Very Last Thoughts
The rumors are flying, and no one has a real clue, though some of what someone says today is true, we just don't know what, as it is like one perfect snowflake in a blizzard.
As a self professed draftnik and amateur GM, as most here are, I have my own thoughts, right or wrong, about what I hope Snead and Fisher will do, with some input from Demoff on the cap effects of taking a certain position now and in the future this trio sees as an ascention to a great team.
Fans need to remember that this is'nt a team looking for a quick fix, but one methodically and brilliantly at times, filling hole after a hole on a roster nearly bereft of talent before last year.
They got better, particularly on defense, faster than expected, uncovering two stars in Quinn and Jenkins, seeing Chris Long achieve what was expected when he was drafted, and seeing what Michael Brockers has to offer soon.
They also hit gold with free agents Courtland Finnegan and JoLonn Dunbar.
With some cap room to sign a solid safety and OLB still, perhaps Daryl Smith and Quentin Mikell, the Rams are set up to really not reach whatsoever in this draft.
Today on the NFL network, Les Snead, made a really cool and classy jesture by wishing Kurt Warner's son Zachary a happy birthday. Those of us who know his story, or like me have gotten the opportunity to meet Zach years ago, know that this was a really class move by Snead, who called Kurt and his family part of the Rams family still.
Snead also seemed to be saying that THEIR offense may not necessarily require big playmakers outside to succeed, and that the "big men" whoprotect the QB have a big part in how an offense moves the ball and scores.
Don't know if he is just setting a smoke screen, but I doubt it, because they know Tavon Austin will almost surely be gone by 16, and they won't deal much to get him.
I could see the Rams dealing a 4th round pick for a short move up from 16, to say 14, if a guy they really covet falls that far, due to Austin and a QB going top 10.
Looking at this team long term, as Snead and Fisher and Demoff surely are, they see a team that doesn't need a big draft splash, and don't desire that.
They see a draft where six or seven offensive linemen are among the best bets in round one.
Yes, they signed Chris Williams, who showed a bit last year under Coach Boudreau's tutelage, but Jason Smith showed promise at times as well.
This will be Harvey Dahl's last year with the Rams, due to his $4 million cap hit next year, and you don't know about Watkins as a starter.
Looks like you have good backups now, and a good center if Wells is 100%. Dahl is fine as well, and a leader.
Saffold is a huge question. He's not going to be here as a RT, no matter what the Rams say, after this year, so that means drafting a RT in 2014 (Jake Mathews?), or taking one this draft.
Could that be DJ Fluker at 16? Menelik Watson or Justin Pugh or Kyle Long after a deal down from 22 or deal up from 46?
Everyone says it isn't Fisher's way to draft OL early, but this is a different year, and I really think their top priority is, and must be, protecting Sam Bradford and opening holes for the backs. The goal of every tea is this and getting after the other QB. The Rams have that second part down, and it should only get better.
It may not be sexy for fans if the Rams go OL with their first pick, or even the second one, but teams like the Giants and Patriots will be doing just that, and it will benefit them greatly.
With Alec Ogletree's off field stuff, added to the fact that it appears the top four DTs, top three OT, top two G and top WR will be gone at 16, and the fact that safeties can be found all over the draft this year more than ever, I could easily see the Rams taking Fluker, or one of those other linemen I mentioned, maybe after a deal down from 22.
I want the Rams to do everything they can to make sure they have stars at every OL spot, and good backups as well. That is the clearest path to winning, along with Bradford's ability when he has time, and having a good rushing attack, again something a great line will assure.
They will not be able to spend money on free agent OL anymore, which means they will need to get them in the draft, probably a tackle and two guards, and in a year or two a center.
I think they have to add ONE very early in this draft, because of the value guys available, and because of the weakness or depth at other positions.
The other position that appears to be a good value possibly at 16 is DT, if Richardson, Lotulelei, or Sly Williams fall far enough that a short deal up is feasable, or to 16.
I don't see a value at WR, S, OLB, who could be there at 16, or one worth dealing up to get.
With so many questions about the "skill guys", I would be happier with some big guys who can stop the run, rush the passer, and protect the passer, as well as opening holes for the RB, as far as the top picks.
Then I go for guys like TJ Moe, Ace Sanders or Marcus Lattimore later in the draft, after looking WR and S in rd two and three, maybe even adding a 2nd or high 3rd by dealing down a bit in round one. I'd like to see that 46th pick move up about ten spots as well, to get a good receiver, S, or even OL. The best could all be gone by 46.
I hate boom or bust reaches in round one, and when in doubt, I look for big guys who have Pro Bowl potential above all else, even "boring" offensive linemen.
The offensive line and defensive tackle groups are the only thing that excite me about round one talent this year. If the Rams tap into that talent early, I'll be thrilled. I'll also see how much that will help this offense go in a big way, long term. The Rams have the anchor now in Long, but you can't leave him as the only top talent on the line. You must eventually have four or even five who are clearly entrenched as starters. Better sooner than later, especially against division foes focussed on rushning the passer as their way to win.
Re: Very Last Thoughts
BW agreed with most of what you said till you got to the guys you would go for... then the eyes of this beholder disagreed with you. But we each have our opinions. Excited to see where we go in this draft!
Re: Very Last Thoughts
Re: Very Last Thoughts
I like your thoughts Barry - Go Rams.
Re: Very Last Thoughts
My last thought (because all of you know how i love to repeat myself). Our receivers will all look a lot better with better offensive line play. I am completely in agreement with Barry. I want a top 6 o-lineman at 16, a guard would be perfect and fluker is fine with me. I have no problem at all with a defensive tackle if one falls to us.
ramming speed to all