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  1. #1
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Positions of need vs. BPA

    This is always a debateable subject, positions of need vs. best player available. Myself, I waiver from round to round each draft. This year, we are guaranteed a top 2 pick, most likely a first overall. So, what do we do with it? Well, this is where I decide to do a little bit of prognosticating - in two different directions.

    As of this point, there is one name being mentioned as the best college player headed to the draft: Ndamukong Suh. That may change by the combine, but that's doubtful. His value right now is off the charts - kind of like having the Fridge William Perry's best years in a nice neat package with a dose of Nighttrain Lane as a garnish. Whether or not that will be how it turns out is still anyone's guess.

    So what happens if we draft him and this is how he looks after camp?

    We instantly have a respectable, feared defense. This season, we have seen Chris Long double teamed, James Lauraintis become a top-level MLB, and an aging DE in Little still viable. We have also seen some of the depth players (like Douzable and Scott) step up and make plays at times. Our run defense is OK, but not good enough. Our passing defense - well, to be honest, it sucks. With Long unable to get free on a regular basis, and the line being held back, as well as Little/Hall being covered, well, it's hard to keep those long passes from being completed against our secondary.
    With Suh out front, as well as Long, hopefully Carriker, Ryan, and whoever, we force other teams to CHOOSE who they want to take a chance on double teaming. Long's ability to break free would be increased, leading to a lot more pressure and sacks, forcing our opponents to get rid of the ball faster, or turn it over. Suh would also have the chance to get to the QB, and this would result in a ripple effect. With Long AND Suh both being watched, the rest of the D line would have better opportunity to penetrate the O line, resulting in more hurried passes.
    And the result of those hurried passes? A better performing secondary. That's right - when a QB is rushed on a pass, his accuracy drops. When his accuracy drops, the ball is NOT thrown "between the numbers", meaning more often than not, it's up for grabs.
    Add to this the addition to our run blocking Suh would bring - teams would be forced to look at running to the outside more - something that makes me nervous, as I am not sure we can cover the outside without upgrades.
    So, what do I see as a result? A huge improvement in our defense overall, since any QB with a second or more was shredding our D all of this season. Take that away, and we would have been winning several games in 2009.

    What if we decide to trade away our first pick?

    This is where it gets sticky. Depending on his value after the combine, we could get anywhere from an extra 2nd round pick to an existing player plus a late-round pick. For the sake of simplicity, let's use a multiple-pick scenario.

    Let's assume the Rams get a mid-round pick in the first round, and a 3rd and 5th for trading away the first overall. What then?

    I am guessing that we'd end up going in the need category - picking up players in positions we need to fill, not players who are BPA. We might end up passing on a RB in the 1st, because WR is a higher need. We would probably pick up a DL in the 2nd, an OL and DL in the 3rd, and in the later rounds fill in the RB, QB, CB, and safety positions, leaving projects like OLB to be brought along by free agents we pick up.
    This WILL help the team, but it is also a slower process - chances of seeing a huge impact from any one player will drop significantly. Long term, however, this might be the way to go. It depends - can the players and fans be patient enough to deal with another 1-3 losing seasons before restoring the Rams to their role as leaders of the NFC West?

    I doubt it. I don't envy Devaney or Spagnuolo at this point. They have a plan for how they want this team to look. Fans like us have our own idea of what we want, as do the players. We want wins NOW, not two or three years down the line. This, to me, indicates we need to draft the best player available instead of drafting by position. It's really a no-win situation for the FO. If we draft an impact player who turns out to be a bust like so many in the Rams past, the FO will be blamed. If we pass on a player who could fill a position in favor of the BPA, no matter how good the BPA turns out, and the player we pass on has an average or better year, then the FO gets blamed.

    But - if we draft the BPA and he turns out to be perfect for the team - like Torry Holt or Steven Jackson - then the front office is full of geniuses...until the next player we draft fails to live up to the hype.

    Only one thing can make or break the opinion of the 2010 draft - the win/loss record. I think we need to draft Suh first overall to increase the chances of having a better year. Improving our defense would not only slow down our opponents, but would also give our offense a chance to do something it's not used to - playing a game where they aren't playing from behind.
    Last edited by RamsFanSam; -12-29-2009 at 04:11 PM. Reason: the dictionary disagreed with my spelling


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    I agree with many of your comments.

    The reason Suh is such a no-brainer is that he appears to be both the BPA at any position, and a player who fits one of the Rams' top needs as a pass rusher/defensive playmaker.

    In my mind, QB is the biggest need, but there is no prospect who approaches Suh from a talent standpoint (now that Locker is out of the picture).

    WR is also a big need, but I think the dropoff from Dez Bryant to the type of WR who would be available with the 33rd pick is much smaller than the dropoff between Suh and any DL likely to be available in Round 2.

    As the draft progresses, the decisions will be tougher. In Round 2, do you take a shot at a "flawed" QB prospect if there is a top WR still available? Do you pass up a prospect at OT, LB or CB who unexpectedly drops from the first round?

    Hard to say at this point.

  3. #3
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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    can you guys please show me some kind of Locker highlights that make people think he has all this talent..

    To say he would have been worthy of being picked in the top 5 is..i wont say ludicrous..but i just haven't seen that much from Locker to warrant all this hype, what has he done? Big arm, good mobility, good size...ive heard this before...oh yeah. Jamarcus Russell...

    You'll have to give me a year on this whole Locker thing so i can see him actually produce.

  4. #4
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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    Considering that he's not coming out for another year, its a moot issue.

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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    What position really is not a position of need--the only two positions that are off limits for me are center and MLB (I would say RB but I think we need either a solid backup or a change of pace back), therefore it should almost inevitably be BPA every round

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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    I agree with most points too..

    We need to take SUH..forget all the naysayers that say we took too many defensive linemen...

    If we do trade down though we could still be able to get Terrence Cody in the first round?

    This is how I envision the first three rounds..hopefully

    Suh - 1st Round
    Pike/Mallett - 2nd Round
    OLB - 3rd Round

    We need to pick up a WR via FA more than the draft, we have enough young receiver with some kind of "promise outlook"

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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    My thoughts are go with the BPA in round 1 except for the following conditions:

    1. The team is very close to being a serious contender and has a clear need that will significantly improve the team with an upgrade through the draft.

    2. You already have a franchise QB, RB, or LT on your roster.

    Other than that if your the Rams it would be foolish to pass up on talent to add some talent when it is clear the Rams have so many needs.

    I do agree eventually the Rams will need to find a franchise QB but for all we know he could already be on the roster or in rounds 2 and on of this draft or next years draft.

    Go Rams

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post

    As the draft progresses, the decisions will be tougher. In Round 2, do you take a shot at a "flawed" QB prospect if there is a top WR still available? Do you pass up a prospect at OT, LB or CB who unexpectedly drops from the first round?

    Hard to say at this point.
    Not for me it isn't .. NO! However, Billy and Spags may see things differently.

    We have so many holes currently, that I believe we should go for the best player available in at least the first three rounds if there is a clearcut BPA.

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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Not for me it isn't .. NO! However, Billy and Spags may see things differently.

    We have so many holes currently, that I believe we should go for the best player available in at least the first three rounds if there is a clearcut BPA.
    The luxury of being a bad team is that the best player available is more than likely a position of need as well. Personally, I'd like to see us go with Suh if we have the 1st pick and get either Colt McCoy or Tony Pike in the 2nd. I think that McCoy, for example, would not only be a great QB for this system but it alleviates the pressure for him to live up to the 1st round hype of being a QB which be a really good thing or a really bad thing.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    The luxury of being a bad team is that the best player available is more than likely a position of need as well. Personally, I'd like to see us go with Suh if we have the 1st pick and get either Colt McCoy or Tony Pike in the 2nd. I think that McCoy, for example, would not only be a great QB for this system but it alleviates the pressure for him to live up to the 1st round hype of being a QB which be a really good thing or a really bad thing.
    Actually, I voted for McCoy in Av's QB poll .. I won't be disapointed if we pass on a QB in round two for a player at another position who dropped out of rd 1. What's hard to guess is managment's opinion of the current crop of Qbs .. We'll see in 4 months ..

  11. #11
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    What's great about Suh is that he appears to be a combination of both. Not only is he widely viewed as the best player available in this class, but he also plays at a position of need for the Rams.

    Generally I think your pick has to be a combination of both ideologies. For instance, if the BPA in round two was a middle linebacker, maybe you go to the next guy on your list.

    While I would love to see this team come out of the first two rounds with Suh and a QB, I definitely wouldn't rule out our second rounder being spent on another position. I think there will definitely some value at the top of the second round. I wouldn't rule out a trade down from that spot, if the right offer comes along.

  12. #12
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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    One other thing to note is Spags affinity for D-lineman. Of particular interest is when the Giants selected Kiwanuka when they had Strahan and Osi already starting for them. Spags has said himself that you can never have too many D-lineman. I really doubt that he passes on this talent, especially with pass rushing being such a need for our team, regardless of position.

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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    There is no doubt that Suh will be on top of our draft boards.

    Interesting thing about this draft is every BPA possible will fill a need unless it's a LT, C, RB and both Safeties (assuming Atogwe stays). Other than that, it' pretty much up for grabs.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    Generally (with caveats) it should always be BPA. If the BPA is going to be a backup for 2 years yet one ranking down is a player at a position of need, I'd go down one (really not a significant difference) but I would NEVER go down 5-10 to fill a need. Rankings are so subjective it's a joke but if you've taken the time to do the work and make a ranking, you need to significantly follow it. Hopefully the Rams have completely ditched the scouting service and are going 100% in house. How a player fits within your system is extremely important and often ignored when you use those services.

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    Re: Positions of need vs. BPA

    With this depth-less roster, I don't see "need" as a separate choice but more as just another one of the criteria that defines the "B" in BPA.

    There is no position that isn't a need by some meaningful combo of reasons except punter. Not even RB,imo. I seriously doubt it will go that way, but a SJ/Spiller/Karney/Darby backfield isn't a laughable idea to me.

    We all know what these other criteria go into the definition of the "best" (character, injury history, NFL readiness, long term potential, overall personnel types to implement the team strategy,etc) are even though judgements on their relative importance varies as wildly as grades for specific prospects based on them do . And, obviously,how that is affected by what happens in FA/other off season events is TBD big time.

    In other words, I want to trust DeSpags to make the best pick for The Rams that is based on needs, just maybe not in the needs that seems most obvious to the fans,inc me.

    Based on what little I know/think right now, I like the odds on Suh,too, but there's a looong way to go.

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