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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    The choice move: Rams should deal for a higher pick

    The choice move: Rams should deal for a higher pick
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Thursday, Apr. 21 2005

    Too often when teams are making their final critical preparations for the NFL
    draft, unless they are lurking among the top five or six picks, there is a very
    real sense that their fate is not in their own hands. On the eve of pro
    football's annual rookie coming-out party, the Rams - drafting more than
    halfway through the first round, with the 19th pick - surely can relate to that

    Despite their obvious needs (offensive tackle, safety, defensive line, special
    teams), the Rams know they are too deep down in the first-round pecking order
    to guarantee that the players they desire most will be there by the time they
    make their selection late Saturday afternoon. But the Rams showed me something
    during last year's draft that makes me believe they know a thing or two about
    wrestling back that sense of control of their fate.

    That's why the best possible strategy they can employ in the critical first
    round is to mimic their aggressive attitude from 2004, and actively trade up
    several slots to land someone who can immediately step in and help improve this
    .500 team. The Rams' decision makers have to know that the likelihood of a
    legitimate impact player being there at No. 19 - at least at the two greatest
    "need" positions of safety and offensive tackle - are potentially slim.

    A year ago, when faced with a similar situation, the Rams traded up two slots
    to select running back Steven Jackson, when coach Mike Martz realized he could
    miss him by sitting tight at the 26th slot.

    This year, Martz is back in the same position - in fact, for the first time in
    his five years as head coach, it is clear that he has the last word on all
    personnel decisions. As player personnel director Lawrence McCutcheon said on
    Wednesday, "Mike has to decide if we want to move up or not."

    I'll make it easy for him. Mike, move up.

    This might be the most important draft of his head-coaching career. If done
    properly, the Rams can plug some important holes and not only get back to the
    playoffs, but be a real championship contender. With a favorable 2005 schedule
    and competing in the mediocre NFC West, the Rams are in ideal position to take
    control of the division again. That's why Martz has to trade up as high as he
    can to grab a player who can make an immediate impact.

    The renovation of last year's 8-8 playoff team (yeah, I know, that does sound
    funny, huh?) already has begun with some smart free-agent signings, but is a
    long way from complete. This still is a team with plenty of needs, and there
    are four rookie studs who should be high on the Rams' shopping list - Georgia
    safety Thomas Davis, and the three big buffaloes who sit atop the offensive
    tackle draft board (Alex Barron, Jammal Brown and Khalif Barnes).

    But just in case Martz still is on the fence on this first pick, let me run a
    few names and numbers by him:

    Dwight Freeney (16). Bertrand Berry (14.5). Kevin Williams (11 1/2). Darren
    Howard (11). Lance Johnstone (11). Do you know who these guys are and what
    those numbers represent? They're five of the top 10 sack leaders in the NFL
    last season and those are their sack totals. All five men also happen to be
    defensive players who will be facing the Rams on their 2005 schedule.

    Now here's another number to consider:

    Fifty. That's how many sacks the Rams offense gave up last season. Rams
    quarterbacks were on their backs more times last year than only three other NFL
    teams (Chicago with 66 and San Francisco and the Giants with 52). It's a
    glaring weakness. As good as Marc Bulger's passing statistics were last year
    (eighth-best pass efficiency rating in the NFL), it could have been even better
    if he had time to throw. Grant Williams, Kyle Turley's primary replacement,
    gave up an unofficial count of 11 1/2 sacks in 11 starts in 2004.

    The Rams need a mean, nasty bookend to Orlando Pace on that line, and Jammal
    Brown - who is eager to play here - could be that guy. This is a 6-foot-6,
    320-pound beast who has a mean streak as long as a football field.

    He said he would love to be in an offense that would allow him to learn from a
    probable Hall of Fame player such as Orlando Pace.

    "That would be the ideal situation for me," he said.

    It would be an even more ideal situation for the Rams.

  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The choice move: Rams should deal for a higher pick

    The suggestion seems to be that the Rams would need to trade up to get Brown. That could be true, but I wouldn't pull the trigger until I saw where Barron went.

  3. #3
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: The choice move: Rams should deal for a higher pick

    Jammal Brown, T -- yes, what a stroke of good fortune that would be! :angryram:

  4. #4
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: The choice move: Rams should deal for a higher pick

    I don't know; I think if the Rams do trade up it will be to grab Davis. Remember, Defense wins championships.

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  5. #5
    Tom_SF's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: The choice move: Rams should deal for a higher pick

    Can't we draft some coaches????


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