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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Draft Ratings: Arizona No. 1, Rams No. 21

    Let me start by saying that IMHO grading a draft 48 hours after its completion is tantamount to guessing someone's weight by smelling them....a quasi-educated guess, at best. Having said that, here's an article ranking all 32 drafts this year. Take it for what it's worth, but this gentleman wanted us to take Spears over Barron, if that tells you anything.

    Draft Ratings: Arizona No. 1, Rams No. 21
    By Chris Harry
    Orlando Sentinel NFL Writer
    04/26/2005




    Chris Harry, who covers the NFL for the Orlando Sentinel, ranked and graded all 32 teams in terms of their performance in the annual draft. His report follows, and below it are draft grades for the Rams from other writers around the country.


    1. Arizona ... Grade: A

    The buzz: Dennis Green always gas had a flair for working a draft. The Cardinals got a top-rated cornerback in Miami's Antrel Rolle, then struck for a potential home-run hitting tailback in the second round with J.J. Arrington, a 2,000-yard rusher at California. CB Eric Green and OLB Darryl Blackstock secured the best first-day haul by any team. Green added 330-pound G Elton Brown and productive ILB Lance Mitchell on the second day. Outstanding work.


    2. Minnesota ... Grade: A minus

    The buzz: The Vikings made us laugh during the 2002 and '03 drafts, but no one is chuckling at them this year. They had a conviction about the speed of WR Troy Williamson and went with it at No. 7 overall, then added pass-rushing specialist Erasmus James with a second choice in Round 1. Minnesota also added a nice guard prospect, Marcus Johnson, and a replacement for departed restricted free agent Brian Russell in Dustin Fox. Fourth-rounder Ciatrick Fason is the newest addition to a crowded (and talented) stable of running backs.


    3. Dallas ... Grade: A minus

    The buzz: The defense that ranked No. 1 in the league in '03 fell to 16th in '04. If the front four was a problem, it shouldn't be anymore. Drafting bookend ends Demarcus Ware and Marcus Spears in the first round could end up being a nightmare for quarterbacks in the NFC East for years to come. The Cowboys added a fast linebacker, Kevin Burnett, in the second and a power running back, Marion Barber III, in the third. They also got another end, Chris Canty, who probably could have gone higher.


    4. Detroit ... Grade: B +

    The buzz: You have to wonder about taking a wide receiver with a top-10 choice for the third year in a row, especially with playmakers needed on defense. Then again, maybe the Lions know something we don't about the two broken collarbones incurred by '03 first-rounder Charles Rogers. Plus, it's hard to knock picking a guy as productive as Mike Williams was in two years at USC. Speaking of the Trojans, DT Shaun Cody was a steal in the second round and Stanford CB Stanley Wilson shapes up as everything his father of the same name was not with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Lions got better. QB Joey Harrington has no more excuses.


    5. Baltimore ... Grade: B +

    The buzz: The Ravens went into the weekend looking for an impact receiver and depth on the defensive line. Though not picking until 22nd, GM Ozzie Newsome found Oklahoma WR Mark Clayton still around, then caught falling USC DT Shaun Cody in the second. Both players produced at high levels throughout tremendous careers for a school that hovered at the top of the polls the past four years. Cody was considered top-10 talent just two months ago. The Ravens, who lost their starting center in free agency, addressed that need with North Carolina's Jason Brown in Round 3. This is why Newsome is an annual candidate for executive of the year.


    6. San Diego ... Grade: B

    The buzz: Envious position for the AFC West champions, what with two first-round choices. The Chargers didn't figure on OLB/DE Shawne Merriman being there at 12. They put their trust in DT Luis Castillo, who owned up to his positive steroid test at the combine. San Diego needed a receiver. It passed on some safer choices with the pick used on Castillo but got an interesting downfield prospect in Vince Jackson, a 6-5ish freak from Northern Colorado. It was only 13 months ago that this franchise was supposed to be a mess. Remember?


    7. Carolina ... Grade: B

    The buzz: Give the Panthers credit for sticking with what got them there. General Manager Marty Hurney and Coach John Fox built a Super Bowl team around defense and a running game. That base philosophy reared itself again. Though needing offensive line help in the worst way, the Panthers went with big-hitting FS/OLB Thomas Davis with their first pick, then added bruising RB Eric Shelton (6-2, 245 pounds) as insurance to injury-plagued Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster.


    8. Cincinnati ... Grade: B

    The buzz: The Bengals hunkered down by picking two Georgia stars in DE David Pollack (first round) and LB Odell Thurman (second). The choice of Pollack at No. 17 might have been a reach (though there's no doubting his productivity and desire), just as the surprising availability of Thurman (48th) was a blessing. After fixing the Cincy offense-which added gifted-but-troubled West Virginia WR Chris Henry in the third round-Coach Marvin Lewis had to be pleased.


    9. Philadelphia ... Grade: B

    The buzz: The Eagles have unhappy defensive tackles in Corey Simon, hit with the "franchise" tag, and Hollis Thomas, so they covered themselves by taking USC's Mike "Baby Sapp" Patterson in the first round. With Terrell Owens talking new contract after just one year and Freddie "The Mouth" Mitchell having talked his way out of town, receiver was a priority. Georgia's Reggie Brown gives them some insurance there. Philly balked at trading for disgruntled Buffalo RB Travis Henry and went with promising Ryan Moats in the third round. This franchise makes good decisions this time of year. That's why the Eagles have won five consecutive NFC East crowns.


    10. Tampa Bay ... Grade: B

    The buzz: Rumors the Bucs were considering a quarterback were ridiculous. RB Carnell "Cadillac" Williams was the right call for one of the league's worst rushing teams the past four seasons. They passed on some polished wide receivers to take LB Barrett Ruud and TE Alex Smith in Rounds 2 and 3, respectively, but both areas needed to be addressed, as did the offensive line. Those spots were filled in later with some players who will have to be developed, but at least Coach Jon Gruden will have that chance - 12 picks total-after three years when draft choices were scarce.


    11. Miami ... Grade: B

    The buzz: New Coach Nick Saban went with familiarity in his first draft, plucking a running back who had given him fits at LSU, Auburn's Ronnie Brown, presumably to replace one who gave the Dolphins fits last year. Saban followed with Iowa DE Matt Roth, whom he faced in the Capital One Bowl, and two more Southeastern Conference picks in Florida LB Channing Crowder and LSU DB Travis Daniels. In a perfect world, the Dolphins would have received a package of picks for that No. 2 overall choice, but this was an imperfect draft. Brown was a conservative, safe pick.


    12. San Francisco ... Grade: B

    The buzz: Even though the ***** picked first overall, we can't give them better than a solid "B" because quarterback Alex Smith is no slam-dunk. Remember, Smith probably would have rated as the fourth- or fifth-best quarterback in last year's draft. New Coach Mike Nolan, though, did everything he could to build around his knew franchise cornerstone, collecting offensive players-G/C David Baas, G/T Adam Snyder, RB Frank Gore-to place around Smith. The overall approach was sound.


    13. Cleveland ... Grade: B minus

    The buzz: Most draft boards had WR Braylon Edwards highly rated, but who's going to throw him the ball? Trent Dilfer? Doubtful the Browns can count on third-rounder Charlie Frye being that guy, but Mid-American Conference quarterbacks have fared well of late. New Coach Romeo Crennel saw enough in Oklahoma's Brodney Pool to use the second pick of Round 2 to address the safety position for a defense that finished last against the run in '04.


    14. Chicago ... Grade: B minus

    The buzz: The selection of RB Cedric Benson with the fourth overall choice probably is not good news for Thomas Jones, who was the Bears' top free-agent pick up last year. If Benson lives up to billing, he'll probably be good news for Chicago QB Rex Grossman, who also should like Oklahoma WR Mark Bradley to tutor under blockbuster free-agent Muhsin Muhammad. Fourth-rounder Kyle Orton will be another bad Bears backup quarterback.


    15. Pittsburgh ... Grade: B minus

    The buzz: The Steelers covered two of their biggest needs by taking TE Heath Miller and CB Bryant McFadden with their first two selections, but they were unfortunate that a run on offensive tackles left them with slim pickings-and a project named Trai Essex from Northwestern. After an erratic career at Georgia, WR Fred Gibson needs to attach himself to new teammate (and former Bulldog superstar) Hines Ward and learn how it's done.


    16. Oakland ... Grade: C +

    The buzz: Traded out of No. 7 overall hole to acquire Randy Moss, so their big splash arrived long before the draft. Trading back into the first round through the New York Jets, the Raiders focused on their need for speed by taking CB Fabian Washington and later found a potential middle-round gem in QB Andrew Walter of Arizona State. And Wisconsin DT Anttaj Hawthorne, who tested positive for marijuana at the Combine, may have been an absolute steal in the sixth round.


    17. New York Jets ... Grade: C +

    The buzz: After bailing from the first round, they hoped to nail down a cornerback. The Jets had their eye on Clemson's Justin Miller but couldn't pass on Ohio State's Mike Nugent, considered the best kicker to come out of college since Sebastian Janikowski. Nugent's selection addressed a need-goodbye Doug Brien-that kept the Jets from the AFC Championship Game. Oh, by the way, Miller still was there for New York's second pick in Round 2. Not bad.


    18. N.Y. Giants ... Grade: C

    The buzz: They traded this year's first-round pick as part of the package to acquire Eli Manning last year. But GM Ernie Accorsi made the most of what he had. Underrated CB Corey Webster, a star for Saban at LSU, and DE Justin Tuck were solid choices in Rounds 2 and 3, respectively. Bruising RB Brandon Jacobs, who transferred from Auburn to I-AA Southern Illinois for two reasons (Brown and "Cadillac"), could provide a change-of-pace backup to Tiki Barber.


    19. Atlanta ... Grade: C

    The buzz: Our sympathies to General Manager Rich McKay, who had to oversee a draft the same day he learned his mother had died. The goal of continuing to find toys for QB Michael Vick was accomplished when the Falcons were delighted to see WR Roddy White still around at No. 27. Starting with DT Jonathan Babineaux, McKay's next four picks were defense for Coach Jim Mora.


    20. Jacksonville ... Grade: C

    The buzz: Matt Jones was the talk of the scouting combine after running that 4.37, but taking a quarterback-turned-receiver with the 21st overall choice was risky, risky, risky. If he pans out, the Jaguars are geniuses. If not, they hope they'll look back on a draft where they finally found in OT Khalif Barnes a replacement for Tony Boselli. Virginia RB Alvin Pearman, taken in Round 4, could be a dangerous return guy. SS Gerald Sensabaugh shouldn't have been there in Round 5. He could be the one who pushes malcontent Donovin Darius out the door.


    21. St. Louis ... Grade: C

    The buzz: The Rams had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last season. So, naturally, Mike Martz went with offense in the first round. It's tough to fault him for tabbing the draft's best tackle, Florida State's Alex Barron, given the uncertain situation with incumbent Kyle Turley. But in a draft full of great defensive ends-Marcus Spears was sitting there for them-the Rams did not even address one of their most glaring needs with any of their 10 picks, including seven in the first five rounds.


    22. Houston ... Grade: C

    The buzz: Another draft has come and gone, and Dom "Expansion Coach" Capers still doesn't have the defensive playmaker his 3-4 scheme has sorely lacked. The Texans, ranked 23rd on defense last season, got Florida State's surly run-stuffing T Travis Johnson in the first round and didn't hit the defense again until Round 6. And when will GM Charley Casserly make a move to get a running back better than Domanick Davis to take pressure off David Carr?


    23. Tennessee ... Grade: C

    The buzz: After purging the team of some high-priced veterans, the Titans had needs everywhere. The selections of CB/KR Adam Jones and OT Michael Roos made for a nice start, but there were better receiver prospects available in Round 3 than Courtney Roby and Brandon Jones. And there's some debate as to whether fourth-round pick Vincent Fuller is a safety or corner.


    24. Indianapolis ... Grade: C

    The buzz: Five of the Colts' first six picks addressed the league's 29th-ranked defense, starting with Michigan CB Marlin Jackson in the first round. That's a solid (and obvious) strategy. Unfortunately for Peyton Manning's crew, the picks were awfully deep into each round. But the track records of GM Bill Polian and Coach Tony Dungy deserve some benefit of the doubt, even on guys like Illinois CB Kelvin Hayden and Kentucky DE Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns.


    25. Denver ... Grade: C

    The buzz: How could their draft be considered average, you ask? Granted, the Broncos made some curious picks-Oklahoma State's Darrent Williams was the first of three straight cornerbacks-and probably ticked off league headquarters by taking Ohio State RB Maurice Clarett in the third round. But Coach Mike Shanahan fleeced Washington by trading out of the low first round (No. 25) and acquiring three picks, including a No. 1 in 2006, that will be mighty high. The draft is about building for the future. Maybe they didn't help the '05 team, but watch out in '06.


    26. Kansas City ... Grade: C minus

    The buzz: Good thing LB Derrick Johnson, who many considered the top front-seven defensive player in the draft, fell into their laps because you never know what the Chiefs are going to do. They needed defense and more defense-for about the fifth year in a row. Johnson should help immediately, but it's confounding that GM Carl Peterson would use a third-round pick on Tennessee P Dustin Colquitt and not address the defense again until Round 5. Weak.


    27. New Orleans ... Grade: C minus

    The buzz: The Saints not only passed on some wrecking-crew type defensive players but traded up three spots to take Oklahoma OT Jammal Brown, bypassing Barron, the consensus No. 1 tackle prospect. S Josh Bullock and LB Alfred Fincher came next, but the worst defense in the league probably deserved a guy like Derrick Johnson. Someone was going to take a chance on QB Adrian McPherson, though Saints starter Aaron Brooks doesn't seem like the mentoring type.


    28. New England ... Grade: C minus

    The buzz: The names aren't flashy-G Logan Mankins, CB Ellis Hobbs, G/T Nick Kaczur-but who cares about drafts with no sizzle when you win the Super Bowl every year?


    29. Green Bay ... Grade: D +

    The buzz: In the meteoric drop of QB Aaron Rodgers from top-three potential to No. 24, new GM Ted Thompson looks to have found a successor to franchise icon Brett Favre. Whether Coach Mike Sherman will be around to coach him beyond next season is another matter. The Packers used six of their remaining 10 choices on defense. Given the state of the league's 25th-ranked unit (and performance in the playoffs), they should have used more. None of the names, starting with Bethune-Cookman CB/S Nick Collins in the second-round, was that impressive.


    30. Seattle ... Grade: D

    The buzz: New President and GM Tim Ruskell (a Rich McKay protege) had a rough draft-day debut. Not that C Chris Spencer (a reach in Round 1) and LB Lofa Tatupu aren't decent prospects, but word had it that Ruskell was hoping to move up and get a marquee defensive end and also was looking to field offers for franchise TB Shaun Alexander. He got neither.


    31. Buffalo ... Grade: D

    The buzz: The Bills could find no takers for bummed-out RB Travis Henry. With no first-round pick (traded to Dallas last year) and few quality offensive linemen-their biggest need-available on Day 1, the Bills went with WR Roscoe Parrish and TE Kevin Everett and tried to rally later for a guard (fourth round) and center (fifth). Young QB J.P. Losman will like his new targets, but they could be tough to see from flat on his back.


    32. Washington ... Grade: D minus

    The buzz: This grade is not a reflection of CB Carlos Rogers, who was taken with the ninth pick and likely will be a fine player for years to come. Trading three picks to Denver-including a 2006 first-rounder-to take Auburn QB Jason Campbell was the bonehead move of the weekend . Campbell wouldn't have been taken by another team in Round 1, and that first-rounder sent to Denver, given the direction of this franchise, could be the No. 1 overall choice next year.

    * * *

    Other draft grades for the Rams:


    Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News NFL Writer:

    Barron addressed the Rams' most pressing need - a bodyguard on the right side for QB Marc Bulger. It taxed every bit of Mike Martz's willpower, though, to let Mark Clayton slide by. The Rams got bigger and tougher in the secondary.

    Grade: C


    Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Inquirer NFL Writer:

    OT Alex Barron was a no-brainer at 19 for a team that is expected to part ways with RT Kyle Turley. But then they go and get another headcase, offensive lineman Richie Incognito, in the third round. What's up with that, Mike Martz?

    Grade: B minus


    Charean Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram NFL Writer:

    The Rams tried to trade up for Georgia LB Thomas Davis and liked OU tackle Jammal Brown, but were delighted to get Barron to replace Kyle Turley.

    Grade: C minus

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  2. #2
    tim
    tim is offline Registered User
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    Re: Draft Ratings: Arizona No. 1, Rams No. 21

    IMO draft rankings are bogus unless done a few years after the draft. No one can possibly know right now how the players chosen are going to pan out in the NFL.

    And it seems that free agency and injuries from last year were not taken into account. The additions we made in free agency and the health of Jimmy Kennedy point towards fixing our run stuffing problem (although like the draft, who really knows until some football is played).

  3. #3
    OrlandoPaceIsMyHero's Avatar
    OrlandoPaceIsMyHero is offline Registered User
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    Re: Draft Ratings: Arizona No. 1, Rams No. 21

    I think the rams did great drafting. DE is NOT an issue. This guy had no idea what he was talking about.

    The obvious thing that is gonna cost us in these silly "draft rankings" is the corner we picked with the round 2 pick. Mel Kiper ripped the guy apart on ESPN when the rams drafted him, saying that he was decent in a small college program, and he got absolutely worked against real competition at the Senior Bowl. If he's really that bad, why would we have drafted him so high?

    I think the rams did well, and I hope that there is moer to that CB guy than Mel Kiper would have us believe.

    OPIMH

  4. #4
    general counsel Guest

    Re: Draft Ratings: Arizona No. 1, Rams No. 21

    How are the medical studies coming along Orlando? Soon we may have an Alexbarronismyhero on the board as well.

    general counsel

  5. #5
    Scidog68's Avatar
    Scidog68 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Draft Ratings: Arizona No. 1, Rams No. 21

    Chris Harry is a tool. Glaring need at DE? I must have missed that, what with the revolving door at O-line and the porosity of our defensive backfield. As for "run stuffers", perhaps our FA signings have eluded the esteemed Mr. Harry; 2 vet linebackers. One is a dedicated MLB and the other is a proven bad-ass with a "Napolean complex". Depth at DB and O-line is exactly what we needed from this draft. Depth and a future. Besides, post-June 1st FA signings will continue to bolster our squad. Harry can bite me.


    Hooah


    Win, Lose or Draw... Rams for Life!
    :football:

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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: Draft Ratings: Arizona No. 1, Rams No. 21

    Another article written by a know-it-all wanna-be sports journalist, posted on our board, and kicked around.

    Isn't obvious to all of us that what he wrote proved he's a dope w/r to knowing anything about the Rams?

    Guys, these are just poor lameo journalists, talking out of their butts. Don't waste your energy dissing them.

    I learn more about the Rams, and I value the input I get from this board, far more than what I glean from the other national sports writers.

    Imagine how many dufuses out there grade the Ram's picks, etc. Did you notice that that dope rated Detroit's draft high? LOL.

    Like another of our posters wrote, let the years gone by speak to the success or failure of the draft.

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