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Daily Bernie Bytes: Rams Draft,

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  • Daily Bernie Bytes: Rams Draft,

    04.22.2010 10:59 am
    Daily Bernie Bytes: Rams Draft,
    By Bernie Miklasz

    Good morning …


    The NFL draft is here. Finally. It is, at once, one of my favorite days of the sports years — and also one of the most annoying. The irritating part of draft day are the dumb, unfounded rumors that circulate in the final hours…

    As for the Rams and their No. 1 pick, here’s what I know to be true, and if the info changes I’ll update late: GM Billy Devaney has fielded inquiries the last several days, but nothing has heated up. Devaney told me “there’s virtually no chance,” the Rams will trade the pick, but he’ll still listen if teams want to make a pitch. The Rams’ have set a high price for the No. 1 pick. Contrary to some reports, they have not lowered their demands for the No. 1. It will take a lot to get that top slot away from the Rams. There’s been some buzz about the Redskins today, that they are planning to make some late, eye-opening offer for the Rams’ No. 1. And the Redskins, after trading for QB Donovan McNabb, only have one pick among the top 100 in this draft, and that’s No. 4 overall. As of 10:15 a.m. Thursday morning, the Rams hadn’t engaged in any discussions with the Redskins. All was quiet at Rams Park. No one in a position of power at Rams Park expects a a trade. They fully expect to keep the No. 1 pick and use it. And if they keep the pick the choice will be Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford …. you still hear talk that the Rams are considering four players: Bradford, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, and Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen. But Clausen isn’t on the list. He didn’t make the cut, so to speak. At some point — and I don’t know when — the Rams reduced their focus to Bradford and the two defensive tackles… Clausen appears to be tumbling. I have no idea where he’ll go. But Rick “Goose” Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, who annually produces the most credible and accurate mock draft in the business, has Clausen falling all the way to No. 30 to Minnesota…so even if the Rams made a deal with Washington — highly unlikely — I’d be surprised if they drafted Clausen No. 4 overall.

    Speaking of idiotic rumors, let’s put this one in the trash bin: the Rams never had any serious discussions with the Steelers over QB Ben Roethlisberger, and never entertained an offer from the Steelers …

    I’m going to go against the grain here and politely disagree with those who say Devaney is under a lot of pressure today, and in this draft … I don’t think there’s a lot of pressure on Devaney … the Rams need a QB, and Bradford has a chance to be great. It’s a fit. It would be a bold move in the respect that the Rams haven’t drafted a QB in the first round since 1964, and so they’d be breaking from pattern. And a QB is more of a high-risk, high-reward type of a pick at No. 1 overall than, say, a DT. So yeah, the Rams could go with a more conservative choice in Suh. But I don’t see it happening. In many ways, Bradford is the obvious pick. So in that context, why is there pressure if you are making the obvious choice? Here are the reasons why I don’t think there’s pressure on Devaney: (1) Everyone who matters at Rams Park — and Los Angeles and Colorado, for that matter — is on board with the Bradford pick. So it’s not as if Devaney is all alone here, going out on a limb, going against everyone else in the organization. (2) If anything, taking a QB will buy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo more time, because Bradford will need some work and refinement. It’s not as if he’s a finished product. And as others have pointed out, the worst thing the Rams could do to Bradford is change coaches and offenses on him after a year or even two. If indeed he’s the pick, Bradford’s chances of being great — and sooner — will be enhanced by stability and continuity. You can’t disrupt his growth by constantly changing everything. And if the Rams let offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur do his job, the man knows how to develop QBs. Devaney has a rare opportunity to do something special for the franchise. I don’t see the pressure. And he seems at peace, so I don’t think he’s feeling it…

    Thanks for reading...


Related Topics


  • eldfan
    QB or no QB? In draft, Rams in search of new face for franchise
    by eldfan
    By Jim Corbett, USA TODAY

    INDIANAPOLIS — The St. Louis Rams own the first overall pick and a likely draft-day quarterback quandary.
    The consensus best prospects among evaluators of this draft class are defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma.

    But if healthy, former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is considered the top quarterback and the 1-15 Rams are a franchise without a face.

    They seem set on moving on from the battered and beaten-up Marc Bulger and are in desperate need of a long-term answer at quarterback to energize their fan base.

    FROM THE COMBINE: Top prospect Dez Bryant won't work out
    DRAFT ORDER: How teams will select in the first round

    On Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter guaranteed on-air that the Rams will select Bradford first overall in the April 22-24 draft.

    One problem. Bradford, who is rehabilitating his throwing shoulder following Oct. 28 AC joint reconstructive surgery, won't throw for teams until his March 25 personal pro day in Norman, Okla.

    Only then will teams have a better idea about the status of the shoulder of the top-rated quarterback prospect.

    PHOTOS: NFL scouting combine

    "That took a lot of pressure off us right away when Dr. Schefter cleared him medically," Rams general manager Billy Devaney cracked Friday. "We feel really good about the health status of Sam Bradford now with Dr. Schefter giving him a clean bill of health and guaranteeing our pick. So we're on to the second round right now."

    Devaney did concede the team is considering Suh, McCoy, Bradford and Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. "I think we pretty much know who the potential candidates are," he said.

    He also conceded the organization is still mulling which position can help the team most.

    "Sure," he said. "When you're 1-15, there's a lot of different directions you can go and we're still trying to figure that out. There are four guys that will be given consideration. But we have to be prepared for anything (a trade down).

    "Those four guys, we like everything about them so far."

    The Rams have taken a defensive linemen near the top of the draft in two of the last three years, with defensive tackle Adam Carriker (2007) and defensive end Chris Long (2008).

    No team has called yet with any offers for the top pick. What's more, the Rams have not talked to the Philadelphia Eagles about quarterback Michael Vick.

    "I can tell you this, we have not talked to Philadelphia about any of their players," Devaney said.

    Devaney did insist: The Rams can't overdraft for position.

    "If it gets down to we think the defensive tackles, these two kids, are far and away...
    -03-01-2010, 12:36 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Bernie: Pressure Is On Rams In Having No. 1 Pick
    by r8rh8rmike
    Pressure is on Rams in having No. 1 pick

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz

    When your team suffers through a 1-15 season, it isn't fun. There is no joy. The beatings wipe the smile away. But the NFL system is supposed to deliver relief. And an instant remedy can arrive through the draft. For the losers, the draft is set up to provide salvation.

    The Rams will have the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, which begins on the evening of April 22. The d-day will be here before we know it. And if the Rams choose the right guy, he'll help transform the franchise, and in a dramatic way. But if the Rams blow it and select the wrong player, the team will remain stuck on the league's underside. More years will be wasted and lost.

    The pressure on general manager Billy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo is enormous. You see, this isn't just a question of hitting the lotto on that No. 1 pick. There's much more at stake than that. This draft could alter the future of the franchise, on and off the field. This draft could impact the job security of Devaney and Spagnuolo, who are working hard to overcome the football crimes and misdemeanors committed by the previous Rams' regime.

    Moreover, Devaney and Spagnuolo will probably be working for a new boss, Shad Khan. And the boss didn't hire them. The boss doesn't even know them. But the boss certainly will be monitoring his football factory the way he supervises his auto-parts factories. Given his success, Khan seems like the kind of person who expects positive results.

    The Rams, 6-42 over the last three seasons, are about to enter a critical transition phase. If he clears the league's background and financial checks and is voted into the league, Khan will take over as the Rams' new majority owner in a few months.

    No one knows what to expect of Khan, but I'm assuming the man didn't plunk down hundreds of millions of dollars to travel to St. Louis to watch the Rams embarrass him. I'm going to go ahead and assume that Khan isn't fond of writing checks worth tens of millions of dollars for premium draft picks who turn into underachieving busts.

    I'm also going to take it for granted that Khan doesn't want to see thousands of empty seats for home games at the Edward Jones Dome in 2010. And if the Rams can't find a way to motivate a depressed and disgusted fan base, selling tickets will be a formidable challenge.

    The Rams cannot afford to fail.

    In theory, the No. 1 overall pick should provide easy pickings. You have the choice of the lot. No other team can block you or snatch the player you covet. There's no excuse, really, for messing it up. If the 2010 draft goes wrong, it can't be blamed on Jay Zygmunt, Scott Linehan or other ghosts at Rams Park.

    But this is tricky.

    Defensive tackle appeared...
    -02-19-2010, 05:00 PM
  • Bald_81
    Rams aren't tipping hand on Bradford-or-DTs quandary
    by Bald_81
    The bolded part is very interesting to me. You read the first part and you think, okay, we're definitely leaning toward taking a DT. Then you read the second part and you have that mentality totally thrown out. Billy is extremely open and you can tell he speaks his mind. I like that he is upfront about everything and lays everything out in the open. This can be attributed to the fact that we are picking first so he has his pick of whoever he likes, but I like it as a fan that he doesn't leave us in the dark. This should be a very interesting 50+ days until April 22nd....
    -02-26-2010, 08:18 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock
    by r8rh8rmike
    03.30.2010 10:30 am
    The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn’t a Lock
    By Bernie Miklasz

    Good morning…

    With so much Sam Bradford hysteria swirling, I thought it might be interesting to go the other way. While I believe Bradford is well on track to be the Rams’ pick (No. 1 overall) on April 22, let’s identify reasons why things could change.

    1. A trade down. In the words of Rams’ GM Billy Devaney: “Every man has his price. If some team wants to pay a king’s ransom for the pick, we’ll listen.” The Rams have many holes. They need players. They’d benefit from having extra, premium choices in what’s been touted as a deep draft. This is another reason why the Rams were so thrilled by Bradford’s excellent showing on Pro Day; the display only enhanced his value. Is trading Bradford a realistic option? Well, probably not but …

    2. The Washington Redskins have the 4th overall pick and seem to be keen on Bradford. They seem to want him. At least that’s the buzz out of Washington. And has been for some time. Based on his history in Denver, new Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan isn’t shy about taking a chance to get a coveted quarterback. In Denver he did business with the Rams, trading up a few spots to draft QB Jay Cutler in 2006. (The Rams ended up with CB bust Tye Hill.) And then there’s Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. He’s among the most aggressive NFL owners. He does not hesitate to be bold, or to throw money around. If any owner would push for a high-stakes trade to snatch that No. 1 overall pick from St. Louis, it’s Snyder. And if the Rams have any thoughts about dealing the pick, their unease would be comforted by having to slide down to Washington’s Np. 4 spot. The Rams wouldn’t want to move too far down in the first round. Would the Rams be happy to take, say, Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen with the No. 4 overall pick? I don’t sense a lot of excitement at Rams Park over Clausen, but he’s yet to have his official visit and sitdown with Rams’ folks in St. Louis. BTW: The Redskins are hosting Bradford on April 14.

    3. Suppose Bradford really, really wants to play for the Redskins? And why wouldn’t he? I mean, seriously. If you’re Bradford, who would you want in charge of your development: Mike Shanahan or Rams QB coach Dick Curl? Moreover, Mike Shanahan’s offensive coordinator is his son, Kyle Shanahan, who last season coordinated the NFL’s top passing attack (in terms of total yards) in Houston. Who would you want to play for: a team that’s close to contending, or a team that’s 6-42 over the last three seasons? Who would you want to play for: a financially elite franchise with a secure future and locked-in owner or a declining franchise that’s being sold, is in transition, and does not have a long-term owner in place? Please. I wouldn’t blame the kid if he wanted to go to Washington. And then there’s this: the esteemed Dr. James Andrews, who performed...
    -03-30-2010, 11:07 AM
  • Bing69
    Devaney on st. paddys day
    by Bing69
    Was just watching a video on with Devaney giving his views on the draft, Bradford, Suh n MCoy etc. He was asked if the rams would be looking to trade out of the top spot, and he said of course they would. It would give them more picks and a chance to fill out the roster. He was then asked what he had been doing on st. paddys day, and he said he had been watching notre dame tape all day!

    Now, maybe im readin too much into it, but would it seem that Devaney would REALLY like to move out of the 1st pick? Surely if he was comfortable with picking Suh/McCoy/Bradford at 1 then there would be no need spending so much time to check out Clausen (i assume it would be Clausen in the Notre Dame tape). Maybe Devaney wants Clausen....
    -03-18-2010, 03:36 PM