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Thread: Clowney vs Mathews

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    Clowney vs Mathews

    It has been widely discussed and likely with no end in sight, at least until draft day. Jake Mathews vs Jadaveon Clowney.

    It's no secret that if we are unable to trade down, I believe Jadaveon Clowney is the best possible pick we can make at 2, while others believe Jake Mathews is that guy.

    I guess it comes down to what you like. I personally like the idea of us potentially becoming a top 5 defense next year vs the idea of becoming at best a top 15 offense. And by the way, with a Saffold re-signing and maybe drafting an OG in the 2nd round, I believe that's attainable without Mathews.

    Instantly, Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson become pro-bowl caliber players or at least close to it. And with a better Safety than McCleod on the back end to protect them, there's no telling how good this defense can be.

    I believe our offense is already as good as Seattle's when Bradford is healthy, so why are they going to the Superbowl and we can't quite get to 500? Well, aside from the fact that Sam was injured in our case, I contend that it's their number one rated defense that has them there.

    If our defense improves to that level, there's no reason why we're not contending for the Superbowl in the near future.

    So who better to draft than the hands down number one defensive prospect?

    I say that there is no one.

    Even with Chris Long currently manning the LE spot.

    My contention is that he will only be doing so at the most one year, at which time he will either take a huge paycut (not likely), or be a cap casualty if we can't trade him.

    Now obviously, that won't sit well with many of you at this point, but I promise you the picture will get clearer as the season goes along. The Rams will undoubtedly have the best pass rush in the game today and, maybe even begin to challenge history.

    By direct contrast, Mathews could come in and play at a pro-bowl level and our offense by virtue of it's design and philosophy, could conceiveably improve only marginally or not at all.

    After all, the O-line played much better than most here have given credit for.

    We know that Sam Bradford was beginning to make strides just prior to his injury, but do we think it was a result of his newly found amazing ability to escape the rush. No, that couldn't be it.

    Do we think Zac Stacy just ran through walls after he took over at RB. Probably not. If he could do that, he probably would've been a 4th round pick.

    So why are we so reluctant to give the O-line some credit?

    Don't know the answer to that one other than to say, if they were any good Stacy would've broken Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record in 5 fewer games. Or if they were any good, Sam Bradford would've shattered Kurt Warner's passing records in his 7 games this season. So, yes Mathews is a great prospect, but he wouldn't have anywhere near the impact Clowney would have if they both came in and played to their potential. Or in Clowney's case, near his potential.

    At the very least, i see us with a top 10 defense and that sounds like a playoff berth to me.

    Thoughts are most definitely welcomed.


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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    Is it fair to come up with the 3rd option, a Clowney / Mathews "win-win case", i.e, either, or?

    -

    Since the pros and cons for the Rams 1st overall pick are apparently so close and teams needs could perhaps give a slight edge to either rookie, then whether we go with Clowney, or Mathews, we get the best?

    Too difficult for me right now!

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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    I have a very difficult time agreeing with the premise that the offense is fine and it is the defense that is holding the team back.
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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    Our offense it what is holding us back. And without good protection, a team's offense (and in our case a high-priced QB coming off an injury) will not be successful. This is why offensive linemen go so high in the draft. They are critical to a team's offensive success.

    I've said it before numerous times: You draft need over value. We need offensive line help. We do not need defensive linemen. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of taking Clowney if I'm St. Louis.
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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    I have a very difficult time agreeing with the premise that the offense is fine and it is the defense that is holding the team back.
    That's not the premise cfh128, or at least that's not my intention. It's widely accepted among Ram fans here, that the defense is ahead of the offense.

    My contention is that the defense is closer to the top 10 than the offense, so I have no problem adding to it so that it is good enough to carry us ala Seattle, SF the last few years, and several others like the Ravens of past years.

    With the offensive philosphy returning to a more run oriented theme mid-season, I just don't see our offense ever being all that dominant and scoring a lot of points, though it is capable on occassion, no matter who's playing LT.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -01-22-2014 at 09:17 AM.

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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    The Rams are closer to having a Top 10 defense than they are a Top 10 offense, but they're going to have a hard time dethrowning the top two teams in the NFC West until they make improvements on the offensive side of the ball.

    Just ask Miami, who boasted the 8th best defense in terms of points allowed but 26th in points scored, and missed the playoffs at 8-8. The Dolphins couldn't leapfrog the Patriots, who not only had a Top 10 defense in terms of points allowed, but also had the third ranked offense to go with it.

    Yes, Seattle and San Francisco have great defenses. But they also have significantly better offenses than the Rams. Seattle ranks 8th in points scored, tied with Green Bay this year. San Francisco ranks 11th, just five-tenths of a point behind New Orleans' average for the year. Offense probably is not the first thing one thinks of when Seattle or San Francisco are mentioned, but they're putting up points to go along with that defense.

    Defense was important in the NFC this year; the top four defenses in the league were all NFC playoff teams. But offenses were very important as well; four of the six NFC playoff teams boasted Top 10 rankings in points scored. When you take the six teams' rankings on offense and average them together, the result is a rank of 9.5.

    The Rams are the 21st ranked offense when sorted by points scored (21.8 ppg). Their closest peers in this ranking are Buffalo, Washington, Tennessee, and Atlanta. If they want to really contend for the West title and a playoff spot, they're going to need to score more points.
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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    If the goal is to have a Top 5 defense, I don't think that adding another DE is the best way to get there. I think that an upgrade at DT, CB, S or even SLB is more likely to improve our overall defense than the addition of a DE (even a Pro Bowl quality player) would.
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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    This team has so many areas it needs to improve, but DE is not one of them. Clowney looks like a big talent, but he also comes with big question marks. More specifically, in the work ethic side of things.

    Frankly I'd rather not spend a #2 pick to beef up an area of strength when we have so many areas of weakness. It feels like spinning the wheels. Maybe if we didn't already have Long over on LE, but we do.

    Where we are very weak, as has been mentioned, is offense. And the whole offense will improve as the line improves. Hence, my vote for Jake Matthews.

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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post

    I guess it comes down to what you like. I personally like the idea of us potentially becoming a top 5 defense next year vs the idea of becoming at best a top 15 offense. And by the way, with a Saffold re-signing and maybe drafting an OG in the 2nd round, I believe that's attainable without Mathews.

    Instantly, Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson become pro-bowl caliber players or at least close to it. And with a better Safety than McCleod on the back end to protect them, there's no telling how good this defense can be.
    How do our corners instantly become pro-bowl calibar defenders because we another (rotational) d-lineman? Robert Quinn is arguably the best 4-3 end in the league and is already in the lineup. It doesn't seem to be making Jenkins and Johnson pro-bowlers. Another lineman won't change our schemes or their coverage skills.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    Now obviously, that won't sit well with many of you at this point, but I promise you the picture will get clearer as the season goes along. The Rams will undoubtedly have the best pass rush in the game today and, maybe even begin to challenge history.
    Our pass rush is already top 3 in the league, arguably the best. We were first in sacks last year and third this year. Having Clowney in the lineup (again, rotating in at that) won't suddenly double our sacks. There's only so many to go around.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    By direct contrast, Mathews could come in and play at a pro-bowl level and our offense by virtue of it's design and philosophy, could conceiveably improve only marginally or not at all.

    After all, the O-line played much better than most here have given credit for.
    It's unfair to project such lofty expectations on Clowney but predict drafting Matthews would have such a minimal impact. Matthews would probably have more immediate playing time than Clowney would anyway.

    You're also arguing that making a strength even stronger (the d-line) would allow us to be the best among history, but making another strength (our o-line, as you admitted above) stronger by adding Matthews would see only marginal improvement? O-lineman don't get nice stats like sacks, but they have just as much to do with the success of their unit as a d-line does. The top 6 picks of last year's draft? 3 offensive tackles, 3 defensive ends.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    So why are we so reluctant to give the O-line some credit?
    I don't think anyone's reluctant to observe our improvement along our offensive line. I do think however, that people can see that the future of this unit is very much up in the air. There are a couple potential cap casualties in Wells and Dahl, the very realistic possibility that Saffold wants to return to LT and get a bigger payday, and a glaring hole at LG.

    On our defensive line, Quinn is under contract and there's no way we let him walk down the road, Brockers is still in his rookie deal, Langford could potentially be a cap casualty, and Long recently resigned and is under contract for a few more years. Add to that Hayes, who re-signed for 3 years this offseason and we're in much better shape there than we are along our o-line.


    With all that said, at this moment I'd be satisfied with either prospect because they both appear to be elite. But we're right at the ceiling for pass rush in the NFL right now, and if we draft Clowney it won't be with the expectation that we'll suddenly become the best defense in the league. You made a comparison to the Seahawks, but they're that way because of top to bottom talent, not an elite defensive line carrying them to the finish line. There's a big difference.

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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    The Rams offense avg 29 points a game with Bradford, Stacy and a commitment to running the ball. That was only over a three game period small sample size for sure. But they where very productive together. The Rams did avg. 21.8 but that was with a back up QB and young rookies like Tavon and Bailey getting established. Getting Bradford on the field with these young guys I don't see 26 points per game as an impossible feat. Lets not forget having a great defense makes it easier for the offense. Not playing from behind and becoming one dimensional. Better field postilion, turnovers and having more opportunities to score because the defense gets off the field on third down (which Fisher had said is an issue he will address next year). How many drives did we have start inside our 20? How many did the Hawks have, where was their starting field position from on avg.?

    For those that don't think our defense is holding us back go watch the Dallas game again. If I'm not mistaking we where behind in the first four games we played and only won one. If our defense is not holding us back, why all the complaining about the soft coverage? Why are some dissatisfied with Walton? Our defense is what makes us so inconsistent. One week they look like one of the best and the next DeMarco Murray making is us look like a high school team.

    I would rather be elite on one side of the ball then average on both. The question is does taking Clowney do that? I'm still not sure but if Les and Fisher think he does I'm all in.

    One last note

    The Hawks gave up 14.4 per game and won the west and are going to the show. We gave up 22.8 and came in fourth in the west. Points are points, they scored 4.3 more points then we did but gave up 8.4 less points. Do the math, we are farther away on the defensive side then the offense IMO.
    Last edited by Rambos; -01-22-2014 at 12:24 PM.
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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post

    For those that don't think our defense is holding us back go watch the Dallas game again. If I'm not mistaking we where behind in the first four games we played and only won one. If our defense is not holding us back, why all the complaining about the soft coverage? Why are some dissatisfied with Walton? Our defense is what makes us so inconsistent. One week they look like one of the best and the next DeMarco Murray making is us look like a high school team.
    As you note, the defense had some issues last year, but they're not the type of issues that Clowney would address. Clowney's primary value is that of a pass rusher. The Rams have the most sacks in the NFL over the past two seasons, and have generated 66.5 (out of a total of 105) sacks from the DE position.

    If the problem is with the run defense (which, for the season as a whole, was not bad), then a run-stuffing DT (Louis Nix), a tackling-machine OLB (Ryan Shazier) or a big SS (Deone Buchannon) might be a good target. If the problem is with soft coverage, than a CB who can challenge at the LOS (Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert) or a FS who can protect the back end (Ha'sean Clinton-Dix) might be the best option.

    I don't see how Clowney, at least in the short run, vastly improves our defense.
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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    For me this comes down to a want vs a need.

    Clowney is a want in my opinion and Mathews is a need.

    I go with the need.

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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    And Matthews is a safer pick. Perhaps not as much upside, but far less downside. He could anchor the line for a decade or more.

    I have no interest in Clowney other than as trade bait. The Rams should be saying this guy walks on water. If we want D, lots of guys to fill holes now and for the next 5 years.

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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    As you note, the defense had some issues last year, but they're not the type of issues that Clowney would address. Clowney's primary value is that of a pass rusher. The Rams have the most sacks in the NFL over the past two seasons, and have generated 66.5 (out of a total of 105) sacks from the DE position.

    If the problem is with the run defense (which, for the season as a whole, was not bad), then a run-stuffing DT (Louis Nix), a tackling-machine OLB (Ryan Shazier) or a big SS (Deone Buchannon) might be a good target. If the problem is with soft coverage, than a CB who can challenge at the LOS (Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert) or a FS who can protect the back end (Ha'sean Clinton-Dix) might be the best option.

    I don't see how Clowney, at least in the short run, vastly improves our defense.
    Let me start by saying this. I don't know if he will be what is has been in college or what he will in the NFL. That said if he is here is what I think he can provide.

    I think you are selling him short on his ability to play the run. He had 23 tackles for losses when he was playing well. The Rams do have the most sacks but close to 30% came from Quinn. And is there any reason we can't have more or want more? What happens if Quinn gets hurt week one? Then are we saying wait until next year? After Bradford got hurt and we lost our season now it's a good idea to draft a back up that can play at a high level. The really good playoff teams have depth real depth.

    I think the players that you mentioned should be considered along with Clowney if we are going to try and be elite on that side of the ball. Clowney and Darqueze Dennard would make this defensive unit scary. Why we are add it lets go get Jairus Byrd in mix! Lets put a unit on the field that kicks some ass and takes names!

    Clowney is not like Quinn, he's not a fast edge rusher. He come with attitude. We all know how chippy it is in the West, we need to bring it on every down.

    Les said two years ago when we had so many holes he preferred to complete units. He said that after we drafted Brockers, now it could be time to complete the defensive unit as a whole.

    I wonder if the defense front seven would like to add Clowney into the mix, I bet they would
    Last edited by Rambos; -01-22-2014 at 02:10 PM.

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    Re: Clowney vs Mathews

    Clowney is probably going to be a great player. Jake Matthews will likely have a long illustrious career. Greg Robinson may turn out to be even better than Jake. That said, I agree with those who realize our O-line needs bolstering. If successful, a Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson could arguably help our defense as well. How? By giving Sam that extra tick to hit an open receiver, by pancaking or walling off opposing linemen/linebackers when we need that crucial yard for another first down, which of course keeps our defense on the sidelines. Too many times our D has been required to stay on the field too long. A "gassed" defense is not a great defense regardless of its personnel.

    Clowney if there when we pick, will be great trade bait!
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