Draft Eve Thoughts
Just thinking about it being over is a huge relief, the most difficult to figure draft I remember, in 43 years doing this crazy draftnik thing, and believe me when I say, in 1970 it was the absolute ULTIMATE in geekery to be spend hours trying to figure out what your team was going to do, before BLESTO V, and other combined scouting groups, let along the combine itself.
Having two first rounders always makes it interesting, because in most cases, if you have one guy you truly must have, you can deal up and get him. With so many teams looking to deal down, Les Snead and Jeff Fisher might be able to get a bit further up than anyone could imagine.
Yes, we treasure the draft picks, in a deep draft, but if it is true, that only ten first round talents are available this year, then why wouldn't the Rams go up to get one, before the Niners do, or Seattle does.
If they know they will get the receiver they need at 22, or after a deal down, perhaps they go for broke, and package their second rounder and #16, to get to #8, as far as they can go for just the second rounder.
But lets say you add a third rounder, by trading Roger Saffold, a high third.
Now you trade the second and third rounder, and keep the one for Saffold, and trade up to
6th overall with the Browns.
You only do all of this if OT Lane Johnson is available. Then you draft him, and you have your tackles to protect Bradford for a long time, at least five years
The top three tackles are the best of the #1 rated guys, and of them Johnson has the biggest upside, to really be a superstar.
The Rams then take a receiver, like Hopkins at 22, OR, more likely regain a second by trading down with say Atlanta.
Say they deal down, to a team wanting a TE, OT, DT, LB, S, or CB, maybe even QB, and get a late second rounder.
Now you take your WR or safety at that late #1 pick, use the second rounder on whichever you didn't take in round one, and the early third from trading Saffold on BPA at a need.
Maybe you deal down there and add another 4th.
This year, 4th rounders will possibly yield a Tyran Matthieu, or a Marcus Lattimore, or one of several solid OL, safeties or CB.
I already figure on signing Daryl Smith to play OLB, and maybe Mikell as well.
With the extra #1, and Saffold as a trade bait to teams desperate for LT, the Rams can afford to be bold, and rumor has it they are actually asking about trade ups. Maybe it involves a 2014 top pick, who knows.
I don't see Fisher and Snead sitting still like the Giants always do, this year. I think it' going to get very very interesting , especially if the Rams deal up, and it ISN'T for Tavon Austin.
Somehow I just don't see the Rams trading that much to get him. We have just one draft with these guys to go by, and antecdotal evidence from their former jobs, but I see a couple things about the Rams brain trust.
One, they like guys who wow them with measurables and great workouts, athletic guys who can run, at least early in the draft.
They like guys who are tough, love football, play a "big boy" game, and enjoy it, who can run, who are explosive, with high upsides. They don't go for "doubles" they go for home runs, while also adding draft picks they do well on.
Even a big man like Brockers is a great athlete for his huge size.
That's why I have a hard time seeing these guys going after Jarvis Jones, Kenny Vaccaro or Austin early, and an easier time seeing them liking Cordarelle Patterson, Eric Reid, Alec Ogletree.
I don't like any scenario as much as somehow getting a top three tackle, and still getting your WR and safety.
Now, instead of having to pay Saffold, IF he would even stay, or franchise him and risk a holdout, when you are up against the cap, you have your second tackle locked up for five years as a good price with the very top guys not making the huge bucks now, just giant cap friendly ones.
If I could come away with Lane Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, and DJ Swearingin, or Johnson, Eric Reid/Matt Elam and a WR like Patton , the top three picks, I'd call it a grand slam.
The Rams could do just as I suggested, with the Browns more than eager to add a 2nd rounder, though in Johnson falls, that market for #6 will get very hot. Teams are reluctant to give up second rounders this year, so maybe the Rams could get it done.
It's a high price to pay, but if you see Saffold as a one and done deal, it sure does feel good, that in a weak draft for Pro Bowl type guys, you got one, and now you have very quickly the chance to have the best tackles in the NFL, and a line reminiscent of one of the old 1970s and 1980s Rams lines.
In 2014, you use one of those first rounders on one of the best college guards, the other on a RB, DT, LB or whatever you find to be a need.
If you put Sam Bradford behind an impenitrable wall of young stud linemen, who also can run block, I don't care if you have superstar receivers with big egos, and add it two really good TE, and I'll show you an offense that controls the clock, holds onto the ball, runs effectively, and wears opponents down. You know, like the 1999 Tennessee Titans.
If it's true that this top of the draft is so weak, then it makes sense to use all the extra ammo you have that others don't in a buyers marker to go get a real cornerstone of your future team, and with no true superstar caliber "skill " players, it makes sense to tap into one of the few strong points of this draft.
These last 19 hours till it all starts, and all the mocks get ruined, is going to seem like an eternity.