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    Jim Thomas Live: May 3

    Jim Thomas Live
    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    ramsfan 1974: Hey Jim,
    I remember when Clayton got hurt how our scoring went down considerably. He was are catalyst in our offense at the time. With him back and the added weapons of Kendricks,Salas & Pettis, we should score in the high twenties. Bradford will have some big targets to throw this season. Checkout our size Alexander 6'4",Kendricks 6'4",Pettis 6'3",Salas 6'1" and Bradford at 6'4". I don't see Avery,Robinson or Gibson back. What are your thoughts? Do you know the player that Devaney was very excited about? Thanks again for these chats. GO RAMS
    Jim Thomas: Clayton isn't signed yet. He's scheduled for unrestricted free agents. But from everything I've heard from both parties _ team and Clayton _ he will re-sign with the Rams. Size is good in a receiver corps. But so is speed. And Pettis and Salas are possession receivers. I'm not sure the Rams did anything to prevent teams from stacking the box against the run. I do think Robinson and Gilyard could be in trouble. And then maybe Gibson or Avery.

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    nick49: Hey Jim:
    Its obvious to me that the Rams have a free agency plan.
    1)Do you think that Darren Sproles is that veteran back the Rams are targeting?
    2)Defensive tackle has to come in free agency,again,maybe Barry Cofield or Amobi Okoye from the Teaxans who will be released?Or who are you thinking may interest them?
    3)Why not take a flyer on Mark Herzlich,linebacker in the 7th round?
    4)And why all the love and attention for the Patriots and Belichick and his drafts? They dont impress me and besides Brady,who was the last superstar they drafted? I dont get it.....
    Jim Thomas: Well, the Rams better have free agency plan, because they don't have a backup running back, don't have a starting weakside linebacker, and need help at defensive tackle and offensive guard. You could make the case that safety and cornerback are still question marks as well, since the the Rams didn't address those needs in the draft until Rounds 5 and 7.

    Interestingly, Herzlich was drafted by the UFL last night. Let's see if he signs with them.

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    virginiatom: Looking ahead to next year, the Rams look good with speed coming off the line, but I thought their inabiity to stop the run at the line was a greater liability than actually getting to the quarterback. That is why I thought a solid defensive end and outside linebacker might be in order. Do the Rams feel they have what it takes this year to improve in this area or will this be a priority in free agency?
    Jim Thomas: Defensive end shouldn't be a problem with Long, Hall, and Quinn. But defensive tackle is another matter. Fred Robbins is 34, Clifton Ryan isn't coming back. So you're depending on some combination of the underachieving Darell Scott, Jermelle Cudjo, and Gary Gibson (if Gibson re-signs; his contract is expired). As for weakside linebacker, we'll see what happens in free agency. They need somebody there, for sure.

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    Larry: Hi Jim! You are the Ram's GM during the NFL draft. Which option would you have taken?

    A. Austin Pettis (78) WR
    Greg Salas (112) WR
    Jermale Hines (158) S

    B. Leonard Hankerson (79) WR
    Kendall Hunter (115) RB
    Chris Carter (162) LB
    Jim Thomas: Well, there's a lot of ways the Rams could've gone, and you can start with the second round. The Rams picked 47th overall in the round. They could've gone guard with Ben Ijalana (Villanova), who went two picks later (49). Marcus Gilchrist (Clemson), who could've provided help at nickel back and free safety, was a guy the Rams showed a lot of pre-draft interest in _ he went No. 50 to San Diego. Another safety prospect, Temple's Jaiquawn Jarrett, I believe was a private workout guy for the Rams. He went No. 54 to Philly. Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure, another pre-draft visit guy, went No. 57 to Detroit. Maryland WR Torrey Smith, one of the fastest wideouts in the draft, went No. 58 to Baltimore. And Brandon Harris of Miami (Fla.) who made a pre-draft visit to Rams Park, went No. 60 to Houston. Harris was said to be very effective covering slot receivers in college.
    But the Rams apparently stuck by their board. They liked Kendricks so much they apparently considered trading up for him for a while.

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    Mike: Jim,

    I got to believe that something triggered the Rams to suddenly lose all interest in drafting a RB. I followed interview after interview with Billy up to the draft, the position mentioned even more than receiver was RB. I truly feel that they have someone in mind that they feel is better than using a pick on an unproven back.

    My question is what do you think the chances are that the Rams show interest Reggie Bush once he is cut by the Saints? I think he would be an unbelievable addition, and would fix our RB issues immediately, as well as being a perfect fit in a McDaniels system.
    Jim Thomas: Well, we'll see. Keep in mind, if it ends up being 2010 rules, no one will be eligible for free agency unless they have 6 yeares experience, which will keep about 200 players off the unrestricted market. And I don't think they Rams would have wasted several thousand dollars bringing six RBs in for pre-draft visits if they had someone lined up in free agency.
    Bush would be very intriguing if released by the saints, no doubt, but he wouldn't come cheaply.

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    Buzz: Jim,
    Which of our 7th round picks do you think has the best chance of sticking with the team? I like Baker's chances. He seems to have all the physical tools and athleticism that Spags likes in a corner. I'd like to root for Williams, but there is that size question. Nelson's chances are nil, in my opinion. Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: Actually, I kind of like Nelson's chances best, going in. Although he's a little undersized, he was pretty productive his last couple of years at Oklahoma, particularly last season, and has flashed some playmaking skills. He has pretty good speed and range as well for the free safety position.

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    Davey: Hi Jim,

    listening to devaney speaking of why the didn't take a rb, has me puzzled. Correct me if I'm wrong but he said he didn't want to draft a rb to take about 6 touches a game, as Jackson will get upset and not want to come out and if the rb can't do special teams, he just didn't want that rb to just sit on the bench. Sorry but that explanation doesn't make sense. He's the GM and Spags is the coach and they couldn't tell him, it'll prolong his career and he'll be more refreshed at the end of the game when they need him.

    About the draft, I still don't understand what they were trying to do with all their holes in the roster. It's like they are counting on the free agency to fill their needs but isn't it risky to put all your eggs in one basket?
    Jim Thomas: I believe the comments made were with respect to not taking Leshoure in the second round. I could be off by one or two, but I made a quick count and there were 31 running backs taken in the draft this year. (Granted 3 or 4 were fullbacks.) But out of all those running backs, not one was a fit with the Rams? That's hard to believe.
    You could've taken Pettis in the third and come back with RB Kendall Hunter in the fourth (or Delone Carter). Or taken RB Alex Green in Round 3 and come back with Salas in the fourth.
    I think it is risky, especially if the talent pool is limited by 6-year free agency. Now you're looking for a RB, OLB, OG, DT, and perhaps S, and CB.

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    paceram: Hey Jim, Can you please tell us which Rams Draft Picks you are most excited about and which Draft Picks were you a little surprised the Rams selected? I have to admit that other than Robert Quinn I was a little disappointed at the Rams draft at first but after going back and reading up on these players it really looks like the Rams had a very solid draft!
    Sam Bradford might just be the happiest person on the Rams draft (very good receivers in Hendricks, Pettis and Salas!)!
    Jim Thomas: I thought the Rams were at least serviceable _ really, a little bit better than serviceable _ at tight end. However, they are much less than serviceable at several other positions. One example: How often did you see the interior of the Rams' offensive line pushed back on runs near the goal line. I think having an offensive guard who could help open holes down there might have an even greater impact on the Rams' red zone efficiency than a tall receiver.

    On the one hand, you have to give the Rams credit for trying to get better skill players for Bradford. And I think Josh McDaniels needs the benefit of the doubt. Let's see how his guys work out. But still it was puzzling to see a TE taken so highly in the draft. And why draft Pettis AND Salas? They're almost like clones: possession receivers with good hands and 4.55 to 4.6 speed.


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    h2o_jd55: Hey JT, I really enjoy these chats. Do you know of any players the Rams were really targeting in the draft but another team selected that player right before the Rams pick?
    Jim Thomas: Not really. I did think it interesting that two offensive guards were taken two spots before the Rams picked in both the third and fourth rounds _ in Round 3, Will Rackley of Lehigh (a pre-draft visit) went No. 76 to Jacksonville or two picks before the Rams took Pettis. And in Round 4, David Arkin of Missouri State went No. 110 overall to Dallas, or two picks before the Rams took Salas.

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    bjsgolf: Jim,
    Thanks for your wonderful recent column about the Rams not filling their primary needs in the draft. Like almost everyone else, I was unaware that a 243 pound tight end, who is less than 6'3" tall, was such a critical Ram need.
    Given the choice of the Rams picks in the first 4 rounds or the the picks that I have included here (all available), which would you prefer?

    Round One - Corey Liuget
    Round Two - Torrey Smith
    Round Three - Leonard Hankerson
    Round Four - Kendall Hunter, running back

    Thanks!
    Jim Thomas: Interesting. I really don't have a problem with Quinn. And for some reason the Rams the Rams didn't like Hankerson. But why do you need to add two receivers anyway.

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    STLfootball: Hey Jim,
    The draft is done and it's on to free agency and hopefully football. But I have to say that when I was watching the draft I was perplexed at times. I hope you can give me an insight into the Rams thinking. The Rams for several years have needed a third down speed back, they brought in several prospects ahead of time. On day three the Rams are on the clock and they trade to Atlanta to get another 7th round pick. Atlanta takes Jaqizz (sp.)Rodgers, who some pundits say is the pick of the draft. Why did the Rams pull the trigger when it was right a great fit with the Rams and his talent slot.

    Now that we still don't have a back-up who do you see the Rams focusing on in free agency? Who would be available at 4 yrs and 6 yrs depending on the lawsuit?
    Jim Thomas: The failure to draft a running back was mind-boggling.

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    TimG: I like the players the Rams drafted in the first four rounds,BUT. Are they starters or situational players? Did they address the teams most pressing needs? With that tough first half schedule, we needed players that could possibly start. They probably should have drafted a G,DT,OLB,S with the first four picks. I know we still have free agency,BUT.
    Jim Thomas: I'd say right now, they're all situational players. You would think Quinn would replace James Hall at some point, but not this year. And Kendricks the tight end, isn't going to be an in-line blocker taking on 275-pound wide receivers every play _ not at 240 pounds. So he's a situational player. Now, he may be a heck of a situational player, but he's still doesn't look like an every down player. We'll see.

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    DBQIA: With the apparent emphasis on the passing game would the Rams even consider a running back that can't stay in and be an effective pass blocker? A lot of these "change of pace" and "third down backs" in the draft seemed like little guys that could get run over.

    How does Onobun fit it. I know he is still learning the game but he is big. Is he a guy you could put in the backfield, be able to block, but yet be a very effective passing target?
    Jim Thomas: With the addition of Kendricks, I think either Fells or Onobun could be the odd man out at TE.

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    gdarby: Hi Jim,

    When Danario Alexander had a full healthy season at Mizzou, he led the nation with 1,700 receiving yards. With a full healthy season on the Rams, can he be a 1,000 yard 10 touchdown guy?

    How do you think McDaniels and the offensive staff view Alexander from a talent perspective? It seems to me that when he's healthy, he's the best WR on the team.
    Jim Thomas: That's a big if on Danario. He has had two additionaly knee surgeries since he left Mizzou.

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    steve B: Hi Jim, as always thanks for these chats;

    You wrote right after the draft that the Rams now have a plethora of wide receivers and tight ends. What is your take on who might be the odd men out?
    For instance, what are the chances that:
    They still sign Clayton?
    They trade Avery?
    Fells is on the team next season?
    DX makes the team if his knee holds up?
    The Fendi experiment over?

    Thanks
    Jim Thomas: Yes, on Clayton.
    If traded, don't think Avery would bring much.
    Wondering about Fells.
    DX will make the team if knee holds up in camp.
    No sure that Fendi will get another chance.

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    steve B: Hi Jim, as always thanks for the chats.
    Which draft pick surprised you the most? I wondered why they went Pettis instead of the LB Foster. Didn't they have Foster in for a visit?
    Jim Thomas: I guess I'd say Kendricks on the surprise pick.

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    Kirk in North Carolina: Jim,

    Do you think it was a good idea to pick a player that hasn't played in a year when its very likely there won't be a season and we could be going into the 2012 season with a guy that hasn't played a down or been in a structured football environment for 2 years?

    Thanks,
    Kirk
    Jim Thomas: One way or another, I think there will be a season.

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    ramsobserver: Teams improve partly by getting good value for each pick. The 2-4 picks were not good values according to a number of prospect rankings. For example, with their 2nd pick, which is the 47th pick in the entire draft, the Rams could have taken Marcus Gilcrest, safety, who they dearly needed and the 66th rated prospect according to Sports - CBSSports.com Sports News, Fantasy Scores, Sports Video. The Rams could have still gotten a fast, blocking, tight end in the 3rd round, no problem. The guy they selected, Kendricks was only the 82nd rated prospect. Poor value. According to CBSSPORTS.COM Draft Prospects the Rams 3rd pick, Pettis, should have been the 155th player taken, but they took him with the 78th overall pick. Way off. Bottom line, simple online tools could show the Rams consensus prospect boards, which could make their selections more timely and better values. Of course, the Rams will argue that their prospect ratings board is better, and it may be; however, understanding what consensus opinions are at the same time allows better valued picks in each round. In this case, an additional player that the Rams really needed could have been included.
    Jim Thomas: Well, I don't think CBSSPORTS.COM should be viewed as the end-all, be-all, in terms of the draft, although I do think they're pretty good. You never know for sure, but I think you could make a case that Kendricks might be there in Round 3 and Pettis in Round 4. But you don't know for sure, and the Rams had high grades on them according to Devaney.

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    Bopat from Socal: Jim,
    Why Robert Quinn when Corey Liuget was still available? Wasn't Liuget your pick in your mock draft? Do you think the Rams would have any interest in Reggie Bush? Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: Yeah, Liuget was my pick in the final mock draft, but only because Quinn was gone. (Our final P-D mock draft is selected by beat writers throughout the country, with each beat writer picking only for the team he or she covers. So I made only the Rams pick, reacting to what had gone on in front of me.) Had Quinn been avaliable in the P-D mock, I would've taken him over Liuget. In fact, in an earlier mock (in March) I had the Rams taking Quinn because under the scenario of that particular mock he was available at No. 14. That may have been the only mock draft anywhere _ at least among the ones I saw _ that had the Rams taking Quinn.
    As for Bush, as I mentioned earlier, I'm sure the Rams would have some interest if Bush becomes available.

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    Earl Dotzauer: All the Granite City Elks enjoyed your question and answer session at the lodge. Can the Rams talk to agents during this lockout period? Do you think they will try to sign Reggie Bush? Is that why they didn't draft a running back? Thanks again for visiting Granite City.
    Jim Thomas: Earl, it was my pleasure. The Rams cannot talk to free agents during the lockout period. Bush is under contract at the moment, so he'd have to be released or come to St. Louis via a trade.

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    Jim S.: Jim, Thanks for these chats!! Can we send in the Navy Seals to get this labor strife resolved? We need the folks who know how to take action to take action and get this done!! Personally, i liked the Ram's draft. If a team has a ways to go before being "good", then you follow your board. If you're close to the top, then fill those needs by any means. It'll be nice to see some WRs that can catch the ball, and Kendricks with Illini Mike can create some interesting plays. But the big catch of this draft is Mr. Quinn. It'll be fun watching our D-line play (if we get to). Quick question: In that brief open window of no-lockout, were the Rams able to sneak out copies of the playbook to all involved? I'm really hoping that happened, with all the changes coming to pass in the new offense. Thanks again, Mr. Thomas, and Thank you to all involved in the recent extraction in Pakistan!!!
    Jim Thomas: The Kendricks pick in Round 2 and Salas pick in Round 4 were puzzling to me. So was the failure to address many other needs, particularly at running back. But you know what? Let's see what McDaniels does with these receivers. They all have good size and good hands. Obviously, it's nice to see the team try to build up the talent pool around Bradford. Hopefully, the team will fill a few holes in free agency.
    Not sure on the playbooks. There were only about 10-15 players in at Rams Park last Friday anyway.
    As for the Navy Seals, with one son currently at West Point and another son graduated from West Point (and currently at Fort Sill, Okla., in field artillery), I never thought I'd say this, but....Go NAVY!!

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    keith: Jim, since it's unlikely the city will build Stan a new stadium, what can they actually do to entice him to stay? Any truth to the rumor that Stan has been looking to buy the Chyrsler plant to build a stadium?
    Jim Thomas: As I wrote a couple of weeks ago in the story about "owner-friendly deal helping the Rams," the better the eventual CBA is for smaller-market teams like St. Louis, the less demanding Kroenke has to be with "first-tier" lease demands. Obviously there has to be some compromise, because if Kroenke insists on the "letter of the law" with respect to first-tier requirements, it will be impossible for the city to meet those terms.
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure Kroenke looked at the Chrysler site, but I thought it was bought by somebody else.


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    DDavid: Hey Jim, barring injuries and picking up someone else, these are the players that I see not making the team: WR's Robinson, Curry Gilyard & Gibson. TE's Johnson, Bajema & Fells. With Fells & Gibson as the only 2 with a chance to be someone in their group out. Your thoughts? Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: At TE, Johnson is not under contract. So I think it's either Fells or Onbobun who plays. Why not Bajema? Because he's really the only true tight end in terms of blocking on the roster. At WR, could it be Avery who goes and not Gibson?

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    DDavid: Hey Jim, which group of 3 do YOU like best. Luiget, Leshoure & Hankerson. Luiget, Randall Cobb, & Alex Green. Or the group that the Rams chose. Which threesome would have fit what the Rams need. We know what they thought. Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: A part of me would've liked to have seen Quinn, Torrey Smith, and Alex Green.

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    vanvaley1: Where's 'the beef' in this draft? Any word if we're gonna get some newbies post-draft OL's and DT's invitations? Maybe in free agency? Receiver talent and offensive scheme won't work well if Bradford is on his back or can't get on the field.

    How long a chain does Spags and Devaney have before it's pulled? It's great to see some new talent, spirit, and ideas on the field but it has to produce soon. Fear Spags et al may be building great team but will be 'pink slipped' before they are finished? van
    Jim Thomas: All transactions _ be it free agency, trades, or signing undrafted rookies _ are on hold until the lockout ends.
    Well, I wonder what Kroenke does if this team goes 4-12 or 5-11 next year. I think that's a fair question.

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    NitroUSN: Thanks Jim for taking the time. Extremely excited about this draft, salivating even. Not too miffed about not getting a RB but, would've like Bowers instead of Kendricks. It's all good. If i may put in my vote for FA when available and if Mr. Stan is willing to pony up some of the green stuff,I'd like to see Mankins, Greenway, Tolbert and Floyd in a Rams jersey. I do also really believe that a scat back may come via UDFA. Just speculation here, could we have possibly drafted our safety need with this LB Williams kid? Kinda small for a LB but definite size for a thumper like Spags loves to be a tweener who comes up to line to stuff the run? Just a thought.US Naval AE25 veteran and proud of our guys puttin" it out there for the rest of us. Thanks Again Jim
    Jim Thomas: Mankins was given the franchise tag by New England, so was Greenway by Minnesota. Williams does not project as a safety.

    And hey, I appreciate your service to the country. What a great day for our country.

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    Dida: Rams fan in the UK here.
    Jim, the Rams draft left a feeling that we still havent filled a number of the obvious weaknesses on the roster. Problem now appears to be an expectation that we will need to be very active in Free Agency to plug those gaps. Whilst the improvement (seen in the UK via NFL Gamepass) last season & the addition of Sam B has made us a more attractive option to Free Agents, can you see Stan K supporting a sizeable recruitment from Free Agency & if so who would be the likely targets?
    Jim Thomas: When it comes to Kroenke opening his checkbook, I guess we're about to find out. As for likely targets, I haven't really looked at the free agent list in quite a while. But I plan to write something on the topic in the next couple of days.

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    Warner2Bruce2PayDirt: Jim, So . . . how do think Marty Gilyard will fair with what appears to be a move toward a group of sure-handed bigger WR's? Thanks again!
    Jim Thomas: Gilyard better have a great camp.

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    Spam: Do you know if the players the Rams drafted can play in cold weather. Because it's cold in places that aren't Hawaii.
    Jim Thomas: Funny you should mention that, because that question came up Saturday after the Rams drafted Greg Salas, the WR from Hawaii. Salas pointed out that Hawaii played at Boise State and Utah State, so cold weather wasn't a problem. And someone in the media room at Rams Park then reminded everyone that the Rams play their home games in a dome.

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    Eric: Hi Jim i was one of many who give a lot of grief to Jeff over the picks in the draft but now that i've calm down some i like the TE but not in the 2nd round, But you think they could have drafted him in the 3rd ?
    Jim Thomas: I wondered that myself although Arizona did take a TE early in the third _ or nine picks before the Rams _ in Rob Housler of Florida Atlantic.

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    Canucks win again/blues continue to lose: Who do you believe will be our starting Weakside Linebacker this year? Or do we still not know? Are the Rams satisfied with Murphy at the nickel or will they look for improvement in this area?
    Jim Thomas: I think the Rams are still looking at weakside 'backer. Right now, it could very well be Murphy or Justin King at nickel back.

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    Alex: Are there any people you read, listen to or watch that cover the Rams aside from your PD brethren?
    Jim Thomas: Lots of other writers, often it's topic specific, not necessarily geared to one writer or another.

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    Coach King: I'm just curious of your thoughts on the job Billy Davaney has done up to now? Thanks for your time man.
    Jim Thomas: Just in terms of the top of the Devaney drafts, obviously the '10 draft looks strong, with the team apparently hitting on Bradford and Saffold. You can't do much better than that. But in the '09 draft, we'll still have to see on Jason Smith. Obviously, Laurinaitis _ the second-rounder that year _ is a keeper. The '08 draft looks better because of Chris Long's play last season, but Avery still has a ways to go. So we'll see. The success of this draft _ or its undoing _ will hinge on taking Kendricks in the second round and what the two wide receivers do.

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    Paul: Hey Jim, I suspect Kendricks was plan b, with Rudolph being plan a. Rams only talked to Kendricks briefly at combine, and he comes with baggage. The 4 pillars thing would have summoned a more thorough inquiry. Your thoughts?
    Jim Thomas: I don't think that's necessarily true. Rudolph has had a lot of injury issues at Notre Dame, and Josh McDaniels apparently thought that Kendricks had the best hands in the draft next to A.J. Green.

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    Chip: A. Goldberg who I am sure is great guy and was a decent backup OT a couple years ago can't possibly be a starting guard this year right ? There's no way they can say with a straight face he played well (he was (pushed) in the backfield more than S. Jax.

    Since we didn't draft one and spent big FA money on 2 other spots (Center and a didn't get our money's worth left Guard) what's the plan for this year ?
    Jim Thomas: Goldberg is not under contract at the moment. We'll see.

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    mars: Now that we have beefed up our receiving corps, do the Rams still plan to pursue Mark Clayton?

    I hope so. His rapport with Bradford was immediate and impactful. And I think the entire corps needs a veteran presence.

    What are you hearing?
    Jim Thomas: Spags and Devaney both said yes when I asked them Saturday if the team was still planning on re-signing Clayton.

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    Fretting about Jackson: Jim,

    There are media reports indicating that Jackson can void his contract after this season if he meets certain criteria. Is that true? If so what are the chances he is a Ram in 2012? 50/50? Or worse?

    Thanks!
    Jim Thomas: I reported on this in August of 2008 when Jackson signed his contract extension, so it's not exactly a news flash. If he averages 1,200 yards rushing annd 400 yards receiving over the first four years of the contract (2008, '09, '10, and '11), he gets an additional $3 million in base salaries in 2012 and 2013 _ the final two years of his contract. Both he AND the Rams also have the option of voiding the final two years if he reaches those statistical plateaus. Keep in mind, under the old system, the Rams would also have the right to franchise Jackson if he chose to void the contract.
    Jackson needs 1,101 yards rushing this season to reach the 1,200 average for four years; he needs 516 yards receiving to reach the 400 average for four years. The receiving average will be the toughest one to reach _ Jackson hasn't had more than 383 yards receiving in any one year since 2006.

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    mars: JT, after my initial reaction (negative) to the TE pick in round 2, and the ensuing slower-footed WR's in the next rounds, I have warmed up to these selctions. One of things we can assume with these picks, is that McD had to be pretty alarmed with the Rams Red Zone performance last season. Now from 20 yards in, we could be looking at a combination of Alexander, Pettis, Salas, Kendricks, and Uh-Oh. Big strong receivers. They get separation, and have very good hands, and run sharp clean routes. I mean, that potential upgrade is HUGE, right?

    So who would you say out of this WR group was "put on notice"?
    Avery, Gibson, Gilyard.

    And of the TE's........?
    Fells, Bajema, Onubun
    Jim Thomas: You know what might be even better in the red zone than tall receivers? Having guards that can consistently move the line scrimmage near the goal line, instead of getting pushed back.

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    royearl: It seems like the consensus on the Rams' draft grade is a "B". What do you think their grade should be and what do you like and dislike about the Rams' draft? Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: My grade would be C+. I think you can see my reasons throughout this chat.

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    joel c: Jim,

    I know the draft does not represent the final training camp roster. But where are Rams going to find speedy players at the skill position? Right now, if I was defending the Rams, I would put 8 guys in the box and dare them to throw deep. Without speed, the Rams seem woefully ill-equipped to make big plays.
    Jim Thomas: If Avery, Alexander, and a re-signed Clayton can stay healthy _ and can make the final roster _ they all have the ability to stretch the field.

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    UTG: Jim-please tell me someone was smart enough to get an updated offensive playbook to Bradford, or at least a player on that side of the ball during the temporary lifting of the lockout. Any chance McDaniels and Bradford talked during that short window?
    Jim Thomas: Bradford was in New York doing pre-draft appearances last Friday, so he was not at Rams Park. That doesn't mean he didn't talk to McDaniels or wasn't mailed a playbook, but I don't know if that happened.

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    David: They take a flyer on Onobun and keep him around for the entire season last season, on the 53-man no less, saying he has the potential to develop into something special. Now we hear that Onobun may be the odd man out. What gives? Did the Rams decide that they didn't want to wait around for Onobun to mature?
    Jim Thomas: Here's the thing with the tight ends and wide receivers. No longer can you blame personnel mistak on Scott Linehan or Jay Zygmunt. There's only about a half-dozen players under contract who weren't brought in during the Devaney regime. Any new Devaney players brought in at those positions will only be replacing other Devaney players brought in earlier.

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    Haddadi: I know Im preaching to the choir here but wouldnt Jacquizz Rodgers in the 5th and Jeron Johnson in the 7th make sense? The fact we traded Rodgers in essence is gonna be the real kicker if he turns out to be comparable to Darren Sproles or even ex-Falcon Warrick Dunn.. At least toss a little 5th round bone to the fans whether you love the pick or not right?!
    Jim Thomas: Who knows how it will all play out, but I know what you're saying. In essence the Rams traded Jacquezz Rdogers to the Falcons for safety Jermale Hines (5th round) and safety Jonathan Nelson (7th round).

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    Haddadi: Doesnt the scouting report of Lance Kendricks sound remarkably similar to Daniel Fells (who Mcdaniels liked last year) as a shuffle tight end/mismatch receiver? Lets hope the ceiling is higher on this guy.. A wide bodied DT in the 2nd with DJ Williams later on would help me sleep a little easier
    Jim Thomas: A DT like Marvin Austin?

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    Sam Bradford: Hey Jim as you know I love all the help I got in the draft, but how about I trade one of the big, clutch, slower than average WR (Pettis, Salas, Gibson AND Clayton- although I do like Clayton) for maybe a solid 3rd round guard or a slotback?! Pass the memo to Billy please..
    Jim Thomas: I have a question for you Sam _ do you have your playbook?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Football Genius: Jim, I was listening to you on Friday night and loved your term "Buzz Kill" to describe rounds 2 and 3. I for one found the draft after round one to be just that. Austin, Paea, Leshoure, B Carter and several others all seemed to be falling right to us in round 2 and then to hear they were thinking about trading up there is incredible. I will say, that if we draft enough TE's and DE's were going to eventually get it right.
    Jim Thomas: And wide receivers.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    shedrow: Hi Jim,

    Would Fells bring anything if the Rams try to trade him?

    Thanks
    Jim Thomas: He's not under contract right now, so he can't be traded.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Soly: Who are the next "doughnut brothers" gonna be?
    Jim Thomas: McCollum and Timmerman were pretty good, weren't they? Thanks to all for your questions.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live: May 3

    Quote Originally Posted by JIm Thomas
    Interestingly, Herzlich was drafted by the UFL last night. Let's see if he signs with them.
    Couldn't blame him if he did with all the nonsense going on, but I'd really like to see him get a shot in the NFL.

    Quote Originally Posted by JIm Thomas
    Clifton Ryan isn't coming back
    That's news to me.

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