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2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

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  • 2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

    While there was heted discussion here about the ranking at the position last draft, most agreed that it was maybe the best safety crop ever in a draft. SO how did my own ranking work out for me?

    Here is how I had my draft loist stacked on draft day

    1. Eric Reid - I had Reid on top because of his potential as a big time play maker, and as the most physically gifted safety in the draft. he went 18th, three picks after Kenny Vaccaro.
    Reid is certainly helped by going to a gr eat defense, but he stepped in for a Pro Bowl player and t hey didn't miss a beat with Reid contributing 4 picks and 2 fumble recoveries his rookie season, with a couple games left.

    The other safeties are doing well, but I t hink my own rating on Reid turned out to be right on.

    2. Matt Elam - I liked Elam better as a hitter safety than Vaccaro, because of my question on vaccaro's durability, the way he threw his body around, especially his head. After a slow start, Elam has started making a name for himself for a Raven team with a shot to make t he playoffs still.

    3. Kenny Vaccaro - again, I didn't question his heart, or his skills when putting him here, and not wanting him for the Rams. Vaccaro has had some injury issues, though playing through them, including mild concussions, but is now out for the season with a busted ankle. He did impact the Saint s defense as a rookie, but just one pick and one FF reinforce his lack of big play ability, and the injury concern remains for a player much like Toby Wright, former Ram, who had a very short career due to his playing style.

    4. John Cyprien - Cyprien was a tackle machine in college, with huge upside, and a guy many had the Rams looking at in round two, when t hey had a second rounder. Turns out he went to the Jaguars with the very FIRST pick in round two, so the RAms never had a shot even had they kept that #2, just like t hey never had a shot at Kyle long, another possible target. Cyprien has been a very bright spot for the Jags, who seem to be coming on a bit late.

    5. Tyrann Matteu - Rams fans now wish Jeff Fsiher would have gone to the bad boy pool one more time and took a chance on the honey badger.

    6. TJ McDonald - As expected Mcdonald is a mature kid, and solid player , who really has a nice upside, came back from broken leg without missing a beat, and is the sure starter at SS in 2014 and beyond, if he stays healthy.

    7. DJ Swearinger - Instant starter for the Texans, and having a decent year for a bad team.

    8. Shamarko Thomas - The combine phenom who some thought may have been the Rams guy in round two , lasted till just before their pick in round four Thomas has started a couple games for the Steelers, but as expected is very raw.

    While it would have been nice to get a free safety along with McDonald, the Rams were able to add a starter wit hout a second rounder.

    They should be able to find a free safety this year, perhaps even with their own #1, or after a deal down especially, with Dion Bailey and Ha Ha Clinton Dix the primary targets right now.

    Chances are, if they wait till round two again, both these talented guys will be gobe.
    Barry Waller

  • #2
    Re: 2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

    Eric Reid has had a very good year. It helps to join one of the best defenses in the league, but Reid came from a program that had him very pro-ready as well so he was up to the task. His production numbers are very similar to what Goldson averaged over the previous four years as a starter in San Francisco, which is a great accomplishment as a rookie defensive back. He's certainly demonstrated the skill that had you so high on him during the draft process.

    Matt Elam has been solid, but I don't think we've seen the kind of play that had many falling in love with him as a college prospect. If Vaccaro is going to be knocked for a lack of big plays, I don't know how Elam isn't considering he has fewer passes defensed and didn't register a sack or FF this season. Still, I agree that he is coming along as the season has progressed. He made headlines for the comments he made about Calvin Johnson being old, but stepped up and sealed the game with an interception against the Lions, his first of the year.

    Speaking of, Vaccaro - who ended up going Top 15 despite claims he wasn't even worth a first round pick - has held up very well as a rookie in the NFL. The lack of big plays remains a fair criticism of his game, but he's graded out very positively at Pro Football Focus; they evaluated him as a Top 25 safety in coverage and one of the best run defending safeties in the league this season. One thing I loved about Vaccaro this season is, in his debut Week 1 against the Falcons, he made an incredibly clutch tip of a pass intended for Tony Gonzalez in the end zone in the final seconds of the game that resulted in a Saints INT that sealed the win for them. Might not show up as anything special on the stat sheet, but huge, huge play in his first pro game.

    Cyprien is certainly going to be counted on as a talent on the Jaguars defense, as evident by the vast number of defensive snaps he's played for them this season. Having said that, I haven't watched many Jaguars games, and PFF has the average opposing QB rating into Cyprien's coverage as a whopping 115.2. Still, he's definitely a young building block for that team going forward. He made a nice break on an uncontested ball for his lone interception this year.

    Mathieu has had a very good season; PFF evaluated him as their 2nd best cornerback this season, listing him at that position since he's spent so much time in the nickel role that he excelled at in college. Having said that, I think it's silly to say that Rams fans no wish Fisher would have took a chance on him, considering he was off the board before the Rams picked in the third round. Unless you're saying the Rams should have traded up to secure him, then they didn't have the opportunity to "take a chance on the honey badger."

    I agree about McDonald; he's shown a lot of promise this year, and I think has played well since coming back from injury. He looks like a young building block for the future on a defense that is definitely trending upward. The Rams now need to partner him with another capable safety.

    Swearinger has had some hot and cold moments this season, but the Texans made the right choice by having him supplant Shiloh Keo after Danieal Manning went down earlier in the year, because he needs to see the field and get used to the speed of the NFL game.

    Shamarko Thomas hasn't done much this season; I believe he's played in less than 200 snaps, and the only reason he has two starts under his belt is because Pittsburgh opened two games in a 2-4-5 alignment and he was the fifth DB in that package. I don't think a whole lot was expected of him in 2013 though; his goal is probably to just learn from the veterans in front of him for when his time is eventually called.

    I agree that, compared to the 2013 class, there doesn't appear to be nearly the same amount of quality talent at the top this year. Does that make it worth reaching to make sure we get one of the best safeties in the class? I'm not so sure about that, but I think Rams fans will be anxiously watching to see if any of the safeties make a case to be taken with St. Louis' second first-round pick in the teens or if the Rams orchestrate a trade down to a spot where the value makes more sense ala Ogletree last year.


    • #3
      Re: 2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

      I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the Rams addressing the Free Safety position via Free Agency. As I said in another thread, there is going to be more emphasis on winning now and contending for the playoffs next season. Having said that the odds of drafting vs signing alter the landscape.

      Go Rams!


      • #4
        Re: 2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

        The Honey Badger just adds another player to the successful "weed guy" list. These are adults who are allowed to do what they want in their free time and if some teams are still going to live in a reefer madness world then these game changing players are going to continue to be steals later in the draft. Maybe Mathieu will finally be the evidence that teams need to no longer consider a college kid smoking weed to be a character concern but if not then the Rams need to keep taking advantage of this market inefficiency.


        • #5
          Re: 2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

          Originally posted by jmk321 View Post
          The Honey Badger just adds another player to the successful "weed guy" list. These are adults who are allowed to do what they want in their free time and if some teams are still going to live in a reefer madness world then these game changing players are going to continue to be steals later in the draft. Maybe Mathieu will finally be the evidence that teams need to no longer consider a college kid smoking weed to be a character concern but if not then the Rams need to keep taking advantage of this market inefficiency.
          I disagree, as long as the NFL continues to suspend players for smoking pot I wouldn't automatically disregard collegiate "weed guys" as not having character concerns. I do agree that its a stupid rule, and I wouldn't take a kid off my draft board for smoking pot in college, but a rule is a rule and players need to sacrifice their own selfish habits for the good of the team. Weed is legal in Washington state where I live, but the union where I work tests regularly for it, so I refrain from using it due to the fear of being suspended or fired… why should it be any different for NFL players?


          • #6
            Re: 2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

            I was huge on Eric Reid as well and the honey badger too, I had forgotten the USC man on the back end!
            Fish and Snead did not thank god, as I love TJ and his skill set. He has won me way over to his abilities and upside, nothing but respect for the job the rookie has done and is doing! Great job of coaching him up and he came ready made with talent and knowledge of the game. I trust in our mgt group to find another one of these guys I think there is more than just two good safeties in this draft... Keep the faithe baby!


            • #7
              Re: 2013 Safety Class Was As Advertised

              fight on TJ!

              Nice to see him come back from injury, and although rusty at first, he got right back in it and got a pick from drew brees, and is first sack against the bucks and a few pass defenses

              can only imagine where he'd be without that leg injury


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                So, yeah.

                It’s eleven o’clock. I was up from 4:30am to 1:00am yesterday, woke up at 6:00 this morning, and should be dead tired.

                But I’m not. Y’know why?

                Because the Rams just drafted their second Mountaineer, the second part of the best receiving tandem that West Virginia football may have ever seen.

                Tavon Austin in Round One.

                Stedman Bailey in Round Three.

                Take a deep breath, Nick. In, out. In, out.

                Oh, what the hell…


                Okay, so where to begin? I’ve been watching Bailey for three years now, and simply put, the guy is incredible. Tavon Austin gets the press as the electrifying and dangerous weapon, but few outside of Morgantown probably know off the top of their head that Bailey put up over 1,600 yards and 25 touchdowns this year as West Virginia’s leading receiver.

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              • r8rh8rmike
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                Plenty of options for Rams at safety

                12 hours ago • By Jim Thomas [email protected] 314-340-8197

                MOBILE, ALA. • Craig Dahl is an unresticted free agent and Quintin Mikell is due a $6 million base salary. So it’s possible — some might say likely — that the Rams will have two new starting safeties in 2013.

                Luckily for the Rams or anyone else looking for safety help, it’s considered a deep position in this year’s draft. Kenny Vaccaro of Texas could be at the head the class, but backed out of the Senior Bowl late.

                “I think he knows,” said Russ Lande, the former Rams scout who among other things is a draft analyst for the National Football Post. “I mean everybody has him in the top 10.”

                As is the case with those who don’t work out at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, some of the top prospects skip the Senior Bowl after being advised that they have nothing to gain by participating because of their lofty draft status.

                “He’s a ball-hawking safety that can come up and hit and tackle,” Lande said. “He’s the real deal. I wouldn’t be shocked if Detroit — if there’s no elite pass-rusher there — Detroit at No. 5 (overall) may take him. He’s really good.”

                Vaccaro was a first-team All-American pick by Pro Football Weekly this season, and is a two-time, first-team all-Big 12 pick. He posted a career-high 107 tackles in 2012, but had a modest five career interceptions and never had more than two in any one season.

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              • Nick
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              • Tampa_Ram
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                I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that i don't have to worry about this anymore.

                Hope you enjoy!

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                “We get to spend some time with these kids, but the college coaches are with them every day,” Telesco said. “The coaches who recruited them knew them in high school. They know the families well. If you have people you trust and you know they are giving you the real thing, you feel a lot more comfortable. Brian was the point guy in recruiting him. He was making trips every other week to Hawaii in the recruiting process. When they have been around the kid for a number of years, they have a feel for the kid. There was no smoke out there at all. We knew he loved football.”

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                -04-28-2013, 06:33 AM