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  1. #61
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Back impresses Rams
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/29/2007

    As he considered leaving Rutgers after his junior year for the NFL, running back Brian Leonard sought counsel from several sources. Their collective advice was, go with your heart.

    "And my heart was still at Rutgers," Leonard said. "I told my coach, 'I'm not done yet. I want to come back and help this team be champions.'"

    That move paid off in a big way for Leonard, the Rams' second-round draft pick Saturday. Rutgers went 11-2, the best record in the school's 137-year football history.

    The Scarlet Knights capped the season with a 37-10 victory over Kansas State in the Texas Bowl and a No. 12 ranking in both major national polls.

    And Leonard, who also was projected as a first-day pick last year, didn't lose significant ground in the draft. The Rams made him the 52nd choice overall, the fifth back taken.

    "This is a guy who from the onset, when we started evaluating, started draft meetings ... you just hoped" he'd be available, Rams coach Scott Linehan said. Linehan said he was impressed with Leonard's size (6 feet 1, 226 pounds), speed (4.5 for 40 yards) and versatility.

    Most of all, though, Linehan liked Leonard's team-first attitude, as evidenced by his eagerness to switch to fullback last year after three seasons as the Knights' feature back.

    "He could've been a Heisman Trophy candidate had he stayed at tailback," Linehan said. "He was asked to move and did so unconditionally. ... We talked about that, and he said he wanted to win. His whole life has been about winning and doing what's best for the team."

    Leonard, 23, yielded to the speedy Ray Rice, who rushed for 1,794 yards and 20 touchdowns. After totaling 2,352 yards his first three years, Leonard tacked on only 427 as a senior. But the sum result was what counted, he stressed.

    "It was amazing, a dream come true," said Leonard, a three-time All-Big East Conference honoree.

    "I took a chance; I had scholarships at other places (including Missouri). But I wanted to be part of a program that was building. I can look back 20 years from now and tell my kids I helped change that program around."

    Added Linehan: "You've got to give him a lot of credit for how that football team played last year. Without that, I'm sure it could've been a different story."

    Leonard's duties with the Rams will include opportunities at running back and fullback, as well as special teams. "I really believe he'll be our No. 2 tailback by early in the season," Linehan said.

    Leonard, a north-and-south runner with 4.5-second speed for 40 yards, also has a strong résumé as a receiver, which qualifies him as an enticing third-down option. His 207 receptions, a Rutgers record, produced 1,868 yards and 13 touchdowns.

    "He has very, very good hands; he's arguably one of the better receiving backs in the entire draft," Linehan said. "That is what you've got to have when you're talking about a guy who could be in there for third downs. I think that's a very good fit for him in our system."

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  2. #62
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Did the post analyze the pick at all or just tell Leonard's story?

  3. #63
    HisIdeaofAGift Guest

    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Leonard never fumbled through his entire college career.

  4. #64
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rambos
    Rathman is who I thought of also. When you thought you had started to slow down the whinners, Rathman would come in and beat you up! Right when you are tired of tackling SJ, well say hello to my not so little friend. You may hate it now, but one day I think we will look back and love this pick.

    Rathman is who I thought of as well. I have to admit, this may make me unpopular, but oh well, I was secretly hoping the Rams would take Leonard. I was rooting for A) the SC center Kali (probably spelled it wrong) B) Leonard. Does the pick improve the Rams defense? Debatable. It seems that every dominant defense out there also has a dominant running game. St. Louis just upgraded from a good (solid) running game to a potential dominant running game. Wear down the opposing teams front 7 and then take them verticle. The Rams just took (IMO) a step toward being able to smash the football in the fourth quarter, they now have the potential to close out games. I think this is crutial to the Rams improving defense. Call me crazy, but IMO this is a defensive pick.
    Last edited by badmoforamfan; -04-29-2007 at 11:50 AM.

  5. #65
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Quote Originally Posted by badmoforamfan View Post
    When Tank and Johnson were off the board I was rooting for A) the SC center Kali (probably spelled it wrong) B) Leonard.
    Tank Tyler and Charles Johnson weren't off the board until the mid third round.
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  6. #66
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Tank Tyler and Charles Johnson weren't off the board until the mid third round.
    Your right. Whew, I really need to drink that second cup of coffee before posting.

  7. #67
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Brian Leonard should be our Fullback not our back up running back...we should have put Leonard at FB and picked Michael Bush rd 3 and play him as our backup....Michael Bush=STEAL for the raiders

  8. #68
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Mike Bush scares me. When a guy needs more surgery to replace the rod in his leg, it scares me. When the scouts say the tape he made to sell how healthy he is showed he isn't making cuts and even walks differently is scares me to death. Plus Bush's injury means 2007 is basically a rehab season again. We need a backup RB NOW.

  9. #69
    pickleweed Guest

    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    what i think most people arent realizing is what this guy is gonna bring to the return unit. he's a great blocker, with speed. he's selfless, and will play where ever we need him. the return unit doesnt begin and end with dante. we've needed better blocking for a while, and now we have one more. thats one more block that'll allow for at least a few more yards. not to mention that a blocking fullback means greater production for sjax. hedgecock was adequate, but we're talking lorenzo neal type status. and the man can take over if something happened to jackson. that's 3 positions of need with one pick. thats pretty good value to me. sure he isnt gone help the dline, but he'll help the other 2/3's of the game.

  10. #70
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    I'm coming around to with this pick the more I learn.

    What's the one thing the Rams' offense struggled with the most last season? The redzone.

    Who is/was known as one of the best RBs in the redzone? Mike Alstott.

    Who is Leonard's potential being compared to by some? Mike Alstott.

    Maybe this pick wan't so bad after all. We'll see...

  11. #71
    smizzhfx Guest

    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers


  12. #72
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    He sure can jump high. Somehow I don't think they teach them to go over people like that.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #73
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Quote Originally Posted by UtterBlitz View Post
    He sure can jump high. Somehow I don't think they teach them to go over people like that.
    Yeah, one wrong miscalculation and.....

  14. #74
    Blankman17 Guest

    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Somehow I doubt he calculated that.

  15. #75
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    Re: With the 52nd pick, St. Louis selects Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers

    Quote Originally Posted by HisIdeaofAGift View Post
    Leonard never fumbled through his entire college career.
    Is that a fact ... wow! Excellent. Smizz, outstanding shot of Leonard hurdling! Thanks.


    I just love this RB selection more and more. And I think Leonard is very, very excited, feeling good and positive about coming in with the Rams and being an immediate impact in the running game, with his receiving skills and all.


    Sure hope so. Can't help feeling confident myself about Jackson, RB; Leonard, RB; Hedecock, FB; Travis Minor, RB; Kay-Jay Harris, RB and ... let's see who makes the team.

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