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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Draft Day: Rams take Hill

    By Jim Thomas

    Former Clemson defensive back Tye Hill gets a phone call from the St. Louis Rams.

    The first day of Scott Linehan's first NFL draft was anything but uneventful. For openers, there was a rare first-round trade down for Clemson cornerback Tye Hill.

    The Rams passed on a chance to take Florida State defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley at No. 11 - not to mention Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler - in moving down four spots for Hill.

    The second round brought the expected in tight end Joe Klopfenstein of Colorado, whom the Rams had targeted for that spot.

    Then came the third round, with a controversial pick, and then another trade that brought another tight end in Dominique Byrd of Southern Cal. The selection of two tight ends obviously is a wake-up call for incumbent Brandon Manumaleuna, who has skipped most of the Rams' offseason conditioning program to date.

    "Obviously, it's a lot more crowded in that tight end meeting room," Linehan said. "The competition increased two-fold. ... Obviously, we feel we needed to address the tight end position."

    The controversy came in the selection of Louisiana State defensive tackle Claude Wroten, a player with several marijuana-related issues in his past. Wroten was selected early in the third round, No. 68 overall, with a pick obtained from Denver for trading down from 11 to 15 in the opening round.

    St. Louis selected Stanford linebacker-safety Jon Alston with their original pick in the third round.

    Hill's selection by the Rams was a big hit in the town of St. George, South Carolina, on Saturday. Whether Hill becomes a hit in St. Louis remains to be seen.

    A crowd of more than 300 gathered in the town armory for the moment, including Mayor David Sojourner. A wide-screen TV was wheeled in to keep track of each pick.

    Hill walked into the building from his home a couple of minutes away. And shortly thereafter, the Rams were on the phone. They were selecting Hill, the cornerback from Clemson, with the 15th pick in the first round.

    "I was hoping to go to St. Louis," Hill said later, in a conference call with St. Louis reporters. "I'm not going to lie. And it kind of scared me for a minute when they traded their pick. St. Louis is definitely where I wanted to be."

    John Tye Hill - he goes by his middle name - became the first cornerback taken by the Rams in the first round of the draft since Todd Lyght in 1991.

    "He's probably the best cover corner in the draft," coach Scott Linehan said. "Obviously, his speed jumps out at you."

    Hill, who runs the 40 in 4.34 seconds, was one of the fastest players at the NFL scouting combine. But in an NFC West teeming with big receivers, Hill stands only 5-9 1/2 and weighs 185 pounds.

    "Size, at times, becomes an issue," Linehan said. "But I think you've got to have ability to play."

    Linehan said Hill's performance last season against Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who is 6-5, helped convinced him that Hill could play against the big boys.

    "The big seller for me was when he played against that kid from Georgia Tech ... potentially the best receiver in college football, and (Hill) had an outstanding game," Linehan said.

    The Rams traded into the third round with Atlanta for Byrd, a talented, but injury-plagued performer for the Trojans. The Rams gave up their fourth-round and sixth-round picks to move up to No. 93 late in the third round. As a result the Rams have just four picks on Sunday: one fifth-rounder and three seventh-rounders.

    Denver traded up with the Rams in the first round to select Cutler. The Rams also fielded calls from Minnesota about trading up for Cutler. But St. Louis took the Denver offer because it was two picks higher than Minnesota (No. 17).

    Rd. 2

    Joe Klopfenstein

    6-6 -- 245 -- TE


    Rd. 3

    Claude Wroten

    6-3 -- 293 -- DT LSU

    Rd. 3

    Jon Alston 6-1

    -- 210 -- LB Stanford

    Rd. 3

    Dominique Byrd

    6-3 -- 260 -- TE Southern Cal

  2. #2
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Draft Day: Rams take Hill

    Thanks for the article! I can't wait to see him next season!

  3. #3
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
    RamsFan4ever is offline Registered User
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    Re: Draft Day: Rams take Hill

    WOW!!! he went against a 6'5 person.. and he suceeded good job Hill and IMO Tye is a cooler name then John

  4. #4
    Rampage39 Guest

    Re: Draft Day: Rams take Hill

    Calvin Johnson is a highly regarged WR prospect for next year.


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