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  • Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    INDIANAPOLIS -- In a perfect world, NFL teams draft the best players and best athletes available.

    Each February, coaches, scouts and general managers assemble here to evaluate approximately 330 players. It's the perfect world. They interview the draft-eligible players and evaluate the physical skills of the ones who work out.

    Once everyone leaves Indianapolis, though, the perfect world disappears. Financial considerations enter the decision-making process, and those financial decisions will have a major impact on the 2010 draft.

    At the top of every draft, teams don't necessarily select the best athletes available. Oftentimes, teams take the players who make economic sense based on the positions they play.

    This year's draft will be the perfect test case for that premise. Most draft experts consider Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and Eric Berry of Tennessee as the top three players. Here's the problem: Suh and McCoy are defensive tackles. Berry is a free safety.

    If the Rams balk at paying a defensive tackle big money, Sam Bradford stands to benefit.
    Most likely, at least a couple of teams at the top of the draft won't be able to justify paying a defensive tackle or a safety top-three money. It could lead to a quarterback (Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen) or a left tackle (Russell Okung) vaulting up the draft board. Sure, coaches and general managers draft players in relation to talent and rankings, but finances and the reality of the game enter the discussion.

    Let's start with the St. Louis Rams. They have the No. 1 pick and many people believe St. Louis likes Suh more than McCoy. Here's the problem: Drafting Suh No. 1 when the franchise is without a true starting quarterback doesn't make much sense, particularly if the Rams don't bring back Marc Bulger.

    Looking at the football side of things, Suh might not make sense for the Rams anyway. Selecting the Nebraska defensive tackle would mean the Rams would have him on a defensive line with Chris Long and Adam Carriker, three first-round defensive tackles in the past four years.

    The problem facing the Rams is that they aren't one defensive tackle away from being competitive. They went 1-15 last season. Adding Suh without a top quarterback might keep the Rams in double-digit loss territory.

    Dominating defensive tackles can make an impact on good teams, but they don't always change the fates of bad teams. Former Steelers coach Chuck Noll built his Steel Curtain defense around Mean Joe Greene, but that team was loaded with Hall of Famers. Defensive tackles who go to bad teams can do only so much.

    The Seahawks got a Hall of Fame career from defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, the third pick in the 1990 draft, but Seattle had only one playoff appearance during his great career. Glenn Dorsey, the fifth pick in the 2008 draft, didn't stop the downturn of the Kansas City Chiefs. Steve Emtman (Colts) and Dan Wilkinson (Bengals) were top picks, but they didn't turn around bad teams. The Cleveland Browns drafted Gerard Warren No. 3 in 2001, but the team struggled throughout the 2000s.

    That's why I predict the Rams will draft Bradford instead of Suh.

    The Lions' 3-13 season in 2009 was a little more tolerable because they drafted Matthew Stafford. Quarterbacks offer more hope than defensive tackles, even if most teams rate the defensive tackle as the better choice. You win in this league with quarterbacks.

    As great as Albert Haynesworth is as a player, the Redskins went from a playoff contender to 4-12 last season after giving Haynesworth a $100 million contract.

    If Suh or McCoy is the top pick, either player will command a contract in the $12 million-a-year range. Teams would rather pay that for quarterbacks, left tackles or pass-rushing defensive ends who can produce sacks.

    The economic realities should also affect Berry's chances of going in the top three. Maybe Berry can be the next Ed Reed or the next Troy Polamalu. Top safeties, though, make less than $8 million a year. If Berry goes No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he'd probably get a five-year deal at around $50 million, approximately $10 million a year.

    If the Bucs take him at No. 3 and he isn't the most dominating safety in league history, they might not be able to justify re-signing him. He'd ask for a raise, and it will be hard for the Bucs to justify paying him more than $10 million a year.

    If this were a perfect world, Suh, McCoy and Berry could go 1-2-3. The draft isn't perfect anymore because of economics. That's why I think the quarterbacks will move up with maybe one -- most likely Bradford -- going to the Rams.

  • #2
    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

    Drafting stafford doesn't make a 2-14, not 3-13, record tolerable. When you rebuild, you draft the BPA, not the biggest need. Suh is the BPA and DT is a big need, so why would the Rams not pick him? The guaranteed money going to Bradford would mean nothing, Brady Quinn signed a 5 yr 20.2 million dollar contract going 21 picks later than Bradford and 3 years earlier, so Bradford would get way more money and has not done anything yet. Look at Brady Quinn, who some felt should have been a top 5 pick. John Clayton is getting too old for this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

      It is very possible. This article does make sense aswell. But look at the lions, they drafted Stafford and still 3-13. If we drafted Suh we could probably land on that same record and be able to draft Jake Locker next year, rather than Bradford this year, have him play bad and never get a chance at a beast DT like Suh or McCoy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

        Quoting records? Are you drafting for the 2010 season or are you drafting for the 2012 season and beyond? When you consider BPA are you only worried about the best player today or the best player in 2-3 years? QBs take time to develop (just look at Manning and Brees).

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

          i think we are gettin a good player at pick #1 no matter what.,..

          rounds 2 and 3 are much more concerning IMHO...

          we have to decide on taking chances vs need...

          i really thing we will do well with the extra time between draft days.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

            Originally posted by 39thebeast View Post

            The problem facing the Rams is that they aren't one defensive tackle away from being competitive. They went 1-15 last season. Adding Suh without a top quarterback might keep the Rams in double-digit loss territory.

            Dominating defensive tackles can make an impact on good teams, but they don't always change the fates of bad teams. Former Steelers coach Chuck Noll built his Steel Curtain defense around Mean Joe Greene, but that team was loaded with Hall of Famers. Defensive tackles who go to bad teams can do only so much.

            The Seahawks got a Hall of Fame career from defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, the third pick in the 1990 draft, but Seattle had only one playoff appearance during his great career. Glenn Dorsey, the fifth pick in the 2008 draft, didn't stop the downturn of the Kansas City Chiefs. Steve Emtman (Colts) and Dan Wilkinson (Bengals) were top picks, but they didn't turn around bad teams. The Cleveland Browns drafted Gerard Warren No. 3 in 2001, but the team struggled throughout the 2000s.

            That's why I predict the Rams will draft Bradford instead of Suh.

            The Lions' 3-13 season in 2009 was a little more tolerable because they drafted Matthew Stafford. Quarterbacks offer more hope than defensive tackles, even if most teams rate the defensive tackle as the better choice. You win in this league with quarterbacks.

            As great as Albert Haynesworth is as a player, the Redskins went from a playoff contender to 4-12 last season after giving Haynesworth a $100 million contract.
            I thnk this is the most important part of the article. DTs make an impact, but they aren't going to carry your team to a championship no matter how good they are. QBs on the other hand can and if you see a guy who has that kind of potential you have to take him. IMO Sam Bradford is that guy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

              Originally posted by 39thebeast View Post
              I thnk this is the most important part of the article. DTs make an impact, but they aren't going to carry your team to a championship no matter how good they are. QBs on the other hand can and if you see a guy who has that kind of potential you have to take him. IMO Sam Bradford is that guy.
              Which is ironic when you consider that he has a rather pedestrian record in big games.

              I don't see Bradford carrying the Rams anywhere besides a Top 5 draft pick in 2013 for his replacement.

              Also, major research FAIL on Clayton's part-Long plays Defensive End and Carriker may not be around next season.

              Also we're in double-digit loss territory next season with a new QB, so I fail to see how that point is germane.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                Originally posted by sosa39rams View Post
                It is very possible. This article does make sense aswell. But look at the lions, they drafted Stafford and still 3-13. If we drafted Suh we could probably land on that same record and be able to draft Jake Locker next year, rather than Bradford this year, have him play bad and never get a chance at a beast DT like Suh or McCoy.
                The article defiantly makes sense.

                Get Jake Locker next year??

                I dont want to finish in the top 5 of the draft again. We are giving to much money to high draft picks. We need to make a statement and a QB that can get us some wins.

                Also Peyton Manning had a HORRIBLE defense his 1st year. our D is not HORRIBLE this year they kept us in games. But got tired at the end cuz our offense could not sustain a long drive.


                And Clayton really makes sense if you guys can read this article closely it has some very good points!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                  His reasoning is founded upon an incorrect knowledge of the Rams. So no, it doesn't make sense.

                  Anyway, chill about the money. The salary cap is going away, and it will never come back. Our owner is a self-made billionaire. Money is no object.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                    Long plays DE, not tackle. Carriker is unproven and can't be really counted on. If we grab Suh and Carriker comes back and makes an impact, then no sweat, add him to the rotation with Ryan and Suh.

                    I don't see how these experts see DT as not a priority for us. We had next to no QB pressure and got ran all over by the Julius Jones's of the world. Don't even try to tell me that improving run defense won't help us win a game or two.

                    And its not like Bradford and Clausen are the only QB's in the entire world. We could take a guy in a later round or make a trade. I'm getting frustrated with all this "the Rams would be crazy to take Suh" talk that I have been reading lately.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                      Originally posted by PeoriaRam View Post
                      Which is ironic when you consider that he has a rather pedestrian record in big games.

                      I don't see Bradford carrying the Rams anywhere besides a Top 5 draft pick in 2013 for his replacement.

                      Also, major research FAIL on Clayton's part-Long plays Defensive End and Carriker may not be around next season.

                      Also we're in double-digit loss territory next season with a new QB, so I fail to see how that point is germane.
                      Clayton was talking about the fact that Long, Carriker, and Suh were all technically DTs coming out of college. Long and Carriker both 3-4 ends (equivilant to a 4-3 3 technique), Suh a 4-3 DT.


                      His point is even if we are in double digit loss territory next season with Bradford we have hope for the future, because we drafted him thinking that he will develop into a Franchise QB that will lead us to victory. Rams could have double digit losses as long as Bradford shows his potential. No one is expecting him to live up to that year one, but we definately want to see flashes and those flashes being sustained in the future.

                      What are you basing Bradford not doing well in big games off of? The fact he got to one national championship and lost? At least he got there its alot more than you can say about alot of guys.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                        Originally posted by 39thebeast View Post
                        Clayton was talking about the fact that Long, Carriker, and Suh were all technically DTs coming out of college. Long and Carriker both 3-4 ends (equivilant to a 4-3 3 technique), Suh a 4-3 DT.


                        His point is even if we are in double digit loss territory next season with Bradford we have hope for the future, because we drafted him thinking that he will develop into a Franchise QB that will lead us to victory. Rams could have double digit losses as long as Bradford shows his potential. No one is expecting him to live up to that year one, but we definately want to see flashes and those flashes being sustained in the future.

                        What are you basing Bradford not doing well in big games off of? The fact he got to one national championship and lost? At least he got there its alot more than you can say about alot of guys.
                        He got there because the Big XII has arguably the stupidest tiebreaker in the country; one that leaves the least to on field action and results.

                        Also we could build a dominating defense with Suh and company, and feel hope from that direction to, but nooooo....the team needs to have a QB NOW! NOW! NOW! Nevermind that the "force QB pick now" model hasn't worked in other situations like ours.

                        EDIT-and no, we're not playing bloody semantic games over what Long played in college. He was scouted as an End, drafted as an End, is an End by position and body, and will continue to be one. (Right...the same guy we debate playing OLB in a 3-4 is a DT equivalent. Eye roll goes here.)
                        Last edited by PeoriaRam; -02-25-2010, 09:41 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                          Originally posted by cfh128 View Post
                          Long plays DE, not tackle. Carriker is unproven and can't be really counted on. If we grab Suh and Carriker comes back and makes an impact, then no sweat, add him to the rotation with Ryan and Suh.

                          I don't see how these experts see DT as not a priority for us. We had next to no QB pressure and got ran all over by the Julius Jones's of the world. Don't even try to tell me that improving run defense won't help us win a game or two.

                          And its not like Bradford and Clausen are the only QB's in the entire world. We could take a guy in a later round or make a trade. I'm getting frustrated with all this "the Rams would be crazy to take Suh" talk that I have been reading lately.
                          He never said DT wasn't a need he just said QB is a bigger need and a much more important position.

                          No one is saying that Suh wont improve the defense or that we don't need defensive help or that DT is not a priority. The argument being made is if you feel Bradford is a Franchise QB you take him. In 5 years when Bradford Develops into a Franchise QB I think he will be in the mold of Matt Schaub. When Suh Develops I think he will be a Kevin Williams type of player. Claytons argument is which would you rather have, an all Pro DT or a QB Pro Bowl QB that you build around and leads your team to victory. What sucessfull team in the NFL can say that there premier player is a DT? The Redskins and Haynesworth? That worked out well right.

                          In My book and many other peoples books they are taking a Pro Bowl QB over an all pro DT any day.

                          Bradford and Claussen aren't the only QBs in the world, but they are the only potential Franchise QBs available.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                            Originally posted by PeoriaRam View Post
                            He got there because the Big XII has arguably the stupidest tiebreaker in the country; one that leaves the least to on field action and results.

                            Also we could build a dominating defense with Suh and company, and feel hope from that direction to, but nooooo....the team needs to have a QB NOW! NOW! NOW! Nevermind that the "force QB pick now" model hasn't worked in other situations like ours.

                            EDIT-and no, we're not playing bloody semantic games over what Long played in college. He was scouted as an End, drafted as an End, is an End by position and body, and will continue to be one. (Right...the same guy we debate playing OLB in a 3-4 is a DT equivalent. Eye roll goes here.)
                            You are not forcing any pick, if you feel the guy is a Franchise QB you take him.

                            It is a new era you NEED a QB who can make plays and be a guy you can build around. If you think you have found that guy you take him. Thats the argument, there is no forcing in the equation. All playoff QBs this year with more than 3 years experience have been pro bowlers. It takes a QB 3-5 years to develop so it makes sense that Flacco and Sanchez weren't prowbowlers, but rather promising young franchise QBs that teams are being built around. I promise you the Ravens are going to stack up offensive weapons for Joe Flacco suceed. He has the line the running game all he needs is weapons on the outside. In year 3 they are going to be trying to give him all the tools possible to succeed as their Franchise QB.

                            You can without world beating DTs, but you can't win without a QB. You know the 2 QBs in the superbowl, but its harder to name the 4 starting DTs who played in that game.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Jon Claytons take on the Rams pick

                              If a high First Round QB takes five years to develop into TEH GLORIOUS FRANCHISE QB!!!!!!!!111111one in this day and age, you can be sure of a few things.

                              1. The coach and GM who drafted him will no longer be employed by the team that picked him.
                              2. He will be the franchise QB for a different team than the one that picked him.
                              3. The team that drafted him drafted his replacement high in the first round last offseason.

                              High First Round picks are not allowed the luxury of a 5-year developmental curve in the modern NFL. They are expected to compete at a high level from either Day 1, or close to it.

                              People invoke the name of Drew Brees when they speak of Bradford. Guess what? Brees doesn't play for the team that drafted him. The Coach who drafted Brees was fired after Brees' rookie season. The GM...was divinely terminated 2 years after Brees' selection, but presumably he escaped Mike Riley's fate by starting his tenure by drafting Brees. In short-we don't want to draft Brees. We want to trade for Brees.

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                              • Nick
                                DTs Suh, McCoy have ability to go No. 1 in draft
                                by Nick
                                DTs Suh, McCoy have ability to go No. 1 in draftFeb. 27, 2010
                                By Chad Reuter
                                NFLDraftScout.com
                                Tell Chad your opinion!

                                INDIANAPOLIS -- It's rare that a pair of defensive tackles get as much attention at the combine as the elite quarterbacks. Then again, Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy are rare talents.

                                Suh and McCoy are likely rated higher on many teams' boards than quarterbacks Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) and Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame), a rarity in today's offense-happy NFL.

                                The St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions have the top two picks, and could use McCoy and Suh on their porous defenses. But two questions remain:

                                Who is better? And is either worth taking in the top two selections?

                                Neither question is easily answered. Suh said on Saturday that he would be happy for his "good friend" McCoy if he went No. 1. But he added that he'd "definitely be disappointed with myself not getting it. I'm a competitor. I want to be No. 1. So that's what I'm going to strive for."

                                That attitude is just one of the reason teams like his game. But despite Suh finishing fourth in the Heisman voting (85 tackles, 24 for loss, 12 sacks) while riding the wave of a dominant performance against Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game, McCoy will be ranked higher on some boards because of his ability to explode into the backfield as a three-technique. His quick first step especially works well in a one-gap system where he is full-go from the snap.

                                Because he redshirted, McCoy could have entered the draft after the 2008 season and been a first-round pick. But there was little doubt after an All-American junior year (15.5 tackles for loss, six sacks) that he would take his game to the NFL. After McCoy made his decision to leave school early, Sooners head coach Bob Stoops said: "I've never been associated with a young man who was any more impressive than Gerald." That's pretty high praise, even coming from a head coach.

                                Suh can play any position on the line but is not quite as explosive off the snap. His strength and motor allow him to be extremely effective pressuring the passer (he had 26 quarterback hurries along with those 12 sacks), although there is some concern that NFL interior linemen won't give in as easily as college linemen did to his bull rush. Still, his exceptional stamina, manhandling of opponents using strong, quick hands that added to his length and closing speed make him a likely star in the NFL.

                                Suh said Oklahoma's scheme allowed McCoy to display his explosiveness more than Bo Pelini's scheme at Nebraska. The hesitation off the snap could very well be indicative of his need to handle multiple responsibilities in the Huskers defense.

                                "We played two different defenses, in my opinion. His defense was more or less, he had the freedom to...
                                -02-28-2010, 01:10 PM
                              • RamFan_Til_I_Die
                                Why Draft "Experts" Annoy Me
                                by RamFan_Til_I_Die
                                I can't be the only one that gets annoyed by all these so called draft "experts" that change there mind like r8rh8rmike changes his underwear...about once a week. I'm going to use SI's main mock "expert" as an example. Not becuase he's the best, but because his past mocks are easy to find. H3e's just an example of what annoys me.

                                Don Banks 2010 NFL Mock Drafts thusfar:

                                Suh is a rock solid concensus as the surest thing. Sounds great, right?

                                So roughly a month later, the day before the DT's do anything at the combine, the rock solid concensus is now split 50/50 and McCoy is our choice. Um ok. Nothing changed so why did his opinion?

                                So because of one quote from Devaney, who is only making picks to save his job, we're now taking a QB in Stafford. Yeah ok, whatever you say Donny boy.

                                Again implying they'll pick to stay employed rather than to make the pick that helps the team the most, while also covering his backside in case they don't pick Bradford. Pretty typical "expert" BS.

                                Bradford had a good pro day so now it's a sure thing. OK now at this point I can see someone switching to Bradford as a possibility, but before no way. It just makes no sense. But even still what happened to Suh the "rock solid concensus as the surest thing.?"

                                WOW. We sure did a 180 in two and a half months didn't we. First Suh is the "rock solid concensus as the surest thing" and now to take anyone but Bradford is "the kind of stunning turn of events we haven't seen in years."

                                This is just one example of what annoys me about these "experts." McShay has flopped from Suh to Bradford also, while Kiper has flipped from Suh being "the most dominating defensive tackle I've seen in 32 years of doing this." to Clausen. It seems like they build up and exaggerate the plus side of whoever they want. For the longest time all we heard was Suh is a lock to go #1 to the Rams, and now it's a QB. Yes I know Blger is now gone, but these guys flopped to QBs while he was still here. Is it anything more than hype and these draft guys feeding off of each other that made Suh go from the guaranteed pick to now being the #2 DT behind McCoy in many people's eyes? I just don't get it. These guys annoy the crap out of me....
                                -04-17-2010, 09:26 PM
                              • AvengerRam_old
                                If the Rams stay at pick #1, there are really only 4 candidates.
                                by AvengerRam_old
                                If the Rams don't trade down from the first pick in the draft, their choice really comes down to four players.

                                The Frontrunner: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
                                I call Suh the frontrunner because he is the player that most people consider the best prospect in the draft. While I obviously don't have any inside information from the Rams, I certainly can see a coach like Steve Spagnuolo, who built a champion defense on the strength of the D line, favoring Suh.

                                The Dark-Horse Candidate: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
                                While he is currently overshadowed by Suh, he is still considered a top 3-5 pick. If Suh slides during the evaluation period, while McCoy shines, he could rise to the top.

                                The Cult Favorite: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
                                Those who like Clausen really like him. In my opinion, his size is potentially an issue, and I'll be curious how he is reported as comporting himself in interviews. That said... QBs can rise quickly in the eyes of scouts, coaches and personnel guys. Just ask Mark Sanchez.

                                The Forgotten Candidate: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
                                Bradford may have been the first pick in the 2009 draft had he come out. Now he stands as the poster child for those who advocate early departures from college. Still, if he passes all the tests he'll be put through in the next few months, teams could fall in love again with his 2008 game tapes.

                                There are other top prospects who I really don't think the Rams would take No. 1 overall. I have Derrick Morgan rated #2 on my draft board, but I really don't see the Rams passing on Suh (or McCoy) to take him. Eric Berry and Joe Haden are A list DBs who will both go in the top 10 selections, but again, not to the Rams at No. 1. The Rams may like C.J. Spiller (as do I), but they can't afford to take a RB at No. 1 unless they trade Jackson, which isn't likely to happen. Finally, Dez Bryant, though a top WR prospect, does not appear to be a guy who would go that high.

                                So, in my book... its one of these four players or a trade down (which I don't expect to happen).

                                Anyone think there are more than four candidates?
                                -01-18-2010, 03:45 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Advice rolls in for Rams on No. 1 pick

                                By Bryan Burwell
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                02/28/2010


                                INDIANAPOLIS —Now that the center of the pro football universe has descended on this place for the NFL scouting combine, it's hard to find anyone within a six-block radius of Lucas Oil Stadium who isn't eager, willing or able to offer the Rams a little helpful or slightly misguided advice about how to use that rather valuable No.1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

                                In coffee shops and hotel lobbies, greasy-spoon diners and five-star steak houses, on windy street corners and comfy stadium luxury boxes and just about every other place where more than one NFL executive, coach, TV talking head or ink-stained sportswriter might gather to dish rumors and dispense information, it doesn't take long to gather an opinion about who the Rams will, or should, draft.

                                In a nutshell, it is a two-man race to the Radio City Music Hall center stage with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on April 22nd. It's either Nebraska's all-world defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's strong-armed, but surgically uncertain quarterback Sam Bradford, and it is a furious and intriguing debate that won't be decided before the Rams football trinity of team vice president Kevin Demoff, general manager Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo return to St. Louis on Tuesday evening.

                                There's a lot of late momentum building here for the Rams to take Bradford instead of Suh, but it's for all the wrong reasons.

                                I keep hearing some very smart football people swear that the Rams have no choice but to draft Bradford because they failed to take Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez the last two seasons.

                                Really?

                                That scares me because that sort of misguided logic violates one of the most sacred rules of smart drafting. As Giants general manager Jerry Reece said Saturday, "You should always try to avoid reaching for your needs in the draft."

                                If after exhaustive research, scouring through a million miles of game footage, a half-million miles of practice footage, a thousand interviews with everyone from the kid's high school shop teacher to the assistant locker-room attendant, Spags, Devaney and Demoff come away convinced by reports from their scouting department that Bradford is the smarter pick than Suh, then they ought to go for him.

                                But please don't do this because it's a matter of need, or worse yet, it's a business decision based on some silliness that you can't invest $12 million on a defensive tackle. It has to be because everyone is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Bradford is in fact a better player than Suh.

                                Here's what I rarely heard from the NFL folks who touted Bradford over the past few days: I never heard one of them say they were absolutely, positively certain that you draft Bradford because he's...
                                -02-28-2010, 06:52 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                OU's McCoy A Better Fit For Rams
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                OU’s McCoy a better fit for Rams

                                By Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports
                                10 hours, 59 minutes ago


                                INDIANAPOLIS – Because he has an exceptionally cool name – and some serious game – Ndamukong Suh would be an outstanding choice as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft.


                                But when Roger Goodell reveals the first pick to a primetime TV audience on April 22, my prediction is that the NFL commissioner will have a much easier name to pronounce. In all likelihood, he’ll be announcing that the St. Louis Rams have selected a different defensive tackle who terrorized the Big 12 conference: Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy


                                There are logical reasons for this, many of which I will detail shortly. But the best and most succinct one was verbalized by an NFC general manager I talked to at Thursday’s NFL scouting combine: “McCoy is the better player.”


                                Obviously, this GM’s opinion isn’t absolute. Beauty is in the eye of the potentially creepy beholder, and a lot can happen in the two months between the NFL’s annual meat market and the most hyped employee-allocation meeting in modern American industry.


                                But in numerous conversations this week with people who know talent – several of whom are familiar with Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo’s mindset – I’ve gotten the unequivocal impression that the prospect of St. Louis taking McCoy is very real. For all the hype about Suh and McCoy’s Sooners teammate, former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, it’s this big, explosive, high-effort inside pass-rushing threat who stands out as the probable top pick.


                                “Think about the situation [Spagnuolo’s] in,” one high-level front-office employee for an AFC team said Wednesday. “He went 1-15 in his first season, and now there’s a new owner coming in. The guy is coaching for his job, possibly his career. He needs to win now or they could all get fired.


                                “That means he has to take the player who’ll make the biggest impact right now. You think he’s gonna trust that a quarterback can come in and do that as a rookie? I don’t think so. What he knows is defense, and the scheme he knows is the 4-3. And of the two tackles, the guy who makes the most sense for that scheme is definitely McCoy.”


                                A 6-foot-4, 298-pound menace in the middle, McCoy has been said to resemble Kevin Williams, the Minnesota Vikings’ perennial All-Pro defensive tackle. He’s a strong, relentless, athletic player who has a penchant for blasting through and past defenders and terrorizing quarterbacks. One scout I talked to thought the Williams comparison didn’t go far enough.


                                “Kevin Williams?” the scout scoffed. “To me, he’s Warren Sapp, only bigger and stronger.” (Sapp’s response, via text message: “LMAO!”)


                                The skepticism is understandable: Sapp, a future Hall of Famer, was one...
                                -02-26-2010, 07:41 PM
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