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  1. #1
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    Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention
    by Randy Karraker

    The Story

    The second pick in the NFL draft on April 25 (To be heard live on 101 ESPN) should be easy for the Rams, unless they make it more difficult than it should be.

    Michael Crabtree? Not if the Rams are true to their word about making Steven Jackson the centerpiece of their offense. That second pick is going to get $30 million guaranteed. If you select Crabtree, you better justify that investment. Crabtree could wind up being the next Larry Fitzgerald, but the Cardinals have a good quarterback that’s on his feet to get Fitz the ball. If teams can find players like Anquan Boldin, Hines Ward, Greg Jennings, Steve Smith and Marques Colston after the first round, the Rams are in no position to use the second pick in the draft on Crabtree.

    Aaron Curry? Do you really want to use the second pick in the draft on a player you’re going to change the position of? That’s what would happen if the Rams took Curry to move him to the middle. He would better serve the Rams on the strong side, but how many high impact 4-3, outside linebackers can you name? Lance Briggs. Derrick Brooks. A.J. Hawk. Not many others. I’ve read that Curry can rush the passer (he had 2.5 sacks last year) but wasn’t asked to. Are you kidding me? Wake Forest had 24 sacks AS A TEAM. Their leader had five. I can’t believe a coaching staff would know any player could rush the passer, and not ask him to. Sacks are one of the three most important stats in football. I’m not going to assume anything with this choice.

    Offensive line? Now we’re talking. As our friend Dan Dierdorf, and hundreds of coaches, points out…football games are won by dominating the offensive line of scrimmage. If your team does that, there’s a good chance they’ll win. It’s simple. Now, there are teams that win without high draft picks up front. But there isn’t a winning team that trots out a bad offensive line.

    For those that say take Crabtree or Curry first, and then get a tackle in a deep draft at that position, here’s my rejoinder. First, 20 of 32 starting left tackles in the NFL last season were first rounders. That’s where you get them. Second, among the eight tackles taken in the first round last year, three (Jake Long, Ryan Clady and Jeff Otah) played well. The others…Chris Williams, Brandon Albert, Gosdter Cherilus, Sam Baker and Duane Brown, left at least something, if not much, to be desired.

    Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe are the two pre-eminent tackles in this draft. Whomever the Rams regard as the best of those two…or the one left over after the Lions choice, is the Rams pick. And it’s an easy choice.


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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    I agree with Randy's conclusion, but I think he's overselling it.

    You don't need to take a backhanded stab at Bulger ("the Cardinals have a good quarterback that’s on his feet to get Fitz the ball") to justify passing on Crabtree.

    You don't need to suggest that Curry somehow can't be a MLB or a great pass rusher to explain why OT is a bigger priority.

    You don't need to suggest that Williams, Brandon Albert, Gosdter Cherilus, Sam Baker and Duane Brown were all disappointments to explain why the Rams should take one of the top two OTs.

    There other very good arguments in favor of taking an OT. That does not mean that in 3 years the Rams won't be kicking themselves if they pass on Crabtree, Curry, Raji, Orakpo or Sanchez. Its an inexact science.

    Randy thinks its simple. Its not.

  3. #3
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Its as simple as do you want to see Bulger throw a pass or get sacked every time he drops back to throw?
    The Game is won in the trenches!
    How good is Crabtree going to be if Bulger is on his back? HOW GOOD WAS T.HOLT LAST YEAR!
    THEY should take a look at Franklin from KC and maybe Rames Barden and not worry about WR the rest of the year!
    go DT or ILB or CB with their 2nd and 3rd picks! Crabtree is good in collage but he's going to have play in the right system in the pros or just be a possession WR because of lack of speed and he will be a bust if picked at #2 by the Rams because they didn't use that #2 on the best OT!
    Curry is going to be a bust also! If they don't get 1 or 2 BIG DTs to keep the OLs off of him! Its going to take 2 years at least to rebuild this team!
    I like what Mr D and Spages has done so far so Ill trust them to do what they do!
    And see what happens!

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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I agree with Randy's conclusion, but I think he's overselling it.

    You don't need to take a backhanded stab at Bulger ("the Cardinals have a good quarterback that’s on his feet to get Fitz the ball") to justify passing on Crabtree.

    You don't need to suggest that Curry somehow can't be a MLB or a great pass rusher to explain why OT is a bigger priority.

    You don't need to suggest that Williams, Brandon Albert, Gosdter Cherilus, Sam Baker and Duane Brown were all disappointments to explain why the Rams should take one of the top two OTs.

    There other very good arguments in favor of taking an OT. That does not mean that in 3 years the Rams won't be kicking themselves if they pass on Crabtree, Curry, Raji, Orakpo or Sanchez. Its an inexact science.

    Randy thinks its simple. Its not.
    Bingo bango. Nice post, Av. I find it somewhat amusing that Williams, Albert, Cherilus, Baker and Brown have anything to do with this year's class, or what we should do with our picks.

    It's also amusing that said group has been written off by the author.

  5. #5
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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    If teams can find players like Anquan Boldin, Hines Ward, Greg Jennings, Steve Smith and Marques Colston after the first round, the Rams are in no position to use the second pick in the draft on Crabtree.
    The same logic could be applied to virtually any position, and the point would be just as irrelevant.

    Aaron Curry? Do you really want to use the second pick in the draft on a player you’re going to change the position of?
    Not especially, but it's not like we're moving him from linebacker to safety or something. You could make the same case against drafting a guy who will have to line up in a different stance than he has in the past (i.e. Jason Smith).

    Now, there are teams that win without high draft picks up front. But there isn’t a winning team that trots out a bad offensive line.
    Yet Rams backup Brandon Gorin was a starter at right tackle through much of the Patriots' 2004 and 2005 Super Bowl runs, and Ben Roethlisberger was the second most sacked quarterback in the league during a campaign that led the Steelers to victory in Super Bowl XLIII. I know, I know. I'm just being contrary. But I think he is really oversimplifying things here. Solid offensive line play is one key component to success, but it's not the only one.

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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Offensive line? Now we’re talking. As our friend Dan Dierdorf, and hundreds of coaches, points out…football games are won by dominating the offensive line of scrimmage. If your team does that, there’s a good chance they’ll win. It’s simple.

    If this is true then please explain the Steelers championship. Most would agree the O-line was average at best. It's obvious to me the Defense won the championship and they survived with a Big Arm QB who was constantly harrassed but had a knack of making the big plays at the right time.

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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Well then it's either Smith or Monroe with our 1st pick in the draft. I'm so glad this guy wrote this article now I don't need to stay in and watch the draft.

    Party pooper!!!!

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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominating D View Post
    Offensive line? Now we’re talking. As our friend Dan Dierdorf, and hundreds of coaches, points out…football games are won by dominating the offensive line of scrimmage. If your team does that, there’s a good chance they’ll win. It’s simple.

    If this is true then please explain the Steelers championship. Most would agree the O-line was average at best. It's obvious to me the Defense won the championship and they survived with a Big Arm QB who was constantly harrassed but had a knack of making the big plays at the right time.
    You stole my post. One could argue Pittsburgh they won the Superbowl with the worst offensive line of all the Superbowl winning teams. But as Matt Ryan proved last season, you don't need an elite offensive line to win. It also helps that the QB gets the ball out quickly and makes the correct reads. Atlanta had essentially the same line last year (minus Sam Baker for 7 games) and allowed almost 30 fewer sacks. That had to do with who was at QB, not the quality of the offensive line. Hell, they had our cast off O-Line coach from 2007. Remember our line that year? Everyone called for his head. Now, he looks like a genius because of Ryan.

    The one thing you COULD say to counteract this claim, however, is the Superbowl from two years ago. Without an offensive line, the Patriots only scored 14 points. They were the greatest offense in history, and only because their line couldn't stop the Giants was why Brady was harassed all game long. There is middle ground in between both of these arguments, but when it comes down to it if the Rams BPA is a tackle when it hits #2, GRAB HIM!

  9. #9
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    + 1000 %!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDYRAM View Post
    Curry is going to be a bust also! If they don't get 1 or 2 BIG DTs to keep the OLs off of him! Its going to take 2 years at least to rebuild this team!
    Just curious, but what makes you think someone like Jason Smith won't be a bust? The kid has played out of a two point stance in a spread offense his whole two years of playing tackle.

    Is Patrick Willis a bust because he doesn't have a huge nose guard taking up blocks for him? I am just going on what I've heard, because I am by no means an adequate talent evaluator, but Charlie Casserly, who knows a heck of a lot more about defensive players than me (see Mario Williams) said Curry is the best linebacker prospect to come out in ten years. Think abut that... AJ Hawk, P Willy, and even Demeco Ryans, who Casserly drafted.

    Would the two best OT's have even cracked the top ten last year? According to MauiRam's Pro Football Weekly, probably not. Stafford Telling Teammates He’ll Be A Lion

    Come on you didn't think you could call my boy a bust without my response did ya?

    And obviously my little disclaimer here, whoever Billy thinks is the BPA i hope he chooses. Because after all, Charley Casserly isn't working as a GM anymore, and Billy is.

  11. #11
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Quote Originally Posted by C-Mob 71 View Post
    Just curious, but what makes you think someone like Jason Smith won't be a bust? The kid has played out of a two point stance in a spread offense his whole two years of playing tackle.

    Is Patrick Willis a bust because he doesn't have a huge nose guard taking up blocks for him? I am just going on what I've heard, because I am by no means an adequate talent evaluator, but Charlie Casserly, who knows a heck of a lot more about defensive players than me (see Mario Williams) said Curry is the best linebacker prospect to come out in ten years. Think abut that... AJ Hawk, P Willy, and even Demeco Ryans, who Casserly drafted.

    Would the two best OT's have even cracked the top ten last year? According to MauiRam's Pro Football Weekly, probably not. Stafford Telling Teammates He’ll Be A Lion

    Come on you didn't think you could call my boy a bust without my response did ya?

    And obviously my little disclaimer here, whoever Billy thinks is the BPA i hope he chooses. Because after all, Charley Casserly isn't working as a GM anymore, and Billy is.
    I didn't say J.Smith wouldn't be a bust!

    SF NT & DT
    Sopoaga, Isaac NT ACT 6'2" 330 9/4/1981 6 Hawaii and also put up the most 225 reps 41 at the combine that year!
    92 Franklin, Aubrayo DT ACT 6'1" 317 8/27/1980 7 Tennessee

    These two guys are the reason!

    Patrick Willis is not a bust! And if I'm not mistaken Patrick Willis ran a 4.3 40 and Curry runs a 4.5 IMHO I would take Patrick Willis any day over Curry

    (Is Patrick Willis a bust because he doesn't have a huge nose guard taking up blocks for him?) 6'2" 330 is pretty HUGE to me?


    I'd like to trade down and take at rd 1 B.J Raji

    rd 2 R. Brace! And get AC back out at DE where he played in collage.

    rd 3 P. Loadholt at RT and Ramses Barden with the trade pic in the 3 rd

    rd 4 Connor Barwin LB/DE

    and J. Knox in the 5th back up OL & DL or QB 6th & 7th

  12. #12
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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDYRAM View Post
    I didn't say J.Smith wouldn't be a bust!

    SF NT & DT
    Sopoaga, Isaac NT ACT 6'2" 330 9/4/1981 6 Hawaii and also put up the most 225 reps 41 at the combine that year!
    92 Franklin, Aubrayo DT ACT 6'1" 317 8/27/1980 7 Tennessee

    These two guys are the reason!

    Patrick Willis is not a bust! And if I'm not mistaken Patrick Willis ran a 4.3 40 and Curry runs a 4.5 IMHO I would take Patrick Willis any day over Curry

    (Is Patrick Willis a bust because he doesn't have a huge nose guard taking up blocks for him?) 6'2" 330 is pretty HUGE to me?


    I'd like to trade down and take at rd 1 B.J Raji

    rd 2 R. Brace! And get AC back out at DE where he played in collage.

    rd 3 P. Loadholt at RT and Ramses Barden with the trade pic in the 3 rd

    rd 4 Connor Barwin LB/DE

    and J. Knox in the 5th back up OL & DL or QB 6th & 7th
    Well according to nfldraftscout.com Willis ran 4.51 at the combine, did 22 reps, and weighed 242 lbs. Curry ran a 4.52, did 25 reps, and weighed 252. Granted Willis ran a 4.37 at his pro day, but I think the combine is a more reliable test, who knows how accurate Ole Miss' testing equipment is. For all we know he ran 38 yards in 4.37 seconds Anyways, I hate looking to much in to numbers, but the combine numbers are eerily similar.

    Good call on Sopago, I was thinking Kentwan Balmer was playing NT for them. So lets rephrase, P Willy doesn't have any GOOD defensive tackles in front of him.

    I wouldn't be upset if we came away with your little mock there, thats some serious beef. I just don't think we will have any trade partners, so at #2 you take the... you guessed it BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE!

  13. #13
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Quote Originally Posted by C-Mob 71 View Post
    Well according to nfldraftscout.com Willis ran 4.51 at the combine, did 22 reps, and weighed 242 lbs. Curry ran a 4.52, did 25 reps, and weighed 252. Granted Willis ran a 4.37 at his pro day, but I think the combine is a more reliable test, who knows how accurate Ole Miss' testing equipment is. For all we know he ran 38 yards in 4.37 seconds Anyways, I hate looking to much in to numbers, but the combine numbers are eerily similar.

    Good call on Sopago, I was thinking Kentwan Balmer was playing NT for them. So lets rephrase, P Willy doesn't have any GOOD defensive tackles in front of him.

    I wouldn't be upset if we came away with your little mock there, thats some serious beef. I just don't think we will have any trade partners, so at #2 you take the... you guessed it BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE!
    Thanks C-Mob 71
    I don't think we will have any trade partners eather! so at #2 you take the.. you guessed it who Mr D and Spags think the BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE

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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Well according to nfldraftscout.com Willis ran 4.51 at the combine, did 22 reps, and weighed 242 lbs. Curry ran a 4.52, did 25 reps, and weighed 252.
    I believe you are correct, C-Mob. In fact, I recall from the Combine coverage, Mayock (IIRC) commenting on how Curry was putting up the same numbers as Willis, but doing it 15 pounds heavier.
    "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

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    Re: Karraker: It's an easy pick for the Rams, if they're paying attention

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald_81 View Post
    You stole my post. One could argue Pittsburgh they won the Superbowl with the worst offensive line of all the Superbowl winning teams. But as Matt Ryan proved last season, you don't need an elite offensive line to win. It also helps that the QB gets the ball out quickly and makes the correct reads. Atlanta had essentially the same line last year (minus Sam Baker for 7 games) and allowed almost 30 fewer sacks. That had to do with who was at QB, not the quality of the offensive line. Hell, they had our cast off O-Line coach from 2007. Remember our line that year? Everyone called for his head. Now, he looks like a genius because of Ryan.

    The one thing you COULD say to counteract this claim, however, is the Superbowl from two years ago. Without an offensive line, the Patriots only scored 14 points. They were the greatest offense in history, and only because their line couldn't stop the Giants was why Brady was harassed all game long. There is middle ground in between both of these arguments, but when it comes down to it if the Rams BPA is a tackle when it hits #2, GRAB HIM!
    So neither The Steelers nor The Pats nor The falcons had a good O-line? That's absurd,imo.

    Big Ben gets sacked more often than a Bush twin at a frat party even when his o-line plays well. it's the way he plays,taking sacks rather than throwing it away/taking big risks. Doesn't hurt that he's a tank with a cannon, to be sure, but it doesn't mean his o-line was bad.

    And The Pats line was bad? After winning an historic 18 games straight? The fact that a journeyman like Gorin was able to fill in in a prior year-and that's all he did; The Pats didn't keep him,did they?-shows how stable and consistent their unit has been.

    i think Turner's season @ RB tells you all you need to know about the Falcons o-line. Yes, Ryan was good but he didn't do it alone. And when their running game was neutralized, they lost.
    Both those SBs were tight games won in the last few minutes. Individual brilliant /miraculous plays were the difference-as you'd hope in the battle between the two best teams-not a glaring deficiency of any unit.

    I agree that great defense is a part of a consistent winning formula -like Pit- and that a tremendous depth and balance on offense and defense-like NE- is vital to winning consistently over an entire season but these two teams do NOT have bad o-lines. And drafting an OT will help tremendously in developing the kind of dominant rush attack that was the foundation of Atlanta's resurgence.

    Not like ours where there has been no stability or depth at any position.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -04-16-2009 at 12:00 PM.

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