesting he could be a great third-round pick. He isn't viewed as an explosive talent, but, like you say, he has a knack for putting up numbers. The Rams could do worse.
Is it just me or is linehan looking for a qb like Ryan Fitzpatrick, and a wr like Kevin Curtis that he literally gave away for wr Drew Bennet who can't catch or run a deep route, and gus frerotte who should have been coaching 5 years ago. How do you let pro-bowl, hall-of-famer Isaac Bruce go, especially to the niners??????????????
Jeff Gordon: The Bruce thing came down to business, Zygmunt's bid to get his price to a certain point so the Rams could also look for a young WR. That was a tough call. Fans would rather have both -- a young WR and Bruce.
I thought Saunders would have made this Bruce thing happen, but he didn't. I do expect Saunders to upgrade the offensive personnel overall. I like Green vs. Frerotte, as long as Trent can still take a bump without getting dizzy.
Tersty: What prospects are scheduled to visit the Rams on Tuesday?
Jeff Gordon: Dorsey will finally make it in, if he feels up to it. I don't have a list of the other two dozen guys, but they are mostly first-round caliber guys. One of them could be the Rams pick in Round Two.
David: Kudos to Steven Jackson and may he be a Ram for the duration of his career. I live in Las Vegas (Ram fan since Gabriel) and took my 10 year old son to Jackson's football clinic for the second year in a row. He holds this free clinic, at the UNLV football practice fields, for all kids ages 8-18 and brings some of his fellow players with him. This is the end event for the benefit he holds for Easter Seals. This year Drew Bennet (repeat participant), Randy McMichael, Dexter Coakley, Keenan McCardell, Nick Barnett, Curtis Conway, and others. They run through various position drills, have question/answer sessions, play 7 on 7 (or more) scrimmages with the pros as quarterbacks, and have an autograph session.
My son met him before, at a card show here, and he ALWAYS takes a few minutes to talk with my son, ask him a few questions, shake his hand, etc. He creates memories for all of these kids that they will remember for the rest of their lives. I know he's not the only one to do this, but I wanted him to get some recognition from Ram fans in his hometown for the good that he does. GO RAMS!!!
Jeff Gordon: So how did Drew Bennett look? Was he running the 40 in under 5 seconds?
I'm sorry. That was uncalled for. But we're washing the stink of 3-13 out of our clothing here in the STL . . .
If those are all the questions, I'll shut this down until next week.
Re: Gordo Live: 4/14/08
I'm glad some people see that DE is more important than DT. I'd take Chris Long or Vernon Gholston at #2, whomever is available. If both are available, Chris Long is obviously the choice, but if not, Gholston will be good.
Re: Gordo Live: 4/14/08
Good read. I think i'm just about ready for it all to happen already though. Draft day needs to hurry up and get here!