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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    Franklin is feeling nervous but excited
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/17/2008

    Oct. 14, 2006--Missouri's William Franklin (3) makes a 38-yard touchdown reception as Texas A&M's Devin Gregg (26) defends.
    (David J. Phillip/AP)

    Bursting through the double doors from the indoor practice facility at Rams Park, Will Franklin was dripping with sweat and flashing a smile.

    "It was good, a great opportunity for me to come here and actually work out for my home team, who I've been watching all my life ... well, at least since '95," when the Rams moved here from Los Angeles, Franklin gushed. "The feedback I got, I think I did a pretty good job, and I'm excited about that."

    It's a heady time for Franklin, a wideout from Vashon High School whose 143 catches and 2,125 receiving yards both rank fourth on the University of Missouri's career list. The NFL draft is approaching (April 26-27), and Franklin's name should be called near the midpoint of the seven rounds.

    "I'm definitely nervous, but it's an excited nervous," Franklin said. "It's something that you work for all your life. ... I'm just ready to get this over with and get me some rest."



    Franklin, who still is taking classes at Mizzou and expects to complete his degree in December, has been on the move since the Tigers concluded their breakthrough 12-2 season with a 38-7 spanking of Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

    He spent some time at the Athlete's Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz., preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine and MU's pro day, which drew scouts from 17 teams.

    Then, Franklin hit the road to meet with various NFL teams.

    Franklin, the nephew of former NFL wideout Darnay Scott, sought counsel from former MU quarterback Brad Smith about the wearying process that precedes the draft.

    "Brad went through some of the similar things, with the visits and the opportunity of going high" in the draft, Franklin said. "He understands what I'm going through, and he's kept me level."

    Smith was the New York Jets' fourth-round pick in 2006. Franklin, generally ranked as a top-15 wide receiver, could go as high as Round 3.

    "He's an outstanding athlete with great speed," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "He had a really good workout with us."

    NFL scouts covet "measurables," and Franklin has plenty.

    His size (6-feet-2 and 210 pounds), combined with the 40-inch-plus vertical leap and 4.3 speed for 40 yards he has flashed recently, have helped push him up the charts, even though his production dipped a bit in 2007.

    After nearly entering the draft last year, Franklin is glad he stayed for his senior season.

    "It helped out a lot, even with the numbers not how they were the previous year," he said. "I think I showed that I could help win at a high level. That was my goal, to go in and show that I'm a team player. There's no individual in me."

    According to one leading draft service, nfldraftscout.com, Franklin already had added some intangibles to his résumé.

    It noted he "really improved his competitiveness the last few years, displaying more fire than he did earlier in his career, displaying true courage and a desire to make plays after the catch."

    So-so route-running and blocking skills, and occasional mental lapses are negatives that have been cited in evaluations of Franklin.

    The Rams will be shopping for a wideout, one fast enough to stretch the defense.

    "I would love that opportunity," Franklin said. "I don't really want to pack my bags and go somewhere else."

    Still, the Rams have several other needs that must be addressed after going 3-13 in 2007.

    "I'd love to have him on the team,'' Linehan said. "But ... there are 31 other teams that probably like him, too."

    Next weekend, Franklin will gather with a few family members — including infant daughter Aniyah — at his mother's house in north St. Louis County and find out which team likes him the most.

    "It's been a glory road," he said. "I finished my (MU) career on a high note, and I think I impressed a lot of people these last couple of months. Now, I'm just looking to reap some of the benefits


  2. #2
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    i wouldnt mind Franklin, but we have to address WR earlier in the draft then where he is expected to go

  3. #3
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    LINEHAN wants a receiver to stretch the field right , who say's we have to take a receiver in round 2-3. if he has 4.3 speed at 6-2' and 210 , then why wouldn't he work for that need at a 3rd or 4th round pick . SERIOUSLYfolks , why do weHAVE TO take a WR in round 2 .

    If we walked with a draft like this

    DE , CB , OT , 4TH - WILL FRANKLIN , how could anyone be pissed about that. i have felt for a long time that we could get that 2nd/ 3rd receiver that we need to stretch in the 3RD to 5TH rounds . Thats just me .

  4. #4
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    I very much agree Klink. It's just a matter of what we want from this draft. If we want the receiver who will take over for Holt in two years(assuming he either retires or needs to be a slot guy due to his knees), then we should get a guy who drops from the first round. If we want a guy who COULD be that guy or could become a good #2 option for us and a good slot guy in the meantime, then by all means we should go after Franklin, and then in the next year or two grab a 1st round receiver.

    I've said it before, I don't like this year's safety class and we should get a 1st rounder next year and have said that we can wait to get an elite WR until next year too. However, we do need a speed guy who can play this year. I agree that Franklin fits that mold. If we got good value in the 2nd and 3rd on an OT and another player, I'd be perfectly happy, just like you Klink.

  5. #5
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    Thats because we are not greedy and JESUS loves us ! hhhheee

  6. #6
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    [QUOTE=keith m. klink;225188]LINEHAN wants a receiver to stretch the field right , who say's we have to take a receiver in round 2-3. if he has 4.3 speed at 6-2' and 210 , then why wouldn't he work for that need at a 3rd or 4th round pick . SERIOUSLYfolks , why do weHAVE TO take a WR in round 2 .


    I think because we'd also like him to be a number 1 caliber receiver that will eventually move Torry Holt out of the lineup.

    I believe we'd have to really be fortunate to find that in the 3rd or 4th round. Just my two cents.

  7. #7
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    "I would love that opportunity," Franklin said. "I don't really want to pack my bags and go somewhere else."
    I won't even pretend to be objective on this one. I'm a 'zou fan and, as such, I'd love to see Franklin in horns. He has all the tools an NFL receiver needs, but he must clean up his route running a little. Fortunately, that can be taught. Great wheels, great size, great athlete, soft hands, won't shoot anyone in or around strip....er, excuse me, let me translate to PacManese.....sCrip clubs. He'd be a solid pick-up.

    As to his production, he played in one of the weirdest offenses in college football. Pinkel's spread formation that emphasized 2 TE sets.........best described as HUH? Strange, but true. First options were short & intermediate routes to Ends Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman. And the offense was actually tweaked to get the ball into the hands of Jeremy Maclin (future 1st rounder). However, even as the 4th option on that high-powered offense, Franklin still put up solid numbers and led the team in YPC.

    And prediction time.......IF the Rams draft him, he's the first one to sign.
    "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

  8. #8
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    I would love the kid here! i think he would be quite the surprise .

    For one thing , Where do you get( a 3rd receiver to stretch the field ) turning into a pick to hopefully replace HOLT in the lineup. that just baffles me that this comes up .

    I'm pretty sure ( but could be wrong ) but i think when we have to replace HOLT or plan to bring in his replacement it will most definately be in form of a 1st rd pick, and a top player in that years draft.

    and we found BRUCE IN the 2nd rd , why couldn't we find a 3rd receiver in the 3rd to 5th rd ? We are not looking for BRUCES replacement ( he's already gone and BENNETT is in ) so to me a 3rd to 5th is fitting for the need .

    And if we use a 2nd on a pick that isn't a starter/ first sub caliber player , that was a 2nd wasted pick in 2 years .

    Just my 2 pennies .

  9. #9
    Fortuninerhater's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    Quote Originally Posted by keith m. klink View Post
    And if we use a 2nd on a pick that isn't a starter/ first sub caliber player , that was a 2nd wasted pick in 2 years .

    Just my 2 pennies .

    That first part is not necessarily true Klink. Although I do agree with you, as I certainly was not happy with the drafting of a backup RB in the 2nd round last year. In my estimation that was a mistake.

    But I do believe there'll be number one caliber recievers when we select at #33. Maybe not immediate starters, but certainly near future starters.

    If not, then maybe we go OL in the second and as you suggest, maybe WR in the 3rd.

  10. #10
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    It would be nice to bring in the home town kid, and he is promising. However, I also feel that we may want to address the receiver position earlier. Sure, mid to late round guys could wind up eventually being starters, but if teams believed they were as likely to succeed, they would not go in the later rounds.

    We don't have to take a receiver in the second round, but the longer we wait, the less likely the guys we like will be on the board when our pick comes around. For example, I would not be terribly surprised if Avery went late in the second round and wasn't there when we picked in the third. Likewise, if we wait until the fourth round to address the position, we can't count on Franklin being available exactly where we perceive his value to be. I think the reason so many people advocate taking a receiver in round 2 is that it looks like it will be a good pick for value at that point.

  11. #11
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    And GOLDENFLEECE makes a great point that alot of us overlook . teams might put a differant value on players we see as higher or lower than someone else's value . we might think hey ,we get a WR in rd 2 . #33 . But the RAMS might have a better value getting a LB , or CB . Maybe they feel that the next best receiver they have rated and valued at #41 pick , so do they reach or take another position with better value as BPA .

    Why didn't someone stop me from ramblin on , it's late and " HEY ! SOMEONE STOLE MY PANTS WHILE I WAS TALKIN , WHAT THE HELL . goodnight people .

  12. #12
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    the reason i said to draft a WR earlier is because we dont want to wait around til the 4th or 3rd round to pick Franklin, have him get taken before us by another team and then be struggling to find a decent WR left in the draft

  13. #13
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    True enough Tomahawk, but I find it hard to believe that he won't be around at the top of the 3rd. There are many more higher ranked WR's to go through first. You are right, however, he quite possibly will go sometime in the 3rd, and so we'd be unable to grab him at the top of the 4th. It's debatable whether I'd rather trade up into the 3rd or try trading down in it to get him at a better value. It depends on what the situation is at our pick, I guess.

  14. #14
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin is feeling nervous but excited ..

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    True enough Tomahawk, but I find it hard to believe that he won't be around at the top of the 3rd. There are many more higher ranked WR's to go through first. You are right, however, he quite possibly will go sometime in the 3rd, and so we'd be unable to grab him at the top of the 4th. It's debatable whether I'd rather trade up into the 3rd or try trading down in it to get him at a better value. It depends on what the situation is at our pick, I guess.
    i definitely wouldnt mind moving up from the 4th to the back end of the third if he is still there, but again its a case of whether we want to risk waiting for a WR that long and having all the talent slide off the board in front of us

    id definitely like to see us grab a WR in the first three rounds though

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