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  1. #1
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    Final Thoughts on the Rams Draft

    Pick-by-Pick

    1 (19): Alex Barron, T, FSU
    -Thoughts: Obviously one of the Rams' two biggest needs going into this weekend was offensive tackle, and they secured that position by drafting one of the best offensive tackle prospects in this draft. It wasn't the guy that many were eyeing, but I think Barron will be a stable addition to the line nonetheless. I could see the Pace/Barron combination being one of the best tackle duos in the NFL in 2 years, assuming Barron maintains a solid work ethic and takes things seriously on and off the field.
    -Grade: A

    2 (50): Ronald Bartell, CB, Howard
    -Thoughts: Not where I would have liked to take Bartell, but there really seemed to be a run on cornerbacks in this draft - 19 were selected on Day One. Bartell has experience at both corner and safety, which is a plus, but I can't help but wonder if Justin Miller wouldn't have been a better pick. Later on, we seem to have no problems taking a guy like Incognito who has some off the field concerns, so why should we fear Miller's off the field concerns? Oh well. Bartell should be a solid ST guy who can compete for a back-up job with other players we've brought in.
    -Grade: C+

    3 (66): Oshiomogho Atogwe, S, Stanford
    -Thoughts: This is a guy I could have seen going in the second round with our Bartell pick. In fact, if you reversed those two picks, I'd like this draft a lot better. But I guess position doesn't really matter when you think about it - you still have the same players on your roster. Atogwe, in my opinion, will start at some point this season. He has the skills to play either FS or SS, and I had him as one of my top three free safety candidates in this class. I'm glad to see the Rams grab him at the top of round three.
    -Grade: A

    3 (81): Richie Incognito, C, Nebraska
    -Thoughts: This is a real boom or bust pick. Richie has the talent of a first round guy, probably one of the most talented offensive lineman in this draft. He can play all positions on the offensive line. But that attitude is something you have to be concerned about, as are the injuries. It sounds like he may be maturing, but I'm glad that we're not going into this season thinking we need to count on him. Let's see how he develops and handles himself as a pro. On talent alone, you have to like the guy.
    -Grade: B-

    4 (117): Jerome Carter, S, FSU
    -Thoughts: This guy seems, to me, like a poor man's Archuleta. Not that great in man coverage, plays best when he's close to the box and in run support, etc etc. Carter could be a quality special teams player and will add even more depth at safety, which is always a good thing, but I think selecting RB Darren Sproles here would have been a better option to give us a change of pace 'back and a return man. I hope Carter proves me wrong.
    -Grade: C

    4 (134): Claude Terrell, G, New Mexico
    -Thoughts: I really like Terrell as an interior lineman, especially in round four, and it's good to see that with the Incognito and Terrell picks that the Rams didn't go into this draft thinking they could just grab a right tackle and they'd be fine. While Larry Turner probably could shift outside to guard, I think grabbing an interior lineman like Terrell, who has experience at both guard and tackle, allows Larry to stay at center and be groomed as McCollum's replacement. Meanwhile, Terrell adds a big frame and lots of depth to the Rams line, so don't expect any more calls to retired football coaches.
    -Grade: B+

    5 (144): Jerome Collins, TE, Notre Dame
    -Thoughts: I'm not convinced we had to trade up to grab this guy, and I'm not entirely impressed with the selection itself. Collins has been mentioned as a real special teams guy, so that's something to like about him. But this selection seems to be based more on potential and measurables than actual production in college, and I think that's a dangerous thing. I think if we wanted an athletic pass-catching tight end, there may have been other options, so Collins is going to have to prove to me that we made the right decision here.
    -Grade: C

    6 (192): Dante Ridgeway, WR, Ball State
    -Thoughts: The comparisons to Isaac Bruce have already started coming in. Ridgeway has a very nice resumé as a college receiver, and while he might not fit the mold of the speedy guys like Curtis or McDonald or Holt, he's got a great set of hands and really knows how to make himself a target in the passing game. I believe I read where he scored 22 touchdowns in 3 seasons in college, which is outstanding. I see Ridgeway as a guy who could challenge Mike Furrey and maybe even Dane Looker on the depth chart, and as a receiver that could be a very valuable guy to have in the red zone. Still, we probably could have waited a year for a receiver.
    -Grade: B-

    6 (210): Reggie Hodges, P, Ball State
    -Thoughts: A lot of people don't like the idea of drafting a punter or a kick (I guess it's good they're not a Jet or Chiefs fan then!) but I like grabbing Hodges here, who some consider the best punting prospect after Dustin Colquitt, who went in round three. Hodges sounds like an excellent directional kicker with a decent leg, and anyone who can challenge Stemke as a punter is okay with me. The question, though, is whether or not we could have had a similar or only slightly less talented player as an UFA instead of a sixth rounder?
    -Grade: B-

    7 (250): Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Harvard
    -Thoughts: Fitzpatrick is a very intriguing pick, and I'll be interested to see if he rides the practice squad or what his deal is. He's very intelligent and has good short-to-medium range accuracy. Sounds like he's decent on the move as well. I like this pick much better than the QB the Patriots drafted in the seventh round, Matt Cassel, who was Matt Leinart's back-up at USC and threw only 33 passes in his time there.
    -Grade: B

    7 (251): Madison Hedge****, FB, North Carolina
    -Thoughts: Joey Goodspeed probably wasn't expecting any competition in training camp, but I hope for our sake that Hedge**** gives him one. He sounds like a carbon copy of Hodgins in that he's an exceptional blocking fullback - the description ESPN gives is that he's basically a "glorified offensive lineman at the fullback position." Can't argue with that, especially if we want to increase the potency of our red zone running attack.
    -Grade: B+


    Overall Thoughts

    The Rams came into this draft with needs on the offensive line and in the secondary, and really pounded them with picks. Barron, Incognito, and Terrell were all solid picks to address the depth on the O-line, and Barron gives us someone who can step onto the line and start at right tackle from day one. Defensively, Bartell and Atogwe are versitile defensive backs who can play multiple positions in times of need, and both should challenge some of the established players on our roster for playing time.

    I think if you look at this draft from the perspective of, "Did the Rams address their needs?" then you have to give them high grades. Some of the picks, while I think they're decent, aren't the players I would have chosen at those spots though, and for that reason, I have to dock some points.

    I give this draft a very solid B grade for the Rams. They did a good job addressing needs, and would have earned an A grade from me if not for what I think was a slight reach for Bartell and passing up a couple of guys. But nonetheless, I think this is one of the Rams' better drafts in the last five years.

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  2. #2
    general counsel Guest

    Re: Final Thoughts on the Rams Draft

    I am going to collect my thoughts overnight before i make a detailed post tomorrow. I lack nicks indepth personnel draft assessment skills, so my post will be more overview, but i will make one point now.

    I think we made a number of moves to try and help on special teams, which is something that we desparately need. I also think that we got very lucky getting barron at #19. You can say all you want that you would have rather have had brown, but brown wasnt available and we apparantly did try to trade up. Can you honestly say you would rather have brown than barron plus osherboshikgobshilini that we got early in round three? It would have cost at least that to move up. I prefer to see the glass half full, ie, we got a top quality tackle, which to me, was far and away the key if we wanted to compete this year. Without that tackle, i dont believe that we had any realistic shot of contending for a title, in the same way that my gut told me that once turley went down last year, we could still be a good, but not a great team. I dont care how many tackles tomas davis makes, without a right tackle better than tercero or grant williams, the odds of bulger making it through the season were materially reduced and without bulger, we are going nowhere fast, i dont care who the backup is.

    People who want to harp on brown should think about what the real problem would have been with this draft, ie we DIDNT get a guy that would be an upgrade at tackle in round one, ie took a devlepment guy. If we had to reach for Barnes, that would be a legitimate criticism probably (same think that happened when we had to reach for robert thomas)

    bottom line. as fans, we know enough to be dangerous, not enough to actually make the picks.

    I like what we did.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Final Thoughts on the Rams Draft

    Indeed. If we want to think about bad scenarios, think about the spin we were hearing coming out of the front office - Barron, Brown, or Khalif Barnes could have been taken at #19 and all could start immediately. Barnes fell past our second pick in the first round!
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