Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    31
    Posts
    19,301
    Rep Power
    153

    Rams Still Doing Draft Diligence

    Rams Still Doing Draft Diligence
    By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer
    Posted 19 hours ago

    With the 2011 NFL Draft little more than a month away, the Rams find themselves vetting many more prospects for their first-round pick than they have in the past three years.

    As it’s gone, the Rams have picked in the top two in each of those seasons, allowing them to focus on a handful of prospects rather than sit around and play the what if game.

    This year, armed with the 14th pick in the draft, the Rams have much more to consider because any number of scenarios could unfold before they come on the clock.

    That’s why, as of Friday, the Rams still had a long way to go before they could even hazard a guess at what direction they’ll take when it’s their turn to make a selection.

    “We are not close to being there,” general manager Billy Devaney said. “I have a general idea. Being realistic, there are certain guys you know are going to be gone from pick one to five, six, seven. Then after that there is a cluster of names and they are darn good names. It’s exciting. It’s really exciting the possibilities that will be there at 14. We have a vague idea but we haven’t narrowed it down yet.”

    While there’s plenty of time for discussion between now and the start of the draft on April 28, most of the major college pro days are complete and most of the scouting hay is already in the barn, so to speak.

    For now, the Rams scouting staff are dotting I’s and crossing T’s as they comb through some of the prospects that didn’t attend the scouting combine and go back for final looks at players they already know well.

    But soon, the personnel department and coaching staff will huddle more regularly to go through the variety of scenarios and possibilities that could come into play for the Rams with the 14th pick.

    “We go about it the exact same way,” Devaney said. “The pool of players that are candidates there will be more. You just have to be prepared for there might be five or six when we get down to it that are possibilities at 14. But that’s not an issue; we’ll be ready for anything.”

    That includes possible trade options which could also come into play. Devaney says the Rams are “getting close” to the point where they can afford to surrender a pick or two to move up to get a player but says the Rams aren’t quite there yet.

    On the flip side, the Rams could potentially be in the market to move down. In a draft that has so many teams in need of quarterback help, it’s possible the Rams could be in a desirable spot for someone to move up to get one of the draft’s top signal callers.
    Of course, Devaney and the Rams aren’t tipping their hands on which player the Rams might take in April but that doesn’t stop the various NFL Draft analysts and pundits from making their best guess.

    Before February’s scouting combine, Alabama receiver Julio Jones was the popular and consensus choice of the draft mockers. But that was before he lit up the scouting combine – on a broken foot no less – by running the 40-yard dash in the mid 4.3s and proved just as explosive in the rest of the athletic drills.

    ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. pointed to Jones in his early mock drafts as a perfect fit for the Rams for a variety of reasons.

    “He has to stay healthy over the long haul in the NFL,” Kiper said. “But hey, they drafted (Sam) Bradford and he didn’t have any injury issues after being hurt at Oklahoma. Maybe Jones had injury issues at Alabama, comes in and goes to the Rams and they have the magic touch and the guys that had troubles in college don’t get hurt in the NFL. But is he talented enough? His combine was unbelievable. He’s a big, physical, hard nosed, great blocker that will help that running game and a guy that I really thought stepped it up this year as a main pass catching option for Alabama. He’s certainly worthy of being 14, he’s worthy of being as high as 8, 9 if you have to go up to get him.”

    While the speculation on Jones centered on a need for the Rams at receiver, most analysts now believe both Jones and Georgia’s A.J. Green will be long gone by the time the Rams make their first selection.

    According to Kiper, that would mean the Rams might have to seriously consider trading up with Dallas at No. 9 or possibly Washington at No. 10 in order to land Jones.

    It’s a move Kiper would endorse.

    “Jones would be worth trading up from 14 maybe to 10 or 9. If you are sitting there and Washington doesn’t want to go with a receiver though I think they could. It may be tough. It may be difficult to find somebody and you may have to get ahead of 10 or 11. I could see Washington looking at Jones. I could see Houston looking at Jones before the St. Louis Rams are up. Now if he falls to St. Louis, I think you’ve got to take him.”

    If indeed Jones and Green are long gone, Kiper says there is any number of options for the Rams to explore.

    The Rams are in the position to take the best non quarterback, kicker, punter, middle linebacker or offensive tackle in the draft, leaving them a plethora of options to explore.

    This year’s draft is extremely deep on the defensive line where Kiper has defensive ends like Mizzou’s Aldon Smith, Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn and California’s Cameron Jordan and tackles like Illinois’ Corey Liuget and Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson available when the Rams pick.

    “If the top two receivers are gone then they could look defensive tackle because that’s the value,” Kiper said. “Outside linebacker, I don’t see anybody that would fit what they are doing defensively there if you are looking for a traditional outside linebacker. Maybe an interior offensive lineman they could look at. It’s a little early maybe for (Florida OL Mike) Pouncey, who I don’t think is as good as his brother Maurkice. That’s early.”

    Much like it’s too early to make any kind of bold prediction on which way the Rams will go when it’s their time to turn in a draft card.


  2. #2
    rNemesis's Avatar
    rNemesis is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Nassau
    Age
    29
    Posts
    748
    Rep Power
    8

    Re: Rams Still Doing Draft Diligence

    It is indeed much too early.

    My thing is, unless an Aldon Smith or Cameron Jordan comes in and provides an immediate pass rush threat, then all you are really doing, IMHO, is building for the future at DE, opposite of Long. And that is GREAT, dont get me wrong, but wouldnt it be better to get a guy like a Liuget who can come in and make the DE's better? Because, as someone previously mentioned in another forum, Gary Gibson, although beat out Clifton Ryan for the starting job, is serviceable, at best. And Fred Robbins is not 100 years old, but he is old nontheless, and I think drafting said player will help build for the future and have a better shot at immediate pocket collapse. But who knows, this thing is so up in the air right now that we could go a number of directions. I hope we trade down and get more picks, but I trust this sensible crew of football minds we have in place will get things done the right way.

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    31
    Posts
    19,301
    Rep Power
    153

    Re: Rams Still Doing Draft Diligence

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    It is indeed much too early.

    My thing is, unless an Aldon Smith or Cameron Jordan comes in and provides an immediate pass rush threat, then all you are really doing, IMHO, is building for the future at DE, opposite of Long. And that is GREAT, dont get me wrong, but wouldnt it be better to get a guy like a Liuget who can come in and make the DE's better? Because, as someone previously mentioned in another forum, Gary Gibson, although beat out Clifton Ryan for the starting job, is serviceable, at best. And Fred Robbins is not 100 years old, but he is old nontheless, and I think drafting said player will help build for the future and have a better shot at immediate pocket collapse. But who knows, this thing is so up in the air right now that we could go a number of directions. I hope we trade down and get more picks, but I trust this sensible crew of football minds we have in place will get things done the right way.
    You make some good points, but I believe there are two problems with this approach - value and positional importance.

    There's no way of knowing for sure, but I'm willing to bet that guys like Aldon Smith and Cameron Jordan carry higher grades and are ranked higher on most draft boards than Corey Liuget. The Illinois DT, while talented, is a borderline Top 20 prospect, IMO. But both Smith and Jordan fit comfortably in my Top 20. I'd bet that's probably the conventional wisdom when it comes to these three, so if that's the case, taking Liuget over Smith and Jordan represents taking a lower-ranked prospect.

    Furthermore, while the defensive tackle position absolutely need to be addressed in some fashion in the coming seasons, you're probably not going to find many who believe it's of equal or greater importance than a right defensive end. In fact, there's a very reasonable case to be made that a pass-rushing right defensive end is of equal or greater value than any other position in this game, except a quarterback. So not only would you be bypassing higher-rated prospects to take Liuget, but you're also bypassing higher-rated prospects at positions of greater importance.

    The best teams in the league build for the long-term, not the short-term. The Rams are beginning to take this approach. Sometimes, that means bypassing the quicker fix in order to do what's best for the long haul. I like Liuget as a prospect, and I certainly wouldn't be heartbroken if he ended up in horns. As you've pointed out, defensive tackle is a position that needs more talent; it's one of the reasons I loved the possibility of Suh as an option in 2010. But at the same time, when you also have a long-term need at DE (which could be a short-term need as well, depending on if/how much Hall regresses), have better DE prospects on the board, and the value of the DT is in question, then I think it's fair to wonder whether or not it's the best approach.

    If Liuget really is the guy this team covets, then they can either (1) draft him at the fourteen-spot and shrug off any concerns about value because they ultimately got the guy they wanted, or (2) try to orchestrate a trade down to get more picks and still grab Liuget where his value would be more appropriate. Trading with a team like Tampa would make a lot of sense, especially if there are still some quality defensive ends on the board. But there's also the risk that, in trading down, the guy you covet could be taken ahead of you. Trading down makes sense when there are numerous players available that you still like. Liuget could easily be one of those players for the Rams, if they opt to move out of the #14 spot.

  4. #4
    shower beers's Avatar
    shower beers is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,043
    Rep Power
    59

    Re: Rams Still Doing Draft Diligence

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post

    That includes possible trade options which could also come into play. Devaney says the Rams are “getting close” to the point where they can afford to surrender a pick or two to move up to get a player but says the Rams aren’t quite there yet.
    I like the confidence and rationalization in this quote. We're certainly still in rebuilding mode here and can't afford to pass up chances at picks. We need depth everywhere. I'm glad we're not entertaining the thought of trading up at this point. On the flip side, Devaney seems confident of the time and place to make such a move, so it will be exciting to see what the future holds for moves like this.

  5. #5
    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
    GROUND DOG 39 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    MANCHESTER, U.K.
    Posts
    1,483
    Rep Power
    18

    Re: Rams Still Doing Draft Diligence

    Julio Jones may have all this speed and explosion but he is not playing football. Its physical testing.
    Watching him on tape he looks a lot slower. Playing the game is completely different. My first impression of JJ after watching him for the first ever time was that he will struggle in the NFL making people miss after the catch. Everyone has there own take on what is best for a reciever to be like, systems play a part also.
    Personally, I like recievers that are quick in and out of there breaks and are elusive after the catch. Size helps but it isnt everything.
    Im hoping for Titus Young or Torrey Smith in the second or after trading back. But if JJ is there at 14 I wouldnt say no?
    GO RAMS

  6. #6
    rNemesis's Avatar
    rNemesis is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Nassau
    Age
    29
    Posts
    748
    Rep Power
    8

    Re: Rams Still Doing Draft Diligence

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Furthermore, while the defensive tackle position absolutely need to be addressed in some fashion in the coming seasons, you're probably not going to find many who believe it's of equal or greater importance than a right defensive end. In fact, there's a very reasonable case to be made that a pass-rushing right defensive end is of equal or greater value than any other position in this game, except a quarterback. So not only would you be bypassing higher-rated prospects to take Liuget, but you're also bypassing higher-rated prospects at positions of greater importance.
    That is a very good point, a RE is indeed a good thing to have opposite of Long. And then we should have no more DE talk for a while because I believe we have very good depth at the position.

    Maybe this might be the best decision. How about we take Jones if he is there at 14 but DONT do anything else to get him? What I mean by that is, that we dont trade up for him and hurt the team's rebuilding process. Because this draft, like the last couple, is very important in terms of how we pick. And, if he is gone, we go in another direction, particularly a position like RE. Then grab an OT in round two.

    That is why trading down is a very good idea, ALTHOUGH RISKY, I think its worth the risk.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: -05-07-2010, 04:45 PM
  2. Due diligence blurs line of ethical behavior
    By Goldenfleece in forum DRAFT & FA
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -04-24-2009, 01:14 PM
  3. Draft Insider Russ Lande on Rams Draft Options
    By ratmfan23 in forum DRAFT & FA
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: -03-27-2008, 06:58 AM
  4. Rams Mock Draft According to Draft Tec ..
    By MauiRam in forum DRAFT & FA
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: -03-26-2008, 01:51 PM
  5. NFL Draft Countdown on Rams Draft - Positive
    By ramhard in forum DRAFT & FA
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: -05-12-2005, 11:56 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •