Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    12,110
    Rep Power
    132

    Bernie: It's Time To Solve The Draft Puzzle

    Bernie: It's time to solve the draft puzzle

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist
    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Finally, we have a little football. Finally, we have some relief. The NFL draft gets under way tonight in New York. The event will offer a three-day break from the tedium of the dumbest labor dispute in the history of sports.

    I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing Mel Kiper Jr.'s hair.

    Please tell the lawyers to close their briefcases and get the heck out. Over the next three days, I don't want to hear about the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, lockouts, injunctions, Judge Nelson, DeMaurice Smith or billionaire NFL owners crying that the luxury sky box is falling.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can stay for a few hours. Someone has to fill the job of announcing the names of the 32 first-round picks.

    Which brings us to the opening question of the draft:

    1. Will Goodell be heckled by the boisterous group of fans who gather inside the Radio City Music Hall each year to boo, hiss and cheer the draft proceedings? The owners and players have infuriated the public with a failure to make a deal on sharing $9 billion in annual revenue. This will be the fans' first chance to express themselves. And we'll be waiting to see if the NFL sees a decline in TV ratings for this year's draft.

    2. What will the Rams do in Round 1?

    Let's not make this more complicated than it is. All you have to do is look at the two drafts conducted by the partnership of GM Billy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo. They're practical. They don't throw curveballs in the early rounds.

    Need a quarterback? Take Sam Bradford, the obvious choice. Need to rebuild at offensive tackle? Draft Jason Smith in 2009 and Rodger Saffold in 2010. Spagnuolo needed an anchor for his defense; say hello to James Laurinaitis (2009). The Spags defense requires bigger, more physical cornerbacks. So in 2009 and 2010, the Rams used the third round to stock the corners with Bradley Fletcher and Jerome Murphy.

    The Rams need a No. 1 receiver, a potential game-breaker, a guy who can connect with Bradford to scorch defenses in the Josh McDaniels offense. If Alabama's Julio Jones inexplicably drops to the Rams' spot at No. 14, he'd be the obvious pick. And if the Rams passed on Jones, then owner Stan Kroenke might as well hire George Boone to run next year's draft.

    If Jones is gone by No. 14, the pragmatic Spags figures to go for the defensive lineman he likes best. The Rams need to reinforce the D-line, and several attractive options should be available, including Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget and Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan. Or perhaps North Carolina pass rusher Robert Quinn will slip through. The sudden and unexpected availability of Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara would undoubtedly prompt the Rams to reconsider.

    3. Will the Rams draft a RB early?

    I'd be stunned to see them go for a running back with the 14th overall pick. But the Rams have to address the position and do so with urgency. Steven Jackson is entering the wearing-down phase. Jackson remains productive, but his rushing total and average yards per carry slipped in 2010. He's handled the ball (via run or reception) more than any other NFL player since the start of the 2005 season. Jackson has taken a lot of hits.

    Jackson is the only full-time starter among the 10 NFL running backs with the most touches from scrimmage since 2005. The others are either out of the league, broken down or sharing duties. It's unrealistic to expect Jackson to maintain this workload, especially against a brutal 2011 schedule that includes a bunch of run-stuffing opponents. The Rams need to secure a talented, viable No. 2 to help Jackson and offer protection against injury.

    4. Where will Blaine Gabbert go?

    Our homeboy quarterback from Parkway West and Mizzou is in for an interesting first-round ride. The perception is that he's dropping. "Gabbert could easily slide out of the top 10," said Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network.

    The forecasts are all over the NFL map. Some NFL insiders believe the Buffalo Bills (No. 3) are seriously considering Gabbert. Pat Kirwan of NFL.com, a former NFL scout, thinks Gabbert will sink to the Miami Dolphins at No. 15. Other possibilities are Cincinnati (No. 4), Arizona (No. 5), San Francisco (No. 7), Tennessee (No. 8), Washington (No. 10) and Minnesota (No. 12). Late pre-draft buzz has Washington looking to move up a few spots to grab Gabbert.

    Gabbert has critics who question his NFL readiness in converting from the spread offense at Missouri. And skeptics note that his 475 passes produced only 16 TDs at Mizzou last season. Can he throw the deep ball? Is he shaky in the storm of a pass rush? But Gabbert has impressed NFL people with his intelligence, maturity, size and skill set.

    "You look at Blaine Gabbert, who had a 42 (out of 50) on the Wonderlic (intelligence) test," said Boomer Esiason, the former NFL quarterback and NFL analyst for CBS. "You have to look at whose learning curve is going to develop first."

    5. Is this the Year of the Quarterback?

    The pundits think as many as five QBs could come off the board in the first round. In no particular order there's Auburn's Cam Newton, Gabbert, Washington's Jake Locker, TCU's Andy Dalton, Florida State's Christian Ponder, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, Nevada's Colin Kaepernick and Iowa's Ricky Stanzi.

    There's no Bradford in this group; they're all flawed or incomplete. But NFL teams — bedazzled by the instant success of recent No. 1 draft picks such as Bradford, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez — are eager to take a quarterback. And we may see some crazy reaches.

    "I think there's panic among the teams that need quarterbacks,'' NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said.

    In his ESPN draft special, longtime coach Bill Parcells gave first-round grades to only two quarterbacks, Newton and Gabbert. And the marvelously talented Newton is a risk. A classic boom-or-bust prospect.

    "I just have a ton of questions," NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth said. "We're talking about the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. He does have off-the-field issues at Florida and Auburn. Accuracy issues showed up a little bit. He never called plays or made adjustments at the line of scrimmage at Auburn ... to me the first pick in the draft has to be a no-brainer."

    In the drafts covering 2000 through 2010, 28 quarterbacks were taken in the first round. Only 14 were regular starters in 2010. And of the 14, six were taken in 2008, 2009 or 2010, meaning they haven't had time to wash out.

    From 2000 through 2007, 21 quarterbacks were drafted in the first round. Eight are starters. And only five of the eight are true stars: Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Michael Vick. But if a patient team waits, it may just find a Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matt Schaub or Matt Cassel after the first round.

    Let's get this thing started. The NFL draft is on the clock.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    19,051
    Rep Power
    172

    Re: Bernie: It's Time To Solve The Draft Puzzle

    Love how BM provides no draft coverage until draft day, when he comes out and repeats the same things everyone has been saying as if they ae original thoughts.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Age
    57
    Posts
    9,312
    Rep Power
    109

    Re: Bernie: It's Time To Solve The Draft Puzzle

    I do agree with Bernie's predictions, if you will? WR, DL and RB are the areas that happen to concern me the most.

    Also, I'm sure Bernie figured out the 3 top positions of need by reading us here at the CLANRAM!

  4. #4
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    12,110
    Rep Power
    132

    Re: Bernie: It's Time To Solve The Draft Puzzle

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Love how BM provides no draft coverage until draft day, when he comes out and repeats the same things everyone has been saying as if they ae original thoughts.
    Yep, what would we do if we didn't have Bernie to "solve" things like draft questions for us??

  5. #5
    shower beers's Avatar
    shower beers is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,051
    Rep Power
    60

    Re: Bernie: It's Time To Solve The Draft Puzzle

    I have to admit, I've been looking forward to Goodell's walk to the stage tonight. I can only imagine the boos will fill the room. It will be interesting to see if/how he address the enormous elephant in the room.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: -04-18-2010, 04:53 PM
  2. NFL Equation (can you solve it?)
    By laram0 in forum NFL TALK
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: -10-23-2008, 04:19 PM
  3. Replies: 20
    Last Post: -02-20-2006, 02:17 AM
  4. Rams Take Steps to Solve Tackling Issues
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: -12-08-2005, 11:43 PM
  5. FieldTurf Final Piece of Offseason Puzzle
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -05-13-2005, 04:30 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •