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Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

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  • Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

    by Ron Clements Ron Clements
    Featured Columnist

    Written on January 30, 2010

    The St. Louis Rams have a lot of holes to fill.

    They need about as much help as a blind quadriplegic calling a suicide hotline.

    They can address some of their needs via free agency—a big new wide receiver here, an offensive lineman there, maybe even a veteran quarterback to groom the star of the future.

    Aah, the future.

    The Rams were the third youngest team in the NFL last season, and look to remain young in 2010 because the majority of their needs will be met during April’s draft.

    Marc Bulger has probably played his final game as a Ram. It’s undeniable the team needs a franchise quarterback, but anyone thinking there is a quarterback worthy of the top overall pick come April 22 is simply delusional.

    While Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford each have their upsides, both are too risky to gamble the future of a franchise that won the Super Bowl just 10 years ago.

    There is really only one sure-fire player to go with for the No. 1 selection, and that is Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

    The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Cornhusker is regarded by nearly every draft guru as the best player in the draft. When you’re trying to build from the ground up, like the Rams are, you need to take the best players.

    While defensive tackle isn’t St. Louis’ biggest need, an impact player like Suh can upgrade the entire unit.

    Suh is the best-case scenario for the Rams with the No. 1 pick.

    The worst-case scenario would be drafting Clausen. If Rams general manager Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo are wowed by Clausen's physical abilities and ignore his questionable leadership ability, they could both be looking for jobs within two years.

    At the top of Round 2, St. Louis has a couple of options—either grab that quarterback of the future or select a game-breaking wide receiver.

    I choose option A. While this year's quarterback class lacks that true No. 1 guy, it is a pretty deep class of good quarterbacks, which is why the Rams do not need to gamble with a signal caller to begin the draft.

    There are a handful of quarterbacks who should be available with the 33rd pick on Friday, April 23 when the Rams begin Day 2 of the draft in the NFL's new three-day format.

    Three guys I'd focus on are Texas' Colt McCoy , Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour and Florida's Tim Tebow . All three were highly productive, winning quarterbacks in college, and all three were four-year players with proven leadership abilities.

    None more so than Tebow. There is a knock on Tebow's delivery, but nobody can dispute his productivity, tenacity and versatility on the football field. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Tebow threw for over 9,200 yards and 88 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions in three seasons as a starter.

    His Gators won two BCS championships and another BCS bowl game, and he ran for 57 more touchdowns in his career. Rams fans in St. Louis are already clamoring for a guy like Tebow, and he would definitely pack the empty seats at the Edward Jones Dome . Those fans are probably singing a different tune after watching Tebow struggle all week at the Senior Bowl, including a pair of fumbles during the game.

    McCoy is college football's all-time winningest quarterback, but may lack the arm strength needed to make NFL throws. He was unable to play in the Senior Bowl, making his Combine and individual workout that much more important. Assuming his BCS title game injury doesn't affect him too much, a strong showing at the Combine could quell the naysayers.

    LeFevour is my guy. The 6-3, 228-pound CMU QB ranks second all-time in total offense for his career. He's the only player in NCAA history to pass for more than 12,000 yards and rush for more than 2,500. He also has accounted for more touchdowns - 150 - than anyone in college football history. He has 102 passing TDs, 47 rushing and even caught a TD pass in illustrious career while leading the Chippewas to four straight bowl games, two bowl victories and a pair of MAC championships.

    A four-year starter, LeFevour is everything you want in an NFL quarterback—productivity, undeniable leadership ability, winning track record. If he can prove at the Senior Bowl that he can adapt from a spread offense in college to more of a pro style system, which I believe he can, the Rams would be insane to pass on a guy who has franchise quarterback written all over him.

    If the Rams want to sell season tickets, they should draft Tebow. If they want an NFL-ready quarterback to build around, LeFevour is the choice.

    Best case scenario, Devaney selects LeFevour. Neither Tebow nor McCoy would be terrible selections. The worst case scenario would be taking a wide receiver here. While it is a need, when first-year Ram, and four-year veteran Ruvell Martin is the dean of receivers, going after a free agent like San Diego's Vincent Jackson would be the best bet.

    All that being said, if a guy like Bradford—because of his shoulder injuries—falls here, you take him. And if running backs Clemson's C.J. Spiller or California's Jahvid Best fall out of the first round—both very improbable scenarios—you do not pass them up.

    Round 3 and beyond is where you really build your team. The Rams have nine total draft picks, so seven remain from here on out. An option would exist to use a couple of those, including the third-round pick, to move back into the second round if a solid offensive tackle like Iowa's Bryan Baluga or USC's Charles Brown is somehow still unclaimed. Massachusetts' Vladimir Ducasse is a real possibility here.

    But the best thing for the Rams is to use all of their picks to stockpile players. They need a running back to spell Steven Jackson. Rookie Chris Ogbonnaya looked good in his only NFL action the last two weeks of the season, but I'm not sold on the former Texas Longhorn and seventh-round pick. It took him 14 weeks to even be activated for a game. Veteran backups Samkon Gado and Kenneth Darby were largely unproductive in 2009 and probably won't be on the 2010 roster.

    What the Rams don't need is another big bruising back like Jackson, which is why I don't like the idea of taking Stanford's Toby Gerhart or Tennessee's Montario Hardesty here.

    They need a change-of-pace back. Somebody like Fresno State's Ryan Mathews or USC's Joe McKnight would be great choices.

    They also need that offensive tackle in case Alex Barron is not back with the team. The club also needs help in the secondary —especially if they can't re-sign safety Oshiomogho Atogwe . The fifth-year player from Stanford is the best defensive player the Rams have and, along with cornerback Ron Bartell, the only true serviceable NFL starter the Rams have in the secondary.

    That's where a guy like Michigan's Donovan Warren or Alabama's Javier Arenas can come in and upgrade the unit. Keeping Atogwe is also a must.

    In the third round, the best-case scenario is simply taking the best player available that fills a need. Whether that's offensive tackle, cornerback or running back. The worst thing the Rams can do from here on out is reach for a player. Follow your board and draft as many good players as you can. Trading down is definitely an option.

    Hopefully for Rams fans, the best players available can help build a successful team on the foundation Devaney and Spagnuolo have laid.

  • #2
    Re: Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

    This article really didn't do what the title says.

    The draft needs weren't broken down.

    This article was basically the writers opinion on who to take.

    I mean, heck, we all have our opinion. What makes his any stronger?

    The articles says, I like him, I like him, etc..

    For an article to come out so late in the period in could have been a bit more in depth with some details.



    • #3
      Re: Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

      Yeah I hope he didn't get paid to write this. After the second round go with BPA! Ok way to go out on a limb.


      • #4
        Re: Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

        It's from the Bleacher Report, so it's basically just someone's blog.


        • #5
          Re: Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

          If you threw a bunch of draft news clippings on the floor , you could come up with this or better.

          No mention of OLB or DE as needs.

          Tebow?? No mention of Pike?

          If Bradford falls to the second, don't most people think he'll plummet because it means the med prognosis is bad? I don't think The Rams can afford the risk of breaking his fall in the second if it happens.

          Atogwe is the best player on the D? Debatable, and the very definition of being damned by faint praise, in any case.

          The Rams had better not trade away picks for a RT,imo. Take one if he's good, by all means, but keep Barron till he's ready. Two green OTs and a new QB is not a good scenario.

          Vincent Jackson?? Yeah, that'll happen.

          The rest is a mishmash of conventional wisdom; Suh , the obvious masquerading as wisdom; don't reach, go BPA when rebuilding, and questionable assessments ; has Ogby proven anything?, and omissions; the aforementioned OLB/DE situation, the hope that King and/or Fletcher will grow into that 2nd CB role-they were drafted at the point this "guru" says you build your team,right?.

          Personally, I would rank The Rams' glaring needs in this order: QB,DE,DT,OLB,2nd RB.

          Many others, of course, but I think a good jump in productivity at , say, any 3 of those spots would be hunky dory &, along with some better injury mojo, would clear the muddiness elsewhere considerably.Don't much care where they come from; just talking about needs, & don't see many good longterm bets on the current roster.


          • #6
            Re: Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

            To answer the ? of this thread.

            Rams biggest needs are!
            1) DE- With Little possibly retiring (36) & Hall (33) both freeagents. Other than Long there will be no pass rush from the other DE position.

            2) OLB- Paris Lenon come on give me a break.

            3) TE- Every great WCO had a great TE who do we have. A rookie QB always needs someone to dump it off to.

            4) OT- Train Barrons replacement. Will have to keep Barron until there is a replacement.

            5) TIE DT & WR The Rams have so many DT's & WR's on Roster because of injuries last year let them battle it out. Pick up some more undrafted free agents for more depth to fight it out in training camp.



            7) RB - After S-Jax Who?


            • #7
              Re: Breaking Down the Draft Needs For the St. Louis Rams

              So you think they're fine at QB?


              Related Topics


              • eldfan
                Evaluating QBs is a tough part of draft
                by eldfan
                BY JIM THOMAS
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                If only it were a matter of standing tall in the pocket and throwing the ball through a wall. Evaluating talent is always a crapshoot in the NFL draft. But picking a quarterback?

                Double tough.

                There's so much that goes into playing the position, things that can't be timed or measured, things that have absolutely nothing to do with size or arm strength. Which helps explain why even at the top of draft there's a Ryan Leaf for every Peyton Manning; an Akili Smith for every Donovan McNabb. MORE RAMS

                Rams general manager Billy Devaney says he has learned this lesson the hard way at times over his career as an NFL personnel evaluator.

                "I've come full circle," Devaney said. "If you don't have the intangibles to play that position. ..."

                Well, it's probably not going to work.

                Devaney was with the San Diego Chargers when they drafted Leaf — a colossal bust — No. 2 overall in 1998. And that experience helped change his thinking.

                "To me, the physical skills are almost the easy part now (in evaluating) these kids," Devaney said. "There's so much that goes into being a quarterback in the NFL. The work ethic that you have to have. The leadership. The time that you put in. The media scrutiny. If you can't handle all that stuff, you're going to have a hard time performing on the field."

                As they decide whether to take Sam Bradford, or perhaps trade down for Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy, the Rams are factoring lots of traits and characteristics into the evaluation process.

                FOLLOW ME

                "The teams that have been successful lately, it seems to me they have those leadership-type guys," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "Guys that can get the job done in a pinch. Certainly you want all the other things that go with (playing quarterback) — a guy that can throw the football, all the physical qualities. But leadership to me is really important at that position."

                In Detroit, coach Jim Schwartz said the Lions felt the same way en route to deciding on Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford as No. 1 overall.

                "Does the team believe in this quarterback's ability to win?" Schwartz said. "If you can't cross that hurdle, it doesn't matter how strong his arm is, or how smart he is, or how fast he is or any of those other things. He's the leader of the team, and if a team doesn't have confidence in that player, then you're never going to get anywhere with him."

                Leadership doesn't show up on game film. So it takes lots of research, but there should be a track record in college and earlier.

                "You just grind as much as you can, talk to as many people, and try to get as accurate a picture as you can on the guy," Devaney...
                -04-12-2010, 04:26 AM
              • Nick
                McShay: The four most common draft mistakes
                by Nick
                The four most common draft mistakes
                By Todd McShay
                Scouts, Inc.
                Friday, February 12, 2010
                Updated: February 15, 2:11 PM ET

                An NFL scout recently told me, "Even after all these years, we don't have a Moneyball formula for success. But we are getting closer." Until then, the NFL draft will remain about as unscientific as any sports endeavor. As long as scouts and GMs have to scramble to evaluate roughly 1,000 college football players at four different levels, every now and then a Pierre Garçon (Mount Union, sixth-round pick) is going to have more catches in one season than a Mike Williams (USC, first round) will have in a career.

                So what's that scout talking about? Well, just because there's no secret to guaranteeing a sweet draft doesn't mean there aren't some must-follow tendencies that can help avoid disasters. As we head to the scouting combine, which starts on Feb. 24, then on to draft day, here are some mistakes the know-it-all suits shouldn't make. (But most assuredly will.)

                1. They will ignore the big four. At the top of the draft, four crucial positions -- QB, offensive tackle, cornerback and pass- rusher -- should trump all others. It's a supply- and-demand thing. As the league's emphasis on passing puts those positions at an ever-greater premium, the elite talent pool at those spots remains basically the same. Notice wide receivers aren't included on this A-list. You can get them anytime. Two of this season's top five wideouts -- Miles Austin and Wes Welker -- weren't even drafted. On the other hand, all five of 2009's leaders in QB ratings were among the first 33 picks. Catchers depend on passers, not the other way around.

                Look at this season's Super Bowl teams. At the big-four positions, the Saints and Colts combined to produce five Pro Bowlers. The average draft position of those guys was 44; two were first-rounders, two others early second-rounders. The teams generated nine more Pro Bowlers from the other positions. Those guys were drafted, on average, with the 80th pick, not including Colts center Jeff Saturday, who was undrafted. The Chargers (five of their past six first-rounders played one of the big-four positions) get it. The Lions (four wideouts and a linebacker in the top 10 between 2003 and 2007) don't.

                So while All-America safety Eric Berry is tempting, the St. Louis Rams shouldn't think twice about snatching a defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, at No. 1. A combo of Suh and, say, LSU safety Chad Jones (a likely second-round pick) will win more games than Berry and, say, second-round DT Dan Williams will.

                2. They will be seduced by looks. Scouts, GMs, even esteemed members of the media get too wrapped up in 40 times and 225-pound bench press reps. In many cases -- see: Smith, Akili; Jones, Matt; Gholston, Vernon -- superhuman physical gifts make usually rational minds...
                -02-17-2010, 03:14 PM
              • r8rh8rmike
                The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?
                by r8rh8rmike
                10.22.2009 12:27 pm
                Who are Rams’ top draft options at QB?
                By Roger Hensley

                THE WATERCOOLER

                QUESTION: If the St. Louis Rams were to take a quarterback in the first round of next year’s draft, which current college quarterback would you suggest they select?

                BERNIE MIKLASZ
                Very tough call, and of course I reserve the right to change my mind later, after these kids play more games and also go through the NFL Scouting Combine. Because a lot can change between now and the draft. But if we are talking right now, I’d go with Washington’s Jake Locker. Big (6-3), strong and athletic, Locker has a plus arm, and a quick release. He’s been thriving in the pro-style offense installed by first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. Also, Locker is being tutored by one of the best, QBs coach Steve Clarkson, who in the past has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and others. Clarkson cleaned up Locker’s mechanics and the improvement was immediate. And keep in mind that Locker is getting it done at Washington, and he’s not surrounded by elite talent. That makes his performance even more impressive.

                Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen has moved up as an NFL prospect. Clausen has always had the natural talent, but he’s grown at Notre Dame, and is more physically imposing now. Looks like a tough kid, too. He is certainly used to pressure and it doesn’t get to him. The best is yet to come for Clausen. The red flags are out on Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford; it’s not only the shoulder injuries, but the questions of whether he can throw while under pressure, because he doesn’t encounter much of a pass rush at OU. Cincinnati’s Tony Pike could be the steal of the draft; he’s likely to be downgraded and drop down the board because of multiple injuries to his left wrist. But he’s a player. Not sure if Colt McCoy (Texas) has the frame, but he seems like a good fit for a West Coast offense. Jevan Snead (Ole Miss) has been touted by scouts and draftniks, but I haven’t seen enough (yet) to get excited by his NFL future. Again, that could change. All of this could.

                VAHE GREGORIAN
                With his bum shoulder this season, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford may be losing stock for the 2010 draft or may even be considering waiting another year to come out. But if he’s available, the Rams would be wise to snap him up. Although he could stand to be more mobile, especially considering the Rams line, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner has all the tools to build a team around: accuracy (67.9 percent of his passes last season), height (6-4) and a leadership presence that makes players want to play better just for him, OU coach Bob Stoops says. Maybe some will see the shoulder injury and apparent aggravation of it last week against Texas as something chronic or signs he is brittle, but sometimes quarterbacks just get hit and hurt. There’s no reason to think it’s anything more with Bradford.

                -10-22-2009, 04:20 PM
              • MauiRam
                Too Early NFL Draft Preview: St. Louis Rams
                by MauiRam
                by Seth Cox Seth CoxCorrespondent

                Who would you like to see the Rams take?

                Jimmy Clausen Jake Locker Sam Bradford Ndamukong Suh Eric Berry Other (pleas list in comment section) vote to see results As another season comes to an agonizingly slow close for the St. Louis Rams and their fans, I will look into the my crystal ball to see how they will be going to get their future back into place.

                To start, we need to know the positions of strength, so we can rule out those prospects.

                We also need to know what makes the most sense going forward.

                To me—and I am no expert nor will I claim to be—they need a franchise player to come in.

                They have a more-than-dominant running back. Steven Jackson is a special player with amazing talent, but he needs help, and, more importantly, incentive to stay.

                The Rams have looked better along the offensive line this year, only allowing 28 sacks, but more importantly helping get Jackson to over 1200 yards through 12 games.

                Conversely, the defense has not played well against the run and they will need to address the situation in the off season.

                There are some nice names that could be plugged into the defensive line and make an impact, more so than there is at the top of the draft.

                That, and I really don't think the Rams are in a position where drafting another interior lineman will put them over the top.

                So where do they go with their first pick?

                I would love to see them take a quarterback, and this is a relatively strong draft at the position.

                Jimmy Clausen is the most NFL-ready QB, and would be a welcomed addition to the Rams' team.

                Jake Locker is the most intriguing of the prospects, as he possesses the most overall talent. But he has not shown enough, at least to me, to warrant a top-three selection.

                Sam Bradford has been on many teams' radar for a long time, but there are still questions about his shoulder.

                If the Rams are not completely infatuated with Clausen or Locker, they could look to trade the pick to a team that is and draft Bradford in the 6-10 range.

                If a QB is not the pick, which I really think it should be, they would have a couple of incredible talents to choose from.

                Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry is the best prospect in the draft. He will be a game changer from the time he comes into the league.

                Ndamukong Suh has been the most dominant college defensive player this year, and would fit in nicely on the Rams' defensive front seven.

                Beyond those five players, I do not think there is anyone that would address any immediate needs for the Rams.

                But that is just the first round of the NFL draft. Where could they find help in free agency and round two of the draft?

                A couple...
                -12-11-2009, 08:36 AM
              • Varg6
                Bulger's Cloudy Future
                by Varg6
                The fans and media have been talking about it for days and weeks, if not months, but Marc Bulger is not ready to make a decision on his future, writes Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

                Bulger's season may be over with the latest of injuries -- fractured left shin bone -- and the Rams sorely need a thorough rebuild, perhaps from the ground up, suggesting Bulger's last pass in a Rams uniform have have been thrown.

                St. Louis is in the race for the No. 1 pick in the draft and will have an opportunity to draft their next franchise quarterback next April.


                Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board

                The Rams may have their pick of QBs Sam Bradford (No. 5), Jimy Clausen (No. 6), Jake Locker (No. 8), and Colt McCoy (No. 25)

                Rebuilding with line play could net St. Louis DT Ndamukong Suh (No. 1) or OT Russell Okung (No. 7)

                The only position the Rams may feel comfortable with avoiding on draft day may be running back


                Interesting about the RB situation. DGR!!!! lol
                -11-28-2009, 10:07 AM