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Rams take a chance with Selvie ..
BY JIM THOMAS
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Consensus all-American. ... Big East defensive player of the year. ... Finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
The Touchdown Club of Columbus named George Selvie college football's top defensive lineman. The Sports Club of Tampa Bay named him Tampa's amateur male athlete of the year.
It's hard to imagine a college defensive lineman garnering more laurels — and having more success — than Selvie did in 2007 at the University of South Florida. He finished second nationally that season in sacks (14 1/2) and registered an astounding 31 1/2 tackles for loss.
A sophomore at the time, Selvie got to know Virginia defensive end Chris Long on the postseason awards circuit. A few months later, the Rams made Long the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft. Two years later, the Rams drafted Selvie.
"(Long) called me after I got drafted and told me congratulations, glad to have you, and stuff like that," Selvie said.
Unfortunately for Selvie, he went 224 spots later than Long, lasting until the seventh round in last weekend's draft.
"It was tough at first not hearing my name called until the seventh round," Selvie said. "I was kind of distraught at first, but now I'm good. I'm happy to be here. I'm glad to be a Ram."
There's no easy answer for Selvie's decline in production during his final two college seasons.
Bothered by a high ankle sprain much of the '08 season, Selvie's sack total fell to 5 1/2. Nonetheless, he was projected as a late first, early second-round pick had he turned pro. But Selvie returned for his senior season at South Florida, and registered only 3 1/2 sacks.
Does he second-guess himself for not leaving after his junior season?
"Everybody asks that," Selvie said. "Sometimes it crosses your mind. But I always say I can't regret what's in the past. I can't do anything about that. I've just got to make the most of my opportunity now."
When you get 14 1/2 sacks in any league, you're going to get extra attention from opposing blockers the following year. According to the South Florida sports information department, Selvie was double-teamed on 53 percent of the pass plays he participated in during the '08 season, and was triple-teamed eight percent of the time.
And last season, even with the emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul at the other end position for South Florida, Selvie said he got plenty of extra attention.
"I still got double-teamed," Selvie said. "They didn't forget about me. ... Even till the end of the season with Connecticut, they were chipping on the last play of the game. So that's the way it went down last year."
Rams general manager Billy Devaney said injuries weren't an issue for Selvie last season. "He just didn't have the year that he expected to have," Devaney said. "But he still has a lot of athletic ability. We think he's got a lot of upside as a pass rusher."
During the pre-draft process, the Rams looked at a lot of tape of Pierre-Paul, who ended up going No. 15 overall to the New York Giants. But they kept noticing Selvie.
"We were watching the other guy a lot, and 95 (Selvie) kept showing up," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He'd flash as a pass rusher."
So 19 picks into the seventh round, with the 10th of their 11 picks, the Rams made Selvie their third defensive end taken on Day 3 of the 2010 draft. (They also took ends Hall Davis of Louisiana-Lafayette in Round 5 and Eugene Sims of West Texas A&M in Round 6.)
"This particular day in the draft, there's going to be — I wouldn't call them flaws, but deficiencies here and there — and you hope to make those a little bit better," Spagnuolo said. "There's something we see in all of these guys that led us to grab them."
On the minus side of the ledger for Selvie is his lack of size. At 6-4, he spent most of his college career playing below 250 pounds. Try as he might, he has trouble putting on weight.
"High metabolism, I guess," he said. "I eat. I eat well. So I don't know what it is. Hopefully, I'll just get some weight on as I grow older."
He weighed in at 255 pounds when he reported to Rams Park for the rookie minicamp this weekend. That's the heaviest he's been in his life, but still on the small side for a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
And in terms of timed speed, Selvie was clocked at only 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash, far from ideal for an edge rusher. But Selvie does have a quick first step, and a non-stop attitude.
"Selvie's got a motor — a lot of people, they should know that by now," said cornerback Jerome Murphy, Selvie's teammate at South Florida and now his teammate in St. Louis as the Rams' third-round draft pick. "He's not going to quit. He's going to speed rush. He's going to do whatever he's got to do to get to the quarterback."
By NFL rule, full contact and full pads are forbidden during minicamp sessions. So it has been difficult for Selvie to show his stuff this weekend.
But Spagnuolo has seen some explosion and pop in Selvie on the practice field.
"Now, he's got a long way to go," Spagnuolo said Saturday afternoon. "He's got some things he's got to learn. He's probably not the ideal size right now. If he can learn a few more things and get his body right, I think he'll be a pretty good player. But that's off of three days in non-pads, so I'm treading lightly."
Re: Rams take a chance with Selvie ..
One just will not know at this point if Selvie is a keeper or not.
But I wonder with this kids "athletism" and 4.9/40 not to mention his 6'4 height that the Rams try him out as a MLB especially if he has issues keeping the weight on?
If he has a motor, I can see potentuals as a MLB for pass rushing situations and could cover 2 and 3 gaps against the run
Re: Rams take a chance with Selvie ..So 19 picks into the seventh round, with the 10th of their 11 picks, the Rams made Selvie their third defensive end taken on Day 3 of the 2010 draft. (They also took ends Hall Davis of Louisiana-Lafayette in Round 5 and Eugene Sims of West Texas A&M in Round 6.)
Not only does this kid have an uphill road to grade on this roster, but the Rams apparently see him as the 3rd best rookie DE. There may only be 4 or 5 DEs on the roster, and right now you rank THIRD among just rookies! That's a serious uphill battle, George."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Rams take a chance with Selvie ..
Sims needs to bulk up more than Selvie does so Sims could end up spending the year on the PS. leaving Selvie as the 4th DE behind Long,James Hall & Victor... with Selvie as a situational Pass rusher.
it will certainly be interesting to see how it all pans out..
Re: Rams take a chance with Selvie ..
Re: Rams take a chance with Selvie .."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
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