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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    A rant about drafting based on past failures

    I hear Rams fans talk all the time about how the Rams need to either be hesitant or pass completely on drafting a defensive tackle early in the draft. The reasoning I'm questioning is when people say they should do this because of past failures in Pickett, Lewis, and Kennedy.

    Can someone explain to me how guys picked in 2001 and 2003 have any barring on the success of players to be selected in 2007? To me, this point of view is basically just fear of history repeating itself even though there have been numerous successful first round defensive tackles taken since that 2001 season.

    So are we supposed to believe that any player the Rams draft in round one at that position is somehow destined to not live up to his potential simply because he's a DT going to St. Louis? Are we supposed to believe that the Rams would find better fortune drafting a tackle later in the draft, one who either is less talented, has been less productive, or has less upside than the prospect we're passing on in round one?

    It's one thing to look at a player and say, "I'm not sold on him because of such and such that he displays or doesn't display." But to change your draft strategy based on past failure is a tactic that originates in fear and IMO is no way to improve your organization. Should we have not drafted Steven Jackson because we previously failed on Lawrence Phillips and Trung Canidate?

    I would encourage fans to judge prospects and form your opinions on who they are and their own merits, not who the Rams have previously drafted that have busted out.

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  2. #2
    BigGame Guest

    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Nick,

    I tend to agree that using the Rams' past drafting difficulties is a poor justification for passing on any given position.

    However, when looking a the DTs drafted early over the past several seasons (I composed a list in another thread that was all DT's picked in the first 45 picks since 2003), its clear to me that the Rams are NOT the only team with a bad track record drafting for the position.

    I preface my point by saying that I still have Alan Branch number one on my draft board. Although the future combination of Wroten and Branch on the inside would be scary in terms of stability (with both having some serious character concerns, speculative or not), he fits our biggest need and up until a couple weeks ago was a lock to be a difference maker on the next level. Having two talented young defensive tackles, each fitting a different "breed" of the position (ie. three-tech and nose) would be a great problem to have for a defense that has consistantly failed to stop the run.

    Still, I certainly don't blame the fans who are hesitant about drafting defensive tackle in round one. Of course, drafting all positions is risky. I do believe, however, that DT has produced more early round busts than any other position not only in St. Louis, but league wide.

  3. #3
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Good topic!! Quite a few Ram fans seem to have reservations about selecting a DT in round one because of prior failures. Whatever happened to the old adage: "if at first you don't succeed -- try again!" The fact is that no matter how much studying of a prospect occurs by scouts, personnel people and such, it is still a roll of the dice. The only sure thing when selecting a player in round one is that he will be expensive. Everyone seems to agree that Calvin Johnson appears to be the most talented player in this year's draft, but there is no guarantee that he will become the next Jerry Rice. I personally enjoy attempting to second guess the "experts" and by those I mean the people actually doing the drafting, as opposed to the NFL Insider types. So who will the Rams take in round one? This year I haven't a clue ... Do they see a sure-fire player that they just can't pass on if he is there at #13? Will they draft purely out of need or BPA? I have to trust that the Rams staff will have done their homework and will "hit it big" on a few of their selections. After all I am only a fan without any "insider info" ... I hope the Rams do think enough of Okoye, Branch or Carriker to select one of them because of our glaring needs on the D-line, but if they pick someone else instead -- even if it is an offensive player I won't go bananas. They will still have six more rounds to address those needs. Even (God forbid) if we do select another D-lineman in round 1 that bombs out, it shouldn't preclude us from trying again next year until we hit the mother lode. After all, at this point the law of averages is on our side ...

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGame View Post
    I do believe, however, that DT has produced more early round busts than any other position not only in St. Louis, but league wide.
    Actually, I heard Gil Brandt talking about this in Sirius Radio a week or so ago. According to him, first round wide receivers have had the highest bust rate, and I believe this was dating back quite a while. I'm not sure how they quantified it though.
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGame View Post


    Still, I certainly don't blame the fans who are hesitant about drafting defensive tackle in round one. Of course, drafting all positions is risky. I do believe, however, that DT has produced more early round busts than any other position not only in St. Louis, but league wide.
    No we certainly have company ...
    http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com....php?Page=1381

  6. #6
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Nice thread Nick. I too would like to know how events of the past have any effect on the future when it comes to drafting defensive tackles. It would be one thing if the Rams had a history of going after questionable unknowns, but that's not the case. On the contrary, we've taken players who are highly touted by EVERYONE.

    We have some serious needs to address on the defensive line and if there is a player available that has legitimate potential to help us address that need, we draft him.

  7. #7
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    I agree that we can't let past failures cloud our judgement. Even if there are a lot of busts at DT, that doesn't change the fact that it is a need and the guys we've got rated as first rounders are the ones our scouts genuinely believe to be better players. It is possible that it wasn't a coincidence that none of our DT picks turned out. Maybe it was the coaching. But even if that is the case, we've got a different defensive line coach and a different defensive coordinator now.

  8. #8
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    who's to say history won't repeat itself,no one can tell me that our past drafts aren't in the back of the minds of our front office.

  9. #9
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    who's to say history won't repeat itself,no one can tell me that our past drafts aren't in the back of the minds of our front office.
    History may or may not repeat itself, but you can't let that kind of thinking dictate your draft to the point of not picking a DT because of our recent DT problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    Some of the excuses made for Jared Cook are laughable.

  10. #10
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    History may or may not repeat itself, but you can't let that kind of thinking dictate your draft to the point of not picking a DT because of our recent DT problems.
    i agree ramsbruce,but i bet it will come up in some conversations before the draft, look how much we talk about it on the clan.

  11. #11
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    who's to say history won't repeat itself,no one can tell me that our past drafts aren't in the back of the minds of our front office.
    By your logic, The Cold War coud break out anytime soon.

    The First Fleet could once again arive on Australian shores like it did back in 1788

    JFK could get shot again!

    Man could walk on the moon for the first time as per 2007.

    Jimi Hendrix could write 'Purple Haze' within the next few days.

    Colour TV must be right around the corner.

    The Rams could trade with Indianappolis to obtain Marshall Faulk



    I think there's a reason they call it History

    If we aren't looking forward, then we aren't going to be successful as a franchise.

  12. #12
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    THE BEST leaders in this world are the ones who know history the best. The reason we even study such subjects or take any interest in it at all is so that we learn from the mistake and don't make the same ones. I am one of the fans on this board who constantly says I don't want a DL in the first round. I believe in learning from history not reproducing it.

  13. #13
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Quote Originally Posted by itsguud View Post
    THE BEST leaders in this world are the ones who know history the best. The reason we even study such subjects or take any interest in it at all is so that we learn from the mistake and don't make the same ones. I am one of the fans on this board who constantly says I don't want a DL in the first round. I believe in learning from history not reproducing it.
    if you want to talk about history then look at our past few seasons run defence numbers...

  14. #14
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    who's to say history won't repeat itself,no one can tell me that our past drafts aren't in the back of the minds of our front office.
    Maybe, but I doubt it. The "mistakes" (and we could debate that if we wanted) of Armey, Martz, and Kollar probably have little to do with the strategy of Softli, Linehan, and Baker.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  15. #15
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    Re: A rant about drafting based on past failures

    We will have to keep drafting a DT until the player taken feels the need. It makes no sense to not take any player based on the past performance of an early pick.

    The Rams did not make a mistake with Pickett by drafting him. They made the mistake by letting him go.

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