Rich: Hey Jim,
With major question marks with just about every one of the top flight WRs in this draft whether it be size (DeShaun Jackson), experince (Thomas) or character (Manningham and Kelly) do you see the Rams holding off until the the second day to feel that need?
Jim Thomas: I think they could wait until the third round. But I'd be surprised if they went any later.
Armen Dacity (Winter Park, FL): Jim,
Could the Rams be trying to bait the Falcons into trading up to get Dorsey? If so, what would that one spot be worth... a 3rd round pick, maybe?
Jim Thomas: A lot of teams go by an NFL draft trade chart. Actually, my good friend Scott Warmann says there's a new such chart. And under that point system, the Rams wouldn't be getting a second as I mentioned in an earlier post _ they'd be getting a third. But it's not like teams are bound by law to adhere to the chart.
Faris Chehabi: Which Rams didn't show up to the optional workouts? The people that didn't, does that mean they are not 100% commited to the team or they don't want to try hard to become better, or are they still 100% commited but actual had something else. Please let me know. Thanks.
Jim Thomas: Don't have a complete list of who's been missing or not missing. I've been more focused on the draft lately. But I'm told Dante Hall showed up this week for the first time.
Thanks for the chats and the in-depth information. (Good job dodging annoying combine guys, too.) What do you think about Dennis Dixon to the Rams in the 5th or 6th round? Seems to me it would be worth a gamble that his knee comes back in another year.
Jim Thomas: Unless there's something indication medically that this will be a chronic problem, I say why not take a flyer on the guy in the fifth or sixth, even if you have to put the guy on IR in '08. He's that talented, even if used just as a slash-type player.
Joe Flaaco: Hey Jim, what are my chances of being a Ram?
Jim Thomas: Excellent, I'd say, if you're still around in Round 4. But you won't be around by then, will you?
Gus: Jim: A non draft related question, for someone (you) who lives and breathes Rams everyday. Is it my imagination or does it seem like the Rams are lacking a "face of the organization" for a long time now. Most organzations seem to have a local spokeperson if nothing else, even if not actual owners. Georgia is gone, Stan is invisible. It would seem to me that this vaccum exists and can't be positive for the team's image here nor nationwide, thank goodness for the media or we wouldn't know they were our team. It doesn't seem to bode well for when the lease runs out at the Dome. Almost as if everyone is just going through the motions instead of building a real bond with the community. Any clue as to when that is and any discussions about renewing with the City...or not? Thanks
Jim Thomas: The Rams are aware of this issue. Chip Rosenbloom, in fact, is aware of this issue. Dick Vermeil was a great face of the organization. So was Charley Armey. New exec. VP of player personnel Billy Devaney has been very media friendly so far, but he's more of a nuts and bolts guy, so I don't know if that would qualify for "face of organization" status.
Mark Cockerell: Hey Jim! How come the Rams have such a terrible schedual for next year? I thought when teams have bad years the NFL will give them a better schedual the following year. The list for next year is worse than the year after they won the Super Bowl.
Jim Thomas: Actually, the weighted schedule is pretty much a thing of the past. Only two games each year are weighted like they used to be. Other than that, the Rams are playing 14 of the same 16 opponents as anyone else in the NFL.
Tim: How good of a Center do you think Setterstom will be?
Jim Thomas: Hard to say at this time. But he certainly has the smarts to play the position. His frame suits the center position. And he seems to be a tenacious player.
Bryan H.: Pleasure to speak to you Jim. My question is, do you think Devin Thomas could be available at #33? Also, would you be surprised if the Rams acknowledged the CB issue early and drafted Cason at #33?
PS: LONG > DORSEY
Jim Thomas: Boy, the overall WR position is a puzzle this year. Most of the top guys seem to be dropping (Kelly, Doucet, Manningham). I think Thomas goes in the first round although he is something of a one-year wonder. No, I would not be surprised if the Rams went CB at No. 33.
TheFakeAnnoyingCombineGuy: Hey JT,
I have really nothing else better to do than to interrupt a chat you do with Ram fans. Will you answer more of my questions? Whats your 40 time? How many times can you bench 225lbs?
Jim Thomas: Great, now we have a spinoff from AnnoyingCombineGuy.
Gus: Any chance with all the Dorsey and Jake Long hype, the Rams are trying to bait the Falcons to trade up with them? In the current rumor, Dolphins take Jake Long, Rams take Dorsey. I know the Falcons want one of them. Any chance the Falcons trade the Rams their 1st rounder plus their 2nd or 3rd rounder in exchange?
Jim Thomas: Even just to move up one spot, I think it would take the Falcons' second-round pick and more. That could turn out to be a good deal for St. Louis _ assuming Dorsey isn't the next Warren Sapp.
Let's just say Miami takes Jake Long, the Falcons move up to take Dorsey at No. 2. At No. 3, the Rams take Chris Long. Then they have two second-rounders and a third-rounder, in which they could draft in some order a WR, CB, and OT _ in theory, and I repeat, in theory _ filling their top needs in the first three rounds.
Steve A: Hey Jim,
Is there a "type" of wide receiver the Rams are looking for in this draft?
I'm hoping James Hardy drops to the Rams in round 2, but I've read the Rams like DeSean Jackson. You couldn't find two more different WRs. What did Jackson finally measure out to 5'9" 175 lbs?
Jim Thomas: Yeah, there's almost a foot of difference between them. The type that I think Linehan prefers has size, can run, and can get yards after the catch. (But isn't everyone looking for a WR like that?) That's why DeSean Jackson seemingly doesn't fit the mold, and I've been told by someone outside the organization that Linehan likes him a lot. Jackson's official Combine height and weight was 5-9 1/2, 169 pounds.
Steve M.: Do you think the Rams wiil draft McFadden and use him for trade bait?
Jim Thomas: The only problem with that is what happens if nobody takes the bait _ at least for what you want for McFadden _ once you've drafted him.
Taylor from Alberta: If the Rams select a WR in round 2, let's say it's Limas Sweed, what round could we expect to see another selected. Marcus Monk looks like he could be a steal in this draft and pressumably could be had in round 5. Is this too early? The draft could go DT,WR,OT,CB, and then Marcus Monk. He reminds me of James Hardy, without the issues. His injury concerns seem to be gone after his impressive pro-day.
Jim Thomas: Let's say the Rams' draft goes as you say: DT, WR, OT, CB. Barring extra picks from a trade down. That puts us into Round 5. I think at that point, the Rams would be looking for best LB available, and also for a developmental QB.
Nick: Jim, love these chats, keep it up!
If C. Long is the pick at #2 do we see less 3-4 sets next year? can Long play OLB and rush the QB from the outside? Would he be a 3-4 DE?
Jim Thomas: Unlike some, from what I'm told, I think the Rams see Chris Long as a 4-3 end, and some veteran scouts that I talk to feel the same way.
Tim: It seems like the Rams really want Jkae Long so if he slips past No. 1 is he pretty much a lock for the Rams?
Jim Thomas: My impression is the Rams will take Jake Long if he's available at No. 2. Right now, it doesn't look like that's going to happen, however.
ShaneM: Any chance that Linehan will take another Tight End in the draft?
Jim Thomas: Well, surprisingly, there was a TE on the pre-draft visit list _ Tennessee's Brad Cottam.
bfulton: How much does the quality of coaching go into determining where in the draft a position is targeted. For example, would the Rams wait on OT with the hope that Loney could make a 3d rounder a starter because he's that good a coach?
Jim Thomas: Don't think it factors in at all.
Brian from Vegas: Jim,
I read on a NFL website that the Rams have just over $10m in remaining cap space, while the Chiefs, Bills, Bucs and Saints have over $20m in cap space and the Titans, Packers, Jags, Chargers and Vikings all have over $15m in cap space. I have read multiple times that Jay Z is brillant with the salary cap. If he is so smart, how did we get stuck with a 3-13 team and very little cap space?
Jim Thomas: $10 Million is still pretty good cap space. The Rams have a lot of aging stars under contract, who are in the prime years of their contracts. Pace, Holt, Bulger, etc. That's what's soaking up a lot of the cap space.
Bob Bell: Good afternoon, Mr. Thomas,
Do you see the Rams using multiple picks in this draft on
any one position?
Jim Thomas: Maybe linebacker, but later in the draft, since they have only 5 LBs on the current roster. Maybe WR or CB.
Dejan Prole: Hi Jim, Big hello from Serbia!
Jim how does Rams staff think now who to draft in April after the Big Four visited Rams Park? What do you think wich player has made the biggest impresion on Linehan and Davaney? I still think that Gholston (my favorite) or Chris Long are the best fit for us, don't you think?
Jim Thomas: Dejan--I haven't been able to get any feedback on the Big Four visits. (Actually, Dorsey didn't show up because he was sick and instead came to Rams Park today.) At this point, it's looking more and more like Jake Long is going to Miami. If that's the case, I think the Rams will decide between Chris Long and Glenn Dorsey. And I don't know how to call that one. I think Dorsey (if healthy) is a better talent; but I think Chris Long fills a bigger need at DE.
AnnoyingCombineGuy: I forgot to ask, also. What's your height and weight?
Jim Thomas: Please go away. I'm sure Bill Parcells is looking for you right now in south Florida.
Mario Manningham: Whatup JT,
Big fan of yours. I just wanted to let all the Rams personnel/fans know, that you guys should draft me with your second round pick. I promise to improve on my 40 time & stay out of trouble in St. Louis. With guys nicknamed "Big Game Holt" & "Action Jackson...a "Super Mario" should fit right in. Return to the GSOT in 2008.
Jim Thomas: Mario, the 40 time doesn't concern me (or some veteran scouts I know). You're playing speed _ and skills _ speak for themselves. But if you want to have a long and successful NFL career, you're going to have to stay off the reefer.
Jack: Jim, what rumors, if any, do you hear about other teams wanting the Rams second pick and the Rams wanting to trade down? Thanks
Jim Thomas: As Bryan Burwell mentioned in his column today; the Rams are getting nibbles at the No. 2 spot. I hear _ and this is more rumor than fact at this point _ is that the Falcons would love to move up from No. 3 to No. 2 for Glenn Dorsey.
keith: Jim, you think this schedule makes Linehan nervous? Easily could start a winless streak right off the bat.
Jim Thomas: I know success in one year doesn't necessarily translate into victories the next year, not in the NFL anyway. But it looks like the schedule-makers are trying to bury the Rams before the first frost. I mean, the Giants, (at) Seattle, Dallas and New England in the first seven games? Plus road games at Philly and Washington? Given the current state of this Rams team, I think 2-5 might be considered a reasonable start. If the Rams go 3-4 in the first seven games, maybe we should hold a rally at Kiener (sp?) Plaza.
AnnoyingCombineGuy: Have you talked to the Dolphins at all? Do you know Bill Parcells? What do you think of him? He's great isn't he?
Jim Thomas: Are you the reporter that kept bugging us at the Combine with one Parcells question after another? Geez. Please give it a rest. They should make a Bud Light commercial in your honor. . . ."Mr. Annoying Combine Guy". . . .
Taylor from Alberta: Do you see either Limas Sweed or DeSean Jackson available at 33? If both there, who would you prefer and why? I like Sweed a lot. If not for injuries he could be the number reciever in the draft.
Jim Thomas: I think they both could be available. Why? Because Jackson is only 169 pounds and Sweed's wrist could be a significant concern. I don't know who I'd take between the two. Jackson is a dynamic playmaker, who might flourish as a slot receiver and punt returner in St. Louis. (A better version of Az-Hakim. Sweed gives you excellent size at nearly 6-4, and weighing 215. And plays faster than his timed speed (4.5)
Faris Chehabi: Do you think Reche Caldwell is going to make the team? Also, do you think the Rams will take Manningham in the 2nd round? Thanks.
Jim Thomas: Caldwell's future depends on what the Rams do in the draft, and what happens with Stanley, Looker and Hagans in camp. Caldwell signed a minimum contract for his experience level, so there's next to no cap implications if he gets cut.
I think the Rams probably stay away from Manningham because of his past drug test results.
Russ in Phoenix: Good day Jim,
With people out there talking about all of the draft busts with the Rams selecting Defensive Tackles in the past few years, why wouldn't these same people want the Rams to pick Dorsey to finally end the need of acquiring a DT?
I'm so tired of seeing DT busts (excluding Carriker, Ryan and Pickett)that I actually would like the Rams to select Dorsey to end my suffering.
Bring back the Fearsome Foursome!
Little LDE/Dorsey DT/Ryan NT/Carriker RDE
(yeah a 300-lb DE with a motor....)
Russ in HOT Phoenix (98 degrees today)
Jim Thomas: Exactly, just because you missed on a couple of DTs (Kennedy and Damione Lewis), doesn't mean you should pass on a player most think is among the top two in this year's draft (Dorsey) if healthy?
Joel A Carroll: Two Questions: When the Rams are evaluating a player, how important is work ethic and character to them? It seems to me, this is a draft where the Rams can't afford to take chances on great athletes who "might" get their act together "someday"?
Secondly, would the Rams even be considering Jake Long as the number 2, if Alex Barron wasn't so inconsistent and Orlando Pace wasn't coming off a major injury for the second year in a row?
Jim Thomas: 1.) Ever since Roger Goodell's get-tough policy on personal conduct issues, the Rams have strayed away from character risks. Look no farther than Linehan's '07 draft _ and compare it to his '06 Rams draft (Byrd, Wroten).
2.) I would say, no, they wouldn't be looking at Long had the circumstances with Pace and Barron been different.
can you share with us the complete list of draft prospects visiting the rams between sunday and today?
also, if the dolphins agree to terms with someone before the draft, can and would the rams begin negotiating with their top choices remaining before the draft?
Jim Thomas: The complete list of players visiting Tuesday and Wednesday was in the paper today (Tuesday) and is also on-line.
I believe the Rams could believe negotiating with the No. 2 pick once they were on the clock.
Markus: 1)Any talk about the other DE/pass rush OLBs other than Gholston and Long? Harvey, Merling, Campbell, Groves, Avril or anyone else?
2)With all the talk about possibly trading down, have you heard anything about Virginia OL Branden Albert? He now seems to be a legit top 10 pick.
3)Will the staff decide if they will run a base 4-3 or 3-4 after the draft? Haslett was a great coordinater when he ran the 3-4 in Pittsburgh, but has has been less than spectacular running the 4-3 in New Orleans and St. Louis.
Personally I have always loved the 3-4 because you can hide the QBs pre-snap reads. Also, I have always thought it is easier to draft for the 3-4 than 4-3 (see Steelers). Most good 3-4 DL are primarily big run stopping two gap lineman and can be found later in the draft and/or developed (Cliff Ryan). Most of the great pass rush OLBs are undersized DEs (ala Kevin Greene) who likewise are easier to find than the prototype 6'4"/ 290 Pro Bowl 4-3 ends. And assuming you do find a great 4-3 DL, you're likely to lose them or pay them obscene money once his contract expires and then the search for the next great one begins again.
The bust rate for early DTs is so exceedingly high, and I do not see that Dorsey is anymore of a lock that all the other highly regarded DTs recently drafted.
With the rules favoring the WRs, teams today MUST be able to generate a pass rush w/o having to sell out all the time. You just cannot afford to expose your DBs by HAVING to bring 5 or 6 every play.
Jim Thomas: 1.) Judging by the pre-draft visits to Rams Park, I'm surprised that no other DEs or rush LBs were brought in. The only DE/OLB Liberty's Vincent Redd, is a mid_ to late-round project. Now, maybe the Rams are holding out on us, and have some other DEs in mind.
2.) Albert's stock does seem to be rising, but he's primarily a guard. The Rams really have greater needs in other areas than guard at this point.
3.) The Rams actually ran the 3-4 a lot last season in passing situations, particularly over the second half of the season. I'm sure it'll be part of their package. But they don't really have the personnel to run it full time.
Brad: There was some talk toward the end of last season that the Rams may shift to a 3-4 defense. Have the Rams stated whether they will stick with a 4-3, or is this kept quiet for strategic reasons heading into the draft? Thank you.
Jim Thomas: They don't have the personnel, particularly the numbers at LB, to run the 3-4 full time. But it will still be part of their package. They ran it a lot in passing situations last season.
Dwayne: Hey Jim
Would you be surprised to see the rams draft
Dorsey over a (HEALTHY) C.Long and are you leaning
towards WR or CB in round 2.
Jim Thomas: I would not be surprised to see the Rams take Dorsey. I think in the end, Dorsey will have a higher grade than Chris Long on the Rams' board. But the X-factor is Dorsey's health. The Rams keep saying or intimating that they're not concerned with Dorsey's stress fracture. But who knows for sure?
I would lean towards WR, only because of what will be available there. Conceivably, the Rams could get the third_ or fourth-best WR at No. 33.
D King: This is my third and final comment on this subject since we disagree. I am in favor of trading the 1st round pick with Dallas for their 2 1st round picks for a player or another pick. I want to clear one thing I am not a Buckeye fan or a Carpenter fan. I feel he is a no. 1 talent and we need more talent on this team and we really need 1 or 2 round talent being that in years past we have wasted on waisted draft choice that has caused us to have little or no depth and it has really costed us on defense more that anything. I feel we can get a D end and D back and turn around in the second get a O tackle or WR or take an O tackle first then get WR and then in the second D tackle. With Carpenter it gives us depth at LB.
Do you feel safe with Culberson and Draft at S side or will Pisa make it thru a whole season unhurt. What if Spoon get hurt we depth. Look at D tackle what if Wroten pops another drug test he is gone for the year as well as the corner. Two 1st round picks gives us options. I know you feel we need to get a marque player but options are the most important thing right now we need depth and lots of it. Plus it gives us salary cap relief for a few years we cannot undue the past in this one draft. Its just my opinion. Thats for reading my post Jim.
Jim Thomas: I appreciate your persistent. But there's no way the Rams trade that far down for the two picks and Carpenter.
DQRAM: Hi Jim, Any news on the Rams training camp? I'm pulling for Macomb since I only live 20 miles from there. I know they want to scrimmage against another team,but they were able to do that twice in Macomb. Also,how are the renovations coming to the dome?
Jim Thomas: A Rams delegation is currently on their tour of camp sites. Linehan came down to the media room about a half-hour ago to talk about the '08 schedule and said he hopes to have a decision on camp by the end of this week or early next week.
Hey, I've got to go a little early this week. I'm deep in the draft bunker. Take care, and talk to you all (except for AnnoyingCombineGuy and any of his relatives) next Tuesday