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    Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Jim Thomas Live
    STLToday.com
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 01:00 PM CDT


    dominic: Hey Jim:
    As I sit here listening to Sirius NFL radio and reading all the pundits,they say Washington is hot after Mark Sanchez.1)So would you trade our number 1 for their 1,13th 0verall and their 3rd,80th,plus their number 1 next year? Or would you want more?They have no 2nd rounder unless they can trade Jason Campbell.Your thoughts.
    2) Do you feel like BD will be very active on draft day since we have soooooo many needs?
    3) If we stay where we are at right now,Id take Jason Smith,get a dt at number 2,an inside linebacker number 3 and running back at number 4.Of course I would trade picks for quantity since I feel alot of these upcoming players are equally valued.Looking forward to this weekend and hearing your updates.Thank you......

    Jim Thomas:
    1.) That's a tough one because of the No. 1 next year. You figure Washington's going to be a middle of the pack team, so does a pick in the teens really get you excited in 2010?

    2.) I think he'd like to trade down in the first and/or second rounds, but it's got to be a deal that makes sense.

    Al Ballman: Has Incognito been good during the mini-camp? What does tne new coach think of him? Does he actually have talent?

    Jim Thomas: This is Rams GM Billy Devaney now on the chat:
    Billy's Answer: First impression was extremely favorable. He sees in Richie what we all see in Richie, a big physical offensive guard that does have talent. The issue with Richie is being consistent, not just from game to game, but from series to series.

    Josh McDaniels: I would like to offer the Rams our 12th and 18th overall picks for their 2nd overall pick. We want Sanchez and you have your pick of B.J. Raji, Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga, etc. How will Devaney respond?

    Jim Thomas: Billy's Answer: Josh, please stick to coaching.

    den-the-coach: Jim,

    Thanks again for the forum...Very Simple question...Who will the Rams select with their first round pick come Saturday? I won't hold you to it, but I just want your astute educated guess. Thanks.

    Jim Thomas: Billy's Answer: To be determined.

    Stumped Mitchell: Laurent Robinson looked great last preseason before he got injured. Where does he fit into the Rams plans?

    Jim Thomas: Billy's Answer: We're hoping we'll see the Laurent Robinson from two years ago. He showed a lot of promise. Right now he's in the mix for playing time.

    shive..Palmyra, Mo.: jim..

    there are reports out there that jason smith cant keep his weight above 300lbs. hard to justify taking him with the 2nd pick if he cant stay above 300lbs. he need to be in the 320-330lbs. range to be effective on the line.

    We should pass on him, take Curry, and grab an OT in 2nd rd. Any thoughts?

    Jim Thomas: Billy's Answer: He's been 309 the whole offseason, which is fine with us. However, he'll gain weight as he matures.

    FMulder: Billy or JT: IF the Rams go with an OT at #2 will Barron move back to ROT?

    Jim Thomas: Billy's Answer: It depends on who the OT is, and where we draft him. By the way, Alex looks really good at left tackle right now.

    Armen Dacity: Mel Kiper said on the radio recently that, if the Lions sign Stafford this week, the Rams can start negotiating with their choice. I recall this issue came up last year and eithe ryour or Gordo said that the team with the #2 pick cannot negotiate early. Do you know what the rule is here?

    Jim Thomas: Billy's Answer: Last year, the Dolphins and Jake Long had an agreement, which hadn't been finalized by the time of the draft. That's why we couldn't negotiate. If the contract had been finalized, we could've started negotiating had we wanted to.

    virginiatom: Do the experts feel that Jason Smith or Monroe are the best players available at the second pick or are they simply the best tackles available? Given that need picks for the Rams haven't worked out in the past 6 drafts in terms of pro-bowl caliber players, why repeat this flawed strategy?

    Jim Thomas: Billy's Answer: Both players are considered the higest-graded prospects by many teams. If we took one of the tackles at No. 2, it would be because we deem them the best player.

    Archery Ram: HI JIM,

    Do you think that Devaney is serious about drafting Sanchez for the Rams on Sat or is it all smokescreen?

    How is your son doing at West Point?

    GOD BLESS OR TROOPS

    GO RAMS

    Archery Ram

    ARCHERY RAM

    Jim Thomas: BILLY'S ANSWER: I'm not saying we are or are not interested in Sanchez. I'm not very good at sending up smokescreens.

    Ed Johnson: Mr. Devaney
    Has the front office looked at these possible free agent additions? Naploeon Harris (MLB/6'3"/255 lbs) and Lance Moore (WR/New Orleans Saints) both would fill a need and allow the draft to work in your favor for other positions?

    Jim Thomas: BILLY'S ANSWER: Once we get through the draft, we'll see where we didn't fill holes we were trying to fill. At that point we shift gears to the street free agents, and will evaluate them.

    Archery Ram: Jim,

    With the potential trade process starting days in advance, Have the Rams been working the phone lines with any teams trying to move up?

    Thank You

    Archery Ram

    Jim Thomas: BILLY'S ANSWER: Believe it or not, it's still early for that. Usually by Wednesday afternoon, things start to heat up. That's when things start happening.

    Jeff Roman - RamsGab: Mr. Devaney -
    You are adding a lot of younger players with upside to the Rams squad, which is great. How do you and Coach Spagnuolo instill a winning mentality on a team with long term goals that may not make the playoffs in 2009 and hasn't made the playoffs in years?

    Jim Thomas: BILLY'S ANSWER: By making it clear to everyone that we are going to win here. I don't know how long that's going to take. We're not discounting '09. The goal is to win, and to win this year.

    charlie zabielski: For Mr. Devaney:

    You say the Rams have zero tolerance and don't take players with issues/incidents.

    Two questions:

    1. How do you explain taking Justin King who was involved in that Penn State fight/beating incident at a student apartment party?
    2. Do you throw issues/incidents players completely off the draft board or do you downgrade them, where you would take them in a much later round?

    Jim Thomas: BILLY'S ANSWER: I'm glad you brought this up. When it comes to character concerns, or character issues, we go case by case. If a 19_ or 20-year-old college kid makes a dumb mistake, we're certainly not going to hold that against him. The zero tolerance comes into play if they've been convicted of doing something illegal. Or they've been involved illegal substances.

    The Rookie: Thanks for your time Jim.
    DO you feel the Rams will take Stafford or Sanchez for trade or picks? I think Stafford has more value if he fell past Detroit. Then try to work out a trade with some other team for picks and/or players. We could keep either one away from division foes (Sehawks& *****)otherwise if they feel strongly abot the player keep him. No matter who you take at#2 is going to cost a boat load of $$$.

    Also I have concerns with Monroes's knee issues and Justin Smith may not being able to bulk up much more coming from the TE position. I watched some clips on Andre Smith and he is nasty and would be fine at either tackle position. If Andre Smith didn't SOOO screw up at the combine would you have him rated higher out of the 3?

    Jim Thomas: BILLY'S ANSWER: On Monroe's knee, we're satisfied. Jason Smith is plenty big enough to play OT. And as far as Andre Smith, there's a lot of people pulling for him because he isn't really a bad guy.

    kentucky rams fan: Jim, I am tired of all the guessing of who the picks are going to be so I have a question you may really know the answer to.

    Who will be in the War room? Do you know for sure? Are any of the staff members revealing their opinions like Haslett did last year, or is everyone tightlipped.

    Jim Thomas: BILLY'S ANSWER: All the scouts, coaches will be in the draft room. I know Chip will be here also. And of course, I plan on being in there, which is where I'm going right now. Thanks for your questions and enthusiasm. We're not going to make everybody happy but we're going to do everything we can this weekend to make the Rams better.

    Ramfan2880: If the Rams are like everyone else and have Curry as the best player available, do you really think they would pass on a LT and take a LB?

    Jim Thomas:
    Billy had to go back upstairs, so it's just me for the rest of the chat.
    JT's ANSWER: If the Rams stay at No. 2 overall and have a significantly higher grade on Curry than the two tackles, they will take Curry.

    Ramfan2880: I'm a big Hakeem Nicks believer...do you think he'll be available in round 2?

    Jim Thomas: JT's ANSWER: I doubt it, but you never now. If there's a run on certain positions in the first round, say defensive ends or defensive tackles, certain positions sometimes get pushed back into the second. Also, is someone like Nicks lingers into the late part of the first round, the Rams might try to move up.

    RamDynasty: Jim,
    Rank Devaney's interest in the following 3 receivers-
    Hakeem Nicks
    Brian Robiske
    Kenny Britt

    Thanks RD

    Jim Thomas: JT's ANSWER: I think it'd be just as you have them: 1.) Nicks; 2.) Robiskie; 3.) Britt.

    Randy: The Rams choice is a no brainer for me. I would pick up the best playmaker available. CRABTREE!!! Offensive tackles and linebackers are a dime a dozen. If Rams are going to get back to the glory days of old we need to get back to basics of great playmakers. We have a high 2nd round and 3rd round pick and good players will be available to fill those other holes.

    Jim Thomas: JT's ANSWER: I'm told that Crabtree didn't exactly make a big impression on the Rams during his pre-draft visit, with his personality and attitude. In addition, there is the foot injury. He is not among the group of players the club is considering taking at No. 2 overall.

    Hank: Jim,
    In your opinion, will there be a viable offensive tackle available with the Ram's second round pick. If so, shouldn't they take Aaron Curry with the No.2 pick to help the defense?
    Hank

    Jim Thomas: That's the big gamble. And if the Rams do take Curry, they might be sweating out the picks down to No. 35 overall (their 2nd round pick) to see if Britton, Beatty, Loadholt are still on the board.

    RamDynasty: Jim,
    Give us an "off the general radar player" for a mid to late round pick the Rams might take on Sunday. Someone most of us havent heard about but the Rams appear to really be interested in.
    Thanks

    Jim Thomas: JT's ANSWER: Here's a few examples. . . .The Rams held a private workout for Joe Burnett, a cornerback/return man from Central Florida. They have shown interest in CB/SS Sherrod Martin of Troy, as well as TE Anthony Hill of North Carolina State.

    ramway: Jim,

    Is there a player that the Rams are considering with the second overall pick that would suprise everyone? Or one you would see them being interested in?

    Jim Thomas: As I reported today in the P-D, I feel pretty safe in saying it's down to four players they are considering at No. 2 overall: Sanchez, Monroe, J. Smith, Curry.

    Osk: How much does the signing of Kyle Boller affect the chances of the Rams taking Sanchez with the #2 overall?

    Jim Thomas:
    JT's ANSWER: Since Boller signed only a one-year deal, I don't think it has any impact on whether the Rams draft or don't draft a QB this weekend.
    With that I have to go. I know this was a very short session _ one hour _ but I have to get on a conference call to formulate our Post-Dispatch conference call for Saturday's paper.
    Thanks for your time. Enjoy the draft. Billy had a good time on the draft. And I think we can get him back on it sometime in the future. Regards. . . .


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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    I still think Billy D likes Barron enough at LT that he is more interested in looking at a later pick for RT and Curry #1

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    He claims he is not very good at putting up smokescreens... man what a good smokescreen. BD is a genius

    My favorite quote was: "Billy's Answer: Both players are considered the higest-graded prospects by many teams. If we took one of the tackles at No. 2, it would be because we deem them the best player."

    That is really all we can hope for, that we take the BPA. Billy doesn't have his blinders on like many experts do. He is going to take the player that he has rated the highest, not just the highest rated OT.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Quote Originally Posted by C-Mob 71 View Post
    That is really all we can hope for, that we take the BPA. Billy doesn't have his blinders on like many experts do. He is going to take the player that he has rated the highest, not just the highest rated OT.
    That begs the question though - if the Rams draft an OT, will Curry fans buy into the idea that the Rams had an OT as their best player available?

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    That begs the question though - if the Rams draft an OT, will Curry fans buy into the idea that the Rams had an OT as their best player available?
    I can't speak for everyone, but I have confidence in our FO, and from what I'm taking from everything BD has said is that he will select the player he believes is the best. If he feels J Smooth is better than Curry, then I will be behind the Rams and be glad that we have upgraded our oline with the best collegiate player available to us.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    I'm a huge Curry fan, so I can submit my answer to Nick. To be totally honest, it's a resounding NO. I love Devaney and I think he's a great GM. I have faith in our scouts, and it out coaches. With that said, anybody who really, truely, honestly thinks that either of the OT's would be THE best player in the draft (excluding Detroit's pick) is on some serious koolaid...

    I don't have a problem with them picking either one. Really. I don't. My beef would be with them calling it what it's not. If they think the Rams NEED an OT more right now, I'm totally on board with that.. I just think you'd have a very hard time finding any scout who would honestly grade Curry out lower than the OT's.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    That begs the question though - if the Rams draft an OT, will Curry fans buy into the idea that the Rams had an OT as their best player available?
    It depends on what your definition of best player available is? IMO best player avialable is different then best player in the draft at his position. Best player available IMO also takes into consideration need and value put on certain positions. I think Curry is the by far the best LB in the draft and projects to be better then most of the NFL LB's. I can't say that about QB Stafford/Sanchez, OT J.Smith/Monroe/A. Smith/Oher, and WR Crabtree/Maclin. IMO I think it would be hard to pick who projects to have a better career at any of those positions but LB. I do think Curry will rank higher among his peers at his position in the NFL then any of those others. That still may not make him the best player available because of the weight factor that gets placed on each position. That weight factor varies from team to team based on philosophy, scheme, and utilization of the position. That means the Rams BPA might be different then other teams.

    If the Rams don't take Curry I will think that it is because their combination of value for the position and talent of the player that they chose (BPA). It will not be because of how highly they think their pick ranks next to his peers at that position (best player at his position).
    Last edited by RamsSB99; -04-22-2009 at 12:22 AM.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    I think they are going to surprise everyone, and take Sanchez. I like Bulger, I still thinks he's a top 10 QB with a good line, but he doesn't have very many years left. So I think they're going to take sanchez, and sit him this year, then play him next year.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    I really think the Rams have way too many holes to pick a position with the 2 that they already have tons of money AND a decent starter at already. Picking Sanchez would really handcuff them cap wise, and leave holes unfilled elsewhere. IMO Sanchez will be good, but I don't see a need for him this year. Maybe a year or two from now, but not this year.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaRamFan View Post
    I really think the Rams have way too many holes to pick a position with the 2 that they already have tons of money AND a decent starter at already. Picking Sanchez would really handcuff them cap wise, and leave holes unfilled elsewhere. IMO Sanchez will be good, but I don't see a need for him this year. Maybe a year or two from now, but not this year.
    I agree, we have to many holes to fill, I think taking Sanchez with our 2nd pick would be a mistake. I really would like to see us pick Jason Smith or Curry.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    That begs the question though - if the Rams draft an OT, will Curry fans buy into the idea that the Rams had an OT as their best player available?
    IF the calculation of BPA has need as a factor, then yea, I'd buy it.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    BILLY'S ANSWER: I'm not saying we are or are not interested in Sanchez.
    I'm disappointed that Jim Thomas cut Devaney's answer short. I hacked into Thomas's computer and found Devaney's complete answer. Here you go....
    Devaney: I'm not saying we are or are not interested in Sanchez. In fact, I'm not even saying whether I am or am not saying what I'm saying about interest in Sanchez. Nor am I going to say if I'm saying anything at all. I WILL say that the Rams acknowledge Mark Sanchez as a QB prospect in the 2009 NFL draft. However, I will NOT say the Rams acknowledge the fact that I will say that Mark Sanchez is a QB prospect in the 2009 NFL draft.

    In fact, I've probably already said too much. Mr. Thomas, I'm sorry, but I will now have to erase your memory.

    JIM THOMAS: Billy, what are you doing with that needle? Wait, I.....don't.....feel.....---snore---
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    lol, HUbision you make a good point, even if it was funny. They really aren't going to say anything at all. That's why I thought it was interesting that people would even ask who the Rams were going to take...did they really expect an answer??

    As for BPA, isn't it kinda two different ends of the spectrum in terms of BPA vs Team need? I mean, can you still call it BPA if you take need into account?? Wouldn't it be Best Player for the Rams, and not the absolute best player available ( regardless of need)?

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Quote Originally Posted by ATL
    can you still call it BPA if you take need into account?? Wouldn't it be Best Player for the Rams, and not the absolute best player available ( regardless of need)?
    To-mA-to, to-ma-to. I could care less what any other team thinks, believes, feels, or speculates.

    For me, the Rams BPA is THE BPA.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live along with Billy Devaney

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaRamFan View Post
    As for BPA, isn't it kinda two different ends of the spectrum in terms of BPA vs Team need? I mean, can you still call it BPA if you take need into account?? Wouldn't it be Best Player for the Rams, and not the absolute best player available ( regardless of need)?
    Well need vs. best available are often offered as being diametric opposites, but that doesn't always have to be the case. so to answer your question, i'd say, yes.

    Boil the acronym down: Best Player Available.

    ok, but "best" for whom? Best player in the draft that's available? Best player for that team that is still available. Best player at a particular position? Really, its up to each team, but i don't think need and bpa have to be polar opposites. Who's 'best' is ultimately subjective... so i think some teams could take need into account in their BPA determinations. and then some others might not.

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