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  1. #1
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Rams Draft in Review...

    1. Jason Smith, LT, Baylor – Making a statement about the attitude they’re looking for, the Rams picked up a light-footed and athletic tight end turned tackle with top notch intangibles and loads of upside. The thinking here seems to be that although his technique still needs work and he will have to adjust to playing out of a different stance, Smith can be coached out of his flaws and possesses many other qualities that can’t be taught. Between Smith and Monroe, Jason might be the more fun to watch with his reputation for driving defensive players out of the picture, but time will tell whether he turns out to be the better blocker. In essence, the Rams opted for a growth stock over a blue chip.



    2. James Laurinaitis, MLB, Ohio State
    – Rumor has it the Rams were actually trying to trade up to land their linebacker of the future. They stayed put, but still landed a tough, smart field general for their defense. Although his work-out numbers are not eye-popping, this is an exemplary case of a guy who just plays good football. Over the course of his career, he was voted best linebacker in college football one year and best defensive player another.



    3. Bradley Fletcher, CB, Iowa – The first surprise of the day for the Rams, and arguably the biggest surprise from the team in several years, Fletcher is a physical cornerback with good size to speed ratio. Scott Wright listed him as the 14th ranked corner in the draft. Others were less kind. For example, the Sporting News’ draft preview had him ranked 31st among corners, which placed him outside their top 200 prospects overall. This was particularly unusual because the Rams took a player who had previously pled guilty to drunk driving, despite recent comments that any brushes with the law could get a player taken off their list. Now I’m not saying he’s a bad player or a bad kid for that matter, but given the talent available at other positions of need, one can’t help but wonder whether the Rams staff thought he was that good or that our depth was that bad. That said, if the team thought he was the best talent on the board and didn't think he'd last another round, they did the right thing to take him where they did.



    4. Dorrell Scott, DT, Clemson - Now this was probably a much more predictable move. Depth on the defensive line seemed to be an area of concern, and Scott will help fill the void as a guy who can line up on the nose and still provide some pass rush. He didn’t quite live up to the expectations that made him a preseason Outland Trophy candidate prior to his senior year, but there were reasons why people had those expectations in the first place. His potential makes for good value here.



    5. Brooks Foster, WR, North Carolina –
    Many Rams fans thought the team would draft a reliable possession receiver to play opposite the speedy Donnie Avery. Not many thought that player would come from the fifth round. The word on Foster so far seems to be that he’s a fine athlete with decent size for the position but still needs a lot of work to be a good football player. Injuries have also been a bit of an issue, which optimistically might help explain why he was overtaken by Tate on the depth chart.



    6. Keith Null, QB, West Texas A&M – Picking up a successful Div. II quarterback in the sixth round doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all. Even if Null doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, the West Coast Offense Pat Shurmur is expected to run relies more on shorter routes and quick decision-making. Of course, expectations will be low for a player making a big jump in competition level, but this is exactly the sort of player you hope to land in the late rounds.



    7. Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Texas – He sounds like an interesting prospect as a big, between-the-tackles runner who can also catch the ball. On the other hand, he could have the same problem finding a niche that Brian Leonard has had. Without the bulk of a fullback or the speed of a feature tailback, it will be interesting to see whether he can carve out a spot for himself.


    Overall: Prior to the draft, there was talk about batting for average versus swinging for the fences. It looks like we swung for the fences. Laurinaitis and Null are the only two who really put up big numbers in college, but Null has all the questions surrounding a small school prospect. Smith is good now but was drafted where he was in part because of how much better he could be, Fletcher didn't make his way into the starting lineup until late in 2007, Scott was considered to be an underachiever, Foster was overshadowed by his teammates...and the one common thread in all their bios is lots of upside.
    Last edited by Goldenfleece; -04-27-2009 at 09:16 PM.


  2. #2
    Nick_Weasel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Draft in Review...

    What I like about grabbing Laurinaitus in the 2nd round is that MLB is one of those positions where I'm not sure you need him to be one of the best athletes on the team. You need somebody with the technique and size to make the tackles and the instincts and football knowledge to see the play develop.

    MLB more than any other position I'll take production over combine numbers any day of the week and twice on Sunday. And that's what we got in Laurinaitus.

  3. #3
    zingers16 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Draft in Review...

    More on Fletcher. This is not coming directly from me, just a quote from someone from another board.


    I see alot of you guys are questioning Fletcher, saying how he got the drunk driving incident and all these things. You don't know how he plays, haven't seen anything besides that DratGuys.com video or w/e it was on youtube.com.

    Being a huge Iowa Hawkeye and Rams fan, I got to watch Fletcher his entire career. And during he continually worked his butt off, and it wasn't until about his mid Junior season when he got the chance to play. The reason being is that the guy in front of him Adam Shada was a huge coaches favorite, he was horrible but kept playing because the coaches loved him for his speed. But during his mid Junior season he got his shot when Shada was hurt, and as he played, I could tell he was going to be a player, and finished the season strong.

    And last year during his senior season he played arguably better than Charles Godfrey did the season before (Godfrey starts as FS for Carolina). When you watch Fletcher play, you watch a guy who plays his - off, a kid who won't shy from a challenge or get intimidated. It doesn't matter if he's playing against Dane Looker, or Randy Moss. Fletcher will try and will play physical, tight defense on them. He's got really good instincts when the ball is in the air, and is a mirror of the receivers route. He's a very smart football player and is a damn good tackler for a cornerback, and hits like a safety. He's got better football speed than timed speed.


    So in getting Fletcher, we're getting a big, physical, run stopping tackler who will also make plays on the ball in the air, and vary rarely gets beat, and if he does, he has good recovery speed, also is very hard worker. His attitude is nothing short of great. He did have that DUI in Iowa City, but cops are on players like white on rice in Iowa City for some reason. He actually has great character. He's soft spoken but can be a good leader. I said it before the offseason and I'll say it now, the only reason he isn't a 1st round pick is because he didnt' start 4 years or any crap like that, he has all the skills to have been a first rounder however.


    I'm telling you guys right now, don't be surprised if he's starting Week 1 for us opposite Ron Bartell. And a backfield of || Fletcher | Atogwe | Butler | Bartell || is not only a big backfield, but a very physical one too. Physical football is coming back to St. Louis men and women, and it's going to be a very, very fun time.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams Draft in Review...

    Really happy with the CB pick, I'm glad they decided to address the position rather than hope that Hill, Wade and King would magically emerge as starters. Some added depth, size and competition can only help our D.

  5. #5
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Draft in Review...

    I'm not really down on Fletcher. As with most of our picks this year, it sounds like the team is confident his best football is still ahead of him. I've seen other accounts suggesting he's similar to but not quite the prospect Godfrey was. It's an interesting comparison because Godfrey was taken at virtually the same point in the 2008 draft (#67 overall), converted to safety in the pros, and started for the Panthers as a rookie.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams Draft in Review...

    yea now we have two good sized Corners A.K.A hardest position to play in Bartell and in Fletcher... in my opinion i thought this guy shouldve went a lot earlier in the draft. But hey im not complaining. There both 6'0 and about 215 LBS. good size i think especially early in thier career.
    Last edited by hawaiianpunch; -04-28-2009 at 10:21 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams Draft in Review...

    I've read that Iowa fan account also and I followed the links provided to the "draft guys" video and breakdown on him. You can find it at UTube. I suggest if your feeling iffy about his abilities and about where he was selected, go to UTube and find the video. He looks impressive mirroring and breaking on balls and staying in the hip of WRs through they're routes. Truly.

    This kid apperantly was really flying up the boards and I forget, but on that other board, he was said to have been probable next selection of another team in that round. That aside, I think he was worth picking in the 3rd round.

    Watch the video. At the end you will see him answer some questions. He impressed me.
    Semper Fi!

  8. #8
    iStillBelieve's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Draft in Review...

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiianpunch View Post
    yea now we have two good sized Corners A.K.A hardest position to play in Bartell and in Fletcher... in my opinion i thought this guy shouldve went a lot earlier in the draft. But hey im not complaining. There both 6'0 and about 215 LBS. good size i think especially early in thier career.
    Add an inch and drop 15 pounds...but Fletcher has the athletic ability to be a first day pick he just didn't play much in college. (I guess that's not much of a reach since he was 3 picks away from being a first day pick, but you know what I mean......)

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