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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is online now Moderator Emeritus
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    Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Right now, I think there is a fairly small list of players we'd expect the Rams to look at with the second pick in the first round. They are (in no particular order):

    Andre Smith
    Eugene Monroe
    Michael Oher
    Matthew Stafford
    Mark Sanchez
    Michael Crabtree
    Aaron Curry
    Ray Maualuga

    Outside of these eight prospects, is there a player you could see "rising the charts" to the point where he would potentially be a candidate for the pick?

    My "darkhorse" right now is B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College. Some might immediately scoff at the idea of taking another DT in the first round. But remember, Devaney and Spagnuolo had nothing to do with the selections of Lewis, Kennedy or even Carriker (a college DE converted to UT).

    Raji has received rave reviews thus far in the Senior Bowl practices. This follows a great senior season.

    Raji could be a true impact player. He is a REAL NT (320 lbs.) who would likely make Carriker and Long better merely by occupying blockers. This seems to be the kind of thing that Spagnuolo would look for, given the role the Giants' DL played in its overall success.

    I don't think Raji is being considered right now, but if concerns start emerging regarding the other top prospects, I could see the Rams giving him some consideration.

    Who's your "darkhorse"?


  2. #2
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    If we stay at #2 overall either because we want to keep the pick or we want to trade out and can't find any takers, then IMO Billy D needs to select the player that he and Spags feel has the "can't miss" stamp all over him ..

    Obviously if an O-lineman is perceived that way by the Rams then he'd be our choice. If not, then it could be interesting. I don't know about a dark horse, but if Billy and Spags think Maualuga can be an every down linebacker, I'd love to see him wearing horns ...

  3. #3
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    I said this in another thread, but there is no way Raji is worth the #2 pick. No matter how well he works out and tests, he just can't be worth the #2 pick. I mean, we don't take Dorsey last year at #2 but Raji is worth that selection? No, just can't happen. I mean, what sounds better to you:

    Long-Raji
    Dorsey-Orakpo

    The only way we could take Raji is if we trade down to #8-10 where his value would be worth it. This goes back to my opinion that we will sell Crabtree as our pick to every franchise picking in the Top 10 so we could trade down and get extra picks.

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Apples and oranges.

    Dorsey is a UT. The Rams had already spent a first round pick on a UT (Carriker).

    Raji is a NT. The Rams' starting NT, Clifton Ryan, was a late draft choice.

    I think the way you have to look at any player is to compare him to the player you hope he'd be like, and ask yourself if you'd spend a #2 to get that person.

    For example:

    If you knew that Raji would play like Albert Haynesworth, would you spend a #2 to get him?

    My answer: yes, I'd definitely consider it.

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    RockinRam's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    I would rather wait for the third or fourth round and get Ron Brace. I just don't feel that NT is enough of a need to use our first round pick on it.

    IMO, I think our needs are:

    1. O-line
    2. Linebackers
    3. Secondary
    4. D-line

    Though we can also look on the other side of this. Having an NT like Raji can plug our middle up, and he can command some double teams from guards and centers, making our linebackers more free to roam the field and have less pressure. If we didn't have a solid NT, then the guards and centers can just push to the second level and take our linebackers out of the play. So that's another arguement for getting an NT first, AND THEN a linebacker.

    But I just don't feel that Raji is worth the first round pick.

  6. #6
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Apples and oranges.

    Dorsey is a UT. The Rams had already spent a first round pick on a UT (Carriker).

    Raji is a NT. The Rams' starting NT, Clifton Ryan, was a late draft choice.

    I think the way you have to look at any player is to compare him to the player you hope he'd be like, and ask yourself if you'd spend a #2 to get that person.
    Okay, while we're at it, Spagnuolo used Barry Cofield as his NT and rotated Jay Alford in as well during his tenure in NYG. Cofield is 306 lbs and Alford is 304 lbs. The heaviest NT he had in NY was William Joseph when they won the Superbowl (he wasn't a true NT, but sometimes shifted over there) who was 310 lbs. Does this not show that Spagnuolo does not require a big run stuffing NT to have his defense be effective?

    Furthermore, Adam Carriker weighs 308 lbs. There was talk last year if we had drafted Dorsey he would switch over to NT and start there with Clifton Ryan spelling him from time to time. Ryan, IMO, will never be a starter in this league. His best effort and talent will come from him subbing in and wreaking havoc while substaining his stamina for the entire game. So, when you look at it, it looks as if we would benefit more by having a smaller, more mobile NT rather than the 335 lb Raji. And had we gotten Dorsey it looks like Spagnuolo would have the flexibility to work with the same scheme he had while in NYG. I'm not starting a Dorsey-Long debate again, just showing how Raji makes little sense as our pick and the value for him is not at #2 like Dorsey was.
    Last edited by Bald_81; -01-21-2009 at 08:39 PM.

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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    From my understanding, Detroit isn't sold on getting a QB with the 1st pick.

    So, if Stafford is available, do the Rams get him at #2????

  8. #8
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald_81 View Post
    Okay, while we're at it, Spagnuolo used Barry Cofield as his NT and rotated Jay Alford in as well during his tenure in NYG. Cofield is 306 lbs and Alford is 304 lbs. The heaviest NT he had in NY was William Joseph when they won the Superbowl (he wasn't a true NT, but sometimes shifted over there) who was 310 lbs. Does this not show that Spagnuolo does not require a big run stuffing NT to have his defense be effective?

    Furthermore, Adam Carriker weighs 308 lbs. There was talk last year if we had drafted Dorsey he would switch over to NT and start there with Clifton Ryan spelling him from time to time. Ryan, IMO, will never be a starter in this league. His best effort and talent will come from him subbing in and wreaking havoc while substaining his stamina for the entire game. So, when you look at it, it looks as if we would benefit more by having a smaller, more mobile NT rather than the 335 lb Raji. And had we gotten Dorsey it looks like Spagnuolo would have the flexibility to work with the same scheme he had while in NYG. I'm not starting a Dorsey-Long debate again, just showing how Raji makes little sense as our pick and the value for him is not at #2 like Dorsey was.
    I couldn't disagree more. When it comes to a dominant NT and how it affects a defense there is no comparison. When it came to Dorsey Carriker was already playing UT and could give us the same production if not better BTW Carriker had a better rookie season. When it comes to dominant NT that greatly affect the rest of the defense you look at guys like Pat Williams, Casey Hampton, Chris Jenkins, Albert Haynesworth and Jamal Williams. These guys especially Haynesworth and Jenkins are huge take up blockers and get to the passer. If you have ever seen this guy play you will know he is dominat he tosses dominant players like Alex Mack and 380 pound Herman Johnson liek rag dolls. He has an explosive first step and can get the the QB along with hsi great run stopping ability.

    I really Think AV is on to something, Bald I sugest you watch the senior bowl

  9. #9
    Shan the Ram Man's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Darkhorse!
    Malcolm Jenkins CB is the only possible? That is not on your list.

  10. #10
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I would rather wait for the third or fourth round and get Ron Brace. I just don't feel that NT is enough of a need to use our first round pick on it.
    With the #2 overall pick we darn sure better not be drafting for need. We better come away with a really good football player - regardless of position. Av's post asking if you'd consider spending the #2 overall on Raji if you knew he'd play like Haynesworth underscores my point. When we're drafting that high, we'll be paying the BIG BUCKS!! We have to come away with an impact player. Maybe nose tackle isn't our biggest need, but if there's one out there Billy and Spags think is head and shoulders above everyone else -- we should grab him period !!

  11. #11
    eric2810's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    I wanted to see James Lauranitis participate in the Senior Bowl, because I believe he can be a Pro Bowler. In my eyes James had been more consistent his senior year than Maualuga. However, My darkhorse candidate would be Malcolm Jenkins(who Should if also gone to the Senior Bowl) or Bj Raji. I love the way Bartell improved this year but we need stability from the rest of our defensive backs. Bj Raji is looking to wreck havoc at the Senior Bowl, the way he's been practicing lately and his successful season at BC helped his stock as well.

    If you knew that Raji would play like Albert Haynesworth, would you spend a #2 to get him?
    I would definitely consider him. No Doubt.
    Last edited by eric2810; -01-22-2009 at 01:41 AM.

  12. #12
    Bald_81's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    I couldn't disagree more. When it comes to a dominant NT and how it affects a defense there is no comparison. When it came to Dorsey Carriker was already playing UT and could give us the same production if not better BTW Carriker had a better rookie season. When it comes to dominant NT that greatly affect the rest of the defense you look at guys like Pat Williams, Casey Hampton, Chris Jenkins, Albert Haynesworth and Jamal Williams. These guys especially Haynesworth and Jenkins are huge take up blockers and get to the passer. If you have ever seen this guy play you will know he is dominat he tosses dominant players like Alex Mack and 380 pound Herman Johnson liek rag dolls. He has an explosive first step and can get the the QB along with hsi great run stopping ability.

    I really Think AV is on to something, Bald I sugest you watch the senior bowl
    I wasn't disregarding the impact of a big NT for a defense, I was pointing out how Spags' defense in New York did not have a true NT yet he had an 8th and 5th ranked defense in his two years there respectively. Due to this, I think we will not require a huge NT nor would he want one. But once again, Raji will not be worth the #2 pick no matter how well he does. You want a dark horse for #2? Try Jason Smith of Baylor.

  13. #13
    Azul e Oro is online now Registered User
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    Do you really think a guy who has struggled with his weight, got kicked out of a game for fighting & missed a whole year because he failed to meet academic eligibility requirements would fit with DeSpags' stated preference for players of commitment & character, esp at the price of a #2 pick ?

    Sounds like a very expensive new Claude Wroten to me.

  14. #14
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    I have to agree with a few others about Malcom Jenkins being a possible darkhorse pick. He would've been a top 10 pick a year ago (as I understand it) and did nothing but improve his stock. If the coach thinks he's really a game changer on defense (I personally don't think CBs ever are, not really), then I can see him slipping in.

    Ditto Michael Crabtree. It wouldn't be a popular pick, but if you really think he's the best player in the draft then its not as if the Rams have so much at WR that they could say "we're too strong there."

    All that said, we'll draft an OT.

  15. #15
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Darkhorse Candidates for the Second Pick in the Draft

    I find it amusing how few of the responses actually responded to my question.

    Do you think there is a darkhorse candidate and, if so, who would it be?

    Malcolm Jenkins is a good answer.

    "Nobody" would be an acceptable answer.

    "Your pick is wrong" is really not a very good answer.

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