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Thread: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

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    Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins
    Updated April 1, 2014
    By Charlie Campbell - Walterfootball.com - @draftcampbell


    When the Rams landed the second-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, thanks to their 2012 deal with the Redskins, many thought that once again St. Louis would be in position to make another big trade to load up on extra early-round draft picks for the next few years. As it turns out, some teams we've spoken to in the top 10 feel as though the Rams will have a trade market for the No. 2 pick.

    There are four players that are viewed as elite in this draft: South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack and Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson. Some teams want to come away to land one of the elite players, or get ahead of other teams to get the top quarterback prospect, Central Florida's Blake Bortles. In order to move down, the Rams would have to do it for less than the package they received from Washington, and St. Louis general manager Les Snead has been willing to move lower for less. He did in 2012 when the Rams traded down from the sixth-overall pick to the 14th with the Cowboys for a second-round pick.

    However, there is a good chance that the Rams will be stuck at No. 2 with nobody offering a deal worth passing on one of the elite talents in this draft. From speaking to sources, if St. Louis is stuck there and can't select Jadeveon Clowney, its pick is coming down to Watkins or Mack.

    The Rams have drafted a receiver in the top 35 picks in the last two drafts, including a trade into the top 10 to land Tavon Austin last year. Watkins could give St. Louis an explosive receiving tandem with Austin, but considering they also have invested picks in Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens (as well as the signing of Kenny Britt), that is an awful lot of resources for wide receivers without that many targets to go around considering St. Louis likes to run the ball with Zac Stacy.

    Sources say that Mack is the direction that St. Louis is leaning at No. 2. It sounds like the Rams are falling in love with the Buffalo pass-rusher. Mack's speed, strength and physicality is exactly what Jeff Fisher and Gregg Williams are looking for. They feel they can do a lot of creative blitzes with Mack and their two pass-rushing defensive ends: Robert Quinn and Chris Long. They would have all three rushing the quarterback on passing downs, with Long or Quinn moving inside on occasion. Mack would also give the Rams another edge rusher if Long gets too pricey to keep in two or three years after extending Quinn. They also would have depth in case they have a serious injury.

    St. Louis feels it needs an elite front seven to top its divisional rivals, including the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks and a ***** team that has made it to three straight NFC Championship Games. Arizona won 10 games last year and is a tough team that is getting better. With Mack, Long, Quinn, Alec Ogletree and James Laurinaitis, the Rams would have a lot of play-makers in their front seven who are good run and pass defenders.

    The Rams, like all teams, are about to start convening all their area scouts in St. Louis as they hold their draft meetings and host prospects on teams visits in the final weeks before the draft. Things can change in those meetings, but right now, the Rams are coming down to Mack or Watkins with the second-overall pick, with Mack being the favorite.

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    I love the line "sources say." Classic at this time of year.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Well that's certainly interesting. Who knows what to believe this time of year... These are two players who I would have put at the bottom of the list of "expected picks" (Kenny Britt and limited OLB snaps). If they do stay at 2 and pick Mack, I just hope Williams is better at utilizing Mack's unique skills set than Shotty was at using Austin.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Let me start by saying, I have no knowledge whatsoever regarding the Rams plans. Any projections I make, are based upon logic and objective clues (i.e. players that visit Rams Park).

    So, when I read an article like this, I want to believe that its accurate. Unlike TV and movies, in the sports world, fans love "spoilers."

    Here's the problem...

    From speaking to sources, if St. Louis is stuck there and can't select Jadeveon Clowney, its pick is coming down to Watkins or Mack.
    Sources say that Mack is the direction that St. Louis is leaning at No. 2.
    That is the only "proof" offered. So, for me to accept that this writer is correct, I have to presume three things:

    1. That the writer is telling the truth (and, yes, I do think some writers lie about "sources");
    2. That the "sources" are people who have actual knowledge, as opposed to mere speculation; and
    3. That the Rams have, in fact, narrowed down their choices to the degree suggested.

    The writer himself calls #3 into question, as he hedges at the end:

    Things can change
    So, while the article is interesting (thanks for posting, HUb), I'd take it with a very large grain of salt. The draft is still five weeks away, and I'm sure this won't be the last "source" driven projection we'll encounter.

    If, in the end, the Rams believe that Mack is the right guy, so be it. Whether that means that Chris Long will move inside on passing downs, with Mack playing DE, or that Alec Ogletree will line up as a de facto safety on passing downs (he has experience at the position) remains to be seen. Certainly, Fisher and Williams are better qualified than any of us to make those decisions.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Gotta love the season of smoke and mirrors, as well as wild prognostications. The emphatic title of the article is amusing.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Of course none of this means anything if we trade the pick....
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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    I suspect every prospect will get their limelight as likely top 2 picks.
    My memory says Barr, Mack, Matthews, Watkins, Clowney, Robinson and each of the 3 QBs have been mentioned in the top 2 picks. Seems the only guys not getting in there are the CBs thus far.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Of course none of this means anything if we trade the pick....
    Which is a very good possibility.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    I would be very, very surprised if we took Mack. Like mega shocked. I really think it will be one of Matthews, Robinson or Clowney with our first pick. Sorry Watkins backers.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Just saw a clip on espn's first take with Merril Hodge. He wasn't high on J. Clowney, being pretty critical of him, which other's here have said that he can be overly critical.

    That said, however, he brought up Mack and thinks he's the best defensive player to come out in the past 15 years. Overly critical or not he did bring up some good points, one being his versatility. Lining up in different spots and being dominant in any of them.

    Couple that with Mike Maylock touting him highly over J. Clowney, and Gregg Williams use of linebackers in blitzing schemes it adds some legitimacy to us looking at Mack. Not saying that we will, but I wouldn't be completely surprised that we didn't take him.

    If your interested you can see the clip on youtube. Just type in Hoge: Jadeveon Clowney and it should be the top video to pop up.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by turbofargo View Post
    That said, however, he brought up Mack and thinks he's the best defensive player to come out in the past 15 years.
    I know that this is Hyperbole Season, but how can anyone say that about a guy who played at Buffalo?

    Not Ohio State. Not Alabama. Not USC. Not FSU.

    Buffalo.

    Maybe Mack will be the next Lawrence Taylor. Maybe he'll be the next Aaron Curry.

    I'm guessing he'll be somewhere in between.
    lostsoul likes this.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    That fact was brought up and acknowledged. Regardless they said the accolade, in Hoge's mind, was still given. Maybe if he was on a Ohio State or FSU there would be zero question. I'll try to look into why he was at Buffalo given his skill set over a well known school.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    The smaller school guys can be undervalued. They aren't undervalued if they are talking top 5.
    DeMarcus Ware came out of Troy.

    Claiming Mack is the greatest seems like 100% an attention getter.

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Gotta love the season of smoke and mirrors, as well as wild prognostications. The emphatic title of the article is amusing.
    I must admit, that is what caught my attention as well. Charlie Campbell didn't leave much room for error there.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Barring Trade, Rams Deciding on Mack or Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I know that this is Hyperbole Season, but how can anyone say that about a guy who played at Buffalo?

    Not Ohio State. Not Alabama. Not USC. Not FSU.

    Buffalo.

    Maybe Mack will be the next Lawrence Taylor. Maybe he'll be the next Aaron Curry.

    I'm guessing he'll be somewhere in between.

    Jerry Rice.

    Walter Payton.

    Deacon Jones.

    Mel Blount.

    Night Trane Lane.

    Just a few of the guys that have been small school stars. Some of the best ever.

    Its a potential limitation, but not a deal breaker.
    Vinnie25 likes this.

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