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  1. #1
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    Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    INDIANAPOLIS -- In a perfect world, NFL teams draft the best players and best athletes available.

    Each February, coaches, scouts and general managers assemble here to evaluate approximately 330 players. It's the perfect world. They interview the draft-eligible players and evaluate the physical skills of the ones who work out.

    Once everyone leaves Indianapolis, though, the perfect world disappears. Financial considerations enter the decision-making process, and those financial decisions will have a major impact on the 2010 draft.

    At the top of every draft, teams don't necessarily select the best athletes available. Oftentimes, teams take the players who make economic sense based on the positions they play.

    This year's draft will be the perfect test case for that premise. Most draft experts consider Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and Eric Berry of Tennessee as the top three players. Here's the problem: Suh and McCoy are defensive tackles. Berry is a free safety.

    If the Rams balk at paying a defensive tackle big money, Sam Bradford stands to benefit.
    Most likely, at least a couple of teams at the top of the draft won't be able to justify paying a defensive tackle or a safety top-three money. It could lead to a quarterback (Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen) or a left tackle (Russell Okung) vaulting up the draft board. Sure, coaches and general managers draft players in relation to talent and rankings, but finances and the reality of the game enter the discussion.

    Let's start with the St. Louis Rams. They have the No. 1 pick and many people believe St. Louis likes Suh more than McCoy. Here's the problem: Drafting Suh No. 1 when the franchise is without a true starting quarterback doesn't make much sense, particularly if the Rams don't bring back Marc Bulger.

    Looking at the football side of things, Suh might not make sense for the Rams anyway. Selecting the Nebraska defensive tackle would mean the Rams would have him on a defensive line with Chris Long and Adam Carriker, three first-round defensive tackles in the past four years.

    The problem facing the Rams is that they aren't one defensive tackle away from being competitive. They went 1-15 last season. Adding Suh without a top quarterback might keep the Rams in double-digit loss territory.

    Dominating defensive tackles can make an impact on good teams, but they don't always change the fates of bad teams. Former Steelers coach Chuck Noll built his Steel Curtain defense around Mean Joe Greene, but that team was loaded with Hall of Famers. Defensive tackles who go to bad teams can do only so much.

    The Seahawks got a Hall of Fame career from defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, the third pick in the 1990 draft, but Seattle had only one playoff appearance during his great career. Glenn Dorsey, the fifth pick in the 2008 draft, didn't stop the downturn of the Kansas City Chiefs. Steve Emtman (Colts) and Dan Wilkinson (Bengals) were top picks, but they didn't turn around bad teams. The Cleveland Browns drafted Gerard Warren No. 3 in 2001, but the team struggled throughout the 2000s.

    That's why I predict the Rams will draft Bradford instead of Suh.

    The Lions' 3-13 season in 2009 was a little more tolerable because they drafted Matthew Stafford. Quarterbacks offer more hope than defensive tackles, even if most teams rate the defensive tackle as the better choice. You win in this league with quarterbacks.

    As great as Albert Haynesworth is as a player, the Redskins went from a playoff contender to 4-12 last season after giving Haynesworth a $100 million contract.

    If Suh or McCoy is the top pick, either player will command a contract in the $12 million-a-year range. Teams would rather pay that for quarterbacks, left tackles or pass-rushing defensive ends who can produce sacks.

    The economic realities should also affect Berry's chances of going in the top three. Maybe Berry can be the next Ed Reed or the next Troy Polamalu. Top safeties, though, make less than $8 million a year. If Berry goes No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he'd probably get a five-year deal at around $50 million, approximately $10 million a year.

    If the Bucs take him at No. 3 and he isn't the most dominating safety in league history, they might not be able to justify re-signing him. He'd ask for a raise, and it will be hard for the Bucs to justify paying him more than $10 million a year.

    If this were a perfect world, Suh, McCoy and Berry could go 1-2-3. The draft isn't perfect anymore because of economics. That's why I think the quarterbacks will move up with maybe one -- most likely Bradford -- going to the Rams.


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    msha is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Drafting stafford doesn't make a 2-14, not 3-13, record tolerable. When you rebuild, you draft the BPA, not the biggest need. Suh is the BPA and DT is a big need, so why would the Rams not pick him? The guaranteed money going to Bradford would mean nothing, Brady Quinn signed a 5 yr 20.2 million dollar contract going 21 picks later than Bradford and 3 years earlier, so Bradford would get way more money and has not done anything yet. Look at Brady Quinn, who some felt should have been a top 5 pick. John Clayton is getting too old for this.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    It is very possible. This article does make sense aswell. But look at the lions, they drafted Stafford and still 3-13. If we drafted Suh we could probably land on that same record and be able to draft Jake Locker next year, rather than Bradford this year, have him play bad and never get a chance at a beast DT like Suh or McCoy.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quoting records? Are you drafting for the 2010 season or are you drafting for the 2012 season and beyond? When you consider BPA are you only worried about the best player today or the best player in 2-3 years? QBs take time to develop (just look at Manning and Brees).

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    i think we are gettin a good player at pick #1 no matter what.,..

    rounds 2 and 3 are much more concerning IMHO...

    we have to decide on taking chances vs need...

    i really thing we will do well with the extra time between draft days.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post

    The problem facing the Rams is that they aren't one defensive tackle away from being competitive. They went 1-15 last season. Adding Suh without a top quarterback might keep the Rams in double-digit loss territory.

    Dominating defensive tackles can make an impact on good teams, but they don't always change the fates of bad teams. Former Steelers coach Chuck Noll built his Steel Curtain defense around Mean Joe Greene, but that team was loaded with Hall of Famers. Defensive tackles who go to bad teams can do only so much.

    The Seahawks got a Hall of Fame career from defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, the third pick in the 1990 draft, but Seattle had only one playoff appearance during his great career. Glenn Dorsey, the fifth pick in the 2008 draft, didn't stop the downturn of the Kansas City Chiefs. Steve Emtman (Colts) and Dan Wilkinson (Bengals) were top picks, but they didn't turn around bad teams. The Cleveland Browns drafted Gerard Warren No. 3 in 2001, but the team struggled throughout the 2000s.

    That's why I predict the Rams will draft Bradford instead of Suh.

    The Lions' 3-13 season in 2009 was a little more tolerable because they drafted Matthew Stafford. Quarterbacks offer more hope than defensive tackles, even if most teams rate the defensive tackle as the better choice. You win in this league with quarterbacks.

    As great as Albert Haynesworth is as a player, the Redskins went from a playoff contender to 4-12 last season after giving Haynesworth a $100 million contract.
    I thnk this is the most important part of the article. DTs make an impact, but they aren't going to carry your team to a championship no matter how good they are. QBs on the other hand can and if you see a guy who has that kind of potential you have to take him. IMO Sam Bradford is that guy.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    I thnk this is the most important part of the article. DTs make an impact, but they aren't going to carry your team to a championship no matter how good they are. QBs on the other hand can and if you see a guy who has that kind of potential you have to take him. IMO Sam Bradford is that guy.
    Which is ironic when you consider that he has a rather pedestrian record in big games.

    I don't see Bradford carrying the Rams anywhere besides a Top 5 draft pick in 2013 for his replacement.

    Also, major research FAIL on Clayton's part-Long plays Defensive End and Carriker may not be around next season.

    Also we're in double-digit loss territory next season with a new QB, so I fail to see how that point is germane.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    It is very possible. This article does make sense aswell. But look at the lions, they drafted Stafford and still 3-13. If we drafted Suh we could probably land on that same record and be able to draft Jake Locker next year, rather than Bradford this year, have him play bad and never get a chance at a beast DT like Suh or McCoy.
    The article defiantly makes sense.

    Get Jake Locker next year??

    I dont want to finish in the top 5 of the draft again. We are giving to much money to high draft picks. We need to make a statement and a QB that can get us some wins.

    Also Peyton Manning had a HORRIBLE defense his 1st year. our D is not HORRIBLE this year they kept us in games. But got tired at the end cuz our offense could not sustain a long drive.


    And Clayton really makes sense if you guys can read this article closely it has some very good points!!!

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    His reasoning is founded upon an incorrect knowledge of the Rams. So no, it doesn't make sense.

    Anyway, chill about the money. The salary cap is going away, and it will never come back. Our owner is a self-made billionaire. Money is no object.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Long plays DE, not tackle. Carriker is unproven and can't be really counted on. If we grab Suh and Carriker comes back and makes an impact, then no sweat, add him to the rotation with Ryan and Suh.

    I don't see how these experts see DT as not a priority for us. We had next to no QB pressure and got ran all over by the Julius Jones's of the world. Don't even try to tell me that improving run defense won't help us win a game or two.

    And its not like Bradford and Clausen are the only QB's in the entire world. We could take a guy in a later round or make a trade. I'm getting frustrated with all this "the Rams would be crazy to take Suh" talk that I have been reading lately.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Which is ironic when you consider that he has a rather pedestrian record in big games.

    I don't see Bradford carrying the Rams anywhere besides a Top 5 draft pick in 2013 for his replacement.

    Also, major research FAIL on Clayton's part-Long plays Defensive End and Carriker may not be around next season.

    Also we're in double-digit loss territory next season with a new QB, so I fail to see how that point is germane.
    Clayton was talking about the fact that Long, Carriker, and Suh were all technically DTs coming out of college. Long and Carriker both 3-4 ends (equivilant to a 4-3 3 technique), Suh a 4-3 DT.


    His point is even if we are in double digit loss territory next season with Bradford we have hope for the future, because we drafted him thinking that he will develop into a Franchise QB that will lead us to victory. Rams could have double digit losses as long as Bradford shows his potential. No one is expecting him to live up to that year one, but we definately want to see flashes and those flashes being sustained in the future.

    What are you basing Bradford not doing well in big games off of? The fact he got to one national championship and lost? At least he got there its alot more than you can say about alot of guys.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    Clayton was talking about the fact that Long, Carriker, and Suh were all technically DTs coming out of college. Long and Carriker both 3-4 ends (equivilant to a 4-3 3 technique), Suh a 4-3 DT.


    His point is even if we are in double digit loss territory next season with Bradford we have hope for the future, because we drafted him thinking that he will develop into a Franchise QB that will lead us to victory. Rams could have double digit losses as long as Bradford shows his potential. No one is expecting him to live up to that year one, but we definately want to see flashes and those flashes being sustained in the future.

    What are you basing Bradford not doing well in big games off of? The fact he got to one national championship and lost? At least he got there its alot more than you can say about alot of guys.
    He got there because the Big XII has arguably the stupidest tiebreaker in the country; one that leaves the least to on field action and results.

    Also we could build a dominating defense with Suh and company, and feel hope from that direction to, but nooooo....the team needs to have a QB NOW! NOW! NOW! Nevermind that the "force QB pick now" model hasn't worked in other situations like ours.

    EDIT-and no, we're not playing bloody semantic games over what Long played in college. He was scouted as an End, drafted as an End, is an End by position and body, and will continue to be one. (Right...the same guy we debate playing OLB in a 3-4 is a DT equivalent. Eye roll goes here.)
    Last edited by PeoriaRam; -02-26-2010 at 01:41 AM.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    Long plays DE, not tackle. Carriker is unproven and can't be really counted on. If we grab Suh and Carriker comes back and makes an impact, then no sweat, add him to the rotation with Ryan and Suh.

    I don't see how these experts see DT as not a priority for us. We had next to no QB pressure and got ran all over by the Julius Jones's of the world. Don't even try to tell me that improving run defense won't help us win a game or two.

    And its not like Bradford and Clausen are the only QB's in the entire world. We could take a guy in a later round or make a trade. I'm getting frustrated with all this "the Rams would be crazy to take Suh" talk that I have been reading lately.
    He never said DT wasn't a need he just said QB is a bigger need and a much more important position.

    No one is saying that Suh wont improve the defense or that we don't need defensive help or that DT is not a priority. The argument being made is if you feel Bradford is a Franchise QB you take him. In 5 years when Bradford Develops into a Franchise QB I think he will be in the mold of Matt Schaub. When Suh Develops I think he will be a Kevin Williams type of player. Claytons argument is which would you rather have, an all Pro DT or a QB Pro Bowl QB that you build around and leads your team to victory. What sucessfull team in the NFL can say that there premier player is a DT? The Redskins and Haynesworth? That worked out well right.

    In My book and many other peoples books they are taking a Pro Bowl QB over an all pro DT any day.

    Bradford and Claussen aren't the only QBs in the world, but they are the only potential Franchise QBs available.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    He got there because the Big XII has arguably the stupidest tiebreaker in the country; one that leaves the least to on field action and results.

    Also we could build a dominating defense with Suh and company, and feel hope from that direction to, but nooooo....the team needs to have a QB NOW! NOW! NOW! Nevermind that the "force QB pick now" model hasn't worked in other situations like ours.

    EDIT-and no, we're not playing bloody semantic games over what Long played in college. He was scouted as an End, drafted as an End, is an End by position and body, and will continue to be one. (Right...the same guy we debate playing OLB in a 3-4 is a DT equivalent. Eye roll goes here.)
    You are not forcing any pick, if you feel the guy is a Franchise QB you take him.

    It is a new era you NEED a QB who can make plays and be a guy you can build around. If you think you have found that guy you take him. Thats the argument, there is no forcing in the equation. All playoff QBs this year with more than 3 years experience have been pro bowlers. It takes a QB 3-5 years to develop so it makes sense that Flacco and Sanchez weren't prowbowlers, but rather promising young franchise QBs that teams are being built around. I promise you the Ravens are going to stack up offensive weapons for Joe Flacco suceed. He has the line the running game all he needs is weapons on the outside. In year 3 they are going to be trying to give him all the tools possible to succeed as their Franchise QB.

    You can without world beating DTs, but you can't win without a QB. You know the 2 QBs in the superbowl, but its harder to name the 4 starting DTs who played in that game.

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    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    If a high First Round QB takes five years to develop into TEH GLORIOUS FRANCHISE QB!!!!!!!!111111one in this day and age, you can be sure of a few things.

    1. The coach and GM who drafted him will no longer be employed by the team that picked him.
    2. He will be the franchise QB for a different team than the one that picked him.
    3. The team that drafted him drafted his replacement high in the first round last offseason.

    High First Round picks are not allowed the luxury of a 5-year developmental curve in the modern NFL. They are expected to compete at a high level from either Day 1, or close to it.

    People invoke the name of Drew Brees when they speak of Bradford. Guess what? Brees doesn't play for the team that drafted him. The Coach who drafted Brees was fired after Brees' rookie season. The GM...was divinely terminated 2 years after Brees' selection, but presumably he escaped Mike Riley's fate by starting his tenure by drafting Brees. In short-we don't want to draft Brees. We want to trade for Brees.

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