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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    NFL Draft Grapevine
    February 6, 2009
    01:00:01
    By Cory J. Bonini
    Edited by Bryce McRae

    What should the St. Louis Rams do with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft?

    Let's go on the assumption the Detroit Lions stay put and select University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford. While we have our doubts, we're going to run with that notion.

    In that event, the Rams are faced with a few clear options and a few less-likely choices. Some would argue their biggest need is an offensive playmaker and some say a quarterback, but most people have the Rams targeting an offensive tackle. They can use any help they can get on defense, but it would be a bit surprising if they went that route given the lack of elite defensive players worth considering at No. 2 and St. Louis' meager offensive showing in 2008.

    The most likely choice for the Rams comes down to their preference of three premier offensive tackles: the University of Alabama's Andre Smith, University of Virginia's Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher, from the University of Mississippi. For giggles, let's add Baylor University's Jason Smith to the equation and then immediately remove him from consideration.

    A growing sentiment is that Monroe is the best of the batch, and we have a hard time arguing. Currently, we project Andre Smith to be their selection, but you can expect to see that shift to Monroe in our next mock draft. Oher is better suited, at least initially, to play right tackle in the NFL. The Rams could use one and move right tackle Alex Barron inside. There is little reason to believe Barron is capable of this transition since he has struggled mightily at the position he was drafted to play. Left tackle Orlando Pace is on his last leg and has been rumored to be retiring for nearly as long as New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre has been publicly flirting with the same idea. When push comes to shove, Monroe is probably the most NFL-ready of this group in terms of how his game translates to the pro level.

    Support for the quarterback argument, albeit quite mild with regard to its backing, doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Sure, current Rams starting quarterback Marc Bulger has suffered through two down seasons in a row and has struggled mightily at times with injury, but the team has a lot of money committed to him. A midround quarterback prospect to groom for a season or two would be more prudent. Furthermore, assuming Stafford goes No. 1 overall, we can't imagine the Rams would draft University of Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez with the second pick given all of the uncertainty around him as a pro passer.

    Head coach Steve Spagnuolo probably wants to build a similar outfit to what he had around him in New York - a power-running team that relies on the quarterback to not screw up while a stout defense carries the team. Why would he want to draft a questionable quarterback at No. 2?

    The playmaker theory is gaining some steam lately. That playmaker in question is Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree. With wide receiver Torry Holt getting up there in years (33 in June), the Rams could look to find a replacement for the eventual Hall of Famer. Crabtree, who we compare to Houston Texans wideout Andre Johnson, would definitely fit the bill. He could be the selection, and recent reports suggest the Rams have held internal discussions regarding Crabtree, which can only be expected. Even after drafting wide receiver Donnie Avery in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft the Rams still lack talent at the position, and there is a lot of question if Avery will ever mature into a true No. 1 receiver.

    The selection of Crabtree comes down to need versus greater need, and we have a hard time buying the wide receiver position being the greater of the two needs.

    Much like with the first overall pick, trading into the No. 2 spot is awfully difficult in today's NFL. The cost of not only trading the necessary picks to acquire the selection but the immense contract paid to the player makes it a tough sell.

    The Rams do not have much of a choice, in our eyes. They have to draft the offensive tackle they are most comfortable with. Monroe will probably be the choice, but they should do just fine with Alabama's Smith or Ole Miss' Oher, too.


  2. #2
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    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    I think we really have to go with an OT or a defensive player with the pick. I don't have the faith in Barron any longer that he's going to be anything but a career backup. If Pace could just stay healthy, although the injuries are probably due to 13 years busting people up, it would be much easier to determine what he has left. No way do we draft a QB and if we can get Torry to restructure his contract, other teams have had success with a lot less talent at WR than Holt, Avery, Burton and a healthy (???) Bennett so I think we can skip Crabtree since we have much bigger areas of need. Defensively it's obvious we need help. We've used high picks on DL the past couple years so a stud LB would be nice. Whoever we pick we certainly can't miss on. They need to be a stud and make an impact quickly (I know that's obvious but...)

  3. #3
    keith m. klink Guest
    i think that the coach and his team will see the success that BURRIS and MANNING had , and i'm sorry , but CRABTREE will be it , we will fill the tackle spot in the draft , but after round 1 , as will the needed defense. like i said , i think there is a shakeup on the roster that NO-ONE expected or even believes . BUT I DO !!

    But one more point here . this grapevine thing , Why is it we HAVE TOO take a tackle at #2 . Why not 2nd or 3rd , and who said we have to draft a tackle to start this yearwhen we have no idea what players will even be here next week. This idea of not taking a special player , a differance maker like CRABTREE , that will only make the WR's better in my opinion . BUT , what if we did . Lets throw this out there

    RD 1 - CRABTREE -WR
    RD 2 - BEATTIE - OT

    Would people that wanted CURRY - RAJI in the first and BEATTIE or BRITTON in the second be wrong just because some feel a tackle has too be #1.

    And my last point ! at the end of the stread , he put SMITH - OHER - MONROE in the very same #2 pick boat . that means they feel anyone of those players is better all around than anyone else involved in the discussions .

    I wouldn't be mad to get MONROE , but i don't think either SMITH or OHER is what we need at #2 . but i do like the idea of have :
    AVERY
    BURTON
    CRABTREE
    STANLEY.....as our 4 future groupies ... with the veteran side coming in the form of.
    BENNETT..( only because we have too, he should take a pay restructure or cut .
    HOLT .. if he is in the plans ( i really don't know ) he should also restructure
    LOOKER.. heis just an ever-steady veteran and always contributes .

    Now this might keep coaches up with the addition of MR. JACKSON to the equasion .
    Last edited by Nick; -02-10-2009 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Merging back to back posts

  4. #4
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    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    Keith I really don't see us going WR in the first. It will either be a Defensive play maker, LB or DT or it will be OT

  5. #5
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    GOOD CALL , but i think its gonna be a big big shakeup , and players are gonna leave . we don't know what free agency brings yet this year , but i bet we get surprised more than we think .

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    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    Aaron curry
    or
    Eugene Monroe

  7. #7
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    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post


    A growing sentiment is that Monroe is the best of the batch, and we have a hard time arguing. Currently, we project Andre Smith to be their selection, but you can expect to see that shift to Monroe in our next mock draft. Oher is better suited, at least initially, to play right tackle in the NFL. The Rams could use one and move right tackle Alex Barron inside. There is little reason to believe Barron is capable of this transition since he has struggled mightily at the position he was drafted to play. Left tackle Orlando Pace is on his last leg and has been rumored to be retiring for nearly as long as New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre has been publicly flirting with the same idea. When push comes to shove, Monroe is probably the most NFL-ready of this group in terms of how his game translates to the pro level.
    I've said it before, if Barron isn't starting we should at least let him compete with Grecco for the RG spot.

  8. #8
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by keith m. klink View Post
    Why is it we HAVE TOO take a tackle at #2
    You don't have to. But over 80% of the starting left tackles in the NFL are either former first or second round picks, and last year's draft shows that you can't count on being able to get a player with left tackle potential in the second round because there could be another run of them.

    The Rams have a chance to address arguably their biggest long-term need (LT) with the draft's best prospect at that position. When talent and need come together like that, it's a hard thing to pass up.

  9. #9
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    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    The Rams have a chance to address arguably their biggest long-term need (LT) with the draft's best prospect at that position. When talent and need come together like that, it's a hard thing to pass up.
    If Pace restructures, we don't absolutely have to go tackle at #2 overall. We should be able to find a center in FA. Bell can play right tackle, and Barron can fill in at left if need be. We're not exactly thin at guard either, with Setterstrom, Greco, and Schuening backing up Bell and Cogs. If 80% of starting left tackles are 1st or 2nd round picks, there is always next year, or round two this year. If Billy and Spags really think the the most "can't miss" player at #2 overall is an OT, then I'm sold. Until then - like Tx said - every position on the roster except punter and kicker should be up for grabs ... I don't see Holt as being willing to restructure to help us out this year. Our cap room will increase when he's gone. Until we fans get a clearer picture on which of the current players on the Rams' roster will be gone in 2009, it's difficult to accurately assess what will happen in round 1 with regard to our 2nd overall selection. After the combine and then a week later when free agency begins, it should help clarify things a bit.

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: KFFL Draft Grapevine for St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    If Pace restructures, we don't absolutely have to go tackle at #2 overall.
    I agree, which is why the first part of my response said that "You don't have to" draft a tackle second overall.

    But I don't think you can say "there's always round two this year" because it's possible our second round pick comes around and there isn't a tackle to choose that's good value there. Remember the run of tackles in last year's draft?

    There are actually a number of different players this team could select with their first pick and I'd be fine with it. I agree that it doesn't have to be an OT. But I want to see OT addressed somehow this year, and current NFL rosters indicate that chances are slim a tackle taken later than round two develops into a quality starter at left tackle.

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