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  1. #1
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    Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick
    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Apr. 19 2009
    Widely regarded as one of the shrewdest personnel experts in NFL annals, Bobby
    Beathard nonetheless never will live down one blunder. Its name was Ryan Leaf.

    The year was 1998, and Beathard's San Diego Chargers traded for the second pick
    in the draft the position that the Rams hold in this year's draft. The focus
    was on two quarterbacks: Leaf, of Washington State, and Tennessee's Peyton
    Manning.

    Before the draft, New York Times columnist Dave Anderson wrote, "Someday these
    two might be what John Elway and Dan Marino are now on the way to the Pro
    Football Hall of Fame together after being drafted in 1983 together."

    Desperate to guarantee that the Chargers would land one of the two QBs,
    Beathard dealt two first-round draft picks, a second-round choice, four-time
    Pro Bowl running back Eric Metcalf and linebacker Patrick Sapp to Arizona for
    the No. 2 spot.

    "You can go five to 10 years without getting a chance to draft a quarterback
    like this," Beathard said at the time.

    After Indianapolis took Manning, Beathard selected Leaf, bypassing such future
    stars as Charles Woodson, Randy Moss and Alan Faneca. Leaf's $31.25 million
    contract with the Chargers included $11.25 in guaranteed funds at the time, a
    record for a rookie.

    Three years later, Leaf had failed miserably and was out of the league. When
    last heard from, Leaf had resigned as quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M. He
    also was the NCAA Division II school's golf coach.

    Billy Devaney tutored under Beathard. Now as the Rams' general manager, Devaney
    holds the No. 2 card in his hand. His thoughts?

    "You'd better not screw it up," Devaney said, "because there's so much riding
    on it. It's a huge pick for the organization, now and in the future."

    DOING DUE DILIGENCE

    The preparation for next weekend's draft began many months ago. Since then,
    scores of players have undergone intense scrutiny, in person and on film, and
    through exhaustive background checks. Interviews have been completed, visits
    made, workouts conducted.

    Those few considered elite prospects are studied even more meticulously.

    "You overdo your due diligence, believe me," said Dick Vermeil, former Rams,
    Eagles and Chiefs coach. "You don't want to make a mistake, because you have no
    excuse for making one. ... It's scary."

    Said Devaney: "This is everybody's worst nightmare: You turn the card in no
    matter what round, really, but especially high in the first round and you get
    calls, 'Didn't you guys realize the guy did this?' Or, 'Didn't you have this
    information?'

    "Yeah, we probably overkill this thing. But ... we don't want to be in a
    position to find out something after the fact that we should've known before
    the draft."

    Such was the case with Leaf, who despite his eye-popping athletic skills lacked
    desire and commitment, said Gil Brandt, the Dallas Cowboys' personnel chief
    from 1960-1989.

    "If you go back to C.M. Marshall High School in Great Falls, Montana, and ask
    his coach, Jack Johnson, about him ... I don't think you would've made the
    pick," Brandt said.

    Others have missed with the second pick, too. Among the flops were wide
    receiver Johnny "Lam" Jones (Jets, 1980), quarterback Rick Mirer (Seahawks,
    '93), defensive lineman Steve Niehaus (Seahawks, '76) and wideout Charles
    Rogers (Lions, 2003).

    "It happens; you're dealing with human beings and human emotions," said Tom
    Marino, a longtime NFL scout who now serves as Scout.com's lead NFL analyst.
    "You can do all the work that you really think is necessary, but you can't
    measure a guy's heart."

    PERKS OF THE PICK

    Of course, the perks of having the No. 2 pick far outweigh the pitfalls. Eleven
    Hall of Famers came from that spot.

    Brandt drafted two of them: defensive end Randy White and running back Tony
    Dorsett. The choice of Dorsett in 1977 was easy, Brandt said.

    But the Cowboys' hierarchy debated long and hard over whether to take White or
    Jackson State running back Walter Payton in '75.

    "There's always pressure to get it right," former Rams GM Charley Armey said.
    "You identify who the impact players are and then get together with your coach
    and decide, what's the greatest need for your team? What player has the best
    chance to make the biggest impact?"

    The Rams played host to 23 possible draftees last week at the club's Earth City
    facility, taking one final look.

    "Chances are one of these guys is going to be our (top) pick, and the thing
    that makes you feel better about it is, they're incredible kids," Devaney said.
    "We won't screw it up because we mis-evaluated the character of the person and
    the work ethic and all that.

    "If we fail, we evaluated them wrong as football players."

    GETTING IT RIGHT

    Failure would be devastating for the Rams, who have won just five of 32 games
    over the past two seasons and are badly in need of an infusion of talent. The
    financial commitment will be severe: The team invested a potential $60 million
    ($22.385 million guaranteed) in defensive end Chris Long, the second player
    drafted last year.

    Just as important are the on-field expectations with a high first-round choice.

    "You pick that early, you expect him to start" right away, Vermeil said.

    Long did just that; he was in the lineup for all 16 games and collected 57
    tackles, including four sacks. It was a solid, if not spectacular, rookie
    season for the University of Virginia product.

    Still, Devaney doesn't want new coach Steve Spagnuolo who declined to be
    interviewed for this story to feel pressured into forcing any rookie onto the
    field.

    "It's hard to start in this league, no matter whether you're the first pick in
    the draft or the 10th," Devaney said. "The last thing you want to do is to
    ordain a guy and say, 'OK, he's our starter from Day One.' He's got to go out
    and earn the job. Eventually, you want that draft pick to work his way in and
    play as soon as possible. But not at the detriment of a better player on the
    roster.

    "Because it always goes back to, the goal is to win football games."



  2. #2
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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Devaney tutored under beathard, not a good omen!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Quote Originally Posted by dgr828 View Post
    Devaney tutored under beathard, not a good omen!
    On the contrary, Bobby B. was considered a personnel guru until the Ryan Leaf fiasco. I think it is safe to say that Billy D. learned a great deal under Bobby B. Part of that learning would also be learning from Bohhy's mistakes. I've no doubt Billy is his own man at this point in his career, and will prove to be a solid GM.

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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    On the contrary, Bobby B. was considered a personnel guru until the Ryan Leaf fiasco. I think it is safe to say that Billy D. learned a great deal under Bobby B. Part of that learning would also be learning from Bohhy's mistakes. I've no doubt Billy is his own man at this point in his career, and will prove to be a solid GM.
    I'm sure Billy D will do fine and will be a solid GM. The tricky part is doing the right thing with #2 pick. The Rams future is now under Devaneys watch, hopefully he can take steps in the right direction, in this years draft.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Quote Originally Posted by dgr828 View Post
    I'm sure Billy D will do fine and will be a solid GM. The tricky part is doing the right thing with #2 pick. The Rams future is now under Devaneys watch, hopefully he can take steps in the right direction, in this years draft.
    There are many different scenarios for this years draft. I think we are open to some great possibilities if we pick Curry or an OT with our first pick. We'll obviously have to get an OT if we take Curry in the 2nd or 3rd round or a MLB/WR, it all depends, but again, lots of talent, lots of scenarios. I'm not saying we can't screw it up this year, because we definitely can. There's no guarantees with any of these players, but I have faith in Devaney and I support Spags' input and I'm sure Devaney feels the same way.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Devaney
    "Yeah, we probably overkill this thing. But ... we don't want to be in a position to find out something after the fact that we should've known before the draft."
    Absolutely. I don't think there is such a thing as overkill when deciding who to take with the number 2 pick.

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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Absolutely. I don't think there is such a thing as overkill when deciding who to take with the number 2 pick.
    I agree Mike, the last thing you want to be doing is picking again next year in the 2 spot just because you didn't do enough homework on a player. 2 years in a row picking this high is enough, I feel pretty good with Devaney in charge.

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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick
    Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick
    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Apr. 19 2009

    And this guy gets paid good money for a quote like that... Wow he should of been a brain surgeon...

  9. #9
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseyramsfan View Post
    Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick
    Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick
    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Apr. 19 2009

    And this guy gets paid good money for a quote like that... Wow he should of been a brain surgeon...

    LOL! Seriously though, I'm glad this 1st round choice is fool-proof. ...Isn't it?

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Rams can't make a mistake with No. 2 pick
    Fixed that for him.

    Curry or one of the two OT's, we really can't go wrong...
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Rams can't afford mistake with No. 2 pick

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Absolutely. I don't think there is such a thing as overkill when deciding who to take with the number 2 pick.
    I completely agree. It's not just the possible lack of an impact player. It's the salary cap issues that are carried into the future. Of course there are no guarantees. The more digging the better.

    On a side note. I truly believe that the NFL needs to establish a cap for rookies. There is no way an unproven guy should make more money than a guy that's proven his worth in the NFL (even some pro-bowlers). It's obscene and it hurts the game as a whole.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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