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KC/Miami trade may force Rams to move up
KC's trade may put Rams in scramble mode
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
Friday, Apr. 22 2005
St. Louis could be in a tough position if it wants to take an offensive tackle
or a safety with its first-round pick.
If the Rams are serious about landing Georgia safety Thomas Davis or Oklahoma
offensive tackle Jammal Brown in the first round of the NFL draft, it's looking
more and more like they will have to trade up to do so.
After completing a trade with the Miami Dolphins for cornerback Patrick
Surtain, the Kansas City Chiefs now are expected to take Davis - whom some NFL
teams project as an outside linebacker - with the No. 15 overall pick this
The always forthcoming Dick Vermeil did nothing to douse that speculation by
telling Sports Illustrated: "I know 15th is awful high for a safety, but this
guy (Davis) can do so many amazing things, I can't pass him up."
Previously, many mock drafts had New Orleans penciled in to take Davis at No.
16 overall. But if Davis goes to the Chiefs, NFC South sources told the
Post-Dispatch on Friday that the Saints are seriously considering taking Brown.
(The Post-Dispatch mock draft, which appears in today's editions, has the
Saints taking West Virginia cornerback "Pacman" Jones.)
If the Rams can't trade up, and both Davis and Brown are gone, the Rams would
be left scrambling to fill their two most glaring needs with second-tier
prospects at that position.
At safety, the next best thing is Oklahoma's Brodney Pool, who's considered a
late first-rounder or early second-rounder.
At offensive tackle, Brown and Alex Barron are considered the top two
prospects. The Rams would just as soon take Barron as Brown, but Barron is
expected to go earlier than Brown. The third-best offensive tackle,
Washington's Khalif Barnes, is considered a late first-rounder at best and
would be a reach at No. 19.
The surest way for the Rams to get Davis or Brown seemingly would be to move up
to the No. 14 spot currently held by Carolina. The Rams have a pair of
third-round picks - one at the top of the round (from Miami in last year's
Lamar Gordon trade), and one in the middle of the round.
In theory, they could use one of those third-round picks, plus their No. 19
first-round pick, to trade up with the Panthers.
But as of early Friday evening, there were no indications that Carolina wanted
to trade down. Particularly since the Panthers are thought to be interested in
drafting an offensive tackle themselves at No. 14. (The Post-Dispatch mock
draft has them taking Barron.)
At the moment, the Rams have no clear-cut successor to Kyle Turley at right
tackle, although Blaine Saipaia started there late in the 2004 season, and
Scott Tercero is another possibility.
According to a reader's poll on Stltoday.com, Rams fans overwhelmingly think
offensive line is the team's most pressing area of need. As of 8 p.m. Friday
evening, 77 percent of the more than 10,000 respondents said offensive line was
the team's greatest draft need. Only 8 percent listed defensive back.
But going strictly on the depth chart, defensive back - more specifically,
safety - is the biggest need. The Rams have only three safeties on the roster,
only one of whom - Adam Archuleta - has much experience at the position.
Archuleta ended the 2004 season with a herniated disc. The Rams don't have a
precise read on his health status, because he has yet to attend the team's
offseason conditioning program, which began March 21.
If the Rams are stymied in their attempts to draft a safety or an offensive
tackle in the first round, keep an eye on the defensive end and cornerback
positions. As many as seven defensive ends could go in the first round.
In the absence of Davis, Brown or Barron, the Rams could be tempted to take
Erasmus James of Wisconsin or David Pollack of Georgia if either end were still
on the board at 19.
Similarly, they could be tempted to take one of the top four cornerbacks if
they're still around at 19: "Pacman" Jones; Miami's Antrel Rolle; Auburn's
Carlos Rogers; and Nebraska's Fabian Washington.
And as usually is the case when you're drafting out of the top 10, you can
almost expect the unexpected. Case in point: Although the Rams had very high
grades on both players, Penn State defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy (in 2003) and
Oregon State running back Steven Jackson (in '04) weren't really on the Rams'
radar before slipping down to the No. 12 and No. 24 spots respectively.
Friday was an unusually quiet day at Rams Park. The Rams' draft braintrust
spent the morning and early afternoon reviewing the team's "stack" of how it
rated players. They discussed draft strategy. And they fielded a few phone
calls from teams sending out feelers about the possibility of moving up or down
in the draft. But for the most part, the day's work was done by about 1:30 p.m.
In a way, the quiet day was a fitting end to the pre-draft period. Why? Because
the Rams were as tight-lipped about their draft plans as they've ever been
since the move to St. Louis in 1995. General manager Charley Armey returned
very few phone calls. Amazingly, coach Mike Martz didn't utter one pre-draft
word about 2005 draft, bypassing the team's annual pre-draft luncheon
In one bit of nondraft news, the Rams have considered signing journeyman
offensive tackle Matt Willig, an unrestricted free agent who played for
Carolina the past two seasons.
Re: KC/Miami trade may force Rams to move up
Ch ch CHanges..
I thought trades and maneuvers with a couple surprise picks thrown in would make this a long, unpredictable day.
Re: KC/Miami trade may force Rams to move up
There was a rumor floating around a couple days ago that the Saints have been talking to the Lions about moving into the top ten if a certain unnamed player is still on the board. The Saints would give the Lions New Orleans the 16th overall pick and DE Darren Howard for the 10th overall pick. Personally, I think they're after Derrick Johnson, but we'll have to see.
It should be noted that, according to the draft pick value chart, the Rams could (1) trade their first round pick as well as the third rounder they got from Miami and a Day Two pick to move up to Houston's slot, (2) package both third rounders and their first to move into the top ten, (3) send our first and latter third round pick to KC to switch in the first, or (4) package our first, second, and original third, and probably enter the top eight. Value wise, it all works out. Whether or not they could do it, we'll see.