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Thread: Wagoner's Mailbag
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Scott Jones, Port Huron, Mich.: Does the signing of Brad Pyatt signal the competiton for the job of punt returner and the number 4/5 receiver slot? Does it mean the end for Mcdonald or Looker?
NW: Adding Pyatt to the fray doesn't ensure much of anything. The Rams certainly brought Pyatt in to compete for the return jobs and contribute on specials teams with receiver responsibilities being secondary. But, his signing doesn't guarantee that it will be his job. It's the intention, but it's not necessarily the end result. Pyatt was hurt all last season and didn't play so it's hard to know how he will perform in coming back from injury. In addition, should he come back he will have to prove that he can play at the level needed to be the guy. He has speed and some experience, but his cost is low enough that it's a risk worth taking. Best case scenario, you have another Tim Dwight on your hands. Worst case scenario he doesn't make it out of camp. It could land somewhere in between, but I would be surprised if his presence has much of an impact on the status of McDonald and Looker, both of whom I expect to be back next season.
Jim Nemeth, Wicklife, Ohio: Scouts, Inc. most recent draft also now projects the Rams will take Jay Cutler at #11. Is there any validity to this thinking?
NW: There is plenty of validity to that kind of thinking and it certainly isn't out of the question. Coach Scott Linehan has made it clear that he wants to go for the best value on the board regardless of position or need. In this case, Cutler could be a guy that slides that has much more value than where he goes in the draft. If he is there at No. 11 and is ranked higher than the next person on the board, it makes sense to make the move. In addition, if you look at the situation at quarterback, drafting one makes sense. Marc Bulger's contract is up after next year and has had injury problems for the past two seasons. Add in the flexibility the Rams have from bringing in defensive help in the offseason and the stage is set to make the move if at all possible. Clearly, there are more pressing needs, but it's certainly not out of the question.
Ryan Miller, Tulare, Calif.: With our interior line aging, do you think it would be wise to use some draft picks on O-line to give us some depth at those positions? Or, do you think we should use all of our picks on Defense?
NW: There's no doubt that there needs to be some more youth and depth brought in along the offensive line. In fact, it's not just thinking about the future, but there are also immediate needs on the offensive line that must be addressed. For instance, the Rams still have no definitive third tackle should something happen to Alex Barron or Orlando Pace. That is one spot that could be addressed through the draft. As for the interior, Adam Timmerman and Andy McCollum are warriors and leaders, but they aren't getting any younger. Richie Incognito and Claude Terrell have lots of potential, but it remains to be seen if Incognito can get on the field and help and if Terrell can get quick enough to be successful as a pass blocker. There's little doubt that at some point, this will be addressed in the draft.
Blake Fason, Moorhead, Minn.: Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis are RFA's this season, and I havent seen anything happen with these two. What will come of these two players? Any word?
NW: For those that don't understand the restricted free agent process, let's make it clear. As of right now, Curtis and McDonald are still on the Rams. They both received their one-year tender offers from the Rams and until someone else makes a long-term offer that is signed by either, they will remain in St. Louis. This really becomes an issue after this season, though. This is an important season for McDonald and Curtis as they near unrestricted free agency. There is a desire in the front office to sign Curtis long-term and that is a good probability, but he could really improve his situation with a big year this season. Same goes for McDonald. To answer your question, though, it's almost a certainty they will be in St. Louis this year.
Taylor Bachmeier, Portland, Ore.: Is there a chance that the rams will use to their pick to select Brodrick Bunkley, supposing he is still on the board. I also think Bobby Carpenter or Manny Lawson would be a nice fit, providing the size and strength needed to play at the strong side linebacker position. What is your opinion on these players and who do you think would be a nice fit for the Rams?
NW: There is a definite interest in Brodrick Bunkley. Bunkley is climbing on most teams' draft boards and it's a realistic possibility that he could actually be gone before the Rams even come on the clock at No. 11 in the first round. Bunkley was ultra-productive at Florida State and is a three-down tackle that can stop the run and rush the passer. Florida State has a history of producing excellent defensive prospects and they are always super athletic and quick. Bunkley is no different. In recent history, players such as Darnell Dockett and Travis Johnson have come out of Florida State and been drafted on the first day. Rumors out of Buffalo are that the Bills have interest in Bunkley at No. 8. Should he fall past there, he might be the guy. I have made clear on a few occasions that I like Carpenter and Lawson the most out of the linebackers that could play the strong side (with the obvious exception of A.J. Hawk). However, it seems that No. 11 would be too high for either, though both have climbed up some boards in recent weeks. It's a possibility the Rams could move down to take one of those guys if there is nobody worth the value at No. 11 or, perhaps, make the pick at No. 11 and move up in the second round or into the end of the first to grab one of them.
Myron Minner, St. Louis: How many picks do the Rams have in this year's draft?
NW: The Rams have nine choices in this year's draft. They have one pick in each of the first six rounds. In round seven, they have three selections with the final two being compensatory picks for free agents lost last year. He is the breakdown of the picks by round with overall choice in parenthesis. Round 1 - Pick 11 (11), Round 2 - Pick 14 (46), Round 3 - Pick 13 (77), Round 4 - Pick 12 (109), Round 5 - Pick 11 (144), Round 6 - Pick 14 (183), Round 7 - Pick 13 (221), Pick 34 (242) and Pick 35 (243).
Mark Zamniak, Medina, NY: I can't help but guess that the Rams may be looking at Vernon Davis the TE from Maryland. Do you think they might be so bold as to "trade up" to get him? Or do you think they'll just stand pat and wait for the best available...maybe a LB or some more defensive help, like all the so called experts are predicting?
NW: As stated above, the Rams are likely to take the best available player approach in the draft. Obviously, Vernon Davis is someone that is coveted by the Rams and many more teams in the first round. In fact, it's not likely that he will be available when the Rams come up, so a trade up would be the only way to nab him. This draft is very top heavy so it isn't going to be easy to slide up to get some of the more coveted players in it. Should Davis creep into that eight or nine range (same with Hawk or Mario Williams, a long shot obviously), then it becomes much more viable. But to move up to guarantee a chance at any of those guys would require a heavy, heavy price. There are just too many needs on this team to make that kind of move.
Re: Wagoner's MailbagOriginally Posted by RamWraith
Re: Wagoner's MailbagOriginally Posted by RamsFan4everRamsFan16
Re: Wagoner's Mailbag
According to the NFLPA website...
So by saying Bulger's contract is up after next year, he must mean after 2007. Unless I'm missing something.