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    Rams Fill Defensive Needs in Draft

    Rams Fill Defensive Needs in Draft
    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    The top priority for the Rams heading into the offseason was to add as much talent and depth as possible to a defense that struggled in 2005.

    After an aggressive approach to making those additions in a free agent period that netted the likes of linebacker Will Witherspoon, defensive tackle La뭃oi Glover and safety Corey Chavous, the team turned to the draft to find even more exciting and young talent to add to the defense.

    A look at the defensive players selected by the Rams:

    Tye Hill, CB, Clemson

    Scouting Report: Hill was the player the Rams targeted all along and, after moving back to the 15th pick and gaining an extra third-round choice, they got their man. Hill brings with him many talents, but none more impressive than his speed. Hill was one of the fastest players at the combine and says his fastest 40-yard dash time is sub-4.2 seconds. He is a willing tackler and uses his speed well to recover. Hill also shows willingness to make contact and press at the line of scrimmage.

    What Coach Linehan Says: 밐e뭩 probably the best cover corner in the Draft. Obviously, his speed jumps out at you and his ability to cover. He stood out at the Senior Bowl against those guys there, but more so on tape. The thing about him that I was most impressed about, as far as a player, was he reminds me most a little bit bigger (DB) Antoine Winfield, who played for us at Minnesota. He was a guy that had great cover skills, but also a very, very good run (defense) player. I know you don뭪 see that very rare combination in a corner.?/P>

    Where he fits: Hill figures to have a chance to be in the mix for a potential starting position at corner right away. His speed, tackling ability and coverage skills should have him on the field in some capacity right away.


    Claude Wroten, DT, LSU

    Scouting Report: The Rams used the pick acquired from Denver (No. 68) on the talented defensive tackle. Wroten was perceived by many to be one of the top tackles in the draft for his ability to shoot the gap and rush the passer. He is also solid against the run and can work at either tackle spot.

    What Coach Linehan Says: 밐e obviously gives us some inside help at tackle, where we were lacking some depth. He will be the swing guy from the beginning. I think his true value immediately as a young player is pass rush ability on third down, and his ability to swing from three-technique to nose behind La'Roi (Glover) and Jimmy (Kennedy). This was an area we had to address in this draft. He was the best player on the board when we came to a pick there.?/P>

    Where he fits: With Jimmy Kennedy and Glover ahead of him in the tackle rotation, Wroten should have a chance to learn the ropes. He should still get a chance to be on the field and contribute this season and could fit in as a situational pass rusher or even as a potential end in some 3-4 alignments.

    Jon Alston, LB, Stanford

    Scouting Report: Alston was the team뭩 second defensive player chosen in the third round (No. 77 overall). Based on his workouts and measureables from the combine, Alston was viewed as one of the best athletes in the draft by many experts. He has the tackling ability to play linebacker, but could also work as a safety. Fits the mold of a hybrid type of player that can be used in a number of different ways because of his athleticism.

    What Coach Linehan Says: 밯e really think very highly of Jon. We think he뭩 a guy that gives us a lot of versatility. We뭠l use him on third down, in the nickel and dime sub packages. One of his greatest traits is the ability to blitz, or start up tight at the line of scrimmage. He뭩 one of those guys that you have to be aware of where he뭩 at on third down in those blitz packages. That is something that we were kind of wondering about what we were going to do, having not retained Adam Archuleta. One of the things that we thought Adam would have done for us on third down, that is really Jon뭩 forte.?

    Where he fits: Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said the Rams see Alston as a linebacker to begin with, but called him a 뱇uxury?that can be used in multiple ways and his standing could change based on needs or injuries. For starters, Alston is likely to get a shot on special teams and could find his way on to the field in situational settings.

    Victor Adeyanju, DE, Indiana

    Scouting Report: The Rams traded tight end Brandon Manumaleuna to San Diego for the 113th pick (fourth round) in the draft. They promptly used that choice on Adeyanju (pronounced odd-ee-yawn-joo), a 6'4, 268-pound defensive end who certainly looks the part. Blessed with long arms and good size, Adeyanju is a talented pass rusher with the bulk to make a difference against the run. He has the effort and desire to be great.

    What Coach Linehan Says: 밐e has speed and size. He is a little raw, but he is very willing, has excellent character, and he뭩 a bright kid. What he does have you can뭪 coach, that size and that bulk (size?), and we needed to address that a bit at the defensive end spot. We really feel very good about getting to third down with our ends right now, and we feel very comfortable on first down.

    Where he fits: Adeyanju could figure immediately into a rotation at end that includes Leonard Little, Anthony Hargrove and Brandon Green.

    Tim McGarigle, LB, Northwestern

    Scouting Report: With their first pick in the seventh round (No. 221 overall), the Rams selected McGarigle. McGarigle was one of the most productive defensive players in Northwestern history, setting the Wildcats?career tackle record for tackles. Scouts say he has excellent instincts and toughness that allow him to be around the ball consistently.

    What Coach Linehan Says: 밫his is the type of guy that goes from tackle to tackle and stuffs the middle. The one thing that showed up well with Tim is that he had very good measureables in those linebacker-type drills at the combine. That is why he stood out with me.?/P>

    Where he fits: Should compete for a spot in the linebacker corps. Mainly an inside linebacker, meaning he would likely battle Trev Faulk, among others for a spot. Could also contribute on special teams.


  2. #2
    Bruce=GOAT's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Fill Defensive Needs in Draft

    I guess it is between Hill and Fahkir at the other starting CB behind Butler. I suspect Hill will start right away due to his speed.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Fill Defensive Needs in Draft

    That trade to San Deigo was Great! I hope he'll be a great ram in the future

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    Re: Rams Fill Defensive Needs in Draft

    Dumping Manu's salary was a major move on draft day. We unloaded an unproductive player and a hefty salary and replaced him with two potentially good TE's.

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