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  1. #1
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    My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Round 1: Adam Carriker
    Optimists: He's an immediate impact player who can play anywhere on the D line.
    Pessimists: He's a bit of a 'tweener who could have a hard time finding a position.
    Consensus: A good solid pick who should immediatly help the run defense.

    Round 2: Brian Leonard
    Optimists: He's the perfect compliment for Steven Jackson and can contribute on special teams as well.
    Pessimists: The Rams reached in the second round and passed on much better players.
    Consensus: He's a very good prospect, but somewhat of a luxury pick with good OL and DE on the board.

    Round 3: Jonathan Wade
    Optimists: He was a second round value in the third round.
    Pessimists: He's a good athlete, but an undisciplined project as a football player.
    Consensus: He's a player with good upside who was worth a third round pick.

    Round 5: Dustin Fry
    Optimists: He was one of the top 3 centers in the draft and could challenge for a starting role immediately.
    Pessimists: He is strong, but lacks technique, and is probably a backup at best.
    Consensus: He's a strong, nasty player who could develop into a starter.

    Round 5: Clifton Ryan
    Optimists: He is sleeper who could emerge as the starting DT.
    Pessimists: He is a hard worker, but very limited physically.
    Consensus: A good value for Round 6 and a player who will work hard in whatever role he's given.

    Round 6: Ken Shackleford
    Optimists: Could be the RT of the future.
    Pessimists: A project who will be lucky to make the roster.
    Consensus: A player with good size who could provide quality depth.

    Round 7: Keith Jackson
    Optimists: A good run plugger who could be better than C.Ryan.
    Pessimists: Too small for NT, too slow to be a pass rusher.
    Consensus: A hardworking player who is worth a 6th rounder.

    Round 7: Derek Stanley
    Optimists: Very fast player who could be a good understudy for D.Hall.
    Pessimists: Won't be able to transition from DIII to NFL.
    Consensus: Worth a shot as a late round pick.

    OVERALL
    Optimists: A great draft that could produce several immediate contributers.
    Pessimists: A bad draft consisting of players who don't fit and missed opportunities.
    Consensus: A solid, conservative, draft that hit most, but not all of the need areas.


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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    I think the consensus view is a fair one. The real criticism when you slice to the bottom line is that the rams didnt address the pass rush in the draft at all. We have put a LOT of eggs in the james hall basket and he is 30 years old coming off surgery. If god forbid anything happens to leonard, we may not get into the same zip code as the qb.

    I am one of the people who believe that while run defense is obviously a major issue, lack of pass rush is almost as big of a problem. We just couldnt stop people on third and long last year in large part because other than leonard, we couldnt get any pressure. Teams would routinely double leonard and then all the pressure was on the cbs and that is a very very tough task for teams with much better cb's than ours.

    Thus, its a fair point to call leonard a luxery pick, no matter how good he is. As for the rest of the picks, i am not sure that anyone really has much of a problem with any of them.

    I think if we get charles johnson instead of wade in round 3, almost everyone on this board would be jumping up and down right now.

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Thus, its a fair point to call leonard a luxery pick, no matter how good he is. As for the rest of the picks, i am not sure that anyone really has much of a problem with any of them.

    I think if we get charles johnson instead of wade in round 3, almost everyone on this board would be jumping up and down right now.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    It will be interesting to see which player (C.Johnson or B. Leonard) has the greatest impact on their team respectively at the end of the upcoming season ...

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    I'm torn on that one. On the one hand, Johnson had some big numbers last year at UGA. On the other, it wouldn't shock me if a 2nd year Victor Adeyanju is far more productive than a rookie Johnson.

    I agree with GC, though, that the Rams are putting a lot of faith in Little and Hall's health/productivity.

    One guy the Rams may look at to improve this area is Lance Johnstone. While he is getting up there in years, and didn't do much in Oakland last year, he is only one year removed from being a perrenial 10+ sack guy. As a situational player, he could be a good fit.

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    I basically agree with the consensus opinions listed there, except for the consensus conclusion. I wouldn't call it a conservative draft. Carricker is a safe pick...that is unless they decide to convert him to nose tackle. If that's the case, I'd say we're gambling by projecting him into a role he really hasn't performed in the past. Leonard doesn't have any red flags, but Wade strikes me as a gamble. He's a real boom-or-bust type player because nobody knows whether he'll eventually develop the football skills to accompany his speed and agility.

    The one thing I'd say for certain is that we drafted character and effort.

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Round 2: Brian Leonard
    Optimists: He's the perfect compliment for Steven Jackson and can contribute on special teams as well.
    Pessimists: The Rams reached in the second round and passed on much better players.
    Consensus: He's a very good prospect, but somewhat of a luxury pick with good OL and DE on the board.
    AV turn this one into a poll question. It would be a good one. Not to say you have it wrong...ok I think you have it wrong

    I'm torn on that one. On the one hand, Johnson had some big numbers last year at UGA. On the other, it wouldn't shock me if a 2nd year Victor Adeyanju is far more productive than a rookie Johnson.
    I think this is right on, Victor and Hall where not going to be beating out by CJ. Also CJ may have, I say May have, had a break out year due to Moses on the other side.

    Goes back to taking best player over biggest need IMO.
    Last edited by Rambos; -05-01-2007 at 05:17 PM.

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Interesting point from rambos. Frankly, i might feel better about it if charles johnson was available and we took wade in a strange way because then we would have selected our view of best player available. The feeling in my stomach is over the pick swap on the hall deal.

    Its not a bad statement that victor plus hall will outproduce johnson, assuming hall is healthy which we dont know. In the long run, wade may well outproduce johnson and we may be no worse off.

    ramming speed to all

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    I think the consensus view is a fair one. The real criticism when you slice to the bottom line is that the rams didnt address the pass rush in the draft at all. We have put a LOT of eggs in the james hall basket and he is 30 years old coming off surgery. If god forbid anything happens to leonard, we may not get into the same zip code as the qb.
    Fantastic post, GC. I'm basically in 100% agreement with you.

    This team was mediocre at best in the pass rush department last year. We tied for 19th in total sacks, averaging about 2 per game, and I don't believe any other defensive end had more than two besides Little. James Hall is a fine addition, but he's 30-years-old and coming off of injury - hardly someone we should 100% depend on at this point. On the other side, Little is 32 and his motor is bound to start slowing down at some point. The only person behind them is Adeyanju, who is much more of a run-defending end than a pass rusher - he's even admitted as much.

    Also consider how much more we could be playing the pass this season. We've stacked this team offensively, and I think everyone is anticipating us being able to score some points. If we do that, teams are going to have to go through the air to try and keep up instead of pounding it down our throat like they did in 2006. Therefore, there will likely be more pass rush opportunities. Having a young rookie to be able to sub in on occasion during those plays would have been very nice. Look back at the kind of impact Mark Anderson had for the Bears as a situational pass rusher.


    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    It will be interesting to see which player (C.Johnson or B. Leonard) has the greatest impact on their team respectively at the end of the upcoming season ...
    The question shouldn't be just between Johnson and Leonard, nor should it just be about next year's production. Johnson was a third round option that we just missed out on, and you draft rookies for the long-term instead of just the following season.

    But let's ask ourselves this question regarding the guys we passed up in the second round - Ryan Kalil, Victor Abiamiri, Tim Crowder, etc. We all basically know that Brian Leonard is not going to be a starter for us. He's the #2 tailback behind Jackson and though he may see a moderate number of touches, he's not going to be in the starting line-up as a tailback. So ask yourself, if any of the players we passed on in round two do develop into capable starters or something even better, did we make the right choice?

    Frankly, even though I envision Linehan finding ways to work Leonard into the offense as a sub for Jackson, I would much more often than not take a potential starter in round two over a guy whom I'm nearly positive will be a situational guy off the bench.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I think this is right on, Victor and Hall where not going to be beating out by CJ.
    I don't think the point of drafting Charles Johnson (or Victor Abiamiri or Tim Crowder) would be simply so he/they could try to beat out a starter this year. Even if they don't start, you have a guy you can bring in as part of a rotation whom you can develop to start in the future. Little (33 this fall) and Hall (30) aren't going to be around for the long-haul, and we lack a pass rusher to develop for the future and rotate in with them.

    People like to talk about what happens to our running game if Jackson goes down, but I'm not sure I've seen many people ask what happens to our pass rush if Leonard Little goes down.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Goes back to taking best player over biggest need IMO.
    Which is a fine strategy, but I don't even think Leonard was the best player on the board at that point. Perhaps the Rams felt different, though I suspect they had a small case of tunnel vision when it came to Leonard. They wanted him specifically, but knew he wouldn't be there in the third round (which I agree with). So they passed on some other prospects to take him in round two.

    To me, what the Rams did wasn't necessarily taking the best player or taking their biggest need. It was simply taking the guy they wanted regardless of other factors (such as value, need, or other options). We'll have to wait a few years to see whether or not their tactic paid off.
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  9. #9
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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    I don't think the point of drafting Charles Johnson (or Victor Abiamiri or Tim Crowder) would be simply so he/they could try to beat out a starter this year. Even if they don't start, you have a guy you can bring in as part of a rotation whom you can develop to start in the future. Little (33 this fall) and Hall (30) aren't going to be around for the long-haul, and we lack a pass rusher to develop for the future and rotate in with them.
    If you are the GM or the owner of the team, sounds good. If you are the HC, not so good. You don't have 5 plus years to turn a team around. I would try and win now, if I was a new coach. Unless the Steelers just hired me.

    To me, what the Rams did wasn't necessarily taking the best player or taking their biggest need. It was simply taking the guy they wanted regardless of other factors (such as value, need, or other options). We'll have to wait a few years to see whether or not their tactic paid off.
    You might be right on this. The thing none of us really know, is how much of a priority was a soild back up RB. I thought a DE, pass rusher was a bigger need. Maybe the Rams would say RB was higher on there list, it would be interesting to see the Rams board.


    Maybe with Wroten, Little and Carrike the FO feels the rush does not have to come from the DE spot.

    I would have liked us too trade our 2nd plus what ever is equal in value to move back up in the first and grab Spencer. I’m not totally sold on Hall’s health. I hope Hall stays healthy; it’s not out of the question he gets 8-10 sacks and plays the run well. Next year DE will be higher on the list due to the age of Little and Hall.

    Even if they don't start, you have a guy you can bring in as part of a rotation whom you can develop to start in the future. Little (33 this fall) and Hall (30) aren't going to be around for the long-haul, and we lack a pass rusher to develop for the future and rotate in with them.

    Here is the thing, a back up DE for the future or a FB/RB that will add to this team from day one. Playing ST, catching the ball, short-yardage situations, goal line and helping SJ stay fresh.

    Again I would take Leonard. If we passed on a DE that could have started I would have taken the DE. I just don’t think that DE was there in round 2.
    Last edited by Rambos; -05-02-2007 at 12:57 PM.

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    If you are the GM or the owner of the team, sounds good. If you are the HC, not so good. You don't have 5 plus years to turn a team around. I would try and win now, if I was a new coach. Unless the Steelers just hired me.
    And a situational pass rusher can help you win now as well. Again, see Mark Anderson on Chicago. Having a rotation of guys on the edge helps keep our DEs fresh. That kind of immediate impact can't be ignored.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Here is the thing, a back up DE for the future or a FB/RB that will add to this team from day one. Playing ST, catching the ball, short-yardage situations, goal line and helping SJ stay fresh.
    Again, you write as if a second round DE will have absolutely no immediate impact on this team. That's simply not the case.

    Now, for the stuff from the other thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I feel better now then I did before the draft at that back up.
    And I would have felt A LOT better if we could have made moves to help both positions, which I believe we certainly could have by going DE in the second round when Crowder & Abiamiri were there for the taking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Nick anyone could go down at anytime IMO.
    Which is exactly why you have to have that depth, especially at a position like DE where you start two guys in all of your packages and only one guy on the depth chart behind them. Carriker could move out to DE, and will probably see some time there anyways, but the Rams clearly want to use him primarily at DT and shifting him to give him more time outside due to injuries elsewhere stunts his inside development. Hardly ideal at all.
    Last edited by Nick; -05-02-2007 at 02:42 PM.
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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Also consider how much more we could be playing the pass this season. We've stacked this team offensively, and I think everyone is anticipating us being able to score some points. If we do that, teams are going to have to go through the air to try and keep up instead of pounding it down our throat like they did in 2006. Therefore, there will likely be more pass rush opportunities. Having a young rookie to be able to sub in on occasion during those plays would have been very nice. Look back at the kind of impact Mark Anderson had for the Bears as a situational pass rusher.

    I just wanted to say that the point you brought up in this post is absolutely brilliant. It had completely slipped my mind that teams will HAVE to pass to keep up wwith us next year. I have even been saying myself how far ahead our offense will put us every Sunday and that our Rush D will let us down. But when you think about what you've stated above, maybe Linehan has found a creative way around having a decent Rush D. Having a Crazy O!

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    Again, you write as if a second round DE will have absolutely no immediate impact on this team. That's simply not the case.
    Read into what you will, if I had to choose on back up postions over other. I like the pick period. IMO

    And I would have felt A LOT better if we could have made moves to help both positions, which I believe we certainly could have by going DE in the second round when Crowder & Abiamiri were there for the taking.
    Take a back up DE in the seond and another back up RB in the ???? Thats one way to go. FO and coachs did it thier way. I agree with them...


    Hardly ideal at all.
    The ideal thing to me would be Hall plays all 16 games has 10 sacks and plays the run well. I think thats why we got him.

    Rams clearly want to use him primarily at DT and shifting him to give him more time outside due to injuries elsewhere stunts his inside development. Hardly ideal at all.
    I agree they want him at DT, but if you have to move him to play DE due to injuries, the fact is he can. You acted like there was no one on the roster, you ask who would we play at DE. he is on the roster. The word ideal goes out the window when you lose a starters. IMO

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    I'm a Rutgers guy, so I'm biased.... but Leonard is much more than a backup. The guy is extremely versatile. He can really catch the ball and I'm sure he will spend plenty of time on the field as a h-back type, at TE, split wide (like he did in college) and at FB, in addition to spelling Jackson.

    As for the pass rush: 1. good points about the better O making teams pass, but maybe if the Rams could stop the run a little bit some of those guys could pin their ears back and go and if teams passed more in '06 there would have been more sacks. 2. I believe that pass rush is something that is important, but can be manufactured. IF you can stop the run, you will be able to use a variety of blitzes and schemes to generate a pass rush without having Gastineau or Bruce Smith.

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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    All the comments posted here are of great validity. If I can add a few thoughts of my own, I would say drafting Brian Leonard was a solid move as the edge rushers available were not worthy of a 2nd round pick. Living in Rutgers backyard here in NJ, I can tell you this kid is just the type of hard-nosed, lunch pail type player the Rams need. He gives us many options with his ability to block for Jackson or Bulger in passing situations. As for pass rush I have faith that Haslett will create nickel and dime packages involving LB's and DB's who will blitz the opposing QB.

    The "whiners" will have a solid linebacker contingent with Willis from this draft and Manny Lawson from last year. Makes our running game tougher, plus look at our schedule....Baltimore, Pitt, Cincy, Dallas all good run defense teams. If he gives us a fraction of the Mike Alstott thing, more better! He reminds me of a type player the Patriots would have on their team because of his versatility.

    Linehan's trying to make us competitive with bigger, tougher players like Randy McMichael at TE, Drew Bennett at WR and Adam Carricker for the DL. We are not going to be the "finesse" team we were several years ago, but that is what succeeds in the NFL right now. My humble opinion.

  15. #15
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    Re: My Read On The Consensus Opinions on the Rams' Picks

    He created blitz packages last year, for all the good it did.

    This team still needs a true pass-rushing end to play behind Hall and to come in on pass-rushing situations.

    Leonard is indeed a good pick and well worth it.

    But the Rams still need a pass-rushing right DE regardless.

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