Explain your grade of the Rams 2012 NFL Draft.
Feel free to throw a +/- with your grade your explanation.
Explain your grade of the Rams 2012 NFL Draft.
Feel free to throw a +/- with your grade your explanation.
I'm not normally a "grade right after the draft" kind of guy, but gun to my head, I would give the Rams a solid B to B+ for what they did on draft day. I'll elaborate on my thoughts on each pick, which to me is more important at this point than a letter grade for something that really can't be judged for another 3-4 years.
Trading down and acquiring an additional second-round pick after Blackmon was selected was a great move. They were able to take DT Michael Brockers right in the range where I had him, and he fills a big need on the defensive line. Brockers will start immediately at the nose position, helping to free up linebacker James Laurinaitis while also giving the Rams a legitimate run-stopping force on the interior of the defensive line.
Brian Quick came off the board earlier than I anticipated. I also don't think he's as ready to step in as other receivers in this class, and the Rams need immediate help at the posiiton. However, his physical skills and athleticism are off the charts, and he has great potential for the future to become the #1 receiving target we've needed for years now.
Janoris Jenkins is a big risk with the potential for a big reward. If it were me, I would have stayed away. But I can understand that this coaching staff, full of experience and leadership, thinks they can keep Janoris on the straight and narrow. The acquisition of a third second-round pick also made it easier to take a risk here.
The Rams traded the second-round pick they acquired from Dallas, and ended up drafting Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead with the selection. Pead is a great change of pace 'back who should be able to spell Jackson when he needs a breather, specifically on third downs. The Rams needed a second runner to help pound the rock in Fisher's offense, and they found one. I'm a bit hesitant to declare this an "heir apparent" situation, which is what you'd ideally like to get in the second round, but he could be that guy.
Trumaine Johnson was one of the best players on the board at the time of his selection, and while the Rams may have had bigger needs than double-dipping on another defensive back, there was not overwhelming value at either the offensive guard or linebacker position at that point in the draft. Johnson helps the Rams improve upon what can now be looked at as a secondary with the potential to be both deep and talented.
Drafting Chris Givens at the top of the fourth round represented excellent value in my opinion. He was a wide receiver that I believed had the potential to go in the second round. Resisting the notion that many said the same thing about Mardy Gilyard a few years ago, I see Givens as a better prospect with more of a chance to not only stick on this team but a chance to start in a relatively weak unit.
With the fifth rounder they acquired from Chicago in the second-round trade down, the Rams drafted South Carolina guard Rokevious Watkins. While Watkins was not a player that was particularly high on my radar at that point, it's notable that few other offensive guards came off the board after the Rams' selection, so it does not appear they passed on another prospect at the position that may have been more highly regarded. Watkins earned praise as a starter on a tough SEC team, and could give the Rams quality depth at the position and possibly push for playing time due to the massive hole at left guard.
In round six, the Rams acquired an immediate contributor in kicker Greg Zuerlein. The Z-Man was considered by some to be the best place kicker in this draft, and while kicker was not a huge need position for this team, it's clear they wanted to improve on Josh Brown's 75% conversion rate, third worst in the league. As three kickers came off the board after Zuerlein to round out the draft, it's unlikely he would have made it to undrafted free agency.
In the seventh round, the Rams took weak-side linebacker Aaron Brown from Hawaii and another running back, Daryl Richardson from Abilene Christian. If either of these prospects makes the final roster, it will be a pretty big success due to the rarity of that really happening. Then again, the Rams have needs for running back depth and at WILL linebacker, so it's not out of the question that either of these two could stick.
Overall, I think the Rams did a quality job addressing as many team needs as they could while also making sure to receive good to excellent value (IMO at least) with their selections. If you look at the bigger picture, particularly when it comes to Brockers, Quick, Johnson, and Givens, the Rams took players who have shown the ability to be outstanding pros but haven't yet approached their "ceiling." These players still have room to grow, and a solid coaching staff - like the one the Rams have assembled - could certainly help them do that. This may have made them preferable to the staff than other players who were more highly thought of by fans and the media but may be closer to their ceiling as well.
Ultimately, this will be a very important draft for the Rams. If they hit on a number of these players, it will be a positive turning point for a franchise bereft of talent. If they miss on some of the chances they took - and you could make the argument that character issues and raw prospects who need refinement represent greater risk for the next level - they could find themselves only marginally above the hole they found themselves in. In the end, I have faith in the talented coaching staff that Jeff Fisher has assembled to get the most out of the prospects selected here. There's no reason to not be optimistic about the direction of the team coming out of this draft.
A. The Rams have finally taken a chance on players they know will produce.
I'm going A-. When you factor in the blockbuster Redskins trade as part of the result of this year's draft, it's hard not to give them an A. So my grade is essentially an A+ for picking up two extra first round picks from a team that picks in the top half of the draft every year and a B for the actual picks.
If the Browns really did offer essentially the same package as the Skins, as Holmgren suggested, I would have preferred that option. At #4, Blackmon would have been a near lock if we wanted him. If that wasn't a real option, then I'm happy with what we did in the first. Brockers plus another 2nd is a pretty nice consolation prize.
In the second, I feel like there was a good enough chance that Quick would be available later in the round that with #33, we could have gone for a player that we felt was more likely to come off the board before our next pick if we didn't get him. For all we know, it's possible that other teams secretly had their eyes on Quick, but I don't know of any evidence to indicate that was the case. In fact, only one other receiver (Stephen Hill) was taken before pick #45. It's entirely possible that we might have been able to take an offensive lineman, then Jenkins and still have landed Quick in the 2nd. In the end, the FO will be judged by their results on this one, since we're talking a lot of hypotheticals here.
I don't think that trading down from #45 was prudent. The extra value was only a 5th round pick, and we probably did lose out on players that we wanted as a result. Was the gain of "Rock" Watkins worth it? Could Watkins have potentially been available in the sixth or even the seventh? I'm not down on Pead, but if we had our eyes on the two linebackers, then the front office just bet wrong.
I don't really have a problem with double-dipping for Johnson at CB and Givens at WR. After last year, I'm inclined to say we can never have too many quality defensive backs, and we really haven't had a deep threat in years. Under the circumstances, I have no qualms about taking a kicker in the sixth. I generally won't criticize any sixth or seventh round pick that has a better than 50% chance of making the opening day roster.
All in all, "the Trade" is a potential turning point for the franchise, which makes this an exciting moment for us. There is some room to second guess on this draft, but we got a golden opportunity, and I don't think they blew it. That was the important thing. At the end of the day, we've added a lot of talent to the team and positioned ourselves to stock up with extra picks for the next two years. That's huge, especially since the rookie pay scale makes those first round picks even more desirable than they used to be.
B- Great draft in terms of players we got. Still disappointed they were not able to get more for the drop back to 14. Even an additional later round pick that could have been used on additional OLB or OG.
A solid B.
If the "Cell Block C" kids keep their collective noses clean, then this is an A. But it could be just as easily an F.
"A" scenario - Brockers continues to develop, and becomes a premier run-stopper with pass rushing abilities. His ability to absorb blockers frees up Long, Quinn, & Laurinaitis to blow up backfields. Quick is T.O. without the attitude. Jenkins puts down the bong, and turns into Asante Samuel. Pead, Johnson, & Givens all become starters.
"F" scenario - Brockers' potential is never realized. He is a decent run stopper, but can not collapse the pocket. Jenkins and Johnson wind up playing for the Missouri Dept. of Corrections. Pead and Givens fizzle out.
Could go either way, or somewhere in the middle.
I give the draft a rating of PG (parental guidance suggested).
It's impossible to say until the players actually play. Giving an A grade implies almost everybody drafted will start or contribute which is impossible to say. The same with a lower grade. We won't know anything about any of these guys until August and really into the regular season.
Kurt Warner used a different criteria. He thought the Rams should have kept the #6 pick and drafted a difference maker or potential elite player instead of trading down for more picks. That's a valid point some here stated.
I'm holding off on a grade until I see actual football.
My grade is based on the Rams approach to the draft.
Aggressive is how I would describe this draft and it started before day one of the draft. By trading the number two overall.
The players the Rams drafted have the skill sets to be elite playmakers. The FO did not play it safe and pick players from big name schools that the media types would praise. Example Randle, the Rams passed on a very nice player from a big time school to take a player that they feel has a higher ceiling and fills a bigger need.
The Rams FO did a nice job working the draft not letting it work them. By making a lot of trades the Rams parlayed our second pick number two overall into 14,39,50,150 and two additional first rounds picks 2013 and 2014.
They created out of thin air:
First Round Pick 2013
First Round Pick 2014
The FO did a great job to add additional players with talent to fill holes, only time will tell if the players picked can deliver. In the short term the FO did all they could do to get the playermalkers of the future.
I give it a B- right now
Our biggest need was and is still a #1 receiver...Brian Quick has loads of potential but the transition from a facing D-II defenses vs. the NFL defenses is a pretty tough transition so he will need some time and i hope shotty helps this kid adjust well
secondly we did not do anything to address our starting offensive lineman i look at watkins more of a depth guy
No you cannot address every need in the draft but our O-line and out side receivers were a HUGE reason we just could not score and we did not address those to the best of our abilities
But we got plenty of talent and potential so the B- will likely change for the better...however the overall off-season grade is much higher because we are set up with future picks
He did not face D-II defenses.Quote:
Brian Quick has loads of potential but the transition from a facing D-II defenses vs. the NFL defenses is a pretty tough transition
I always hate trying to grade a draft... heck we really won't know how well we did draft until about 3 more years, so I try to base these kinds of grades on how well the team drafted for need and how well they picked players that will fit the particular kind of schemes that team is running.
For the Rams, I go B. I think Quick can turn in to a mighty fine WR, but as of now we still do not have that absolute #1 WR that will demand double-coverage at times and really help out Bradford. We dropped the ball on Blackmon and Floyd by trading down, and both times they got picked just before our turn. However Brockers should be an immediate fix in the pourous run-D last year, so we still got a player we really needed.
I like the other defensive picks as well. Even though Jenkins is a bit of a risk... with the shape the team is in you've got to take risks. He and Finnegan could turn into a pretty good combo.
Only other glaring hole is on the O-line. I'm really hoping a year of experience has helped the guys, because I do not want to see Bradford getting his brains beat in to start the season this year... and Jackson still has a couple of years where if the O-line can play decent, he's going to put together good games.