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Thread: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

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    What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    By Peter King


    The Rams will have a tough choice May 8. Should they take the best defensive player on the board (possibly Jadeveon Clowney) or boost the offense with Sammy Watkins or a top tackle? Our unsolicited advice for St. Louis, plus mail

    Inundated with information—all of it questionable—about what Houston will do at No. 1, we’ve given the Rams short shrift with the second overall pick on May 8. I believe general manager Les Snead will take Jadeveon Clowney if Houston bypasses the South Carolina pass-rusher. But I don’t believe that’s what he should do.

    I think Snead and coach Jeff Fisher should go offense here. I’d go with Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins or one of the two top tackles, probably Greg Robinson of Auburn. But the Rams could take Watkins here, and with their second pick of the first round take the third- or fourth-best tackle in the crop—Michigan’s Taylor Lewan or the experienced Zack Martin of Notre Dame (a 52-game college starter). Martin could easily move to guard for a year or two.

    Watkins and Tavon Austin would give Sam Bradford the real chance a top quarterback prospect needs. And let’s face it: Bradford still has to be considered a prospect. He hasn’t arrived yet, after four seasons. He hasn’t been the most durable player—he has missed 15 of 64 starts with injury—and his 58.6 percent completion rate confirms he hasn’t been the most accurate either.

    The reason the Rams would be smart to address the offense early is simple: They’ll have a very tough time winning the NFC West without an offensive upgrade. They might get lucky and win it once, but the consistency of offensive play just isn’t there. In the past six meetings against the cream of the division, Seattle and San Francisco, the Rams have scored 9, 9 and 13 points (against Seattle) and 13, 11 and 16 against the Niners. That’s 11.8 points a game against the teams you have to beat to win the division … and just four touchdowns in six very important games.

    If you’re the Rams, do you want to rely on holding potent offenses to 10 points a game? Or do you want to give your team a chance to win when the defense has just a B-minus day? Right now, the Rams, with Tavon Austin and Chris Givens and Austin Pettis, have a passable receiver group. It would be sad if the team went 7-9 or something like that this year, and Bradford struggled, and the front office would have to make the call on keeping him or not next February. They’d have to judge based on a good but not great group of wideouts. Adding Watkins to the mix would give Bradford no more reason to be mediocre.

    On the line, Jake Long is being held together by baling wire at left tackle, and when will the Rams have a better chance to draft his successor than with the second pick in a line-rich draft? Taking another piece for the line could give the team Long and the prospect Joe Barksdale at tackle for the season, with Rodger Saffold and, say, Robinson or Martin inside for at least one year while they learn the pro game.

    My feeling is based on the fact that the Steel Curtain of the mid-seventies Steelers comes along once in a generation. The Rams have Chris Long and Robert Quinn, a formidable rush duo. They need a much better offense more than they need a formidable rush trio.
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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    I've been swayed. Do you think the non-mention of Kenny Britt was intentional? At this point in the mock draft/prediction game I am more curious if the Rams will trade #2 more than who they would pick if they stayed. Either way, Watkins or Robinson would clearly help the offense and chances of putting up actual threatening points against division opponents.

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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    Thanks for sharing this Rambos. It states what I've been feeling about our offense all off-season, we need to put more points on the board. Whether we do it at #2 or slightly later based on a trade, it is essential that we add to our weaponry for Sam's sake. I am interested to see how the team intends to use Kenny Britt as he was signed for a reason, one that I'm not quite sure of right now.

    If we go OT with Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews, I'm fine with that too. As Peter King's MMQB column states, this has been a torturous pre-draft process and it's going on too long. Just do it already. Also release the damn schedules. Stop trying to pick the perfect media opportunity. I think the people in the NFL offices trying too hard to make everything huge. Just do it the way things used to get done and stop trying to make everything momentous, you'll still make tons of money!

    Go Rams!
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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    his 58.6 percent completion rate confirms he hasn’t been the most accurate either.
    That....or his wideouts had more than their fair share of drops. I don't have those stats in front of me, but I would venture a guess they had a few.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    Quote Originally Posted by MDE8352gorams View Post
    Thanks for sharing this Rambos. It states what I've been feeling about our offense all off-season, we need to put more points on the board. Whether we do it at #2 or slightly later based on a trade, it is essential that we add to our weaponry for Sam's sake. I am interested to see how the team intends to use Kenny Britt as he was signed for a reason, one that I'm not quite sure of right now.

    If we go OT with Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews, I'm fine with that too. As Peter King's MMQB column states, this has been a torturous pre-draft process and it's going on too long. Just do it already. Also release the damn schedules. Stop trying to pick the perfect media opportunity. I think the people in the NFL offices trying too hard to make everything huge. Just do it the way things used to get done and stop trying to make everything momentous, you'll still make tons of money!

    Go Rams!
    Excelente... bien dicho.

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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    The reason the Rams would be smart to address the offense early is simple: They’ll have a very tough time winning the NFC West without an offensive upgrade. They might get lucky and win it once, but the consistency of offensive play just isn’t there. In the past six meetings against the cream of the division, Seattle and San Francisco, the Rams have scored 9, 9 and 13 points (against Seattle) and 13, 11 and 16 against the Niners. That’s 11.8 points a game against the teams you have to beat to win the division … and just four touchdowns in six very important games.
    On the line, Jake Long is being held together by baling wire at left tackle, and when will the Rams have a better chance to draft his successor than with the second pick in a line-rich draft?
    My feeling is based on the fact that the Steel Curtain of the mid-seventies Steelers comes along once in a generation. The Rams have Chris Long and Robert Quinn, a formidable rush duo. They need a much better offense more than they need a formidable rush trio.
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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    Nice use of gif! But he states it very well. The offense we've put up against the whiners and the ducks won't get it done. There are too many questions around the OLine not to give it serious attention in this draft.
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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    I guess having Sam Bradford back is not worth much according to most on this thread.

    Seems to me that his healthy presence alone, makes us a better offensive team than we were last year.

    Furtheremore, 21 points per game with a backup QB and a 5th round rookie RB leading the way, is not all bad IMO.

    However, I expect Sam Bradford to increase the points per game average, by simply playing the kind of football that is more representative of a 5th year starter who was drafted number one overall.

    Even if we didn't draft a single offensive player, I'd expect him to expand on what Kellen Clemens was able to do last year.

    Meanwhile, as I've pointed out at least twice before, our defense is further behind the Superbowl champs (22 points allowed to 14 points allowed) than our offense (21 points per game to 26 points per game) is, even though we consider our defense the strongsuit of the team.

    So in spite of the perception, it is the defense that must be addressed early on in the draft, IMO.

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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    Our defense will be addressed in the draft but it has already had a huge upgrade in Williams over Walton. Adding a true FS would be the final piece to making this defense competitive.

    Sam's presence will upgrade the offense but he lists 6 games vs the whiners and the ducks. Half of those low scoring outputs belong to Sam. Sam's return alone is not enough to off set the losses our OLine took in this off season. Our starting left guard is currently either Brandon Washington, who's been active for 1 game in his two year career. Or Barrett Jones, who was active for four games last year. I don't know that either took any snaps in game action. Meanwhile our best three OLinemen have missed a combined 37 games over the last three years. This perception that we can get away without adding talent to the OLine confuses me. We have to keep Bradford upright and we have to open holes for Stacy and Co. if we want to compete.
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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    I'm fine with defense or offense. What I don't want to see is Clowney - that's the one place we don't have holes and the one pick that could be expected to translate into additional draft picks down the road. If Clowney is there, he's of far more use to us as trade bait than as the #3 end on the depth chart starting game 1 of 2014.

    We have holes at OL, could use a #1 WR, need help in the secondary, and could stand to upgrade many other positions.

    Even an extra high round #2 this year and the same next year is worth dropping a few spots for a team that really wants what we've already got. Pretty good chance Matthews is there at 6, maybe even at 8 if some the teams reach on QBs.

    My personal druthers would be to spend on elite OL help and depth in the secondary.

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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    I like the idea of drafting Watkins. My feeling is that we can't have enough weapons for Bradford especially in the very tough NFC West.

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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    I think this is the year we see what type of team Fisher is going to build here. IMO we could go either way offense or defense they both need to be improved if we are to compete in the west sooner then later.

    After two years and completely overhauling the roster this is the year Fisher can't hide his true intentions about what this team is going to be. Last year Fisher came out of character if you ask me. He moved up to get Tavon and let Shotty install the spread offense. I thought that Fisher must have conceded that this is the new NFL and the only way to win was to be pass happy. After week four he came back to his senses and changed the offense to a ball control run first pass second mentality and that was before Sam got hurt.

    IMO all the signs are pointing towards the Rams becoming a defensive team. This year he changed the DC back to what he originally envisioned and he had to eat some humble pie to do it. He let go one of his favorite players he brought in, Cort to make sure we become better in the secondary. He has already added two first round defensive starters in the last two drafts and most would agree there is a good chance we will be adding at least one more this year, in the form of a cornerback or safety. The question I have, is he willing to go all in and add another elite DE or LB in Clowney or Mack as well to try to become a top five or better defense this year and for years to come.

    I can't wait to see what he really wants us to be!
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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    if clowney is there @ 2, theres no doubt we will trade with Atlanta, who want him bad..then hopefully we can get either Watkins or robinso @ 6

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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    Here is a clue on which way we will go.

    Les Snead

    Snead admits that after last offseason's much-needed infusion of speed, the Rams weren't quite sure what kind of team they would become. But after the bad start, coach Jeff Fisher figured it out.

    "Those games led Jeff to going, 'You know what, here's how I know to win games. We're going to play really good D, we're going to run the football, we're going to do play-action pass and we're going to win games,'" Snead says. "That's our identity now. It doesn't mean we're just going to ground and pound. What it means is we're going to build a team that can run, and that's going to make the passing game better."
    Last edited by Rambos; -04-24-2014 at 06:06 PM.
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    Re: What to do at No. 2? - Peter King

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Here is a clue on which way we will go.

    Les Snead

    Snead admits that after last offseason's much-needed infusion of speed, the Rams weren't quite sure what kind of team they would become. But after the bad start, coach Jeff Fisher figured it out.

    "Those games led Jeff to going, 'You know what, here's how I know to win games. We're going to play really good D, we're going to run the football, we're going to do play-action pass and we're going to win games,'" Snead says. "That's our identity now. It doesn't mean we're just going to ground and pound. What it means is we're going to build a team that can run, and that's going to make the passing game better."
    And here's where I think a lot of people underestimate the need on the offensive line. The Rams want to run the football, but they were average at best at doing so in 2013. They ranked 19th in rushing yards, 18th in yards per carry, 19th in yards per game, and 23rd in rushing touchdowns. Those states are boosted by the numbers Tavon Austin put up as an unconventional runner.

    Fans assume that when Zac Stacy entered the line-up, things were better. But Stacy's running numbers are pretty pedestrian. Stacy rushed 250 times and averaged 3.9 yards per carry on the ground. Prior to the bye week, Stacy rushed for 537 yards at 4.16 yards per carry. After the bye, he rushed for 436 yards on 3.6 yards per carry. In the final four games of the season, Stacy rushed for only 3.08 yards per carry on average.

    Now, getting injured players back is going to help the offense. But we shouldn't be naive enough to think that that's going to make a huge difference. Having Sam Bradford under center didn't stop the Rams from starting the season 1-3, and while the Rams looked great beating up the lowly Jaguars and Texans in Weeks 5-6, the Bradford and Stacy led Rams struggled against a playoff caliber Panthers team.

    We've spent most of the last three seasons saying, "Man, if Bradford only had some help." Now the Rams have a chance to give him an elite blind side tackle for perhaps the rest of his career, and we're going to pass because the argument now is that Sam returning should be enough? Really?

    If the Rams want to control a game by running the ball, then they're going to need to make improvements up front to help get that done. Their starting left tackle and right guard are injuries waiting to happen. There is no legitimate starting left guard on this team. Their starting center is pedestrian, and their starting right tackle is a promising question mark.

    Take Matthews or Robinson, plug either of them in at left guard or right tackle until they're ready to take over for Long on the left side. The line is instantly improved by their addition, and the most important spot on the line is secure for years to come.

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