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    The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    10.22.2009 12:27 pm
    Who are Rams’ top draft options at QB?
    By Roger Hensley

    THE WATERCOOLER

    QUESTION: If the St. Louis Rams were to take a quarterback in the first round of next year’s draft, which current college quarterback would you suggest they select?

    BERNIE MIKLASZ
    Very tough call, and of course I reserve the right to change my mind later, after these kids play more games and also go through the NFL Scouting Combine. Because a lot can change between now and the draft. But if we are talking right now, I’d go with Washington’s Jake Locker. Big (6-3), strong and athletic, Locker has a plus arm, and a quick release. He’s been thriving in the pro-style offense installed by first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. Also, Locker is being tutored by one of the best, QBs coach Steve Clarkson, who in the past has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and others. Clarkson cleaned up Locker’s mechanics and the improvement was immediate. And keep in mind that Locker is getting it done at Washington, and he’s not surrounded by elite talent. That makes his performance even more impressive.

    Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen has moved up as an NFL prospect. Clausen has always had the natural talent, but he’s grown at Notre Dame, and is more physically imposing now. Looks like a tough kid, too. He is certainly used to pressure and it doesn’t get to him. The best is yet to come for Clausen. The red flags are out on Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford; it’s not only the shoulder injuries, but the questions of whether he can throw while under pressure, because he doesn’t encounter much of a pass rush at OU. Cincinnati’s Tony Pike could be the steal of the draft; he’s likely to be downgraded and drop down the board because of multiple injuries to his left wrist. But he’s a player. Not sure if Colt McCoy (Texas) has the frame, but he seems like a good fit for a West Coast offense. Jevan Snead (Ole Miss) has been touted by scouts and draftniks, but I haven’t seen enough (yet) to get excited by his NFL future. Again, that could change. All of this could.

    VAHE GREGORIAN
    With his bum shoulder this season, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford may be losing stock for the 2010 draft or may even be considering waiting another year to come out. But if he’s available, the Rams would be wise to snap him up. Although he could stand to be more mobile, especially considering the Rams line, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner has all the tools to build a team around: accuracy (67.9 percent of his passes last season), height (6-4) and a leadership presence that makes players want to play better just for him, OU coach Bob Stoops says. Maybe some will see the shoulder injury and apparent aggravation of it last week against Texas as something chronic or signs he is brittle, but sometimes quarterbacks just get hit and hurt. There’s no reason to think it’s anything more with Bradford.

    JEFF GORDON
    After watching Florida, Notre Dame, Texas and Oklahoma play recent games, I didn’t see a first-round candidate on the field. It’s nice that Colt McCoy can use his feet and make plays on the move, but can you put a rebuilding franchise on those shoulders? The ideal scenario would be Bradford electing to come out in this draft and slipping into the second round because of his shoulder injury. He could be a great second pick.

    REID LAYMANCE
    The shoulder injuries this season are a bit of concern but Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford still best fits the NFL mold at 6-4, 223. A junior, he could still come back for another season at OU but it’s hard to tell if that will help his draft status. Say what you want about Mel Kiper, the ESPN draft guru, but he had Bradford at No. 1 before the second shoulder injury against Texas and dropped him only to No. 5 overall. Jake Locker of Washington is moving up after his team upset USC but Bradford has a better track record. Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow are both proven winners in college. Tebow isn’t asked to win as often with his his arm as his legs so the jury is still out if that style translates to the NFL. The darkhorse could be Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, a junior, but I’d rather see a few more wins out of him before we start thinking he could be a Joe Montana story.

    KATHLEEN NELSON
    First, I’d suggest they seriously consider whether they want to take a QB so early. In the past five drafts, a dozen QBs have been taken in the first round.

    Eight of the 12 are starters. Only Rodgers and Flacco rank among the league’s top 10 QBs in yardage. Only Ryan and Rodgers rank among the top 10 in QB rating. Only Ryan and Cutler start for teams above .500 this season.

    If they insisted on taking a quarterback, maybe they could take a shot at Jimmy Clausen. The scouting reports say he has a stronger arm than Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford, and he seems to get more snaps under center than the other two.

    KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
    Can my answer be “nobody?” With Sam Bradford’s shoulder possibly requiring season-ending surgery, I can’t see a QB that I would spend a high first-round pick on. Colt McCoy doesn’t have the prototpyical arm or strength, Tim Tebow has goofy mechanics and has never run anything remotely resembling pro style offense and Jevan Snead is having an awful year at Ole Miss. Cincy’s Tony Pike is hurt and I like both Jimmy Claussen and Jake Locker but they don’t exactly have long track records of success in college.

    If Bradford’s shoulder were 100 percent healthy come the spring I’d take him over all the others, but shoulder injuries are scary. If I had to pick someone today it would be Locker. He has the size, arm strength and athleticism to be an NFL star.

    I’d rather have safety Taylor Mays from USC, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska or receiver Brandon LaFell from LSU over any of the QB’s though.


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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    they should either work on the o-line, or take bradford, he shows flashes of peyton manning the way he reads the defense, and is able to make the recievers around him better.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    Taylor mays is a stud

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    i do like taylor mays, i would be ok if they took him with their first pick, i wish there was more talent in the draft at wr.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    I also like mays, is it possible to find a decent QB in the later rounds? I know some of the best QB's have not been first rounders.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    I think Wheeler's answer is the best, though I'm not convinced LaFell is much of an option at the top of the first round. Still, there are a lot of questions surrounding the current crop of QBs. A lot can change between now and the draft, but there may not be a great option for the Rams' first round pick.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    I agree that this year's Qb class doesn't look solid just yet. While we're at, here's some food for thought. Let's say we do pick around 4-7 in that kind of range, I don't know just speculation. Would we consider a guy like Taylor Mays? If we resign Atogwe and keep him and Butler at safety, I wonder if Taylor could play OLB for us. He has the frame and speed, and with the loss of Witherspoon, Mays could fill that void.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I think Wheeler's answer is the best, though I'm not convinced LaFell is much of an option at the top of the first round. Still, there are a lot of questions surrounding the current crop of QBs. A lot can change between now and the draft, but there may not be a great option for the Rams' first round pick.

    Sigh....I'm afraid that I've got to concur with your statement. I was so hoping that in year like this the one bright and shining light would be the chance at a legit franchise QB. Yeah, I know that they can be found in other rounds but that is not as easy as it sometimes appears. I would like to get excited about one of these QBs but I would venture to say that the best course of action for all of the juniors is to stay in school and work on their craft.

    As for the seniors, sorry Charlie, not in first round.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    Say NOO to Mays. I really don't see ANYTHING from him that deserves hype. Big, fast... and no really a playmaker. Not worth Top 5 at all, in my opinion.

    I really like Washingtons Jake Locker. The dudes got speed, a big arm, quick arm and good accuracy ( which will become better after time ). I'd rather have someone with a huge arm and ability to get outside the pocket and pull defenders in, so he can lob over them.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16 View Post
    I really like Washingtons Jake Locker. The dudes got speed, a big arm, quick arm and good accuracy ( which will become better after time ). I'd rather have someone with a huge arm and ability to get outside the pocket and pull defenders in, so he can lob over them.
    I agree. Locker has looked great in the games I've seen him in this year, and he's only going to get better. Besides the physical tools and solid skills, he's smart, makes good decisions and is tough.

    He's got some big decisions to make though and options. He's a great athlete who has already signed with the Angels, and is still contemplating sticking around for his senior year.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    Quote Originally Posted by eric2810 View Post
    Would we consider a guy like Taylor Mays? If we resign Atogwe and keep him and Butler at safety, I wonder if Taylor could play OLB for us. He has the frame and speed, and with the loss of Witherspoon, Mays could fill that void.
    i hope weve learnt our lesson in recent years of drafting players at one position then moving them to another in the Pros.
    Mays could potentially move to weakside in most D`s..but its a huge gamble and Spags likes to play with solid all round LB`s who stick to their assignments..i think Mays be better suited either staying at Safety or moving to weakside but on a team where he would have more freedom to roam than the Spags system allows.

    id rather reach for Missouri`s Sean Weatherspoon if i thought Spags wanted to replace Spoon with a 1st round pick..least he would more fit what Spags wants to do.
    Last edited by Ramblin` Ram; -10-23-2009 at 07:48 AM. Reason: adding more to make my point.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    None, espeacially so high, as we going to pick and especially without Bradford. What do you think to try with trade, including Brady Quinn?

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska could be a good fit, especially with Spags as head coach. We could have a good D Line rotation with Carriker back, look at the NFL, the passing game is the main asset in the NFL right now, we have to do a great pressure on the QBs, a stud DE could be a good choice too. We need a QB but nobody can fill the spot with ease, I don't see any safe pick out of the QB class. I do not like risky choice with a high first round pick. We can find someone solid in the second round.
    Mays is a beast, I'm a big fan of him but with Atogwe and Butler already in we need another position than safety.

    It's too early to predict that kind of thing for the moment.
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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    QBs coach Steve Clarkson, who in the past has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and others.
    Is this supposed to be a compliment? Hard to tell when you throw Leinart's name around.

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    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    Leinart had the mechanics, he just was never hit in college. So in otherwords he's a big wussy. I was at the Sooner -Baylor game, I was on the field and to be that close would make you appreciate Bradford all that much more. He has quite the ARM and is quick and smart on his decisions. Locker may be a bit sturdier , but Bradford is for real. he needs to take stunt lessons and learn to land a different way.
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