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    Nick's Avatar
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    Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    With the underclassmen officially locked in, I thought it would be fun to try to put together a Rams mock offseason. This is my first mock offseason of the new year, and assumes a collective bargaining agreement that is in place to allow for a standard free agent period. Comments and constructive criticism is always welcome. Enjoy!


    FREE AGENCY
    -Tender/resign WR Mark Clayton, RB Kenneth Darby, OL John Greco, OL Renardo Foster, DT Gary Gibson, LB David Vobora
    -Sign Darren Sproles (RB, San Diego)
    -Sign Mathias Kiwanuka (DE, New York)
    -Sign Rocky McIntosh (LB, Washington)
    -Sign Owen Daniels (TE, Houston)

    I believe Clayton, Darby, Greco, Foster, Gibson, and Vobora can all be contributors for the Rams in the future. Clayton demonstrated that he's capable of starting for this team at receiver. Darby has shown flashes of ability as a third down 'back. Greco and Foster provide adequate depth at guard and tackle, respectively. Gibson's experience this season will make him a valuable back-up on this team when called upon. Vobora remains versatile and a good depth player.

    Regarding new additions, the Rams were interested in Sproles last year but he was retained by San Diego. He'd be a fine change of pace 'back behind Jackson. Kiwanuka has had some injury concerns but would join the team with a familiarity with Spag's defensive approach. Rocky McIntosh does not figure into the future in Washington in their 3-4 scheme, and could step in immediately as a starting outside linebacker for the Rams. Daniels had some injury issues that kept him out of the line-up at times in Houston, so the Texans may opt to pass. A short-term contract would provide the Rams with another weapon on offense while they wait for young players already at the position to develop and grow.


    DRAFT

    Round One: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    Round Two: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida
    Round Three: Mason Foster, LB, Washington
    Round Four: Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State
    Round Five: Henry Hynoski, FB, Pittsburgh
    Round Six: DeJon Gomes, SS, Nebraska
    Round Seven: Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel

    I think there's a good chance Julio Jones is on the board when the Rams pick. Blessed with top physical gifts, he could grow with Bradford to become a great pair of playmakers for the Rams. A strong offseason could see Pouncey work his way into the bottom of the first round, but I have him penciled into the second round right now. The Rams found a starting lineman in last year's second round, and could find a new starting right guard in Pouncey this year. Foster is a solid Day Two prospect who, like McIntosh, shouldn't have a problem working his way into the Rams' starting line-up. I like Guy in the fourth round as a versatile player who can penetrate; I think with some time in the weight room, he could become an effective starting lineman. Some might think the fifth round is too early for a fullback, but I like what Pittsburgh's Hynoski brings to the table. He's a capable lead blocker who could help open holes for Jackson (or Sproles), but he's an upgrade over Karney with the ball in his hands. Gomes and Allen would get a shot to provide some depth to a secondary that could certainly use more talent.


    SUMMARY
    This offseason projection won't solve all of the Rams' needs, but it would be a nice step towards fixing a few of their more serious ailments. Resigning Clayton and drafting Jones gives the Rams two talented starting receivers - Clayton as the dependable #2 and Jones as a talent who could develop into a dangerous #1. Bringing in Sproles and Daniels as free agents also helps improve the Rams' offense, giving Bradford more weapons to utilize. While Jacob Bell would remain as the starting left guard, rookie Mike Pouncey would have every opportunity to win the starting right guard spot previously filled by Adam Goldberg. That, as well as an upgrade at fullback in Hynoski, should help improve a lackluster running game.

    Defensively, the Rams remain intact at numerous spots but receive an upgrade at every level. Free agent Mathias Kiwanuka teams with rookie Lawrence Guy to add more youth and talent to the Rams' defensive line, while two new starting linebackers are added in McIntosh and Foster. The secondary unfortunately did not receive as big of an upgrade as they may need, but depth was added in Gomes and Allen, with the hope that one or either of them could become situational contributors down the line.


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    sosa39rams's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    I like it, but I don't think Pouncey lasts until round 2, nor do I think Foster lasts until round 3. If so, this offseason would be excellent, filling in many holes. Also, what do you think happens with Diggs since you have us taking McIntosh and Foster/

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    I like it, but I don't think Pouncey lasts until round 2, nor do I think Foster lasts until round 3. If so, this offseason would be excellent, filling in many holes.
    Only time will tell, but I feel pretty good about where I have them slotted, at least as of right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Also, what do you think happens with Diggs since you have us taking McIntosh and Foster/
    Depth or competing for a starting spot.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    What's your take on Atogwe? Do we resign him, or let him slip away?

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    I agree there is a chance for Pouncey to slip to the 2nd round, but not sure I see him still on the board when we pick in the 2nd. Would love your draft though.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Some might think the fifth round is too early for a fullback, but I like what Pittsburgh's Hynoski brings to the table. He's a capable lead blocker who could help open holes for Jackson (or Sproles), but he's an upgrade over Karney with the ball in his hands.
    I think that any Rams fan who has the hide to criticise the organisation for spending a fifth round pick on a fullback should punch 'Brian Leonard' into their search engine of choice and proceed to thank their lucky stars that the DeSpags organisation has at least some understanding of how to draft responsibly and successfully.

    As to the rest of the mock, I enjoyed it. I think that if we were looking to save some money, I think that Daniels would probably be the most likely candidate to be avoided with Hoomawanui already on the roster.

    I also feel like we'd be lucky to find Jones, Pouncey andFoster on the board at the time that we pick, but I certainly wouldn't have a problem if that came to pass.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramendola16 View Post
    What's your take on Atogwe? Do we resign him, or let him slip away?
    Technically he's under contract, so I was assuming we either pick up his options or renegotiate.

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    I agree there is a chance for Pouncey to slip to the 2nd round, but not sure I see him still on the board when we pick in the 2nd. Would love your draft though.
    Perhaps, I'm just not sure I see a clear destination for him prior to the Rams in the second round. New England or Pittsburgh at the end of the first might take a shot if he improves his stock, maybe Cincinnati in the second, but a lot of the teams ahead of the Rams would probably benefit from tackle help more than they would guard. I guess I'm just not as convinced as others that he won't be there. I think he'll have to have an impressive offseason to boost his stock out of the Rams' reach, and skipping the Senior Bowl isn't a good way to start that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    As to the rest of the mock, I enjoyed it. I think that if we were looking to save some money, I think that Daniels would probably be the most likely candidate to be avoided with Hoomawanui already on the roster.
    True. Of all the free agent signings, Daniels was kind of the luxury one. I'm just not sure Hoomanawanui is ready to take over the starting role, what with his injuries and previous durability concerns. Can he hold up to a full season? Time will tell, but I think a free agent upgrade over Fells would be nice. A luxury, but still nice.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    I havent seen a mock yet that doesnt have pouncey going in the top 22, or mason not in the 2nd. That said so much changes after combines that it is possibe. If we got those guys in the first 3 rds i think we would all be happy.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alec22 View Post
    I havent seen a mock yet that doesnt have pouncey going in the top 22, or mason not in the 2nd.
    I've seen plenty that don't have him in the first and have him ranked on their big boards in the 40s to 50s range, so we'll just have to wait and see. I simply haven't seen enough evidence to be convinced he absolutely won't be there. Right now, I think fans are overrating him a bit based on his reputation and the success his brother has had as a rookie.
    Last edited by Nick; -01-23-2011 at 03:03 PM.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I've seen plenty that don't have him in the first and have him ranked on their big boards in the 40s to 50s range, so we'll just have to wait and see. I simply haven't seen enough evidence to be convinced he absolutely won't be there. Right now, I think fans are overrating him a bit based on his reputation and the success his brother has had as a rookie.
    You're 100% right there Nick. There is a possibility that he will be there. The last sentence you said was so correct, he is being overrated heavily because of the success his brother had. I hope we get him in round 2 and I hope he does better than his brother.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Nice job Nick. I do, however, have some reservations about taking a WR in the first. Since 1937 the Rams have only drafted a WR in the first on two occasions, Torry Holt (1999) and Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch (1945). Granted, this was a position of glaring need this year with both Donny Avery and Mark Clayton on IR, but will it be that critical next season (if there is one)? Avery should be back at 100% and Clayton should be re-signed. Also, there are FA some options out there which are known quantities.
    Past Rams first round drafts picks have been, overwhelmingly, for defensive backfield positions. I feel that Devaney and Co. will draft the best available player at a position of need, but they won't reach for a WR if Jones isn't available at 14. I'm looking at OLB, Von Miller or Akeem Ayers in the first. Just some thoughts.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    You're 100% right there Nick. There is a possibility that he will be there. The last sentence you said was so correct, he is being overrated heavily because of the success his brother had. I hope we get him in round 2 and I hope he does better than his brother.
    I also agree. If Mike was as good of a player as his brother, he would have been playing in the NFL last year with his brother. It also makes me suspicious because he looked significantly better in 2009 when his brother was playing next to him. As a prospect he's alot like Eli Manning, except 300 lbs.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Can he hold up to a full season? Time will tell, but I think a free agent upgrade over Fells would be nice. A luxury, but still nice.
    You could probably ask that same question of Daniels at this point in time. With that said, I agree completely: an upgrade over Fells would certainly be nice.

  14. #14
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    You're 100% right there Nick. There is a possibility that he will be there. The last sentence you said was so correct, he is being overrated heavily because of the success his brother had. I hope we get him in round 2 and I hope he does better than his brother.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigGameTH View Post
    I also agree. If Mike was as good of a player as his brother, he would have been playing in the NFL last year with his brother. It also makes me suspicious because he looked significantly better in 2009 when his brother was playing next to him. As a prospect he's alot like Eli Manning, except 300 lbs.
    Yeah, I think some would argue he may have made a mistake coming back for his senior season, but we'll see. As I've said before, he could rise up draft boards with a strong offseason showing, but not going to the Senior Bowl isn't a good start to that process. There are some possible destinations in the bottom of the first or top of the second, but I think he'd be a bit of a reach there at the moment. Maybe that changes in February or March, we'll see.


    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
    Nice job Nick. I do, however, have some reservations about taking a WR in the first. Since 1937 the Rams have only drafted a WR in the first on two occasions, Torry Holt (1999) and Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch (1945). Granted, this was a position of glaring need this year with both Donny Avery and Mark Clayton on IR, but will it be that critical next season (if there is one)? Avery should be back at 100% and Clayton should be re-signed. Also, there are FA some options out there which are known quantities.
    Past Rams first round drafts picks have been, overwhelmingly, for defensive backfield positions. I feel that Devaney and Co. will draft the best available player at a position of need, but they won't reach for a WR if Jones isn't available at 14. I'm looking at OLB, Von Miller or Akeem Ayers in the first. Just some thoughts.
    It'd been a while since the Rams had used a first round pick on a QB as well, but that didn't stop them from doing it last spring. Even with Clayton and Avery returning, I think the Rams need to make a move either in free agency or the draft for a player who can be a legitimate #1 receiver for them in the passing game, as I'm not convinced either of them can fill that role. If Jones isn't there, I don't think they'll reach for a receiver either. But in my latest projection, he's on the board (and is one of the BPA).


    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    You could probably ask that same question of Daniels at this point in time. With that said, I agree completely: an upgrade over Fells would certainly be nice.
    Very true, Daniels hasn't exactly been a pillar of health either. It'll be interesting to see how the Rams evaluate the tight end position this offseason. They may feel as if they're good and don't need an upgrade. But if they're counting on Big Mike to be a 16 game starter, I'll be a bit nervous.

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    Re: Nick's Early 2011 Rams Mock Offseason (v1)

    I'm not a huge fan of the Sproles signing here. He doesn't have the full pounding RBs his age have, but he's also smaller and more reliant on speed than most backs. I'd rather see us use that money for a guard and draft a RB. But, I don't have any specific names per se; its just what I'd like to see in an ideal world.

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