(Re) Evaluation of Rams Needs
After looking at some season stats, and the stats of the playoffs teams, a couple of things come into play:
1. You need a top 10 defense to make it to the Superbowl, it doesn't have to be great, but it has to be formidable otherwise somewhere along the line a team will blow you when you are not on your game. If you don't have a great defense (and you actually don't need one - Washington, Ravens and maybe the Bills where the top defenses and none of the teams made the playoffs), you want a defense like a golf swing. It is not so much the great games (or shots) but minimizing the bad games (or bad shots). You want a D that consistently keeps you in the game and does not allow another team to dictate the pace and control the game.
2. You have to protect the QB. Self-explanatory but it can go three ways. You can do this by having a quick strike thrower with short drops, a scrambler who can move around in the pocket, or a great OL - or some combo of the three. Brady is fairly immobile but moves around a bit, gets the ball out quickly, and has a decent line. McNabb moves better, gets rid of the ball, and has a decent OL. Note neither one has a great OL. Now the Rams have a more immobile QB than Brady (and not as strong), and like to throw the ball downfield so they have to move up on the quality of the line. But even then I don't think a great one is needed. I think great lines are needed more for a running team.
3. With the new rules, cornerback play is deemphasized but safety play is now more important. Not being able to be physical beyond 5 yards limits the corners, and makes playing centerfield more important. You need safeties who can read and cover. Both Phillie and NE have pro bowl safeties (Harrison and Dawkins).
4. Finally (and don't tell this to Martz), field position matters. You don't have to have a break away return threat (and neither of the SB teams do) but you need solid special teams play to win the field position game.
So what does all of this mean? It means that the Rams need a good (and better than most) OL for the offense to get back to the Superbowl, it needs to be able to stop the run though not be dominant, needs good safeties that can cover AND run support, and needs help on field position.
So on the OL, the Rams need a good one, and it makes me wonder if Pace is worth the hassle. If the Rams could trade him for a first next year and sign a solid LT, and draft a good RT, plus a solid OG, in the long run they might be better off. I have also elevated the need for a safety much higher than corner. Someone like Marlin Jackson who can be a cover safety or corner in nickel becomes much more attractive.
So in my revolving mocking...
If available I would draft:
1. Marlin Jackson Michigan S, a cover safety who is physical
2. best OT available someone like Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington who can start at OG and move to tackle or start right at tackle.
3a. best LB available stay away from anyone that isn't known as a run stopper, would also like someone who can blitz Lance Mitchell of Oklahoma or Barrett Ruud of Nebraska would work here.
I would not complain if a OT like J. Brown from Oklahoma was taken in the first and then a safety like Vincent Fuller of V. Tech.
3b. Darren Sproles Kansas St. RB, for kick return and 3rd down back. He is a game breaker after watching him at the Senior Bowl. I have no problem with his size running, my concern is blitz pickup situations. Reminds me of Dante Hall, limited on downs but game changing as return man. A WR return man would also work here like Jerome Mathis of Hampton, but I'd prefer a fast running back to groom to spell Jackson.
4+ DE, CB, OG, TE
Re: (Re) Evaluation of Rams Needs
After watching the highlights from the senior bowl I agree about taking Darren Sproles as a return man. His movements remind me a lot of Dante Hall. I don't think we should draft him before round three, the Rams have too many needs to address in rounds 1 & 2.
Re: (Re) Evaluation of Rams Needs
I wouldn't mind picking him up, but on day 2. He will never be an every down back. He will be a scat back and return man. To take him before the 4th round would be a waste in my opinion.
Originally Posted by KCRamFan