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Thread: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

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    Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Ok, before i begin this, let me say that i would love nothing more than to draft Matthews or Martin or some other tackle/guard in the 1st round. Grabbing either of those players would boost our line greatly, and they could play tackle if Long isn't ready at the start of the year, or make Barks move inside and they start at RT. I really would love that.....but i don't see it happening.

    I know a lot of people want to draft a tackle early, or a guard early, or both early, or two of one of those early. And i understand why you want that. Grabbing someone like Matthews/Martin in the first, then grabbing a guard in the 2nd would make our line a beast...but as i said, i don't see it happening.

    We all know Fisher has never drafted an offensive lineman in the first. And we know he didn't have to, because he already had tackles in place when he became HC of the Titans.

    What some of you do know, and some don't, is that he has never drafted a guard before the 5th round. The closest he has come to drafting one before the 4th was Barret Jones, who i think most of us view as a center.

    The earliest Fisher has ever drafted centers were in the 4th round(Leroy Harris 2007 and Barret Jones 2013), the rest were drafted later.


    So now we all know his draft history as pertaining to the O-Line.

    Now, Fisher IMO is sold on Long and Barksdale being the starters at tackle. Why wouldn't he be? Barks has done a surprisingly good job at RT. Long has his injury yes, but they believe he will be ready come game day, Even if he isn't, at most he would miss only a few games before retaining the starters job.

    So first, why would we draft a tackle in the first round if they already have their planned starters? To ride the bench till one of them got injured? To start for Long till he returned a few games into the season and then either moving to the bench or moving inside? Possible.....but i doubt it, but lets take a closer look at that.

    Draft a tackle in the 1st/2nd to play a few games at tackle and then move to guard. Makes sense. Except of course for Fishers history of drafting guards that early. Oh, but he is a OT you say? well if he is playing most of the year at guard, then he is not tackle, he is a guard with tackle experience.

    Now a lot of the line will be determined on Saffold. Some think he is a good as gone, some think we have a good chance of keeping him. I'm on the fence, 50/50. I hope we do keep him, he is a really great guard.

    So lets say Saffold does re-sign with the Rams. We have a pretty solid line except for LG. Given Fishers history, i see now way we draft one in the 1st round, or even a tackle in the 1st to play guard. Heck, i don't see it happening in the 2nd either. I don't see him drafting a true guard at all that early.

    A tackle though might happen. Not in the 1st though, since he would be playing guard.

    Now some want to draft a tackle in the 1st and move Long inside. That does not make sense to me. We gave him a huge contract to play tackle, he is a multi-pro bowler at tackle. Moving a pro bowl tackle inside and having a rookie start at LG makes no sense. The only argument for it is Longs injury history, which the Rams don't seem to concerned about, and besides a few bad plays, Long has done a great job at LT.

    Now as for guard, we have a huge weak spot at LG as we all know, and possibly RG as well depending on Saffold. If Saffold leaves maybe we grab a Guard in FA? But i don't think we will grab one in the early rounds.

    Fisher didn't even draft a guard early to replace the hall of fame guard Bruce Matthews.

    I could see us drafting a Tackle in the 2nd-4th round range who we move to guard and swing outside when needed.

    I could see us grabbing a guard later for depth and a tackle as well for depth. Because we all know, our depth on the O-line is pretty bad and some of the current depth will probably not be a Ram next season.


    One last thing im going to point out about Fishers draft history.

    I am going to list his most offensive heavy and defensive heavy draft from the 1st through the 4th.

    Most offensive heavy-
    1995 - 4 total - 01 QB, 1 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE *had three 3rd rounders that year
    2005 - 5 total - 2 OT, 3 WR *had two 3rd's and three 4th rounders that year
    2007 - 4 total - 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 C *had two 4th rounders that year

    Most defensive heavy-
    1999 - 4 total - 1 DT, 1 DE, 2 DB *had two 4th rounders that year
    2000 - 4 total - 2 LB, 1 DE, 1 DB *had two 4th rounders that year
    2002 - 6 total - 1 DT, 1 SS, 2 LB, 2 CB *had three 4th rounders that year, first 4 rounds all defense
    2004 - 6 total - 3 DE, 1 DT, 2 CB *had three 2nd rounders, two 3rds and two 4ths.

    From this it seems that at times Fisher might go heavy on the defense.

    Basically what I am saying is that i do not see them grabbing tackle in the first, since they are committed to our current tackles, and do not see us drafting a guard in the first few rounds because he never has and instead taken them later.

    The best i am hoping for is a tackle taken in the 2nd/3rd, who will be plugged in at guard but can move outside easily if needed, and later on another guard or two. Also another Tackle to be depth and coached up to be a possible future starter.

    Also have to take into account free agency where we could grab a center, guard or tackle, whether for depth or to start.

    But right now i see no way they grab a tackle in the first with our current starters, or a guard early, from past and recent drafts.

    It's been a while sense he went super heavy on defense early so maybe this is the year?

    But who knows, its the draft and its a crap shoot and none of us know what the hell they will do. Maybe he drafts a tackle and tackle/guard in the first and more in the 2nd or 3rd.

    Just my two cents on the matter. All just my opinion, so don't flame me to much please...

    GO RAMS!!!!!!!

    p.s. the draft cant come soon enough
    Rammed and Battering_RAMS like this.



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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Tampa you make astute observations, and sustain your opinions with historical facts. Not much to debate with what you had to say. Like you and many here would love for us to draft a tackle in round 1 or at the latest 2. And the need at guard barring Roger resigning is obvious, especially if Barret needs another year to get up to strength and is only a depth guy still. We really need to upgrade that OL to block for our small young backs and to keep our QB from going down with injury again! ACK! That hurts just to think about poor Sammy... God help the lad recover to peak form again!
    Tampa_Ram likes this.

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    This is how we see not drafting an OT/OG early. I'm with you in the fact that we won't draft OT/OG at #2. But don't be surprised if we trade back the #2 and draft OT/OG with whatever our first pick is.


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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    How does anyone feel about Jonathan Martin from the Dolphins ...

    I can't make up my mind on him yet, but think he has talent....and Fisher is a man that controls the locker room in the right direction....


    honestly, its really hard to get Free Agency OT/OG to sign without giving them alot of money for a long term...just look at the deals we had fail for Olineman in Free Agency.....

    We could really use a young guy that will be available to play from Day 1 and potential be here for 10 years...not to mention its a great opportunity to learn from jake long...something we haven't had in awhile...a player coach on the Oline...

    plus Sam's injury and mobility concerns, along with our focus on the running game....I could not be mad if we took a Olineman #2 and again in round 1 or 2.....

    plus our focus on running the ball....

    bottom line is the Oline needs to be fixed right now....we have the defensive and a QB....lets fill in the rest

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Im not sold on Saffold. He has demonstrated a penchant for not playing; and being that this past year was a contract year for him----who the heck knows what was really going on in his mind or camp. He may have played and opted not to go on IR due to this very fact.

    In non contract years, Saffold has largely been a non-factor, thus, if another team want to pay him, let them.

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    demiurge is offline Registered User
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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    I think its all going to depend on the cap situation with our own players, and how that impacts free agency. If we get some restructures (I'm looking at you, Finnegan) and decide we need to let one or more of our lineman go, we could have some $$$ to bring in established guys, and I think that's what Fisher would prefer.

    I'd love to keep Saffold, but I tend to think that isn't going to happen. Paying him $6-7 million for guard would be great. PFF rated him the #2 guard in the league when he was playing that position. And of course he gives you the flexibility. Cut Dahl, resign Williams for a moderate salary. Wells could be kept or cut depending on how well the #2 guy is doing. Draft some OL, and in that case you probably don't take the OT at #2 (though maybe later if you've traded down).

    Personally I love the great old Rams teams with their amazing OL play, and would love to see a heavy investment there.

    I'm all for taking a look at Martin. Need the headshrinkers to take a look, but he has talent and is intelligent, and is young enough that he can recover from the situation he was in and still make the most of his talent. That could be a potential steal.

    I agree with your reasoning Tampa, but I hope you are wrong. Having a top flight OL helps everything else, and all of a sudden your journeymen become playmakers when they have great blocking.

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    I agree. Saffold has been ok, but I don't like the idea of paying him big money. I think Fish and Snead can find a Guard that could play just as good for the same price.

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    I disagree on Saffold. Injury is a concern, and that should keep him from getting top $$$. But he played very well at LT in his rookie season, had a down year the next year, and was one of our best lineman last year, and the line played very well with him at guard.

    He's probably gone because he doesn't want to play guard, and someone will reach and pay him. But I don't think we'll just get another guy to do as well as he did last year. Again, the PFF guys had him rated very, very high, and put him on their all NFC West team.

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Travis Swanson or Stork at Center and
    James Hurst or Zack Martin at T could play out without using a 1st round pick.

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    I think the argument that Fisher doesn't draft O Linemen early is bogus. After the draft it was revealed that if Ogletree was not available at 30 then Larry Warford was the next man on the board. That would be a first round guard.

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Again, when you look at the NFC West, the best division, the top teams have used MULTIPLE high picks (First and Second rounders) on their O-line the last 6 years. Same for the Patriots and Broncos and Panthers, and Packers, and Ravens and Bengals. The Rams have used two, but missed badly on Jason Smith and never drafted a replacement.

    The idea that you can hit on players in the middle rounds and thus should ignore some gr eat linemen early really is too risky.

    The Rams have drafted 17 linemen after round two since 2000.

    Here are the ones who made it at all
    Chris Massey (longsnapper)
    John St Clair
    Richie Incognito
    John Greco

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of later round O-linemen.

    As far as not drafting O-line high in Tennessee, not sure how much clout Fisher had in his early years with Floyd Reese as GM , but also, Tennessee had Brad Hopkins and Bruce Matthews, Kevin Donnelly and Jon Runyan and second rounder Jayson Layman and Mark Stepnoski already there by 1997.

    They added some big Free agent OL like Fred Miller as well.
    Barry Waller

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    Again, when you look at the NFC West, the best division, the top teams have used MULTIPLE high picks (First and Second rounders) on their O-line the last 6 years. Same for the Patriots and Broncos and Panthers, and Packers, and Ravens and Bengals. The Rams have used two, but missed badly on Jason Smith and never drafted a replacement.

    The idea that you can hit on players in the middle rounds and thus should ignore some gr eat linemen early really is too risky.

    The Rams have drafted 17 linemen after round two since 2000.

    Here are the ones who made it at all
    Chris Massey (longsnapper)
    John St Clair
    Richie Incognito
    John Greco

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of later round O-linemen.

    As far as not drafting O-line high in Tennessee, not sure how much clout Fisher had in his early years with Floyd Reese as GM , but also, Tennessee had Brad Hopkins and Bruce Matthews, Kevin Donnelly and Jon Runyan and second rounder Jayson Layman and Mark Stepnoski already there by 1997.

    They added some big Free agent OL like Fred Miller as well.
    I do agree with you on the risk if we wait. But in the two years Fisher and coach Paul Boudreau have been with the Rams the offensive line play has been pretty good overall. Not saying we should settle but I feel we will have a solid O line with them at the helm. It will be interesting to see what they do. We may fills some holes prior to the draft so the need may be reduced by draft day.

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    They added some big Free agent OL like Fred Miller as well.

    a former Ram....

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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Randart View Post
    Tampa you make astute observations, and sustain your opinions with historical facts. Not much to debate with what you had to say. Like you and many here would love for us to draft a tackle in round 1 or at the latest 2. And the need at guard barring Roger resigning is obvious, especially if Barret needs another year to get up to strength and is only a depth guy still. We really need to upgrade that OL to block for our small young backs and to keep our QB from going down with injury again! ACK! That hurts just to think about poor Sammy... God help the lad recover to peak form again!
    Thanks for the kind words Dandart. We definitely need to upgrade the O-line, just hard to see how they do it. Sammy deserves it.

    Quote Originally Posted by RuffRams View Post
    This is how we see not drafting an OT/OG early. I'm with you in the fact that we won't draft OT/OG at #2. But don't be surprised if we trade back the #2 and draft OT/OG with whatever our first pick is.
    If we trade back, especially if we do with the Browns and have three 1st rounders, a tackle/guard type player like Martin is a high possibility, especially if we trade back again at some point and grab a second 2nd rounder. This draft is very deep with O-line talent, so if Fisher ever decided to do it, this would be there year.

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    How does anyone feel about Jonathan Martin from the Dolphins ...

    I can't make up my mind on him yet, but think he has talent....and Fisher is a man that controls the locker room in the right direction....


    honestly, its really hard to get Free Agency OT/OG to sign without giving them alot of money for a long term...just look at the deals we had fail for Olineman in Free Agency.....

    We could really use a young guy that will be available to play from Day 1 and potential be here for 10 years...not to mention its a great opportunity to learn from jake long...something we haven't had in awhile...a player coach on the Oline...

    plus Sam's injury and mobility concerns, along with our focus on the running game....I could not be mad if we took a Olineman #2 and again in round 1 or 2.....

    plus our focus on running the ball....

    bottom line is the Oline needs to be fixed right now....we have the defensive and a QB....lets fill in the rest
    Martin is a tough one. He does have talent, but is he a Fisher type player?

    I think with a few pieces our defense can become extremely dominate, and that they might try and do that. A few trade backs and we can fix the line and finish the defense if they decide to. Just hard to know if they go that path or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    Im not sold on Saffold. He has demonstrated a penchant for not playing; and being that this past year was a contract year for him----who the heck knows what was really going on in his mind or camp. He may have played and opted not to go on IR due to this very fact.

    In non contract years, Saffold has largely been a non-factor, thus, if another team want to pay him, let them.
    You make a good point about Saffold i haven't looked at yet Punahou, contract years are definitely hard to wade through in terms of re-signing off that production. Really throws a wrench into the mix kinda.

    Quote Originally Posted by demiurge View Post
    I agree with your reasoning Tampa, but I hope you are wrong. Having a top flight OL helps everything else, and all of a sudden your journeymen become playmakers when they have great blocking.
    Martin is a tough Cookie to figure out, but I'm sure they will do their homework and test him. I hope i am wrong as well, ut not to the point that we spend three picks in the first 2 rounds on O-line. Two picks at most in the top two rounds will be good and more than we might get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unspoken View Post
    I agree. Saffold has been ok, but I don't like the idea of paying him big money. I think Fish and Snead can find a Guard that could play just as good for the same price.
    I agree that there are some good guards that will be available, but maybe Fishead will re-sign Saffold since he can play guard and tackle. But only if the money is right.

    Quote Originally Posted by demiurge View Post
    I disagree on Saffold. Injury is a concern, and that should keep him from getting top $$$. But he played very well at LT in his rookie season, had a down year the next year, and was one of our best lineman last year, and the line played very well with him at guard.

    He's probably gone because he doesn't want to play guard, and someone will reach and pay him. But I don't think we'll just get another guy to do as well as he did last year. Again, the PFF guys had him rated very, very high, and put him on their all NFC West team.
    I think a tackle needy team might tempt Saffold with a good size paycheck. Not elite money, but better than what we might offer him. If we could keep him at guard and get more tackle/guard depth to swing out so Saffold didn't have to, that would be best if they do re-sign him.

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Travis Swanson or Stork at Center and
    James Hurst or Zack Martin at T could play out without using a 1st round pick.
    Giving up on Jones already? Hurst could be had in the 2nd\3rd, Martin though, his stock has risen high lately and seems like a mid-late 1st rounder now. Would love to have him though to play LG and move out if needed. We have our tackles already, no need to draft someone to replace them, but one that can move out if needed IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    I think the argument that Fisher doesn't draft O Linemen early is bogus. After the draft it was revealed that if Ogletree was not available at 30 then Larry Warford was the next man on the board. That would be a first round guard.
    Actually Datone Jones was the first back up plan if Tree was taken already, and they never said if they would trade back first to grab Warfod either. But it doesn't matter. We still did not grab him. So the streak continues lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    Again, when you look at the NFC West, the best division, the top teams have used MULTIPLE high picks (First and Second rounders) on their O-line the last 6 years. Same for the Patriots and Broncos and Panthers, and Packers, and Ravens and Bengals. The Rams have used two, but missed badly on Jason Smith and never drafted a replacement.

    The idea that you can hit on players in the middle rounds and thus should ignore some gr eat linemen early really is too risky.

    The Rams have drafted 17 linemen after round two since 2000.

    Here are the ones who made it at all
    Chris Massey (longsnapper)
    John St Clair
    Richie Incognito
    John Greco

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of later round O-linemen.

    As far as not drafting O-line high in Tennessee, not sure how much clout Fisher had in his early years with Floyd Reese as GM , but also, Tennessee had Brad Hopkins and Bruce Matthews, Kevin Donnelly and Jon Runyan and second rounder Jayson Layman and Mark Stepnoski already there by 1997.

    They added some big Free agent OL like Fred Miller as well.
    There is no point in showing the Rams previous regimes O-line prospects drafted. This is Fishers team so you should only look at his history in this. I'm sure Fisher had some power in his decisions at Tenn or else he probably would have left, he doesn't seem to be the type to give complete control away for 17 years. Just my opinion though.

    He did have players in place for a long time, but not the entire time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I do agree with you on the risk if we wait. But in the two years Fisher and coach Paul Boudreau have been with the Rams the offensive line play has been pretty good overall. Not saying we should settle but I feel we will have a solid O line with them at the helm. It will be interesting to see what they do. We may fills some holes prior to the draft so the need may be reduced by draft day.
    Agree 100% Rambos.


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    Re: Time to catch some flack. No OT/OG early!!!

    Six offensive line combos in the final 8 weeks. Major injury time lost to four offensive linemen out of our five starters. An average starting age of 29.4 years. Our line was so bad and so injured at the end of the season we managed a hall of shame worthy 0.7 ypc in week 17 @ seattle. After we averaged 5.4ypc at home eight games before that. We had yet again the worst offense in our division.

    Nobody will dispute that our defense in the second half of the year grew leaps and bounds. The young players matured, the coaches fixed game plan problems and over all we saw much better performance later in the year. There are some obvious needs on defense for certain not denying that.

    With all that said it continues to amaze me that Rams fans want to create reasons and excuses for thinking the Rams should address the defense in the draft and free agency. That the line will turn itself around with an off season of work together. All the sudden these older players will stay healthy for a change. It's also interesting the logic that a 3rd or 6th round pick on the OLine will suffice but we must spend a 1st rounder on defense. Value can be found on late round OLine picks. The same logic can be used in reverse. Value can be found late round on defense as well therefore we should spend high round picks on offense. See how easy that is

    Please for the love of all things football stop trying to tell us what Fisher will or won't do because of what happened when he took over coaching a team in Houston 20 years ago. He did not have the player control then that he does now so you're comparing Fisher and Snead now to the GM at the time Fisher took over in Houston. We also see that Tennessee did in fact only spend later round picks on the OLine, we also see that in the final few years of his tenure there the OLine wasn't anywhere near as strong as the line he took over.

    I for one hope we address the OLine early and often in the draft. We gave SJax garbage to run behind. We gave Marc Bulger garbage to block for him and it ruined his career. We didn't even give Warner much to block for him and it nearly ruined his career. I am so sick and tired of making due with scraps and mid round picks or early round projects for the OLine. It's time to make the line a strength of this team and not waste Zac Stacy's talents and lets try to keep Sam Bradford upright and healthy.
    MauiRam, Bar-bq, Rammed and 1 others like this.

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