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  1. #1
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    Welcome to the first annual Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review of the Rams' 2011 Draft. Here at SIK Jerk, every prospect is a bust until they prove otherwise. Let's get started.



    With the 14th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...

    Robert Quinn, Destructive End, formerly of the North Carolina Tar Heels

    The Low-down: Robert Quinn wins this year's "Mr. Fan-tastic Award" for the most popular pick by know-nothing fans.

    Pros: They say Mr. Quinn's top attribute is explosiveness, which is good because our defense's specialty is implosion. Quinn will be the Little to Chris Long's Wistrom. Long has got the responsibility, intelligence and work ethic covered. Quinn will provide the speed, lack of effort against the run and dubious off-field antics to balance out the equation. All joking aside, he might be the best pure pass rusher in the entire draft and if he isn't hitting double digit sack totals within the next couple years, it will be a disappointment.

    Cons: Okay, so there was that minor case of brain cancer. And he did get permanently suspended from the NCAA for agent contact. Who among us hasn't done some things we regret after a strange man paid for our hotel room and bought us expensive jewelry?

    Trivia: His nickname is "El Roy", which apparently is not Spanish for "The Roy" or a reference to George Jetson's son. The nickname came from a dance in South Carolina according to Elroy himself.



    With the 47th pick in the NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...

    Lance Kendricks, Tight End, Wisconsin Badgers

    The Skinny: Kendricks will follow in a line of recent H-backs taken in the 2nd round by the Rams. He's the black Joe Klopfenstein.

    Pros: If you ignore the fact that our first round pick ran faster (4.70) than Kendricks (4.75) on the same surface at the Combine, he's a fine athletic specimen at 6'3", 243 lbs. He allegedly ran a 4.57 at his pro day. In fact, he's supposed to be the most athletic tight end in this year's draft, an above average blocker, and a legitimate vertical threat in the passing game. If he is a vertical threat in the passing game, there will be much rejoicing and praise of the Billy's oracular powers. If not, we get to dry roast him.

    Cons: The comparisons are inevitable (in part because I'm making them). Klopfenstein was a 6'5", 255 lb. athletic, pass catching tight end who ran a 4.50 40 and was drafted in the 2nd round. Leonard was a smaller and faster (6'1"/225 lb./4.49 40) player also taken to play a similar H-back role in the offense in the same round. Both were faster than Kendricks, neither was ever a vertical threat in the passing game, and both are now plying their trade in different cities. Other than that irrational fear that he will follow in their footsteps, Lance needs to work on ball security (both drops and fumbles), but the main criticism of the pick is that we passed on arguably more highly rated talent at need positions like WR, RB and DT.



    With the 78th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...

    Austin Pettis, Wide Receiver, Boise State Smurfs

    The Scoop: Pettis could catch a peanut in a hurricane but not a tortoise in a foot race.

    Pros: The Austin Pettis highlight reel is full of acrobatic catches. He has great leaping ability and even better hands. He is an absolute demon in the red zone with 24 touchdowns in the last 2 years. The Rams coaching staff raved about his football IQ. At 6'3", 209 lbs., 4.56 40, he is a big ol' target for King Sam and should be gratifying to all those who argued that our team was full of flankers and really needed a split end.

    Cons: Everything else. Pettis doesn't have breakaway speed, hasn't shown short area quickness on tape, struggles with the jam, rounds off routes, and is a below average blocker especially given his size. At least, that's what the Internet told me.



    With the 112th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...

    Greg Salas, Wide Receiver, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

    On the QT: If the draft is any indication, Josh McDaniels likes big, smart receivers with good hands...like Greg Salas.

    Pros: Salas posted crazy stats in a pass-wacky offense, and reputable pre-draft analysts had him graded as a better prospect than Pettis. At 6'1", 210 lbs., 4.53 40, Salas is a little more compact than Pettis but shares the same strengths. He has good hands, good bulk and averaged nearly 130 yards/game in college.

    Cons: Salas might be a product of the system. He's not going to beat NFL defenders with his feet, and if the reports are accurate, Salas runs routes about the way I do at the family's annual 20 on 20 Turkey Bowl (which is to say not all that dissimilarly to how a turkey runs). On the upside, Salas and I might still run routes better than Gilyard and Avery. Yay, progress!



    With the 158th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...

    Jermale Hines, Strong Safety, THE Ohio State Poisonous Chestnut-Wannabes

    The [Insert Thesaurus Word for Purportedly Insider Info]: Despite the fact that some of the pre-draft analysis suggested he was a 6th round project at best, fans were ecstatic about this pick because instead of taking another receiver who can't run, the Rams took a defensive back who can't run.

    Pros: Hines is a big dude, and he loves to launch himself into opponents, which is exciting because for years Steven Jackson has been laying down bigger hits with one hand than any of our defensive backs could muster. At 6'1", 219 lbs., 4.55 40, he's the perfect size to cover those big, slow receivers we just drafted. He has the ability to break up passes without drawing penalties and cause drops with his bone-jarring hits.

    Cons: He can't run. Hines doesn't have great awareness and doesn't have the speed to make up for mistakes. He projects as a good in-the-box safety but not a center fielder. We're probably not going to be able to use him as a last line of defense in a Cover 1 or Cover 2 package. It's questionable whether he would even stay in during the nickel. His stats are lackluster to say the least.



    In the 7th Round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...

    Mikail Baker, TBD, Baylor Bears
    Jabara Williams, Outside Linebacker, "Stone Cold" Lumberjacks
    Jonathan Nelson, Free Safety, Oklahoma Big 12 Champion Sooners


    Pros/Cons: I'm lazy. Sue me. Baker was presumably taken to compensate for all of the speed we didn't take in the rest of the draft, having reportedly run a sub-4.4 40 at his Pro Day. He has played receiver and defensive back equally poorly. It will be interesting to see if the coaches can do something about his poor hands and awareness and find a role for him somewhere. At least, he's supposed to be a good returner.

    Jabara Williams projects as a weakside linebacker but passes the Spags test because he loves to hit, and let's face it--with all the catches we're going to be giving up, we'll be all about the gang-tackling. The downside is that at 6'2", 224 lbs. he's about the size Tinoisamoa was when he came out. He's not the prospect Pisa was, but Rams fans should be excited because we finally took a player at a need position, and apparently we take all of our non-Animal linebackers on day 3. Also, we could call him Jabara the Hutt. That would be fun.

    Nelson has the aggressiveness and willingness to hit, which makes him a Spags safety despite his lack of size, lack of range, poor ball skills and poor tackling technique. Some might say he's lacking in all the skills needed to make it as a professional football, but I would counter that they're forgetting the UFL. I jest. His physical limitations might make it an uphill battle to earn a roster spot, but there's a lot to be said for awareness, drive and willingness to put one's body on the line. The big question is where he fits in. Does he have the size to play strong safety? Can he play sideline-to-sideline as a free safety?



    Post-Draft State of the Rams
    Offense: It's extreme makeover time. Bye-bye, Fendi. Adios, Mardy. Au revoir, Laurent. Is there anyone who doesn't believe this is the work of Josh "My Way or the Highway" McDaniels? At least he isn't running off the quarterback like he did in Denver...yet. Optimistically, we can say that McDaniels has had some success with receivers: Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal and even Brandon Lloyd flourished in his system. Looking at what he had before, one would figure that Marshall (6'4", 230 lbs.) is the blueprint for these big receiver picks with great hands, but none save Kendricks are that big. We can live without the new guard some people wanted, but the need for a legitimate #2 runningback still sticks out like a sore thumb. One can only hope the team plans on landing one whenever free agency starts.

    Defense: While the Long/Hall combination worked well enough last year, we all know it wasn't going to work over the, er, long haul. The future is Quinn. Defensive tackle, however, is still a concern. Robbins is old, and Gary Gibson is merely passable. Darrell Scott is entering year 3 and needs to step up in a big way; he has made no impact so far. Spags might bring in his old charge Barry Cofield, but if not, we'll be hoping Spags can make do with a rotation of no names again.

    Anybody who claims to know who our starting outside linebackers and safeties will be on opening day is lying--and that probably includes the coaching staff. Expect competition in camp all over the defense. Our top 3 corners are adequate, but we still want for depth. On the bright side, even if our pass defense is sketchy, it's unclear whether the other teams in our division have quarterbacks who can capitalize on it. If any of the defenders we drafted in later rounds pan out, they should help with the run defense.

    Special Teams: Returning Brown, Jones and Amendola, we're already in pretty good shape. The addition of Mikail Baker is icing on the cake, and it looks like a camp fight for roster spots at receiver should be hard-fought and might be decided in part by ability to contribute on special teams. Overall, we should be relatively good shape here. The addition of several tackling monsters should only help the punting/kicking units if any of these guys stick.


  2. #2
    sjacksonrules's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    I bet fendi stays on the practice squad and may eventually be a 3rd TE or a starter. Or at least that is what I would like to see.

  3. #3
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    Re: Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    Maybe, but he was a Shurmur pick. Projects from the previous coach's regime don't always hold over. Right now, the top 3 tight ends are probably Kendricks, Hoomanawanui, and Bajema. It's tough to say who Onobun is going to beat out from that group. All three are probably better blockers, and Illinois Mike is a better pass catcher than we initially anticipated. Without a great need for tight end, Onobun would have to prove that he was just too good to let go.

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    Cons: The comparisons are inevitable (in part because I'm making them). Klopfenstein was a 6'5", 255 lb. athletic, pass catching tight end who ran a 4.50 40 and was drafted in the 2nd round. Leonard was a smaller and faster (6'1"/225 lb./4.49 40) player also taken to play a similar H-back role in the offense in the same round. Both were faster than Kendricks, neither was ever a vertical threat in the passing game, and both are now plying their trade in different cities. Other than that irrational fear that he will follow in their footsteps, Lance needs to work on ball security (both drops and fumbles), but the main criticism of the pick is that we passed on arguably more highly rated talent at need positions like WR, RB and DT.
    Hmmm. I'm the one who brought up Klopfenstein and Leonard in the Kendricks thread, so should I be offended here or would that be a knee-jerk reaction??

    For the record, I made the point that I HOPED the Kendricks pick wouldn't go the way of the Klopfenstein and Leonard picks, not that it would. Just for clarification.

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    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Hmmm. I'm the one who brought up Klopfenstein and Leonard in the Kendricks thread, so should I be offended here or would that be a knee-jerk reaction??

    For the record, I made the point that I HOPED the Kendricks pick wouldn't go the way of the Klopfenstein and Leonard picks, not that it would. Just for clarification.
    Well, you're not the only one. In the chatroom, I mentioned the 2nd round H-back thing as soon as Rudolph went off the board--before we even drafted Kendricks. We breathe a collective sigh of relief that we're not taking a tight end, and then the Rams go and pull a fast one on us!

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post

    With the 47th pick in the NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...

    Lance Kendricks, Tight End, Wisconsin Badgers

    The Skinny: Kendricks will follow in a line of recent H-backs taken in the 2nd round by the Rams. He's the black Joe Klopfenstein.

    Pros: If you ignore the fact that our first round pick ran faster (4.70) than Kendricks (4.75) on the same surface at the Combine, he's a fine athletic specimen at 6'3", 243 lbs. He allegedly ran a 4.57 at his pro day. In fact, he's supposed to be the most athletic tight end in this year's draft, an above average blocker, and a legitimate vertical threat in the passing game. If he is a vertical threat in the passing game, there will be much rejoicing and praise of the Billy's oracular powers. If not, we get to dry roast him.

    Cons: The comparisons are inevitable (in part because I'm making them). Klopfenstein was a 6'5", 255 lb. athletic, pass catching tight end who ran a 4.50 40 and was drafted in the 2nd round. Leonard was a smaller and faster (6'1"/225 lb./4.49 40) player also taken to play a similar H-back role in the offense in the same round. Both were faster than Kendricks, neither was ever a vertical threat in the passing game, and both are now plying their trade in different cities. Other than that irrational fear that he will follow in their footsteps, Lance needs to work on ball security (both drops and fumbles), but the main criticism of the pick is that we passed on arguably more highly rated talent at need positions like WR, RB and DT.
    Actually Lance ran a 4.65 at the combine, and ran a 4.57 at his pro day. He also banged out 25 reps (225 lbs) at the combine .. He has reputedly timed as low as 4.50 according to NFL Draft Scout Player Profile.

    Lance apparently can block as well - see my post - "Lance Kendricks - did anyone notice?"

    Nice overall post there Fleece, I enjoyed the tongue in cheek humor throughout!

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    Re: Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    Well, you're not the only one. In the chatroom, I mentioned the 2nd round H-back thing as soon as Rudolph went off the board--before we even drafted Kendricks. We breathe a collective sigh of relief that we're not taking a tight end, and then the Rams go and pull a fast one on us!
    Okay, as long as I'm not the only one.

    BTW, I agree with Maui, nice thread. Rep to you.

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    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Informed Knee Jerk Fan Review: Rams 2011 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Actually Lance ran a 4.65 at the combine, and ran a 4.57 at his pro day. He also banged out 25 reps (225 lbs) at the combine .. He has reputedly timed as low as 4.50 according to NFL Draft Scout Player Profile.
    I guess it depends on who was holding the stop watch. On NFL.com's list of top performers, Kendricks is listed with a 4.75, which was 8th among tight ends invited to the Combine. Notably, Arizona's draftee Robert Housler led the group with a 4.55 (according to that source).

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