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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Rams are set for pre-draft visitors

    Rams are set for pre-draft visitors

    BY JIM THOMAS | jthomas@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8197 | Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 12:15 am
    In a sure signal that the NFL draft is drawing near, it's time for the annual pre-draft visits to Rams Park. While not quite the cavalcade of stars that has been seen in Earth City in recent years when the Rams picked either first or second overall there is still some star quality attached to general manager Billy Devaney's guest list.
    Heading the list of scheduled visitors is Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, but several other potential Rams selections at No. 14 overall are scheduled to visit Rams Park today and Wednesday. Among them are Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith, Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn and California defensive end Cameron Jordan.
    At least four scheduled visitors are running backs, a sign that the Rams may mean business this year in finding a bona fide backup to Steven Jackson.
    Unlike most teams, which sprinkle in pre-draft prospects over several weeks, the Rams under Devaney like to bring them in together over a two-day period. Per league rules, these pre-draft visitors can meet with prospective position coaches, have dinner together and undergo physicals. They are not allowed to work out, however.
    Teams are allowed to bring in a maximum of 30 players for such visits. The Rams usually bring in fewer than 30; last year, they brought in 22 players, and about 20 are expected this year.
    (In addition, teams are allowed to bring in local players for pre-draft visits. The Rams plan to bring in a few such prospects on April 20. Unlike the so-called "top 30" visits mentioned above, the local prospects are allowed to work out at Rams Park.)
    One reason Devaney likes to bring in the pre-draft prospects over a couple of days is the opportunity to see how they interact.
    "That's part of it," Devaney said. "That's a phase that we don't see, even at the combine. But that's just one facet of it. They're guys that we either like, and obviously we're going to give serious consideration to (in the draft). Or there may be some medical concerns, or we haven't spent enough time with them looking at tape."
    One difference in the process this year is that there will be no informal interaction between draft prospects and current Rams players because of lockout rules.
    "We give (prospects) a tour of the building," Devaney said. "And more often than not, when they went through, there'd be players working out, and they'd say 'hello' in the weight room."
    But not this year, since Rams veterans aren't allowed at Rams Park during the lockout.
    Over the past five drafts, the Rams selected nine players who made pre-draft visits to Rams Park. Last season, quarterback Sam Bradford was the only player selected by the Rams who came to town for a pre-draft visit.
    As of Monday, 12 players had been confirmed as scheduled pre-draft visitors to Rams Park:
    Running backs Alex Green, Hawaii; Mikel Leshoure, Illinois; Stevan Ridley, LSU; and Daniel Thomas, Kansas State.
    Wide receiver Julio Jones, Alabama.
    Offensive guard Will Rackley, Lehigh.
    Defensive ends Cameron Jordan, California; Robert Quinn, North Carolina; and Aldon Smith, Missouri.
    Defensive tackle Corey Liuget, Illinois.
    Linebacker Mason Foster, Washington.
    Cornerback-safety Marcus Gilchrist, Clemson.
    Stacking the board
    The Rams' coaches and scouting department have just completed the process of putting a final grade on every player on their draft board.
    "We finished defensive backs this morning," Devaney said Monday.
    Now, they will begin stacking their board, ranking every player regardless of position from No. 1 to whatever.
    "What we just went through (the final grades) is the toughest part of the grind," Devaney said. "Now, it's fun. Discussing the names and who we should take. But we just got past the roughest part."
    Some grades still might be tweaked because of incongruities. As an example, Devaney said if the Rams somehow had a particular wide receiver ranked higher than a running back, yet they knew they would take the running back first, "We've got to drop the receiver, or we've got to raise the running back."
    The Rams also are in the process of breaking "ties" among players with the same grade. But one player may be a better scheme fit for the Rams, or one might have medical concerns. Such factors are used to separate them.
    "There's a whole lot of factors that you have to weigh that go into the stacking," Devaney said.
    Gabbert update
    Former University of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert will attend pre-draft events in New York held by the NFL Players Association during the three days of the draft April 28-30. So will Mizzou teammate Smith, Liuget of Illinois, and Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn (Webster Groves High).


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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams are set for pre-draft visitors

    Some thoughts on this:
    • As I noted in another thread, it seems the Rams are more interested in finding a Steven Jackson-like back as opposed to a "change of pace" back.
    • It is interesting to see only one WR listed. Does this mean that if Green and Jones are gone, the Rams will focus elsewhere and perhaps leave the WR position to be addressed in FA? Or, perhaps the list of visits will be updated to include more WRs.
    • The list of DEs is not a surprise. It would seem that the Rams don't think Bowers will be there, and are don't have Kerrigan as a primary target.

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    Re: Rams are set for pre-draft visitors

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Some thoughts on this:
    • As I noted in another thread, it seems the Rams are more interested in finding a Steven Jackson-like back as opposed to a "change of pace" back.........
    I think this makes sense. I'd be quite concerned if the back coming in to spell, or god forbid replace SJ should he get injured, were a 170 pound rookie. In this sense I am thinking about blitz pickup and Mr Samtastic's health.
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: Rams are set for pre-draft visitors

    I cant wait too see what RB we bring in. So many intriguing options. I do prefer a bigger back like Richbert said. Someone like Jordan Todman perhaps?

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams are set for pre-draft visitors

    Todman (who I like as well) is not a very big back (about 200 lbs). The guys the Rams are looking at are all 220+.

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    msha is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams are set for pre-draft visitors

    im surprised the rams dont have that wr from west texas a&m visiting

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