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  1. #1
    z.nrd Guest

    You want a DT? They're not at 13

    The guys we should be discussing aren't Okoye or Branch. Okoye will probably be gone and if Branch falls, it's cause teams are getting wary of high picks at DT that don't pan out cause of work ethic issues.

    The guys who will help the Rams, whether they get Jenkins or not, are players like Harrell, Mebane, and Tyler.

    The true small-area-sluggers, no glamor all work NT types. Harrel could go low first round. I figure Tyler for rounds 2-3. Mebane, more like 3-4, but not a reach at the bottom of round 2.

    There's others too; 5th to 7th round types who come with some "potential/risk" formulas attached to them. LaRon Harris, Derek Landri (who must gain weight), Louis Leonard, Walter Thomas, Quinton Echols, Paul Soliai. In that mess is someone who will make it if Softli, Linehan, and Haslett can find him.

    The only player drafted last year who became a rookie starter at NT wasn't Ngata (who played end not tackle) but Barry Cofield. A 4th rounder. Actually that's not that rare. Many rookies have started at NT over the years; a lot of them didn't come within shouting distance of the first round.

    Based on what I know so far, I like all three of the first day types: Harrell, Mebane, Tyler. If it wuzz upp 2 mee, I would take one of them, in that order if available, in round 2...or maybe just trade down and take Harrell low in the first round.

    Alas, it ain't up to me.

    * * *
    Last edited by z.nrd; -04-09-2007 at 12:21 AM. Reason: forgot something


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    I've been high on Harrell for a while now, and if we can trade down into the early to mid 20s, pick up an extra pick or two, and pull the trigger, that'd be great. The guy has the heart of a football player, as evident by his choosing to play through injury so that he could compete against a rival school. Concerns about his injured biceps should be lowered as well, as I believe he put up 31 reps of 225 at his pro day.

    Tyler, I'm not very high on. If he's there in the second round and we haven't addressed the position yet, he'd be a solid selection from a value perspective. But a pattern of character concerns leads me to believe we're probably at some point in time going to have to deal with it at the pro level as well.

    Mebane is an interesting prospect. I'm not sure he's a true ideal NT type but I think he has the skills to be effective at it. I would have liked to have seen better measurables from him at the combine, but reports indicated he looked great holding his ground at Senior Bowl practices and specifically worked well against double teams. I would feel better about him in round three than I would the second, though. There seems to be a pretty wide range of opinions on him, ranging from potential first round to fifth round.

    As for some of the other names you mentioned, Derek Landri has experience playing the nose in college but I think he'll be a better fit as a one-gap tackle in the pros because of his athleticism and quickness and, as you alluded to, lack of size. I think Soliai goes in the fourth personally, but there are some character and work ethic issues that could cause him to drop a bit. But he has the bulk and the strength to excel as a two-gap tackle and should get some consideration from 3-4 teams like Cleveland or San Diego who are looking for help at the position. Walter Thomas I'm not very familiar with, but just looking at his pro day numbers, it seems like he moves well for a man of his size. That being said, he had some pretty significant problems with his grades in college, so there may be some character red flags.

    I agree though with your basic premise. I don't think it's "Branch/Okoye or nothing" in terms of finding someone who can stop the run on the inside of this defensive line.

  3. #3
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    FWIW

    The Rams had the following guys in to visit:

    Tyler, Landri, Echols.

    (I forgot Quinton Echols in the first version of my post. I added him in via an edit.)

    They also sent their DL coach to work out Paul Soliai at his pro day (there's even a vid of it).

    Things I read on Landri indicate that he's naturally strong and capable of taking on an additional 25 pounds, though in an earlier post I did wonder if they weren't thinking of him more as a 3-technique guy or even as an end. Still, if he could handle 25 more pounds he has a lot of natural NT pre-reqs.

    I think the character concerns with Tyler are not so bad. I don't like it when the Rams take character risks drafting (I actually still have problems with Incognito), but after reading a lot about Tyler, he didn't raise those kinds of red flags for me.

  4. #4
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    We could always take Ginn ;-)

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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    believe it or not I did see a mock that had us taking Ginn. I think people forget that we are not the Lions and MM is gone. Please do not take Ginn!!!

  6. #6
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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    With our WR's starting to age a little, why not take Ginn? He could play KR and 4th WR for this year at least.

    The draft is also for the future, not just for next season.

  7. #7
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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    I think we pretty much hashed out everything related to the Ginn discussion here...

    I think I want Ginn in the first

    Let's try to keep this one on defensive tackles.

  8. #8
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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    Harrell would be a great selection in the second round, but I doubt he makes it out of the first. Tyler might last until the second, but probably not to the Rams' pick. Mebane would be a reach, in my opinion, in the second.

    Whatever the Rams do on day 1, I would certainly consider taking a big body in the 6th or 7th round. A lot of good run stuffers were day 2 picks.

  9. #9
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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    I wouldn't mind a trade down and grabbing Harrell if Branch and Okoye are gone. Harrell at 6'4" 315lbs. would add nice size to the defense and could probably bulk up to 325lbs and play the nose tackle spot.

  10. #10
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    Or he could play the NT spot at 315. Size is not a big requirement for playing NT in a defense like Haslett's.

    I would rather have Harrell in the first place, because he is a much more solid, sure-bet at NT.

    It remains to be seen if Okoye can play NT. Branch has red flags that are not worth the 13th pick, particuarly since it's not clear he can play pure NT either (again, size ain't the issue).

    To me, the safer, surer, better bet is to simply trade down regardless and take Harrell and stock up with other picks on top of it.

  11. #11
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    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    trading down doesnt guarantee that you will get harrell. Also, i couldnt care less what other teams think about branch. Him "falling" doesnt mean that he is damaged goods and it doesnt mean that he is jimmy kennedy. Warren Sapp "fell" steven jackson was project to go #6 and we got him at #20, it happens all the time and doesnt mean that the guy isnt going to be a good player. People are far, far too influenced by what they read from the so called experts.

    What counts is what the guys in the rams personnel department think and what haslett and linehan think. I want that group to pick the guys that they think are the best combination of best player available, especially on defense, and need. I want them to pick with the courage of their convictions, not to be popular.

    Question, when the rams picked pisa in round 2, how many people were screaming that they never heard of him and that we passed on many, many other guys that people "loved" At the end of the day, we are not professional scouts, not even nick. I will defer to the guys who are professionals. Will all the picks work out? Of course not. That doesnt make them bad picks.

    I can not get over the number of people on this board that wanted to let ryan pickett go because he "only had one good year" and was "likely to get fat" when a year later we find ourselves desparate for defensive tackle help, and those same people are screaming "go get a big body" as if its easy to do, in the draft or otherwise. We had a real run stuffer who LED THE NFC in tackles at his position, was 26 and was solid improving player and we let him walk and very few people on this board complained about it. Guys, if it was so easy to judge nfl personnel, teams wouldnt struggle to go .500 every year.

    One last thought. People on this board that manage people in the real world, is it easy to hire and retain talented people? how do you really know in the interview process if a person is going to be a star. Does getting your top choice with great work experience guarantee that the person is going to be a success? What i have learned hiring hundreds of people over the years is that you hire people that in your best judgement are going to be a good fit and match your needs. You cant just pick the best player available all the time, any organization needs to fill certain roles. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they dont.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  12. #12
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: You want a DT? They're not at 13

    I wasn't talking about what other teams think of Branch. I don;t know what other teams think about Branch any more than you do.

    I was talking about what I think about Branch. Just like everyone else is saying things based on what THEY think.

    And yeah obviously what counts is in the end what the Rams think, and neither of us know that right now, outside of reports that they are lukewarm on Branch, so, this is just a discussion among fans comparing notes and opinions. Thought all that went without saying.

    And for the record I was against letting Pickett go.

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