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  • Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    09.01.2009 4:36 pm
    The Rams’ Draft Disasters
    By Bernie Miklasz


    1. Why the Rams Bottomed Out: On Tuesday the Rams traded cornerback Tye Hill to Atlanta for a 7th-round draft pick and included tight end Joe Klopfenstein among the cuts to reduce the roster to 75. We’ve seen once again why the Rams won 5 of 32 games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The 2006 and 2007 drafts undermined the franchise. You have to score well on the premium picks, the guys selected in the firt three rounds; they should be forming form the young nucleus of a roster that’s transforming the franchise from loser to winner.

    But look at these premium picks from 2006, which was particularly awful: CB Tye Hill (15th overall), TE Joe Klopfenstein (46th overall), DT Claude Wroten (68th overall), LB Jon Alston (77th overall), TE Dominique Byrd (93rd overall.) The Rams had five of the top 93 picks in the draft, and three seasons later, all of them are gone. Hill started 21 games, but only 11 over the past two seasons. And last season Hill gave up completions on 19 of the 22 passes attempted against him. Klopfenstein was technically a starter for 37 games but had a limited participation level. He caught 13 balls over the last two seasons and never developed competitive toughness. Wroten, Alston and Byrd never started a regular-season game. Alston, in fact, never dressed for the Rams in a regular-season game. He was cut in camp. But at least Alston didn’t have run-ins with the law (like Byrd) or violate the league’s substance-abuse policy (Wroten.)

    This was an unbelievably bad draft class. And a double blow. Not only did these busts fail to do a job and help turn the Rams around, but the team has to invest additional draft picks in replacing them.

    These drafts were conducted by head coach coach Scott Linehan and GM Jay Zygmunt. Both are gone from Rams Park. Horrible personnel decisions were a substantial part of their demise, and the impact is still reverberating. The new regime of GM Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo inherited a stripped-down roster and will need plenty of time to clean up the mess caused by Linehan and Zygmunt.

    In drafting Hill, the Rams actually struck out twice. They had the 11th overall pick and could have used it to pick QB Jay Cutler. But they traded down to No. 15 and Denver moved up to take Cutler. You can make the case that Cutler didn’t work out in Denver; despite passing for 9,024 yards and 54 TDs in three seasons he had a falling out with the new Denver regime and was traded to Chicago earlier this year. But Cutler is an elite talent. And the Broncos received two No. 1 picks, a No. 3 draft pick, and QB Kyle Orton in return for Cutler. That’s quite a shipment. The Rams got a 7th-rounder from Atlanta for Hill.

    (The Rams were apparently so embarrassed by this that they refused to divulge the nature of the draft pick obtained from Atlanta.)

    Had the Rams kept the No. 11 pick, they could have chosen Cutler, DT Haloti Ngata (12th overall) DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley (13th overall), DT Brodrick Bunkley (14th overall). But in taking Hill at 15th, they passed on LB Chad Greenway (17th), CB Antonio Cromartie (19th), DE Tamba Hali (20th), WR Santonio Holmes (25th), RB DeAngelo Williams (27th) and DE Mathias Kiwanika. There were four cornerbacks drafted after Hill in the first round and all four have done more in the NFL than Hill to this point.

    And the 2007 draft hasn’t produced a big payoff, either. The Rams chose Adam Carriker in the first round at No. 13 overall. He’s battling to keep his starting job. Carriker has 44 tackles and only 2.5 sacks in 25 NFL starts. Injuries are an ongoing issue. In the second round (52nd overall) the Rams took RB Brian Leonard. He played in 18 games in two seasons and is already gone, having been peddled to Cincinnati earlier this year. The No. 3 pick (84th overall) was CB Jonathan Wade. He has speed and some promise. He’ll move in as a starter at Hill’s spot. But Wade has started only two NFL games in two seasons and obviously has a lot to prove.

    The bottom line on the 2006-2007 Rams drafts, first three rounds: 8 players. And 6 are gone. Only 1 is a starter (Wade) and 1 may be a starter (Carriker).

    But at least Devaney-Spagnuolo are turning the roster over and methodically dumping players who can’t perform at the NFL level.

    As the roster stands now, the Rams would enter the regular season with only two corners, Ron Bartell and Wade, who have taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game. That’s rough.

  • #2
    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

    And last season Hill gave up completions on 19 of the 22 passes attempted against him.
    THAT is a devastating stat. If it didn't seal his fate, getting posterized by Tony Gonzales in the endzone did.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

      I thought the same thing and I have much respect for those that had the foresight to realize he was a bust from the start!
      "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

      Jack Youngblood

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

        Personally, I didn't like the guys playmaking ability or "lack-there-of". He was consistently burned and hurt. We have to turn the page and move on.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

          These are just the most recent disasters, but the Rams draft woes go far beyond 2006. Bernie didn't mention it, but we're still paying for drafts as far back as 2001. We actually had a Superbowl contender on the field and not 1, not 2, but three 1st round draft choices in the 2001 draft. None of them received a second contract offer from the Rams and the rest is history. That to me, is by far the worst draft disaster in Rams' history

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

            Originally posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
            These are just the most recent disasters, but the Rams draft woes go far beyond 2006. Bernie didn't mention it, but we're still paying for drafts as far back as 2001. We actually had a Superbowl contender on the field and not 1, not 2, but three 1st round draft choices in the 2001 draft. None of them received a second contract offer from the Rams and the rest is history. That to me, is by far the worst draft disaster in Rams' history

            totally agree, this all started way before the 06 draft

            steve:ram:
            "The breakfast Club":helmet:

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

              Originally posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
              These are just the most recent disasters, but the Rams draft woes go far beyond 2006. Bernie didn't mention it, but we're still paying for drafts as far back as 2001. We actually had a Superbowl contender on the field and not 1, not 2, but three 1st round draft choices in the 2001 draft. None of them received a second contract offer from the Rams and the rest is history. That to me, is by far the worst draft disaster in Rams' history
              Players from that 2001 draft were pretty big contributers to the Rams defense and certainly not complete busts. The 2000 draft is another story though.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

                I could be wrong but I think Quincy Butler has played in ONE game. I think Quincy has earned a spot on this roster with his play. Experience in the DBs is limited to say the least.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

                  Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                  09.01.2009 4:36 pm
                  The Rams’ Draft Disasters
                  By Bernie Miklasz


                  1. Why the Rams Bottomed Out: On Tuesday the Rams traded cornerback Tye Hill to Atlanta for a 7th-round draft pick and included tight end Joe Klopfenstein among the cuts to reduce the roster to 75. We’ve seen once again why the Rams won 5 of 32 games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The 2006 and 2007 drafts undermined the franchise. You have to score well on the premium picks, the guys selected in the firt three rounds; they should be forming form the young nucleus of a roster that’s transforming the franchise from loser to winner.

                  But look at these premium picks from 2006, which was particularly awful: CB Tye Hill (15th overall), TE Joe Klopfenstein (46th overall), DT Claude Wroten (68th overall), LB Jon Alston (77th overall), TE Dominique Byrd (93rd overall.) The Rams had five of the top 93 picks in the draft, and three seasons later, all of them are gone. Hill started 21 games, but only 11 over the past two seasons. And last season Hill gave up completions on 19 of the 22 passes attempted against him. Klopfenstein was technically a starter for 37 games but had a limited participation level. He caught 13 balls over the last two seasons and never developed competitive toughness. Wroten, Alston and Byrd never started a regular-season game. Alston, in fact, never dressed for the Rams in a regular-season game. He was cut in camp. But at least Alston didn’t have run-ins with the law (like Byrd) or violate the league’s substance-abuse policy (Wroten.)

                  This was an unbelievably bad draft class. And a double blow. Not only did these busts fail to do a job and help turn the Rams around, but the team has to invest additional draft picks in replacing them.

                  These drafts were conducted by head coach coach Scott Linehan and GM Jay Zygmunt. Both are gone from Rams Park. Horrible personnel decisions were a substantial part of their demise, and the impact is still reverberating. The new regime of GM Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo inherited a stripped-down roster and will need plenty of time to clean up the mess caused by Linehan and Zygmunt.

                  In drafting Hill, the Rams actually struck out twice. They had the 11th overall pick and could have used it to pick QB Jay Cutler. But they traded down to No. 15 and Denver moved up to take Cutler. You can make the case that Cutler didn’t work out in Denver; despite passing for 9,024 yards and 54 TDs in three seasons he had a falling out with the new Denver regime and was traded to Chicago earlier this year. But Cutler is an elite talent. And the Broncos received two No. 1 picks, a No. 3 draft pick, and QB Kyle Orton in return for Cutler. That’s quite a shipment. The Rams got a 7th-rounder from Atlanta for Hill.

                  (The Rams were apparently so embarrassed by this that they refused to divulge the nature of the draft pick obtained from Atlanta.)

                  Had the Rams kept the No. 11 pick, they could have chosen Cutler, DT Haloti Ngata (12th overall) DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley (13th overall), DT Brodrick Bunkley (14th overall). But in taking Hill at 15th, they passed on LB Chad Greenway (17th), CB Antonio Cromartie (19th), DE Tamba Hali (20th), WR Santonio Holmes (25th), RB DeAngelo Williams (27th) and DE Mathias Kiwanika. There were four cornerbacks drafted after Hill in the first round and all four have done more in the NFL than Hill to this point.

                  And the 2007 draft hasn’t produced a big payoff, either. The Rams chose Adam Carriker in the first round at No. 13 overall. He’s battling to keep his starting job. Carriker has 44 tackles and only 2.5 sacks in 25 NFL starts. Injuries are an ongoing issue. In the second round (52nd overall) the Rams took RB Brian Leonard. He played in 18 games in two seasons and is already gone, having been peddled to Cincinnati earlier this year. The No. 3 pick (84th overall) was CB Jonathan Wade. He has speed and some promise. He’ll move in as a starter at Hill’s spot. But Wade has started only two NFL games in two seasons and obviously has a lot to prove.

                  The bottom line on the 2006-2007 Rams drafts, first three rounds: 8 players. And 6 are gone. Only 1 is a starter (Wade) and 1 may be a starter (Carriker).

                  But at least Devaney-Spagnuolo are turning the roster over and methodically dumping players who can’t perform at the NFL level.

                  As the roster stands now, the Rams would enter the regular season with only two corners, Ron Bartell and Wade, who have taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game. That’s rough.
                  Great post! You just got repped!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

                    Originally posted by jmk321 View Post
                    Players from that 2001 draft were pretty big contributers to the Rams defense and certainly not complete busts. The 2000 draft is another story though.
                    Yea, the 2001 at least had contributors. Arch was a pro-bowl caliber player until he got hurt. Pickett as well. He led all NFC DTs in stops his final year. The Rams tried to re-sign him, but the Packers offered more. I was never a Lewis fan, but he too had his moments.

                    But 2000..........dang, that was an awful draft.


                    Well, look, it's a new regime. Time to look forward.
                    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bernie: The Rams' Draft Disasters

                      This is what happens when you don't have football people making football decisions. It's not just the 2006 draft, but that is the highlight, as well as the poster for the Limpehan regime. And it's just one more reason why we're rebuildings. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! DeSpags will lead us there!
                      I believe!:ram:

                      Comment

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                      • AvengerRam_old
                        The Rams' Shrewd New Regime
                        by AvengerRam_old
                        Entering the weekend, the Rams had a pick in each of Day 1's three rounds, and one fourth round pick. Had they stayed with those picks, and selected Tye Hill, Joe Klopfenstein, Jon Alson and Victor Adeyanju, I would have said it was a good draft.

                        But the shrewd and aggressive new Front Office team, which includes a strategist of increasing reputation in Scott Linehan, and an experienced and aggressive coach in Jim Haslett, the Rams turned those four picks into six.

                        The first move, trading down from 11 to 15 was a masterstroke. The planning phase started a couple of weeks ago, when the Rams FO convinced many "in the know" that they were targeting Jay Cutler.

                        Now let's consider this for a moment... the Rams are a team with a Pro Bowl QB (Bulger), an experienced backup who started most of last year and had a winning record (Frerotte) and a second year man who won an NFC Player of the Week award last year in his first game (Fitzpatrick). Despite all this, the FO managed to convince everyone that they were a threat to take Cutler at 11. Brilliant!

                        Denver took the bait and the Rams moved down four picks and still ended up with the guy they wanted in Tye Hill.

                        Then, with the extra pick obtained, the Rams drafted Claude Wroten - a player that, but for his off-the-field troubles, probably was a mid-to-late first rounder.

                        Hill and Wroten for pick 11. Not bad.

                        Then, the FO managed to pull two trades that allowed them to add a third rounder to the mix in Dominique Byrd, to get rid of dead weight in Manumaleuna, and to still pick a player in the fourth round - Victor Adeyanju - who many gave a Round 3 grade.

                        Draft choices are unknown commodities - we all know that. So how do you enhance your chance of getting good players? Well, one way is to get more choices - and if you can do so while giving up nothing more than Brandon Manumaleuna and a 6th Round pick...?

                        Well, that makes you shrewd.
                        -04-30-2006, 10:50 PM
                      • RamWraith
                        Draft Day: Rams take Hill
                        by RamWraith
                        By Jim Thomas
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                        04/30/2006

                        Former Clemson defensive back Tye Hill gets a phone call from the St. Louis Rams.
                        (AP)

                        The first day of Scott Linehan's first NFL draft was anything but uneventful. For openers, there was a rare first-round trade down for Clemson cornerback Tye Hill.

                        The Rams passed on a chance to take Florida State defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley at No. 11 - not to mention Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler - in moving down four spots for Hill.

                        The second round brought the expected in tight end Joe Klopfenstein of Colorado, whom the Rams had targeted for that spot.

                        Then came the third round, with a controversial pick, and then another trade that brought another tight end in Dominique Byrd of Southern Cal. The selection of two tight ends obviously is a wake-up call for incumbent Brandon Manumaleuna, who has skipped most of the Rams' offseason conditioning program to date.

                        "Obviously, it's a lot more crowded in that tight end meeting room," Linehan said. "The competition increased two-fold. ... Obviously, we feel we needed to address the tight end position."

                        The controversy came in the selection of Louisiana State defensive tackle Claude Wroten, a player with several marijuana-related issues in his past. Wroten was selected early in the third round, No. 68 overall, with a pick obtained from Denver for trading down from 11 to 15 in the opening round.

                        St. Louis selected Stanford linebacker-safety Jon Alston with their original pick in the third round.

                        Hill's selection by the Rams was a big hit in the town of St. George, South Carolina, on Saturday. Whether Hill becomes a hit in St. Louis remains to be seen.

                        A crowd of more than 300 gathered in the town armory for the moment, including Mayor David Sojourner. A wide-screen TV was wheeled in to keep track of each pick.

                        Hill walked into the building from his home a couple of minutes away. And shortly thereafter, the Rams were on the phone. They were selecting Hill, the cornerback from Clemson, with the 15th pick in the first round.

                        "I was hoping to go to St. Louis," Hill said later, in a conference call with St. Louis reporters. "I'm not going to lie. And it kind of scared me for a minute when they traded their pick. St. Louis is definitely where I wanted to be."

                        John Tye Hill - he goes by his middle name - became the first cornerback taken by the Rams in the first round of the draft since Todd Lyght in 1991.

                        "He's probably the best cover corner in the draft," coach Scott Linehan said. "Obviously, his speed jumps out at you."

                        Hill, who runs the 40 in 4.34 seconds, was one of the fastest players at the NFL scouting combine. But in an NFC West teeming with big receivers, Hill...
                        -04-30-2006, 06:32 AM
                      • RamsFan16
                        Rams Needs Meet Value
                        by RamsFan16
                        Rams Needs Meet Value
                        Saturday, April 29, 2006

                        By Nick Wagoner
                        Senior Writer

                        In a draft that was as top heavy as any in recent years, the Rams weren’t close enough to the top to land one of the coveted seven or eight players at the apex of their board.

                        Sitting at No. 11 with the jewels of the draft long gone, the Rams decided to move back in the draft and grab a player they coveted at the 11th spot with the 15th pick in the draft.

                        After going through the first 10 picks with a few surprises, but no trades, the Rams and Denver struck a deal. That trade involved the Broncos sending the 15th pick and their first third-round pick (No. 68 overall) to the Rams for the 11th pick overall.

                        Denver promptly drafted Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler and the Rams waited four more choices to make Clemson cornerback Tye Hill their first-round selection.

                        Hill was rated by many as the best pure cover cornerback in the draft, though he was behind Texas’ Michael Huff for the position of best defensive back in the draft.

                        After a strong push from defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, coach Scott Linehan said it was clear that Hill was the choice.

                        “I think we had (Michael) Huff and (Tye) Hill right there,” Linehan said. “We would have been happy to have a shot at either one, but we were in a position where we made a trade with Denver and moved back four spots. For us, you’re always excited about trade working out. Really, we were in position there where if it didn’t happen, that was our player at 11.”

                        The Rams wavered until draft day on who their selection would be up until the picks in front of them fell favorably. After Buffalo surprised many by grabbing Ohio State safety Donte Whitner at No. 8, it became clear the Rams would have a decision to make from amongst Hill, Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway and Florida State defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley.

                        So, what became of all that talk about the Rams taking a quarterback? In the end, it wasn’t much more than a giant smokescreen, according to Linehan.

                        “I want to set one thing absolutely straight,” Linehan said. “Marc Bulger is our quarterback and that was never in question…It seems that talent level of the quarterbacks in this draft is tempting, but it certainly was in my opinion an area of our team that we least needed.”

                        St. Louis passed on Bunkley and moved down. Philadelphia snatched Bunkley one spot in front of the Rams and St. Louis turned its attention to Hill. And Haslett wasn’t the only one lobbying for Hill. Receiver Torry Holt had made it clear that Hill was one of his favorites in the week leading up to the draft.

                        And why not, considering the skill set Hill brings to the table.

                        “He’s probably the best cover corner in the Draft,” Linehan said. “Obviously, his speed jumps out at you and his...
                        -04-29-2006, 09:42 PM
                      • RamWraith
                        Some Bernie stuff
                        by RamWraith
                        First of all, the Rams' first round played out exactly as they wanted it to ... hope for a QB at 11, and milk it for an extra pick by trading down... a scenario which was laid out in advance by me in today's "Bits."

                        The Rams picked a good player in Hill, who also fills a need... and they were wise to trade out of 11 to get him. As I said in advance, they didn't want to take Hill (or a couple of other defensive players) at 11 ... they thought they could move down and still get Hill.

                        So in terms of strategy, the Rams did well in anticipating how things would fall, and carrying out their first-round plan accordingly.

                        In that respect, they get high marks -- the strategizing.

                        That said, I don't believe in judging a draft at the moment of the selections.

                        For if Bulger continues to physically decline and Cutler becomes a big star, this will haunt the Rams.

                        Not that the Rams have to draft "scared" and take Cutler because they feared there was a small chance he'd be special and didn't want to be second-guessed later. That's the wrong reason to draft a guy.

                        But in the coming weeks, as I explore what happened in the draft room, I'll be curious to see how hard Linehan and / or others pushed for Cutler at 11. The public comments made by Rams people today are meaningless. If there is a different truth, it will be revealed later.

                        --B

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Bernie, who is making the calls?

                        Shaw made the call today.

                        He formulated the trade-down strategy.

                        --B

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        I like the TE they picked.

                        I'd cut the useless No. 86 as soon as this kid signs.

                        --B
                        -04-29-2006, 05:13 PM
                      • IsaacBruceFan80
                        Cbs Gives Rams An A
                        by IsaacBruceFan80
                        From CBS Sportsline


                        St. Louis Rams
                        Best pick: They traded down in the first round and still landed the corner they wanted to get in Tye Hill. That's good drafting.

                        Worst pick: Using a third-round pick on defensive tackle Claude Wroten is a risky move considering all the character flaws.

                        Overall grade: A. They drafted a lot of good football players. Hill will start, as will either Joe Klopfenstein or Dominique Byrd at tight end.
                        -04-30-2006, 06:41 PM
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