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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    Chris (St. Louis): Is there anyway Alan Branch slips to 13 to the Rams after a poor combine?

    Todd McShay: (12:30 PM ET ) I think there's a chance he's there at 13, but he didn't have a poor combine. That has nothing to do with it. He actually had a great combine, from a workout standpoint. The problem that Branch is facing, the more film teams watch on him (remember, he's a junior so teams are playing catchup on him) the more concern arises on his inconsistent motor. There have been a lot of busts at DT in recent drafts. While Branch is by far the most talented player at his position this year, some teams are worried that he'll eat himself out of the league once he starts cashing paychecks.


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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    I have to say, Branch is the biggest wild card in the draft for me.

    On the one hand, if his critics are wrong he is exactly what the Rams need. Let me repeat that... HE IS EXACTLY WHAT THE RAMS NEED. A big, space eating, blocker occupying, run-stuffing DT.(Even Okoye, who is my current top DT, doesn't fit that profile. Okoye is more of a Warren Sapp type than a classic NT. Its just that Okoye seems to be less risky.) On the other hand, I keep reading about "concerns" about his work ethic, motor, etc.

    If Branch does fall to the Rams and the Rams take him, I'll react with guarded optimism. Or, better stated - extremely guarded, extreme optimism. If he's the Rams' choice, I hope he will be all he can be - an anchor that will allow the rest of the defense to make plays.

    Still, that's what I thought Jimmy Kennedy would be.

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    Patrick Willis. The more I think about this pick, the more it makes sense to pass on Branch, and take the playmaker in the middle. Okoye won't be there at 13, and Branch has too many if's to whiff again on a NT.

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    I don't know why but I really have faith in this guy. I don't think the paycheck has anything to do with it, I think he definitely needs to have a good understanding coach. More like a Linehan/Dungy cooled down character type of coach. I can't see him being coached by a guy who gives him a hard time. He just seems like one of those guys when in a situation, he just needs a pat on the back rather than being yelled at. (Then again, its only speculation of what I've seen/read in interviews and on the football field.)


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    I agree with all the posts the last month that Branch is the seeming "perfect" fit. But I can't help but think back to how the exact same things were being said about Kennedy and he slide like Branch appears to be.

    You can't be scared by what's happened in the past........but geezzzzz. I just wonder if the old saying "If it seems to good to be true......It probably is", might apply here. If he falls in our lap, maybe there's a reason.

    I still maintain that in the first 2-3 rounds you draft "Best Player Available" regardless of position. If two are equal and one fits a need you take the need. But never draft based on what your biggest team need is. I'd love a D-Lineman or Stud Linebacker, but if the quality in THERE opinion isn't there when we draft........PLEASE take the best player regardless of position. Heck....if they have big OT Levi Brown as 6th best on their board when we pick and no Defensive players close to him ranking wise......TAKE HIM. Maybe he beats Barron out and solidifies our O-Line.

    Not what we may need most, but that's the way you improve as a team.

    Just my 2 cents...........

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    You make a very valid point sparker. I'm in the camp that you draft for the future and you use FA for the present. If you are drafting for the future, you take the BPA in the first round then draft for depth afterwards.

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    These Branch vs Kennedy comparisons are making me very nervous. :x

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    I think that Branch just needs to be motivated by a really good coaching staff. He is so physically gifted that he could get away with a subpar effort in college and still be dominant.

    That won't fly in the NFL and I think that Branch will rise to the occasion.

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    sparker is offline Registered User
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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    Country, I hear what your saying. But think back a few years ago. Everyone said Kennedy had all the skills in the world, a TOP 5 talent. He just seemed to lack motivation and that "good motor".

    All he needed was some solid coaching and he'd be a stud...........now we all want to write him off and take the next player with the exact same LABEL. Yet we feel that's the right thing to do.

    No one has a crystal ball, but just way to many similarities for me to ignore. maybe he IS the stud we need. Maybe the Rams have him rated #1 (if so by all means take him). I just won't be upset if we don't and he's sitting there. I'll assume they saw things they didn't like.

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    as we need D,im looking at who is the banker of the available prospects and looking at the D-linemen available they all have something about them that is a question mark -

    Carricker-DT/DE tweener,not that great a pass rusher,if going to play DT at this stage it will be UT where we have Wroten who i have faith in!

    Branch-Question marks over his motor

    Okoye-Raw talent,i would love to have him but may not see him contribute too much for 2 or 3 years

    Anderson- former WR playing at DE,has lots of raw talent but still has a fair way to go in his learning curve

    the two players with more for them on their resume is landry and willis,everything about willis says quality,from what he does on the field to what he does off it,nothing about him indicates to me that he would be anything other than a great pro and a great addition to our front 7,the man is a beast on the field and a gentleman off it,get him!

    if we just need a big body at NT drive around the ghettos of america and find some biggie smalls look-alike!

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    One thing I think you guys are missing out on Kennedy is the fact that

    1. He played under Marmie. Who shouldn't have even been a Defensive coach. He was injured also.

    2. It was his first year under Haslett, learning a new system. I think this year he'll do a lot better, at helping stop the run. We have most of our defensive players coming back. So it's gonna be a better year defensively for our team.

    If you notice they did not make any attempts to bring any Defensive Linemen in except for Hall. There's also a chance we bring back in Winstrom.

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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    Two wrongs don't equal one right. ...Hmm, what if we could get Branch in and place him next to Kennedy in a 4-3 box? Hypothetically:

    Adeyanju - Branch - Kennedy - Little

    Maybe both DTs could help each other improve and the Rams DL, out of sheer synergy, might step up against the run. And be sure they take their vitamins too.

    I'm serious. Sparker, I agree with you about Kennedy having an eery similarity to Branch's promising "attributes" ... and that could present the curse of history repeating itself with our draft selection at DT.

    However, I also agree with Country and V6 commenting on the prime need and benefit for Big Branch, i.e., being coached well and taking it from there towards success with the Rams. That's what I mean. Kennedy realizes that Branch would be there for a good reason: to help him. Jimmy Kennedy needs help. Kennedy helps Branch help Kennedy.


    No doubt Coach Haslett and DL coach Brian Baker -- as well as their assistants -- would be VERY busy but it might be a formula they are considering. Of course this is not a new concept. But it just may ratify and justify drafting Alan Branch and, hopefully, advance some peace of mind for the Rams defense.
    Last edited by RealRam; -04-06-2007 at 01:05 AM. Reason: Content

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    sparker is offline Registered User
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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    Just to be clear.....I'm not saying we shouldn't draft Alan Branch. Too the contrary, if the Rams have him rated at the top of their board when we select at #13......by all means take him. If they rate him that high, then it's obvious they feel he's a player and one that can help the team.

    My only concern is that many on these boards seem to think if he's sitting there at 13 when we pick and they go a different direction, the Rams will have "screwed the pouch". I defer to the scouting Department. I just want them to take the BEST player on the board based on their scouting and opinion, not based on the consensus best DT left.

    Again, I'd prefer a Defensive front-7 player. But more important is to get the BEST Player regardless where he plays.....offense or defense.

    I love Okoye, if the Rams are sure Branch is going to be great I'd love him. Watching tape of Carriker I can't help but think he'd be a nice addition. Patrick Willis looks great and as others have said is a solid citizen. If he's highest on the Rams board when we pick I'd love him. LB Poz from Penn St isn't getting much love but if you watch the tape on him he has GREAT instincts....always around the ball.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    Roger that, Sparker. :r I hear you and agree.

    Yes, Carriker would probably be a very fine acquisition too, as would Willis. I think Okoye is certain to be gone by the #12 pick.

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Todd McShay (Scouts, Inc./ESPN) re: Branch and the Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Patrick Willis. The more I think about this pick, the more it makes sense to pass on Branch, and take the playmaker in the middle. Okoye won't be there at 13, and Branch has too many if's to whiff again on a NT.
    Tex ... do you really think that Willis will still be there at 13? I can't see him getting past the Bills. The Whiners could take him as well. Branch will probably be there when we pick, but no one really knows what the Rams truly think of him ...

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