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Thread: Post Draft Blog
-04-28-2008 #1Registered User
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Post Draft Blog
Long weekend at Rams Park, lots of intrigue until the first pick. Turns out the Rams really really love Chris Long, and really shouldn't they?
They turned down offers that included a pro-bowl tackle from the Saints, and also a second, fourth and 2009 third from Baltimore just to move to 8th.
Mainly, they wanted Atlanta to deal up one spot, but Atlanta never blinked and offered that second round pick the Rams wanted.
Rams took Long over Glenn Dorsey, which some may rue, but two other teams with DT need bigger than the Rams passed as well on Dorsey.
Turns out need is really what drives the draft early, when guys are expected to give immediate help in most cases. Surely a team will not drop down a tier (except maybe the Ravens with Flacco), to fill need, but they stack their tiers according to need as well as total score.
The Rams and everyone could see that this was a six player draft, and all six were taken by that pick as expected. The fall off after that group was greater even than usual, which is probably why 8 offensive tackles, the entire top tier, was taken in round one.
The same for defensive ends, which made the Long pick even more necessary. Got our first chance to see him out at Rams Park Sunday(He hadn't slept since Friday night).
During his press conference I asked him, "what number will you wear"?
He said "Well, Leonard Little has 91, my college number, so I don't know, I'll have to talk to my family about it." I then asked, "Are you averse to #75 (His dad's number), he said quickly "Actually, yes I am. I can take the pressure, but I don't need to shovel it on myself!!"
In round two, the obvious Ram choice was a WR, because no one else at other positions warranted that spot, other than maybe one or two backs.
The guy the Rams got, Donnie Avery, had skyrocketed since his workout, where he ran around 4.3. He supposedly has a 4.2 at some time on his resume. He's not a track guy either, like Eddie Kennison. He had 91 catches and 1400 plus yards last year, playing part of the year with a dislocated thumb.
He wasn't able to run at the combine, so that's why he didn't get the ink he surely would have, maybe a good thing for the Rams in the end. Even his detractors say he is the best "home run hitter" in this draft. He's better than Ted Ginn Jr as a receiver, and that guy went in the top 10 last year.
Avery has really big hands too, always a plus for a receiver, and is not a skinny guy either. He loves to fish when he isn't playing football.
In round three, the Rams had had a chance to restack their board, and looking at the available talent, and the Rams need, the fit seemed easy, though Detroit must have thought the Rams would go RB, as they dealt two spots to get ahead of the Rams to take Central Florida star Kevin Smith.
After that tackle filled round one, no other was taken through the Rams pick, so it made taking Toledo's John Greco with the first second day pick and slam dunk. The Rams had him rated closer to the top group than the rest of the tackle group. His coach compared him to Nick Kaszur, a three year starter at RT for New England and a former Toledo lineman.
Greco's lack of long arms may limit him from playing LT, but he could be a huge help on the right side or in the middle very soon, as he has lots of starting experience in a wide open offense. He's from Youngstown, Ohio, hometown of former kicker Jeff Wilkins, and a tough town full of tough guys, which bodes well. He went to Toledo, where Andy McCollum played his college ball.
The people who want to take Mel Kiper's rankings seriously, should be elated at the selection of Penn State cornerback Justin King in round four. King, a former receiver who also returns kicks, was also among the fastest players in the draft, and the two time All-Big Ten performer has the size to play safety as well as cornerback.
He may need time to develop, like all rookie cornerbacks, especially underclassmen like King, but he has unreal physical tools and plenty of college experience against big time competition. He's also graduated already, and has solid character, something the Rams obviously stressed all through this draft.
Like King and Greco, the Rams saw one player sticking out at the top of their board as the fourth round went on, so they moved up to take Keenan Burton, a very gifted receiver from Kentucky. Burton, who had some of the best numbers at the combine, such as vertical jump, and cone drills, would have surely been a first day pick had he come out after a 1000 yard, 12 TD junior year.
However, he came back and suffered through an injury plagued campaign, showing extreme toughness and competetiveness that impressed his teammates and opponents alike. He is known as a great person, and his coach, ex Rams head coach Rich Brooks came on St. Louis radio and was effusive in his praise for his former player, as an athlete and also as a person.
I could really see these two receivers as the Rams future combo, and many of their fans in college have Emailed and posted on boards, including this one, glowing praise of these two.
The Rams traded up again, to obtain a fifth rounder, to get Oregon State guard Roy Schuenning, a self called "Country Boy" who was rated by many as a top three guard in this draft, and by some as the best of all back in January. He will surely add more competition and versatility to the Rams line.
The Rams ended the draft with two linebackers, Chris Chamberlain and "Mr. Irrelevant" winner David Verbota, who comes out of Scott Linehan's Alma Mater. Both are smart, productive guys who have a chance to make the roster. Chamberlain is a weak side backer, while verbota is a "Sam".
Both seem capable of excelling on special teams as well.
The Rams failed to get a running back in the draft, so apparently they like the guys they have enough, though they did add a productive guy in the ex-Oregon State star Bernard.
They also signed Virginia Tech MLB Vince Hall, who's lack of height was all that kept him from being drafted. They also did not get a QB, though there was some controversy involving Michigan's Chad Henne.
Henne told ESPN that the Rams had called to tell him they would be trading to the end of round one to take him after it didn't happen. The Rams vehemently denied making such a call, and it really wouldn't have made any sense at all.
The Rams will hold a mini camp in a couple weeks, their only one of the spring, so we'll get a chance to see these guys playing alongside the veterans, which should be fun to see, especially those two receivers.
Last edited by Barry Waller; -04-28-2008 at 09:13 PM.Barry Waller
Re: Post Draft Blog
Re: Post Draft Blog
The Henne thing is absolute rubbish
to trade into the first round we would have had to either give up this years second rounder and a later round pick or give up next years first in another deal
all for a QB that wont start for a few years? when we have so many other needs on this team? im not sure about that
-04-29-2008 #5Ramer Guest
Re: Post Draft Blog
tomahawk247, I absolutely agree with you.
Re: Post Draft Blog
Well, Avery likes to fish. Just scored major brownie points with me.
As for Chris Long, talk about a trial by fire. Our schedule doesn't necessarily add up for the rookie to learn gradually. He'll probably have to be playing like a 3 year veteran after the first play he takes on the field. I think he goes up against 7 pro bowl OT's in the first 7 games.
Re: Post Draft Blog
OTOH, the pass rush in general has a fairly laid-back schedule. The Rams only play 1 game against a top 8 stingy O-line (Pats), and 7 games against bottom 10 O-lines."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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