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  1. #1
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    Rams seem to prefer C. Long over Dorsey

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Apr. 26 2008

    The signing of Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long by Miami on Tuesday took
    much of the suspense out of the 2008 NFL draft. But the Rams are doing their
    part to provide some intrigue.

    As the rain fell Friday evening, multiple team officials insisted the
    organization was still grappling with the issue of whether to draft Louisiana
    State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey or Virginia defensive end Chris Long at No.
    2 overall.

    About the only thing conceded on the eve of the Rams' 14th draft in St. Louis
    is that Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston no longer is in the mix at No.
    2. Barring a trade down, two team officials said Gholston would not be the
    team's choice.

    So that leaves only Dorsey and Chris Long as options for St. Louis, with the
    very latest indications showing a slight tilt in Long's direction. If that
    indeed turns out to be the case, it will be an interesting decision. Because if
    you polled the entire football department at Rams Park — scouts, personnel
    executives, coaches, and management — Dorsey would probably win the "popular"
    vote.

    Which probably explains Billy Devaney's terse but pointed reply Thursday when
    asked if the Rams would stick to their draft board in the first round.

    "It depends," replied Devaney, the team's executive vice president of player
    personnel.

    In other words, it depends on whether the team drafts Dorsey or C. Long.

    That's because Dorsey is the top-rated player on the Rams' board. According to
    one team source, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden is No. 2; Jake Long is
    No. 3; Chris Long is No. 4; and Gholston a somewhat distant No. 5.

    But another team official denied that Chris Long was ranked No. 4.

    Wait, there's more. . . .

    League sources told the Post-Dispatch on Friday that the Rams' draft board was
    "tweaked" Thursday evening, and that Dorsey and Chris Long were now ranked
    pretty evenly at the top of the board.

    The same source who denied that Chris Long was No. 4 also denied that any
    last-minute tweaking had occurred. But no one denies that Dorsey is indeed at
    the head of their board.

    In any event, it now looks like Long may be the Rams' choice — by a whisker or
    two — over Dorsey. And that wasn't the case earlier in the week.

    Make no mistake, there are people at Rams Park who prefer Dorsey over Long; and
    those who prefer Long over Dorsey. But even the dissenters — either way — can
    live with the other candidate.

    Dorsey is the better prospect, according to most projections. He has a better
    chance of being a great NFL player than Long. One veteran NFC scout said if
    Dorsey is the pick, "that just makes the Rams' defense a lot tougher."

    But Long fills a greater need at defensive end, and probably is a safer pick.
    (Although Rams teams doctors have cleared Dorsey medically, there is a chance —
    however unlikely — that Dorsey's stress fracture may cause further troubles in
    his right leg.)

    The Rams got only 5 1/2 sacks from their entire defensive end corps last
    season. Leonard Little played in only seven games before aggravating a toe
    injury that required surgery. He turns 34 in October. The other starting end in
    2007, 31-year-old James Hall, was cut at the start of free agency only to
    re-sign a few weeks later for a lesser salary.

    Then again, the Rams aren't nearly as deep at defensive tackle as some might
    think. La'Roi Glover turns 34 in July and is in the final year of his contract.
    Claude Wroten, a third-round pick in 2006, has been a big disappointment to
    date.

    It was fairly quiet Friday on the trade front. New Orleans, picking at No. 10
    overall in the first round, did indeed dangle offensive tackle Jammal Brown in
    a possible trade that also would have involved swapping first-round picks. But
    as of Friday night, nothing serious had materialized there.

    For starters, the Rams were leery of picking at No. 10 overall — it's a little
    out of range in terms of the top players in the draft. And Brown, despite
    making the Pro Bowl in 2006, was banged up in '07 and didn't play particularly
    well.

    There were a couple of nibbles from the New York Jets, who pick No. 6 overall
    and are eyeing McFadden. But they were just that — nibbles, nothing remotely
    serious. In addition, all was quiet in Atlanta, where the Falcons are sitting
    at No. 3 overall and thought to be interested in Dorsey.

    On the other hand, the Rams did have conversations with Philadelphia concerning
    a possible trade for Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard. But there were no formal
    offers made, and two Rams officials emphatically shot down rumors that the Rams
    were offering a second-round pick for Sheppard.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams seem to prefer C. Long over Dorsey

    Wow, the momentum seems to have really shifted on this one in the last couple of days, if you believe the reporting. At least it'll all be over in a little under three hours!
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  3. #3
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    Re: Rams seem to prefer C. Long over Dorsey

    One thing I think all of this reporting will wind up doing is build the contrast between Dorsey and Long. Whichever we take, whenever he struggles people will be arguing we should have taken the other (like Reggie Bush and Mario Williams for the Texans).

  4. #4
    Tony Soprano's Avatar
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    Re: Rams seem to prefer C. Long over Dorsey

    24 Hours ago all we heard was Glenn Dorsey.

    I'll wait 20 mins to see what the pick is.

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