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-05-07-2014 #1Registered User
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My Wednesday Draft Thoughts
Sometimes a deal for the first rounder gets done the day before the draft, which sure would make this one easier to predict even at the very top.
This year, though almost all see Clowney as the #1 to someone, there is still a sllight chance for a surprise right at the start.
I've been a draft freak, which is the only way to describe the depth of my obsession, for 44 years now, just one step below the great Joel Buchsbaum, my draft idol, and a man who lived for his mother, his small dog, and the draft.
He INVENTED, with limited resources and no combine, the whole industry this has become, so mentioning a great talent evaluator who died too young, a guy head and shoulders above the rest during his time, and remembering the father of all this should be part of every old draftnik's history should not go without mention here.
The top pick's are all in question, both what player and what team, in this exciting draft that will see good talent through round three or four, will make up the top ten. However, most have a clear view of the tiers that make up the top 65 or so players in this draft.
The main thing that I can say for sure today, and probably still tomorrow is that for the first time in awhile I am really torn about what I would do if I were the Rams, what position or player I really have to have first.
I can't decide whether I have to have a DB in round one, or a WR, and whether I'd prefer an extra #2 to getting a top tier player that fits need, and I can't even decide which top tier guy I'd have to have.
I know these facts;
There are seven players in the top tier, and none are QBs, so trading down past #7 means you could miss out on a top tier player. ANy QB taken early, say #! overall, moves that number downward.
This is why Detroit and Buffalo, among others are exploring trade ups.
I do NOT see the Rams trading down to where they don't get one of this top tier of;
OT Robinson, Matthews, Lewan
WR Watkins, Evans
The next tier on my board contains two QBs among only 12 players.
This smaller second tier will make teams drafting in the 20s really be looking to trade up to get one of these players, though a QB fall could push those guys down to t he 20s.
QB Manziel, Bortles
OT Z Martin
DT A. Donald
CB Dennard, Gilbert, Fuller
S Clinton -Dix
S C. Pryor
LB C. Mosely
The biggest strength of this draft is the third tier, which runs about 35-40 deep.
It is why second rounders are more precious even than usual this year, and why teams in the 20s and 30s will be more than happy to deal out of round one to teams trading up for just the right QB.
Overall, round one, and this draft are very much slanted toward offensive players the first three rounds.
It is especially weak in 4-3 DE and pass rushers in general, and the DT group is also quite thin and not great in even the top 5.
It's also a very poor crop of 4 -3 linebackers, inside and out.
This is going to make teams deciding between defense and offense as equal needs more likely to snatch one of the few blue chip defenders.
On defense, only defensive back offers a better than normal group as far as top talent and depth.
Like last year, offensive tackles will again dominate the top 12, with 4 expected to go, and it's very unlikely now that #4, Zack Martin will last to pick 13, a big deal for the Rams plans with their first pick.
Cornerbacks and receivers will dominate the last 20 picks of round one, interrupted only by QBs and 3-4 pass rushers.
Round two should see a bunch more receivers go off the board with QBs the first half of that round, along with some more DBs. The last half of round two will see a bunch of linemen and running backs taken, along with a continuation of more receivers and DBs.
I can see a bunch of very good guards and centers available early in round three, along with more running back.
I keep getting asked by my non-draftnik pals, "Who will the Rams take?"
This year, I have to ask t hem , "Where will t hey be drafting?"
I'll say this. The Rams will end up with one of the top four OT, and a DB in round one, filling the needs they said long ago would be the focus. I see a safety in round two, one of Ward, Buchanon, Joyner, and perhaps a guard in round three if they don't acquire another #2, which would land a top guard and leave #3 open to a QB, a RB, or anything the Rams could use.
A WR at ANY point that is a great value would not surprise, however, though the number of teams really needing WR more than the Rams will thin the crop very quickly and also lead to some deal ups in the top 40.
So not taking a WR early could still help the Rams by the effect of all the ones teams as many as nine of them before #44 that will help a better player at another spot fall to the Rams there, especially a safety.Barry Waller
Re: My Wednesday Draft Thoughts
Barry, as usual interesting as well insightful. I'm very glad the Rams have people running this draft who know what they're doing as far as player evaluations. While there is plenty of talent as you cite, when to move on player seems critical, because once you get past the 2nd round you're filling needs rather than simply taking the BPA.
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