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Wagoner: Draft and Combine Chatter

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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
    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
      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
        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
          Re: Wagoner: Draft and Combine Chatter

          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:

          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, 03:47 PM.


          Related Topics


          • Varg6
            Real Speculation Begins on Clausen...
            by Varg6
            Per *Rumor Central*

            For over a week, we've been speculating on which NFL team would draft Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen if he went pro. Take the "if" out of that equation now, because's Joe Schad is reporting that Clausen will declare for the draft. So was he pushed in that direction by some unruly fans? We got word from's Joe Schad on Tuesday that Clausen was decked in the face by a surly Notre Dame fan on Sunday morning. It certainly didn't help keep him in school.

            Clausen is one of the more intriguing names on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board, and some analysts think he could be the first QB drafted this April.

            Here was Kiper last week on the teams that might be interested in the gunslinger:

            Mel's take-

            "Leaving all the coaching chatter aside, which could obviously affect his decision, Clausen could certainly be the top quarterback taken. I think he's certainly capable of going in the top 10 or 12, and remember, St. Louis might want a quarterback, Washington might want a quarterback, we're not sure if Oakland will draft one, but they're another team with a problem at the position. The struggles at Notre Dame you can't put on Clausen. He's been battered, particularly early on. But he can play the position and personnel people know it. Comparing him and [UW's Jake] Locker, for instance, Clausen is far more refined at this stage."


            The reason I posted this was because of that one sentence in Mel's quote about personnel people. It'll certainly be interesting to see what we do in the upcoming draft.
            -11-26-2009, 09:44 AM
          • shower beers
            Clausen to enter draft
            by shower beers
            I'm sure this excites a lot of you here...

            per ESPN:

            Jimmy Clausen enrolled at Notre Dame to learn about the NFL. Looks like he's learned enough.
            Following the advice of deposed Irish coach Charlie Weis, Clausen has decided to forgo his senior season and enter this April's draft. Rated as perhaps the top quarterback in this year's class, he is believed to be coveted by St. Louis, Cleveland and Washington -- three teams that will conceivably pick in the top 5.

            Coach Weis told me whether he was going to be here or not be here, it was time for me to go. He thought I've improved so much since I came to Notre Dame. So, I'm taking his advice, and I'm going to head out.
            -- Jimmy Clausen
            "After the season, in talking to my parents and obviously Coach Weis, I just feel it's the right time,'' Clausen told on Monday before a scheduled 2 p.m. ET news conference in South Bend. "Coach Weis told me whether he was going to be here or not be here, it was time for me to go. He thought I've improved so much since I came to Notre Dame. So, I'm taking his advice, and I'm going to head out.''

            The consensus No 1 high school recruit in the country three years ago, Clausen chose Notre Dame over USC solely because of Weis' NFL pedigree. Weis -- who tutored both Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe in New England -- assured Clausen he would prepare him best for the pro game, and Clausen rewarded the coach with a spectacular junior season.

            He completed 68 percent of his passes, and threw 28 touchdowns with only four interceptions -- three of which were tipped. Weis has told NFL scouts that Clausen "didn't miss a read all year," and particularly raved about his accuracy and personal growth.

            As a freshman, coming off of elbow surgery, Clausen weighed only 190 pounds and played behind a porous offensive line. He was vilified during that year's 3-9 season, but bounced back as a sophomore to lead Notre Dame to its first bowl victory since 1994 (over Hawaii). In the offseason before his junior year, he invited several Irish receivers to his home in Westlake Village, Calif., and the bonding experience paid off. He was picked as a team captain, and ended up throwing 24 of his touchdowns to wide receivers Golden Tate and Michael Floyd.

            The Irish slumped to a 6-6 finish, and Clausen was sucker-punched by a fan outside of a South Bend bar after a devastating overtime loss to Connecticut. But six days later, he threw for 340 yards and five touchdowns at Stanford, and his ability to persevere is why several general managers, who have requested anonymity, believe he is the most NFL-ready quarterback in this year's draft. They say he's already mastered an NFL offense, has already been subjected to a leaky offensive line and has already been part of a rebuilding process. They like that he played his entire college career...
            -12-07-2009, 08:24 AM
          • sosa39rams
            Suh + clausen?
            by sosa39rams
            Well, I agree 100% on taking Ndamukong Suh with our first pick. I've been looking around at a lot of mock drafts lately, and it seems like Clausen might slip out of the first round.

            This would be amazing because we would be able to get Suh, and Clausen (franchise QB).

            Also, he will not be able to preform at the scouting combine. This may cause him to drop.

            I would also love for us to get Dexter McCluster. He can play WR/RB/KR/Punt return, and he is a game changer. Where do you guys think he will be drafted?

            Do you guys think Clausen drops, and if so, would you take him in the 2nd?
            -02-17-2010, 02:43 PM
          • eldfan
            Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB
            by eldfan
            Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB
            by VanRam on Nov 24, 2009 3:58 PM CST in 2010 NFL Draft 35 comments

            Ok, with Bulger's tibia fracture barely days old and the (likely) end of his career with the St. Louis Rams, it's time to start talking QB of the future. Not that we haven't been talking about that since the last draft, but such chatter earned a new lease on life with Bulger's injury.

            Carneros got it started yesterday with this post, and I'm going to feed the fire some more today. First, a quick review of the Rams QB options moving forward. Boil it down to the essence, and the Rams have three options at QB for 2010: 1) sign a free agent (personally, I like Jason Campbell if they go this route), 2) draft a QB or 3) keep one of the in-house options, Bulger (if he can return) or Boller. Note that 2 and 3 are not mutually exclusive.

            And now, I submit for your consideration Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen.

            With Sam Bradford on the mend, Clausen is racing to the top of draft boards, at least among QBs. I think he'll be the first QB taken in the draft. I guess we'll have to see how much fan damage he incurred on a punch to the face this weekend. Will the Rams take him? Should the Rams take him?

            Why Clausen?

            Let's start with the stats, more specifically, the stats that can tell us something about success at the next level. According to the Lewin Career Forecast, the two most important things to look at when trying to gauge NFL success are a QBs career starts and completion percentage.

            Clausen's a junior this year. He took over starting duties early in his freshman year, true freshman year, and ended up starting in nine games, and started every game in two seasons since then. For his college career, he has a 62.2 percent completion rate, a stunning 67.3 percent this season.

            His TD to INT ratio of 23-4 speaks to his accuracy as a QB.

            One thing I like about him is his ability to find receivers and create plays where others cannot. That's something the Rams have really been missing. Yes, St. Louis lacks the established talent at WR, but after watching this season of west coast offense move forward in fits and starts, it would be wise to have a QB that could find receivers or even go through the reads.

            I'm not qualified to judge much about college players, especially the "intangibles". Talk of Clausen's acumen for the game, ability to read defenses and assuredness resonate for a long suffering fan of this team. Here are a couple of scouting reports from FFToolbox and Walter Football.

            As a junior, there's still no gaurantee that Clausen will declare for the draft this year. I'd be pretty shocked if he didn't given the fact that his stock is skyrocketing. In fact, with Bradford unlikely to be ready for the Combine, I wonder if Clausen does separate himself from the rest of the...
            -11-25-2009, 08:31 AM
          • Bar-bq
            Jimmy Clausen Interview from the Washington Post
            by Bar-bq
            He's certainly a character and I think he really stands up for himself here. It doesn't change my opinion of him as a player and I wouldn't want to trade for him, but it's an interesting read nonetheless....
            -03-31-2010, 03:09 PM