# Thread: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

1. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Nick,
Where do you see David Harris ILB Michigan going?
I understand that he is very good vs the run, but needs work in coverage.
At 6'2 251 he has the ideal size for a MLB.Do you think he could be the answer for our run stopping wows?

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## Re: A Question for Nick

Originally Posted by Dominator
IIRC, your space eater is supposed to be a 2 gap player. Jets run a Belichick 3-4 now and are searching for the huge dudes to play NT. They even want oversized DEs to two gap. The DL isn't really supposed to penetrate, but to take on the blockers leaving the LBs free. The cover 2 usually has an NT (Jets used Jason Ferguson successfully) to "space eat" then a 3-technique DT (Sapp is the prototype 3tech DT). I think it used to be cheaper because linemen that can't penetrate are way cheaper and with the LBs free it's easier to pass rush by scheme and disguise things. Trouble is, not many of those huge guys can actually play.
Excellent answer, Dominator, I think you put it very succinctly. BTW what does IIRC stand for? Thanx for your help.

WHAT SAY YE?

3. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Originally Posted by Dr. Defense
Nick I have a question for you. With all these recent taggings of defensive stars that the Rams may have possibly pursued how does that change our FA approach? How does it affect the rest of the league? And with all these star players coming off the board does it open up the possibility of franchising Curtis and pay him the big bucks and just focus on defense for day 1?
Well, as some of the more marques players come off of the market, then the second tier guys are going to get pushed up in terms of attention, and those marques players who still look to be available are going to get even more attention.

For example, Nate Clements will no longer have to share his spot as the top CB free agent with Asante Samuel, and now more teams will go after Clements, likely resulting in a higher contract offer for him with more teams to bid. The same can probably be said of Patrick Kerney as well, if he hits the market. Kerney was certainly not going to be the top free agent defensive end, but with Freeney, Grant, and Smith all tagged and off the market, suddenly Kerney moves up the list.

As for franchising Curtis, I don't see it being a great move from a financial standpoint. Before the figures were released, I thought perhaps the transitional tag might be low enough to use on him, but if I recall correctly there isn't much difference in cost between the two, and both are over $7 million. With only$23 million in cap room, Curtis would effectively take up 30% of that space. We could do it and just really try to sign him long term, but I'm not sure that's a risk we should be willing to take.

Originally Posted by jim
What is the deal with with so many wanting a DT that weighs 330lbs or more? I do not understand the "space eater" thing. Could you explain from a football point? I get the part where a SLB needs to be bigger than a WLB due to his responsibilites (taking on the tight end and bigger blockers etc.) but where does hugeness fit in for a tackle? If the Bears for example, had two Tommie Harris would they not play them both at the same time? Or would they be trying to draft a Gilbert Brown? When we talk about this draft is Branch rated so much higher because even if he is not a better football player he wears a larger uniform? Just trying to get this. Thanks.
I think Dominator covered this pretty accurately. Having a large defensive lineman that's designated as a "space eater" essentially just clogs up space at the line of scrimmage. His massive frame is hard to move by opposing offensive lineman, and he clogs rushing lanes making interior running difficult. Being so big and strong, he also commands more attention from blockers, which typically frees up the linebackers behind him to make plays without having to fight through blockers. Because our middle linebacker is undersized and is at his best when able to roam around freely, we need to find large defensive tackles to put in front of him to occupy blocks. Essentially, someone to eat up some space.

Originally Posted by RAMMAN68
Nick,
Where do you see David Harris ILB Michigan going?
I understand that he is very good vs the run, but needs work in coverage.
At 6'2 251 he has the ideal size for a MLB.Do you think he could be the answer for our run stopping wows?
He could go anywhere from the mid second round to sometime in the third. I think there are a number of other teams (Carolina, Philadelphia) who are looking for a young two-down middle linebacker for the future of their defense, and I would imagine 3-4 teams looking for help at ILB will give him a glance as well, so its conceivable he could go to any of them. Is he the answer to our run stopping woes? I dunno. I tend to think that the most immediate help our run defense would benefit from is help on the defensive line.

Originally Posted by RAMarkable
Excellent answer, Dominator, I think you put it very succinctly. BTW what does IIRC stand for? Thanx for your help.

WHAT SAY YE?
If I Remember Correctly.

4. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Nick,
I've read several articles that have the Rams taking a WR in round 1. I even read that Linehan has stated that it is possible. Do you think that it would be a good choice given that this draft seems to be loaded with defensive talent?

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## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Thanks for answering my questions about the DT. Now, does this approach not cause more problems? Because you have an undersized LB you compensate by playing someone who takes up space? Are we saying this is how a team wants to line up or is forced to? Did the Rams go out and spend a bunch of money on a linebacker to make their team worse? Or you sign the guy and hope it all works out? Just does not seem to be a plan in place. Watching Kennedy in the Minn. game it seems he can play probably not All-Pro but he can play. So because Spoon was signed does that mean a Wroten-Kennedy combo can never happen? (Not those specific players but technique wise) Sorry for the length but I am trying to figure if the draft can help or not. Why don't you like Jarvis Moss? Thanks

6. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Originally Posted by RAMMAN68
Nick,
I've read several articles that have the Rams taking a WR in round 1. I even read that Linehan has stated that it is possible. Do you think that it would be a good choice given that this draft seems to be loaded with defensive talent?
A good choice? I dunno. I would prefer to go defense and I can't imagine we address all of our defensive needs so well in free agency that we can't continue to address it in round one. But I guess depending on what's on the board and who we've signed, we could go receiver. Personally I'm not a huge Ginn or Jarrett fan but if either are there, both have things they could bring to our team that we currently need (Ginn's return skills, Jarrett's size). It sounds as if Jarrett may be slipping a bit though.

Originally Posted by jim
Thanks for answering my questions about the DT. Now, does this approach not cause more problems? Because you have an undersized LB you compensate by playing someone who takes up space? Are we saying this is how a team wants to line up or is forced to? Did the Rams go out and spend a bunch of money on a linebacker to make their team worse? Or you sign the guy and hope it all works out? Just does not seem to be a plan in place. Watching Kennedy in the Minn. game it seems he can play probably not All-Pro but he can play. So because Spoon was signed does that mean a Wroten-Kennedy combo can never happen? (Not those specific players but technique wise) Sorry for the length but I am trying to figure if the draft can help or not. Why don't you like Jarvis Moss? Thanks
We're going to need to find guys for the line who can take up blockers anyway, though. Remember, Ray Lewis last spring petitioned his team to find him guys for the line in front of him to keep blockers away so he could be more effective. Thus, one can conclude that even the best of middle linebackers need help. The coaching staff thought they had a potential answer in Kennedy, but a good performance against Minnesota doesn't wipe away a season's worth of inability to consistently man the position. As for Jarvis Moss, it's not that I don't like him. I'm just not sure he's good value at the 13 spot. What happens at the combine could change that.

7. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Nick, just to humor my roommate (who is a Raiders fan), what do you envision them doing in the draft? Is Andrew Walter a decent QB if given better protection? Thanks in advance.

8. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Hey Nick,
Do you see any scenario were Alan Branch can fall to us on draft day?

9. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Originally Posted by Bruce=GOAT
Nick, just to humor my roommate (who is a Raiders fan), what do you envision them doing in the draft? Is Andrew Walter a decent QB if given better protection? Thanks in advance.
If they're smart they'll take Calvin Johnson. But a lack of a franchise quarterback might force their hand and they could take JaMarcus Russell or even Brady Quinn. At this point I think it's down to those three, though I guess Adrian Peterson and Joe Thomas are dark horses. I expect it to either be Russell or Johnson with them addressing O-line at the top of the second round (Ryan Kalil in my latest projection).

Originally Posted by BigDaddyPace
Hey Nick,
Do you see any scenario were Alan Branch can fall to us on draft day?
I don't know how likely it is, but this is the first thing I came up with that's somewhat reasonable...

OAK: Russell
DET: Thomas
CLE: Peterson
TB: CJ
ARI: Anderson
WAS: Okoye
HOU: Quinn
MIA: Brown
ATL: Nelson/Landry
SF: Carriker
BUF: Revis/Timmons

At this point if some of the talk is true I really think Okoye may be overtaking Branch for the top DT spot.

10. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

nick, who do you like better, jarrett or meacham.

ramming speed to all

general counsel

11. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Nick, I was just reading through all the posts on the combine thread and when I was reading about defensive lineman this guy stuck out at me. Paul Soliai. What's the deal with him? I've never even heard his name mentioned before and I don't know anything about his college years. Just based on his height and his weight he seems to be the massive run stopper that we are craving. Or is he not worth picking?

12. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Originally Posted by general counsel
nick, who do you like better, jarrett or meacham.
At this point probably Meachem. I'm not a huge fan of Jarrett's attitude, personally.

Originally Posted by Dr. Defense
Nick, I was just reading through all the posts on the combine thread and when I was reading about defensive lineman this guy stuck out at me. Paul Soliai. What's the deal with him? I've never even heard his name mentioned before and I don't know anything about his college years. Just based on his height and his weight he seems to be the massive run stopper that we are craving. Or is he not worth picking?
He came in at 344 at the combine, which is massive. Still managed to run fairly well at that weight but I was disappointed in that he chose not to bench. It would have been nice to see what kind of upper body strength he had to go along with that size. He's probably a second day two-gap tackle, could go a bit earlier than one might think since there really aren't a lot of guys in his mold in this class, but he also has some character concerns that could cause him to drop a bit.

13. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Originally Posted by Nick
At this point probably Meachem. I'm not a huge fan of Jarrett's attitude, personally.
I assume by "at this point" you mean before Jarrett runs? I'm betting that he will be slow and that will kill his draft value. Meacha\em ran pretty well, but I've read there are some concerns that he has a degenerative condition with his knee. Guess the Rams don't care what with Bennet and all, probably just be looking for a return man at wr/rb now. More likely 2nd day.
Last edited by Dominator; -03-03-2007 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Spelled Meachem wrong

14. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Nick, with the 30 million now invested in Drew Bennett and the Offense, and the trade for Hall on the Defense, is it feasible that we send some draft picks the way of a team higher up to target say, Alan Branch, who's stock looks like it will sucumb to the surge of Amobi Okoye?

I know, Hall doesn't solve many of our DL problems, and I know, WR may not have been a targeted position within the first three rounds. And I know, it would break the bank to trade up....at least 4 spots with Miami (assuming Okoye, Adams and Anderson are all gone by pick 9) but is it even possible?
I'm not usually a fan of egg-basketting. But I'd almost consider it for Branch, Adams and to a lesser extent, Okoye(UT?) and Aanderson.

15. ## Re: Ask the DraftNICK! (Version 1.0)

Originally Posted by Dominator
I assume by "at this point" you mean before Jarrett runs? I'm betting that he will be slow and that will kill his draft value. Meacha\em ran pretty well, but I've read there are some concerns that he has a degenerative condition with his knee. Guess the Rams don't care what with Bennet and all, probably just be looking for a return man at wr/rb now. More likely 2nd day.
Right, you'd have to think the Bennett signing makes WR a negligible draft need. Maybe somewhere in the middle of day two just to see if they can find a guy, but I think a group of Holt, Bruce, Bennett, Looker, and then either Hagans or Thompson could be fine in this scheme.

Originally Posted by Bar-bq
Nick, with the 30 million now invested in Drew Bennett and the Offense, and the trade for Hall on the Defense, is it feasible that we send some draft picks the way of a team higher up to target say, Alan Branch, who's stock looks like it will sucumb to the surge of Amobi Okoye?

I know, Hall doesn't solve many of our DL problems, and I know, WR may not have been a targeted position within the first three rounds. And I know, it would break the bank to trade up....at least 4 spots with Miami (assuming Okoye, Adams and Anderson are all gone by pick 9) but is it even possible?
I'm not usually a fan of egg-basketting. But I'd almost consider it for Branch, Adams and to a lesser extent, Okoye(UT?) and Aanderson.
Possible, yes. Probable? It's really hard to say. I think the Rams could be content staying at 13 and seeing what happens, especially with the DE talent in this class and the number of them that look to be first round prospects. But I wouldn't rule out a move up if a top tackle or end is available in the 8-10 range. A team like Minnesota could be interested in moving down if they can't address their need at WR in free agency. They missed out on Lelie and now Curtis could choose Detroit over them. Picking a receiver at 13 makes a lot more sense to me than picking one at seven, so maybe their asking price wouldn't be as much in their favor in terms of value. I dunno, just thinking out loud. They've added a veteran in Hall but I wouldn't rule out a younger DE addition given that neither Hall nor Little are exactly spring chickens. If someone like Adams or Anderson slips, they could make a move. You really can't rule anything out at this point.

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