The Golden Rule: Draft Analysis
The St. Louis Rams select...
#2. Chris Long, DE Virginia
Knee Jerk Reaction: Alright! We knew it all along. They weren't really going to take Dorsey--nah, I wasn't worried.
Upon Further Review: Great value and we needed help there bad. Some people think he was overrated because of his father. I think he was underrated because people used excuses like that to overlook the fact that he has a more complete game than any defensive end I could name in recent years. If he can get 14 sacks while getting constantly double-teamed, I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do with only one guy on him even if it is one pro tackle. I also see him as the kind of guy who will be coming up with game-saving plays late in the game because he just never stops going.
#33. Donnie Avery, WR Houston
Knee Jerk Reaction: "See I told you they'd take Devin Thom--"
Upon Further Review: It was the right position...and really maybe the right guy for the system, but the whole free world didn't see it coming. He's still a burner and was on my short list of favorite receivers in this draft. More power to the front office for taking the guy they wanted rather than the guy people would want them to take. The bottom line here is that we know we got the receiver we wanted most. He's about the same height and weight as Santana Moss with similar gamebreaking speed and should play a similar role in Al Saunders' pass attack.
#65 John Greco, OG/OT Toledo
Knee Jerk Reaction:Three for three on need.
Upon Further Review: All the elite offensive tackles (and some not-so-elite tackles) went off the board in the first round. So we get the guy whose short arms scared people off (big deal, right?). Some people might have wanted a guy like Don Connor or even a different offensive tackle, but we've drawn a line in the sand this year on character. That may have excluded Connor, Nicks, and others here. Greco on the other hand is a leader with intangibles and intelligence. If he doesn't work out at tackle, he still might be one of the best guard prospects.
#101. Justin King, CB Penn State
Knee Jerk Reaction: Seems to be a value pick here. With Fakhir Brown's future with the team in doubt, a corner is not a bad idea.
Upon Further Review: Man up, kid! You ever hear a guy is a steal in a particular round and still have a feeling in the back of your head that there were better guys out there? That's me with King. He's got speed. Great. I don't like players who are afraid to tackle, and I don't like 3 interceptions in as many years. He reportedly struggled a lot over the second half of last season. Poor awareness will lead to mistakes he may not be able to recover from as easily as he did in college. As a sprinter with great measurables who is technically raw and doesn't have great instincts, there's more than a passing resemblance to Wade as a prospect.
#128. Keenan Burton, WR Kentucky
Knee Jerk Reaction: We traded up? So that's like nine receivers on the roster?
Upon Further Review: It was a surprise, but it still looks like it could be a good pick. He fits the physical profile of an NFL receiver. He has the size. He has the speed. For that matter, he has the right attitude and isn't afraid to go over the middle. He may need some time with the Jugs Machine and needs to work on the little things like crisper route-running, but he has upside.
#157. Roy Scheuning, OG Oregon State
Knee Jerk Reaction: Hey, another lineman. Don't we have other needs?
Upon Further Review: This should make camp very competitive with so many young guys fighting for starting spots. Maybe this year we won't have to see guys off the street pretending to play offensive line. Another character guy, as he was one of the Academic All-PAC 10 honors. And durable. Maybe not the best athlete, but he should be fine as a guard.
#228. Chris Chamberlain, LB/SS Tulsa
Knee Jerk Reaction: What position does he even play?
Upon Further Review: I gather he had a good pro day, and he was productive as a linebacker in college. There is hope he is athletic enough to pass for a strong safety in the NFL. However, he's a classic tweener who will have to learn a new position because he doesn't have the frame to bulk up much more. Do we really like Chamberlain as a safety better than say Jamar Adams or Marcus Griffin?
#252. David Vobora, WLB Idaho
Knee Jerk Reaction: Does it really matter who you draft with the last pick in the entire draft?
Upon Further Review: He is undersized but was productive in a mid-level college conference. Basically a coverage linebacker to back up Pisa if he makes the team.
Overview: Pretty much everybody we picked has a reputation for having a good work ethic. Several are considered team leaders. We were not just shying away from people with low character grades but actively looking for guys with the highest character grades. Well, except for Avery and King. I'm sure we liked thir attitudes all right, but both seemed to be drafted first and foremost because of their speed.
We addressed our three biggest needs in order of priority in the first three rounds. We traded up to address two of them again in the later rounds. I don't see any major reaches but neither do I see any big steals. I think we picked everybody pretty close to where they would have gone if we didn't pick them. I am quite happy with our first three picks. King not so much. I wonder whether we really thought he was the best player available there or just the best corner still available. Will we regret passing on guys like Craig Steltz and Red Bryant in that round? I think it would have been nice to nab a late round safety, quarterback, or fullback, but I really can't complain too much about Shuening or Burton. I don't expect much from our seventh rounders. We basically targeted four positions and did everything we could to upgrade them. If all goes well, the defense should get a shot in the arm, and the offensive line and receiver corps will be significantly revamped.
2007 Draft in Review: We hit paydirt on Carriker. Leonard looks as iffy as he did then: not a failure, but you still wonder if he'll really succeed at either runningback or fullback. I've revised my opinion up on Wade. He still needs work, but I have more hope he can be a solid starter as he masters the finer points of the position. The James and Dante Hall trades look lackluster in retrospect, but both men played hurt last season. Clifton Ryan was a big hit in the 5th round. Stanley was a pleasant surprise in the 7th, though he'll be fighting for a roster spot again this year.
2006 Draft in Review: Tye Hill still looks like a pretty good pick. Klopfenstein and Byrd have been disappointing, but really none of the first day tight ends from that class have stood out. Not Vernon Davis, not Leonard Pope, not Anthony Fasano. Everybody was looking for the next Antonio Gates, and nobody found one. Still the decision to spend two picks on tight ends in the first day has become a running joke on the Linehan regime. Wroten is lucky we didn't draft a defensive tackle this time because that might have been the end of his tenure with the team. Alston isn't with the team anymore. Adeyanju just doesn't bring much of anything as a pass rusher. I might be able to stomach his low sack totals if he was getting lots of pressure but not quite getting the sack or at least amassing lots of tackles for loss in run defense. Marques Hagans showed flashes of potential in the pre-season but probably won't be with us next season.Tim McGarigle is yet another guy who will be fighting for a roster spot. Mark Setterstrom was a great find late in the draft, and Tony Palmer turned out to be starting quality as well, albeit on another team. Two years in, this draft class is looking like it will have BUST written in big red letters across the second through sixth rounds.
Re: The Golden Rule: Draft Analysis
The Justin King pick to me will make or break this draft. He had a solid sophmore season at PSU but struggled last year. He's got speed though, but so does Tye Hill.