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  1. #1
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    Productive draft gives Rams surplus at defensive tackle

    Productive draft gives Rams surplus at defensive tackle
    Competition keen for up to 8 slots on their roster
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat


    ST. LOUIS --The St. Louis Rams went from a shortage to a surplus at defensive tackle after adding three picks who play that position during the 2007 NFL draft.

    The Rams took Nebraksa's Adam Carriker in the first round with 13th overall pick. Carriker can play any position on the defensive line, but he's expected to work at defensive tackle.

    The Rams also selected Michigan State defensive tackle Clifton Ryan in the fifth round and Arkansas defensive tackle Keith Jackson.

    The Rams already had defensive tackles Jimmy Kennedy, La'Roi Glover and Claude Wroten.

    "There is no greater motivator than competition, and I think only positives can come out of it," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "There isn't any competitor that is worth his salt that doesn't welcome it and elevate their game because of it."

    The Rams probably won't keep more than eight defensive lineman on their 53-man roster. Defensive ends Leonard Little, James Hall and Victor Adeyanju are included in that player pool.

    "We will have a tough decision to make when we get down to our roster, especially when it comes to defensive line, but we wanted to create a competitive environment inside," Linehan said, "I think we have accomplished that."

    It wasn't a flashy draft for the Rams. Their only offensive additions were Rutger's Brian Leonard, who will serve as a backup running back and fullback, and Wisconsin-Whitewater's Derek Stanley, a wide receiver from a Division III school taken in the seventh round.

    The Rams came away from the draft without a linebacker or a pass-rushing defensive end.

    "Those were hard guys to find in the draft and (they) are going to be hard to find in free agency," Linehan said of pass rushers. "I think it is maybe a little unfair to James Hall. James might not get the credit for what he does best, and he'll hopefully be able to prove that when he gets a chance to play this fall."

    Hall was acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions in early March. Hall had 11 sacks in 2004, but he had only five sacks in both 2005 and 2006.

    "One of the best things he does is rush the passer from that other spot," Linehan said of Hall. "We have high hopes, as he does, to get back to his true form."

    Linehan said Hall was ahead of schedule in his return from shoulder surgery in November. He said Hall already has been cleared for weight training.

    "If we had to play here in probably a month, he could be cleared to go," Linehan said

    Linehan said Carriker also brings some pass-rush ability to the interior of the Rams' defensive line. Carriker moved inside many times in passing situations at Nebraska.

    "He can put on some pressure, and that's also where he creates the best matchup in our favor (when he's) against interior players," Linehan said. "He is learning the (defensive tackle) position, but it is not totally foreign to him."

    Linehan feels like the Rams have improved their defense, which ranked 23rd overall and 31st against the run last season. However, Linehan said there is still work to do.

    "I don't think any of us have done enough," Linehan said. "We have to continue to improve. I think we've worked very hard at improving our defense over the course of 14 months. Adding six new starters when we got here over a year ago that played and improved, and being able to sign one of the best pass rushers in football before we ever got into free agency with Leonard (Little). Bringing back a highly productive, up-and-coming linebacker who struggled through injuries this year in Pisa (Tinoisamoa), and adding James Hall.

    "Being able to bring in Chris Draft, who was one of the leading tacklers for Carolina last year, being able to bring Adam Carriker here, who is probably the best run defender on the defensive line coming out in this years draft, being able to bring in to interior linemen for competition, and adding another corner in the mix, we can't help but improve."

    The much-rumored trade involving Carolina defensive tackle Kris Jenkins never materialized. The Panthers reportedly were unwilling to settle for anything less than a first-round pick for Jenkins.

    There also was no trade involving Rams cornerback Jerametrius Butler, who played in only six games last season after falling into disfavor with the coaching staff.

    "There's been nothing done on that side of it and I expect him to be here when he has to be here," Linehan said of Butler. "Right now everything's voluntary, so he's not here. That's just the way it's going to be for right now, and I don't have any idea what the future holds."

    Linehan said NFL's stricter penalties for players with character concerns caused the Rams to place eight prospective draft picks on their "Do No Draft" board.

    "You might have one (normally), but we had eight over there this year," Linehan said. "They were outstanding football players on film, but they had a number of things that kept them from being on our final board."

    Linehan said four of those eight players were drafted by other teams, two on the first day and two on the second day.


  2. #2
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    Re: Productive draft gives Rams surplus at defensive tackle

    Linehan said four of those eight players were drafted by other teams, two on the first day and two on the second day.
    I hope some of them were selected by the Tards, Sqwauks, and *****.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


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    Re: Productive draft gives Rams surplus at defensive tackle

    Probably...again I say probably going to carry 8 D lineman
    on the roster. Who are the 8?

    Little
    Wroten
    Adeyanju
    Glover
    Kennedy
    Carriker
    Hall

    ??

  4. #4
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Productive draft gives Rams surplus at defensive tackle

    Who knows,
    Little
    Wroten
    Adeyanju
    Glover
    Kennedy
    Carriker
    Hall
    NT Clifton Ryan

    DT Keith Jackson practice squad

  5. #5
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Productive draft gives Rams surplus at defensive tackle

    The Rams came away from the draft without a linebacker or a pass-rushing defensive end.

    "Those were hard guys to find in the draft and (they) are going to be hard to find in free agency," Linehan said of pass rushers.
    *resists the urge to beat a dead horse here*


    Linehan said four of those eight players were drafted by other teams, two on the first day and two on the second day.
    Ooooh, this should be a fun game.

    One of the first day players is Tank Tyler, I bet. The other first day guy could be Brandon Meriweather but could also be Eric Wright.

    One of the second day guys is probably Marcus Thomas. The other, hmm... maybe Tanard Jackson?
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  6. #6
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    Re: Productive draft gives Rams surplus at defensive tackle

    Nick, I would say that without a doubt, Eric Wright is one of the first day guys. I agree with the rest as well.

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