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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    It is always difficult to evaluate a draft after only one year, but in the case of the 2009 draft, it is even more difficult. Injuries took their toll on the Rams choices, so most of the selections were not given the chance to develop and show off their skills.

    That said, I'd argue what we did see was promising.

    Round 1: Jason Smith
    Smith worked his way into the opening day starting lineup at RT and held up well. He was slowed by a minor knee injury, then came back strong. For a 2-3 game stretch in the middle of the season, he looked very good, particularly in the running game. He was then sidelined with a concussion. The good news is that he was cleared to practice by the last week, and there is no indication that he won't be ready to go next year. I'm looking forward to seeing him develop at LT next year.

    Round 2: James Laurinaitis
    Not only did JL have an excellent rookie year, he demonstrated that he was the right pick over Rey Maualuga, who he outplayed. Looking forward to seeing what he can do with better players around him.

    Round 3: Bradley Fletcher
    Fletcher's injury was one of the most unfortunate among all the fallen Rams. Before he was hurt, he was showing signs of being a very solid starting CB. Hopefully, he'll recover and be able to contribute next year.

    Round 4: Darrell Scott
    Scott started out slowly, and found himself behind some journeymen in the rotation. However, by the end of the year, in part due to injuries and in part due to improved play, he had worked his way into the starting lineup. He should be a good platoon player next year with Clifton Ryan, possibly Adam Carriker and hopefully some guy named Suh.

    Round 5: Brooks Foster
    Didn't get a chance to play due to injury. We'll see what he has next year.

    Round 6: Keith Null
    I wasn't as impressed with his performance as some were, but I'll at least say he is a more promising prospect at the No. 3 spot than Brock Berlin ever was.

    Round 7: Chris Ogbonnaya
    Spent most of the year on the practice squad, but was elevated to the active roster at the end of the year and made a few nice plays. He'll get a shot next year to earn a roster spot.

    So, in all, not a bad crop. Gives me a bit more hope for the 2010 draft.

  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    Have to agree with what you've written here. We definitely have a good, developing young nucleus of players, especially on defense. I think we really hit a home run on Laurinaitis, and to get just one of those out a a draft is a success to me. Scott seems to be developing nicely, and I think we'll have a good enough rotation after we draft Suh to not have to worry about Carriker coming back for us.

    Hopefully Fletcher heals up quickly and we can get him back without too much trouble.

  3. #3
    Richbert88's Avatar
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    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    AV, I think any evaluation of DV and Spag's draft should also include their acquisition of young players. They weren't drafted by them, but talent evaluation is not limitted to the drafting of players.

    For instance, grabbing Amendola, acquiring Robinson and Gibson. Aggressively pursuing Brown.

    These acquisitions speak volumes to me about their ability to evaluate talent. Let the skeptics rant, IMO they've done a good job so far of turning over this roster, shedding salary and getting younger.

    I can't wait for the beginning of FA and the draft.
    Semper Fi!

  4. #4
    Alec22's Avatar
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    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    Yeah to me, picking up amendola, gibson, and laurant, as well as the top 3 picks they had in the draft last year, all bodes very well for the future.

  5. #5
    Canadian Rams Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    I think that the draft combined with the talent they were able to bring in with free agency last year.

    Must not forget the on the field decisions combined with the players aquired in trades. In itself speaks volumes about how I believe they are doing an outstanding job and they are the right men for the job in my book.

    I for one cannot wait to see what other changes are too come.

    Go Rams

  6. #6
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    I also agree with some of their decisions regarding players to let go, and ones to keep. It was a good idea to let Pace and Holt leave, despite them being fan favourites. They were both older players on the decline, which was ultimately evidence by their play this season. Both struggled at times with their new teams, and clearly arent the players they once were.

    I also agree with the decision to keep players like Barron and McMichael around. They were both guys that could have been let go last season, but by letting them play out their contracts we have the option to let them go this year without giving up a cap hit. I do think they should both be gone now though, i have seen nothing from them that would have me keep them. The dropped passes from McMike at key times, and Barron being the most penalised player in the league is enough for me.

    I also like the way Spags handled the Incognito situation. The guy was given a chance after his first mistakes, but ultimately he cannot be trusted to keep his head screwed on and Spags sent a good message to the team and the fans by getting rid of him.

    Also, the young players they bought in have done pretty well. Not just the drafted players, or the young receivers, but players like Leger Douzable, LaJuan Ramsey and Craig Dahl all played hard and had some highlights.

    Looking at all the personnel moves i cant see one which i dont agree with, and i think Devaney and Spags have this team heading in the right direction

  7. #7
    Bruce=GOAT's Avatar
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    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    Great post as always Av! James Laurinaitis looks to be a wonderful MLB for us and our offensive line should be stout quickly with Smith and all the other solid starters we have assembled. I also hope the Rams draft Suh (barring unforseen circumstances) and think both sides of the line will be well above average

  8. #8
    TheRammer Guest

    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    very good and accurate how this evaluation is put... i actually think our 2010 draft will even be better then this one...very anxious to see what we do and how we do it...

  9. #9
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Though the data is limited, the first Devaney/Spags Draft Looks Promising.

    The early returns on the class of '09 do look promising. There's enough reason to hope that the first two picks will be able to anchor key positions for us for years to come, and there's not really any one of the picks that feels like it was wasted at this point. We had some good undrafted acquisitions as well.

    Of course, the other thing that sticks out to me about this is the fact that three of the seven players drafted missed significant playing time due to injuries. That's not a knock on the players themselves, but it seems somewhat representative of the larger problem this team has had with injuries recently. Losing nearly half the class to injuries in their first season seems like a lot.

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