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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Wagoner: Draft and Combine Chatter

    Draft and Combine Chatter
    Posted >Wed, February 17, 2010 03:40
    by Nick Wagoner

    - Sat in on a conference call with ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. this morning and took away some notes of interest. First, thanks to Kiper for doing it. He sat patiently for two hours taking a ton of questions and gave everyone a good, well thought out answer.

    - Anyway, some news and notes from that conversation as well as just some general thoughts as we head toward next week. A little more than a week from today, the combine festivities begin in Indianapolis.

    - News broke today that Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen will not be participating in combine drills because of lingering issues from the toe surgery he has in early January. Clausen will be in attendance and he will do the medical stuff and the team interviews (generally the most important part of the weekend anyway). He will throw at his pro day, scheduled for late March.

    - Speaking of Clausen, he is gaining steam in the eyes of Kiper. Kiper has Clausen going fourth overall to Washington in his latest mock draft and when he talked about Clausen, he passionately defended him on today's conference call. Kiper's colleague Todd McShay doesn't even have a first round grade on Clausen, perhaps one of the sources of Kiper's ire. Nonetheless, Kiper says he has talked to everyone surrounding Clausen and they all speak highly of his skills and especially his leadership ability.

    - Kiper still has the Rams taking Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh first overall though he says Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy is "right there." And Kiper says Suh, McCoy and Tennessee S Eric Berry are the clear cut top three players and that is "etched in stone" on his board.

    - Because there has been much speculation about the quarterbacks and the Rams, I asked Kiper how big the drop off was between the two defensive tackles and the top two quarterbacks (Clausen and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford). Kiper said there isn't much of a drop off but apparently it's enough for him to remain convinced the Rams should take Suh.

    - Remember, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Tuesday that he still believes in building a team from the "inside out." In other words, you start with the lines and work your way back.

    - Some other tidbits from Kiper:

    - Kiper believes Clemson's C.J. Spiller is clearly the class of the group at running backs and the only surefire first-round pick at the position.

    - Of the offensive tackle prospects, Kiper said he believes Rutgers Anthony Davis has the most potential and that he was disappointed in how Oklahoma State's Russell Okung started the season.

    - Florida CB Joe Haden has clearly made strides in the eyes of Kiper. At one point, he described Haden as a potential top five cornerback in the NFL. He believes Cleveland could be a match with the seventh pick.

    - Kiper continues to insist that Florida QB Tim Tebow made a mistake by going to the Senior Bowl. According to Kiper, it would have been more prudent for Tebow to wait to do any throwing until his pro day in Gainesville. Then, he'd have a comfortable setting and the scrutiny would be one day and done. Hard to argue with Kiper's logic considering the way Tebow was picked apart for his performance in Mobile.

    - That's it for today. Back tomorrow with some more draft discussion.

  2. #2
    timsum1283's Avatar
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    Re: Wagoner: Draft and Combine Chatter

    good stuff good stuff. not the biggest fan of Kiper but I'm glad to see he provided some insight. Perhaps if CJ Spiller is the only RB taken in round 1 the Rams can land Best or Dwyer in round 2.

    it will also be interesting to see where the tackles get drafted this year. I'm glad we nabbed Smith last year because I dont think there is a franchise LT this year.

    If Spags really does believe in building a team from the inside out then I take that as a hint as drafting Suh

  3. #3
    TheRammer Guest

    Re: Wagoner: Draft and Combine Chatter

    This complicates things for me projecting our second round pick. So many good second rounders are going to be around when our secound pick comes about... very excited about the draft coming...

  4. #4
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    Re: Wagoner: Draft and Combine Chatter

    There is def a lot of choices to ponder for our 2nd round pick,.,, Would love to stockpile picks because we could use the depth...

  5. #5
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    Re: Wagoner: Draft and Combine Chatter

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Remember, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Tuesday that he still believes in building a team from the "inside out." In other words, you start with the lines and work your way back.
    Although I'm sure everyone knows that this is the time of year for posturing and creating smokescreens, it is worth noting that at the combine last year Jim Schwartz echoed the exact same sentiments as Spags, (before eventually selecting Stafford #1 overall) prompting SI's Don Banks to claim:

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Banks
    It took a good 45 minutes or so into my four-day stay here in Indy, but I'm convinced I've already figured out the biggest riddle of this year's NFL draft season: What, pray tell, will the Detroit Lions do with the first overall pick on April?

    After careful analysis of every syllable uttered to the media by new Lions head coach Jim Schwartz on Thursday morning in the bowels of Lucas Oil Stadium, where the combine has relocated to this year, I'm willing to guarantee that Detroit isn't taking a quarterback with its No. 1 pick. Okay, guarantee is a little much. Let's just say I'm pretty sure. Make that reasonably certain.
    This is the time of year where nothing is certain and I'm sure Spagnuolo & Co. will make sure of that in order to gain the best leverage they can when negotiating with the first overall pick-to-be. Why can't they just all let us in on their little secret?
    Last edited by Bald_81; -02-18-2010 at 07:47 PM.

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