throwback week



Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
    Goldenfleece is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Age
    33
    Posts
    3,586
    Rep Power
    60

    Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    These are just general impressions I've been getting of players we might draft. Mostly, I've just been making note of comments that tend to keep coming up at different draft websites or particularly interesting nuggets of information about the players. I figured I'd post some of it and see if people had anything to add or correct...

    Round 1

    Chris Long, DE - A defensive end who does all the little things right from reading the offensive formation before the snap to getting his hand up after the ball is in the air. Gil Brandt at one point mused that every player in the draft had his flaws...except Chris Long. In an SI article, Lawrence Taylor's agent is quoted as saying Long is the closest thing he has seen to LT since LT was playing. Some people will say he isn't fast enough, but he had the 8th fastest 40 time for a defensive lineman at the Combine. That's not terrible, but keep in mind that Howard, Crable, C. Johnson, and Gatewood are 240-pounders that project as linebackers. That means Gholston, Groves, and Chris Ellis are the only true DE prospects who ran faster than Long. So he doesn't put on the workout perfomance that Gholston does, but he was in the top 4 on the broad jump, vertical jump, 3-cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle. He's just a really impressive all-around prospect.

    Vernon Gholston, DE - A physical freak of nature who also had good production in college. He can outmuscle or outrun his opponent as necessary. The downside is that he doesn't seem like the greatest technician, nor does he have the greatest reportoire of moves, nor the greatest football awareness. Some of the anecdotes from his high school years raise questions, too. When he first started football, one of the coaches kicked him off the team because he said something to the effect that he didn't want to kill anybody, he just wanted to play football. The coach thought he wasn't tough enough for football. When Gholston got back into football, they supposedly tried him on defense, but he was overwhelmed by the playbook, so they moved him to offensive guard where there was less to memorize. If you're looking for things to nitpick about, these examples might raise questions about his intensity, toughness, or ability to be coached. Overall, he seems like a guy who is already a very, very good football player but has extraordinary upside because of his physical tools and all the aspects of his game that could still get better.


    Glenn Dorsey, DT - A defensive tackle with a great first step. He is strong, quick, gets good penetration, plays the run well, etc., etc. His injury history has been closely scrutinized, but I am more concerned by his stat line. In 51 games, he managed just 13 sacks, 7 QB pressures, and 23 stops for loss. Fifty-one games is the equivalent of more than 3 NFL seasons. Do we really expect him to get more sacks against tougher competition? If not, would we be okay with a guy who would average say 4 sacks and 2 QB pressures a year? That does not seem so extraordinary. For the Rams, there is the additional question of whether he is talented enough to forego taking a player at another position. If he is the next coming of Warren Sapp, it could still make sense to take him, but the defensive tackle position seems awfully hard to predict in the draft. If we aren't totally convinced he's a sure thing, we would probably be better served taking one of the other players at the top.

    Jake Long, OT - An excellent run-blocker who allowed just 3 sacks and drew just 1 penalty in his last two seasons. He comes from a program with a history of successful o-line transitions to the NFL. The biggest complaint seems to be that he is not as athletic as some, but it is hard to find other criticisms. It is also hard to imagine that he won't be successful at the next level. He might be a better right tackle prospect than left, though, because while very competent as a pass blocker, he is more dominant as a run blocker. If the defensive tackle position yields higher than average busts, first round offensive tackles seem to have a better than average success rate. J. Long is perhaps the least glamorous pick for us here but probably very reliable.

    - Thoughts -
    We are rather lucky that there are very good players at the top of the draft who would fill a need. I am inclined to go defensive end in the first round because rushing the passer has been such a problem the last two seasons, and we at least partially addressed the offensive line problem by bringing in Jacob Bell. If we were looking at last year's class of defensive ends, I might be more inclined to take Dorsey, but with two seemingly incredible defensive end prospects topping this defensive end class, it would be hard to pass them up.


    Round 2 - 3

    Receivers

    Devin Thomas - A receiver with a great skill set but only one season worth mentioning. He spent his freshman year at community college, sophomore year at junior college, had only 6 receptions as a junior, and then burst onto the scene as a senior. Thomas has good size, great timed speed, vision, elusiveness, leaping ability, soft hands, and p/k returning ability. Maybe a little bit of a raw prospect, though, as he still needs to work on route running and blocking.

    Mario Manningham
    - A receiver with exceptional quickness off the line, good leaping ability, and nice straightline speed. At 5'11, he isn't that big, though, and might struggle off the jam. He doesn't seem to like going across the middle or putting a lot of effort into blocking. At one point, he was suspended from his college team for "violating a team rule". Is attitude an issue? His 40 time also wasn't what people thought it would be. However, he has a reputation of making big plays when the team needs them, and NFL Draft Countdown describes him as "a smooth, polished wideout who has everything you look for except ideal size".

    James Hardy - A 6'6" receiver with toughness and good timed speed. He was very productive in college but is lanky rather than muscular and can still get shoved around. He doesn't run routes well or block well. He was recruited as a basketball player and only focused exclusively on football in 2005. For a player his size, a surprising number of balls thrown his way got deflected. In 2007, he caught 79 balls of 144 thrown to him--and 21 out of the 65 he didn't catch were batted down by the guys covering him. For a guy who runs a 4.5 forty, he also doesn't get much separation. Finally, he was arrested on domestic battery charges in '06. When the girl called 911, the operator heard a man swearing in the background before getting disconnected. When the police arrived, they found the phone shattered. His shirt was torn and there were marks on the girlfriend. So it doesn't really sound like there's a whole lot of question whether he did it. It seems like there are a lot of negatives here.

    Early Doucet - A deep threat in college who didn't get as much time as a top target because he was playing behind other top prospects. He is quick, has good hands, is elusive and gets yards after the catch. He's a very good blocker for a receiver. Some question whether his top end speed is fast enough to get clear of pro corners, but there is also speculation that his seeming failure to kick up to the next level might be a lingering effect of a groin injury during his senior year. He's supposed to be a hard worker. On the whole, he sounds like a very good prospect, but some question his upside.

    Donnie Avery - An extraordinarily fast player from C-USA, having reportedly been timed as low as 4.2 in the 40. His Combine time was a 4.43, but that was because he decided to run on a pulled hamstring! He may be the fastest receiver in the draft. He also has soft hands and has played on special teams. However, he is not only smallish in frame but gets easily pushed around on the jam or knocked out of the way trying to catch the ball in a crowd. "Ping-ponged" is usually not a word you want to hear in conjunction with a wide receiver. Likewise, his strength limits his ability to contribute in run-blocking, even if he gives good effort. He is supposed to be a hard worker...but one with a lot of work ahead of him.

    Andre Caldwell - A tough receiver with good size and very good speed. It sounds like he doesn't have great change-of-direction abilities and probably needs to get stronger but has the physical tools to succeed. He might not be the hardest worker, though.

    Lavelle Hawkins - A fast, explosive player who can pick up yards after the catch but is a bit undersized. It sounds like he doesn't have the surest hands or run the best routes. He didn't help himself by running a slow 40, especially since speed is supposed to be his game.

    Earl Bennett - A guy who runs good routes, has great hands, and can make something happen once he has the ball in his hands. He will go across the middle or return kicks and has a pretty solid frame. He is supposedly smart, tough, has great vision, works hard...but he just isn't very fast or explosive.

    Eddie Royal - A speedster who also benched the most reps for a receiver at the Combine. He can pick up yards after the catch, as demonstrated by his yards/catch numbers. However that is probably the only thing on his stat line that will jump out at you. He might be an explosive athlete, but he never put up big numbers in college. As with many of the smaller, faster receivers, his ability to get past the jam is in question...although his upper body strength would presumably help with that.

    - Thoughts -
    I like what Devin Thomas would bring to the table if he is still on the board at the top of Round 2. I have a few reservations about Manningham but not enough to keep me from being interested. I don't think Hardy is what we need; he strikes me as a possession receiver with decent timed speed...who might also be caught in possession of speed. (Okay, so I don't really think he does drugs, but beating up his girlfriend while she is holding his infant son doesn't sit well with me at all). I also like Doucet in the second or Avery in the third.

    Offensive Line

    Gosder Cherilus - A big man who is maybe not as agile as some but can really drive his man off the line as a run blocker. He comes from a good program and works hard but probably doesn't have that "nasty" demeanor you always hear about. Several sites say something to the effect that he is a prototypical right tackle.

    Sam Baker - A left tackle who uses more finesse than power. He has very solid hand technique, but he isn't an extraordinary physical specimen (although not particularly out of shape, either). His toughness and aggression have been questioned.

    Carl Nicks - An offensive tackle who (at 340+ lbs.) weighs more than some nose tackles. He has impressive physical ability--not just size and strength--and shows a knack for pass blocking, but he only started one season. However, he is raw. He also transferred to junior college for a while because of academic problems. It would be more reassuring if he had more than one good season, but he is a player with tons of upside.

    - Thoughts -
    I've seen a number of mocks that have six or even seven offensive linemen going in the first round. Fortunately, even if we get stuck with the seventh best line prospect in this draft, we'd probably still be getting a very good player. Nicks particularly is an intriguing option because even at 340 lbs. he is supposed to be pretty quick and agile and immensely strong. It seems like after you get past Baker, Cherilus, and Nicks (and of course the guys projected to go earlier such as Long, Clady, Williams, Otah, and Albert), the talent level drops off--or at least there's no real consensus on who the next best prospects are. If we are trying to decide between an offensive tackle and a receiver in the second round, I think the talent pool for second and third round receivers looks deeper than for offensive tackles.

    Defensive Ends

    Quintin Groves
    - A player with great speed but under-sized for a down lineman. He is an explosive pass-rusher, but there are concerns about his motor. He may wear down as the game goes on, especially if he has to line up in the trenches on every play. He might be a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. That doesn't mean he couldn't succeed as a defensive end; there are just some questions there.

    Lawrence Jackson - A strong, technically sound player who is not so fast and has a reputation for being inconsistent.

    Calais Campbell - A player whose draft stock seems to have fallen pretty steadily. He had a relatively poor senior campaign and timed poorly at the Combine. He is a huge powerful guy--but still needs to put on some more bulk--and plays the run and the pass pretty well. He is supposed to be good in pursuit and more explosive than his clocked times suggest. However, there are certainly a lot of questions about him at this point.

    Chris Ellis - A fast defensive end with a large frame but lacking somewhat in physical strength. He is supposed to be quick with good agility and have a good motor. He has room to add some weight to his frame, which everyone seems to think he needs to do. Ellis is supposed to be technically pretty sound and good against the run. He was arrested at one point for obstructing justice and resisting arrest. Aside from his run-in with the law, it seems like folks have a lot good things to say about him.

    - Thoughts -
    This doesn't seem to be a great year for speed rushers. As mentioned earlier, there are only 3 really viable defensive end prospects faster than Chris Long--Gholston (round 1), Groves (round 2), and Ellis (round 3-4?)--and Groves' size is a little worrying. If we don't take a defensive end in the first round, we do have other options...but not ones that I am terribly excited about.


    Parting Thoughts
    We don't have to go defensive end, wide receiver, and offensive tackle in the first three rounds. There is still a chance someone drops to us at another position that we just can't resist--if Kenny Philips dropped into the second round, for example, we might consider taking him. However, if we do want to address those three positions, I think we almost definitely want to address defensive end in the first. Then we have to decide whether we would be content with a second day offensive tackle or waiting until next year to draft one. If so, there should be good value at receiver at the top of the second. If we aren't willing to settle for a lesser prospect at OT, we'll want to go tackle in round 2 and hope a guy like Avery pans out in the third round.
    Last edited by Goldenfleece; -04-02-2008 at 11:31 PM.


  2. #2
    harrydog's Avatar
    harrydog is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    429
    Rep Power
    13

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    That was excellent. Very well thought out.

  3. #3
    39thebeast's Avatar
    39thebeast is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    conecticut
    Posts
    2,740
    Rep Power
    38

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    That took allot of work. One thing I don't like is how people say Lawrence Jackson is inconsistent. He is far from it he was great his sophomore and freshman years than wasn't great his junior year. The reason being was he was forced to play 3-4, but when he switched back to the 4-3 he was a beast once again

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
    RealRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    8,576
    Rep Power
    68

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    Nice job, GF! Thanks. Great read that has me slowly turning my own little NFL Draft gears upstairs.

  5. #5
    mde8352gorams's Avatar
    mde8352gorams is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,843
    Rep Power
    22

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    Great job GF. Very good reading. Somehow the draft never pans out as one might think because traders and players who unexpectedly drop for all the wrong reasons.

    I tend to agree we go for a DE in round 1 and OT in round 2 and hope a WR of value drops to round 3 or 4.

    Can't wait for draft day!! Go Rams!:r

  6. #6
    mde8352gorams's Avatar
    mde8352gorams is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,843
    Rep Power
    22

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    GF, I forgot in my previous post, what are your thoughts on William Franklin in round 3 or 4. He's a WR out of Missouri with great speed and acceptable, not great size?

  7. #7
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
    Goldenfleece is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Age
    33
    Posts
    3,586
    Rep Power
    60

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    I really like Franklin's speed. I like his high YPC, and I think he's the kind of player that can pick up some extra yardage once he has the ball in his hands. But generally speaking, I tend to prefer players who don't quite fit the ideal profile for their position but have great production to players who have the physical attributes but not great numbers. He didn't really have huge yardage or reception totals in any given year. Usually if a guy isn't getting thrown to, there is a reason for it. And it seems like Franklin may not have even been the best receiver on his own team this last season. I wouldn't be that excited about taking him at the top of the third round, but maybe in the fourth.

  8. #8
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Kentucky
    Age
    40
    Posts
    13,706
    Rep Power
    145

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    GF, I forgot in my previous post, what are your thoughts on William Franklin in round 3 or 4. He's a WR out of Missouri with great speed and acceptable, not great size?
    6'1", 205......that's not bad size for a wideout.
    In an SI article, Lawrence Taylor's agent is quoted as saying Long is the closest thing he has seen to LT since LT was playing.
    LT's agent must have been mistaken. Surely, he meant Vernon Gholston. Gholston is Godlike......he has a highlight reel with heavy metal music and everything!
    So he doesn't put on the workout perfomance that Gholston does, but he was in the top 4 on the broad jump, vertical jump, 3-cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle.
    Actually, he was within an inch of Gholston on the vert. & broad; and beat Gholston in the 3-cone & 20-yard.
    An excellent run-blocker who allowed just 3 sacks and drew just 1 penalty in his last two seasons.
    IIRC, Jake Long allowed 2 sacks and 2 penalties in 4 years.
    Last edited by HUbison; -04-03-2008 at 09:58 AM.
    "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

  9. #9
    TekeRam's Avatar
    TekeRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, United States
    Age
    31
    Posts
    3,879
    Rep Power
    71

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    Darn, Hub, how much Rep do I need to give out before I can rep you again... I loved the Gholston comment.

    Don't forget, Gholston's heavy metal theme song is turned all the way to eleven. Eleven!

  10. #10
    Fortuninerhater's Avatar
    Fortuninerhater is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    L.A., Ca.
    Posts
    2,709
    Rep Power
    37

    Re: Impressions: General Observations on Top Rams Prospects

    Sounds to me like LT's agent got a hold of some of LT's dope.


Similar Threads

  1. Gordo Live
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: -03-17-2008, 07:59 PM
  2. Jim Thomas Live: 12/11/07
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -12-11-2007, 07:59 PM
  3. Jim Thomas Live, December 4
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: -12-04-2007, 07:58 PM
  4. Jim Thomas Live, Nov 20th--Lots of good stuff
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: -11-21-2007, 03:18 PM
  5. Postgame With Gordo
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -10-14-2007, 08:47 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •