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The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

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  • The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    10.22.2009 12:27 pm
    Who are Rams’ top draft options at QB?
    By Roger Hensley

    THE WATERCOOLER

    QUESTION: If the St. Louis Rams were to take a quarterback in the first round of next year’s draft, which current college quarterback would you suggest they select?

    BERNIE MIKLASZ
    Very tough call, and of course I reserve the right to change my mind later, after these kids play more games and also go through the NFL Scouting Combine. Because a lot can change between now and the draft. But if we are talking right now, I’d go with Washington’s Jake Locker. Big (6-3), strong and athletic, Locker has a plus arm, and a quick release. He’s been thriving in the pro-style offense installed by first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. Also, Locker is being tutored by one of the best, QBs coach Steve Clarkson, who in the past has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and others. Clarkson cleaned up Locker’s mechanics and the improvement was immediate. And keep in mind that Locker is getting it done at Washington, and he’s not surrounded by elite talent. That makes his performance even more impressive.

    Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen has moved up as an NFL prospect. Clausen has always had the natural talent, but he’s grown at Notre Dame, and is more physically imposing now. Looks like a tough kid, too. He is certainly used to pressure and it doesn’t get to him. The best is yet to come for Clausen. The red flags are out on Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford; it’s not only the shoulder injuries, but the questions of whether he can throw while under pressure, because he doesn’t encounter much of a pass rush at OU. Cincinnati’s Tony Pike could be the steal of the draft; he’s likely to be downgraded and drop down the board because of multiple injuries to his left wrist. But he’s a player. Not sure if Colt McCoy (Texas) has the frame, but he seems like a good fit for a West Coast offense. Jevan Snead (Ole Miss) has been touted by scouts and draftniks, but I haven’t seen enough (yet) to get excited by his NFL future. Again, that could change. All of this could.

    VAHE GREGORIAN
    With his bum shoulder this season, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford may be losing stock for the 2010 draft or may even be considering waiting another year to come out. But if he’s available, the Rams would be wise to snap him up. Although he could stand to be more mobile, especially considering the Rams line, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner has all the tools to build a team around: accuracy (67.9 percent of his passes last season), height (6-4) and a leadership presence that makes players want to play better just for him, OU coach Bob Stoops says. Maybe some will see the shoulder injury and apparent aggravation of it last week against Texas as something chronic or signs he is brittle, but sometimes quarterbacks just get hit and hurt. There’s no reason to think it’s anything more with Bradford.

    JEFF GORDON
    After watching Florida, Notre Dame, Texas and Oklahoma play recent games, I didn’t see a first-round candidate on the field. It’s nice that Colt McCoy can use his feet and make plays on the move, but can you put a rebuilding franchise on those shoulders? The ideal scenario would be Bradford electing to come out in this draft and slipping into the second round because of his shoulder injury. He could be a great second pick.

    REID LAYMANCE
    The shoulder injuries this season are a bit of concern but Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford still best fits the NFL mold at 6-4, 223. A junior, he could still come back for another season at OU but it’s hard to tell if that will help his draft status. Say what you want about Mel Kiper, the ESPN draft guru, but he had Bradford at No. 1 before the second shoulder injury against Texas and dropped him only to No. 5 overall. Jake Locker of Washington is moving up after his team upset USC but Bradford has a better track record. Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow are both proven winners in college. Tebow isn’t asked to win as often with his his arm as his legs so the jury is still out if that style translates to the NFL. The darkhorse could be Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, a junior, but I’d rather see a few more wins out of him before we start thinking he could be a Joe Montana story.

    KATHLEEN NELSON
    First, I’d suggest they seriously consider whether they want to take a QB so early. In the past five drafts, a dozen QBs have been taken in the first round.

    Eight of the 12 are starters. Only Rodgers and Flacco rank among the league’s top 10 QBs in yardage. Only Ryan and Rodgers rank among the top 10 in QB rating. Only Ryan and Cutler start for teams above .500 this season.

    If they insisted on taking a quarterback, maybe they could take a shot at Jimmy Clausen. The scouting reports say he has a stronger arm than Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford, and he seems to get more snaps under center than the other two.

    KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
    Can my answer be “nobody?” With Sam Bradford’s shoulder possibly requiring season-ending surgery, I can’t see a QB that I would spend a high first-round pick on. Colt McCoy doesn’t have the prototpyical arm or strength, Tim Tebow has goofy mechanics and has never run anything remotely resembling pro style offense and Jevan Snead is having an awful year at Ole Miss. Cincy’s Tony Pike is hurt and I like both Jimmy Claussen and Jake Locker but they don’t exactly have long track records of success in college.

    If Bradford’s shoulder were 100 percent healthy come the spring I’d take him over all the others, but shoulder injuries are scary. If I had to pick someone today it would be Locker. He has the size, arm strength and athleticism to be an NFL star.

    I’d rather have safety Taylor Mays from USC, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska or receiver Brandon LaFell from LSU over any of the QB’s though.

  • #2
    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

    they should either work on the o-line, or take bradford, he shows flashes of peyton manning the way he reads the defense, and is able to make the recievers around him better.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

      Taylor mays is a stud

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

        i do like taylor mays, i would be ok if they took him with their first pick, i wish there was more talent in the draft at wr.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

          I also like mays, is it possible to find a decent QB in the later rounds? I know some of the best QB's have not been first rounders.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

            I think Wheeler's answer is the best, though I'm not convinced LaFell is much of an option at the top of the first round. Still, there are a lot of questions surrounding the current crop of QBs. A lot can change between now and the draft, but there may not be a great option for the Rams' first round pick.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

              I agree that this year's Qb class doesn't look solid just yet. While we're at, here's some food for thought. Let's say we do pick around 4-7 in that kind of range, I don't know just speculation. Would we consider a guy like Taylor Mays? If we resign Atogwe and keep him and Butler at safety, I wonder if Taylor could play OLB for us. He has the frame and speed, and with the loss of Witherspoon, Mays could fill that void.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                Originally posted by Nick View Post
                I think Wheeler's answer is the best, though I'm not convinced LaFell is much of an option at the top of the first round. Still, there are a lot of questions surrounding the current crop of QBs. A lot can change between now and the draft, but there may not be a great option for the Rams' first round pick.

                Sigh....I'm afraid that I've got to concur with your statement. I was so hoping that in year like this the one bright and shining light would be the chance at a legit franchise QB. Yeah, I know that they can be found in other rounds but that is not as easy as it sometimes appears. I would like to get excited about one of these QBs but I would venture to say that the best course of action for all of the juniors is to stay in school and work on their craft.

                As for the seniors, sorry Charlie, not in first round.:|

                WHAT SAY YE?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                  Say NOO to Mays. I really don't see ANYTHING from him that deserves hype. Big, fast... and no really a playmaker. Not worth Top 5 at all, in my opinion.

                  I really like Washingtons Jake Locker. The dudes got speed, a big arm, quick arm and good accuracy ( which will become better after time ). I'd rather have someone with a huge arm and ability to get outside the pocket and pull defenders in, so he can lob over them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                    Originally posted by RamsFan16 View Post
                    I really like Washingtons Jake Locker. The dudes got speed, a big arm, quick arm and good accuracy ( which will become better after time ). I'd rather have someone with a huge arm and ability to get outside the pocket and pull defenders in, so he can lob over them.
                    I agree. Locker has looked great in the games I've seen him in this year, and he's only going to get better. Besides the physical tools and solid skills, he's smart, makes good decisions and is tough.

                    He's got some big decisions to make though and options. He's a great athlete who has already signed with the Angels, and is still contemplating sticking around for his senior year.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                      Originally posted by eric2810 View Post
                      Would we consider a guy like Taylor Mays? If we resign Atogwe and keep him and Butler at safety, I wonder if Taylor could play OLB for us. He has the frame and speed, and with the loss of Witherspoon, Mays could fill that void.
                      i hope weve learnt our lesson in recent years of drafting players at one position then moving them to another in the Pros.
                      Mays could potentially move to weakside in most D`s..but its a huge gamble and Spags likes to play with solid all round LB`s who stick to their assignments..i think Mays be better suited either staying at Safety or moving to weakside but on a team where he would have more freedom to roam than the Spags system allows.

                      id rather reach for Missouri`s Sean Weatherspoon if i thought Spags wanted to replace Spoon with a 1st round pick..least he would more fit what Spags wants to do.
                      Last edited by Ramblin` Ram; -10-23-2009, 04:48 AM. Reason: adding more to make my point.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                        None, espeacially so high, as we going to pick and especially without Bradford. What do you think to try with trade, including Brady Quinn?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                          Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska could be a good fit, especially with Spags as head coach. We could have a good D Line rotation with Carriker back, look at the NFL, the passing game is the main asset in the NFL right now, we have to do a great pressure on the QBs, a stud DE could be a good choice too. We need a QB but nobody can fill the spot with ease, I don't see any safe pick out of the QB class. I do not like risky choice with a high first round pick. We can find someone solid in the second round.
                          Mays is a beast, I'm a big fan of him but with Atogwe and Butler already in we need another position than safety.

                          It's too early to predict that kind of thing for the moment.
                          Si vous croyez en vous, que vous avez de la fierté, et que vous ne lâchez jamais, vous serez un gagnant.
                          Le prix de la victoire est chère, mais la récompense en vaut la peine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                            QBs coach Steve Clarkson, who in the past has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and others.
                            Is this supposed to be a compliment? Hard to tell when you throw Leinart's name around.
                            The Rams... Where dreams go to die.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The Watercooler: Who Are The Rams' Top Draft Options At QB?

                              Leinart had the mechanics, he just was never hit in college. So in otherwords he's a big wussy. I was at the Sooner -Baylor game, I was on the field and to be that close would make you appreciate Bradford all that much more. He has quite the ARM and is quick and smart on his decisions. Locker may be a bit sturdier , but Bradford is for real. he needs to take stunt lessons and learn to land a different way.

                              Comment

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                              • NJ Ramsfan1
                                If we Draft a Quarterback...
                                by NJ Ramsfan1
                                ...And I think it's fairly obvious we must, who do we take? I gotta' tell ya, I have reservations about all of the top three guys on most peoples' draft board- Bradford, McCoy and Claussen.

                                With Bradford, of course, it's his shoulder. He's injured himself twice this season and this doesn't bode well for the rest of his senior year and who knows down the road. McCoy, quite frankly hasn't played particularly well thus far- and most analysts would agree. As for Claussen, he's probably playing as well as anyone in the country, but he is green and doesn't have much of a track record.

                                All of these guys could become good pros, but are they right for the Rams? If so, which one would you want?
                                -10-17-2009, 06:54 PM
                              • AvengerRam_old
                                What I'm looking for in a franchise QB
                                by AvengerRam_old
                                Taking a franchise QB prospect in the top 10 picks of the draft is a daunting task. Will you end up with the next Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco, or the next Alex Smith/Jamarcus Russell?

                                There will never be a pefect formula for this, and if there were, I doubt I'd be the one to discover it, but for what its worth, here are the things I'm looking for:

                                1. MPTs (Minimum Physical Traits)
                                Top QBs don't all come in the same shape and size, but I do think there are a few minimum traits that, if lacked, will doom a QB to no better than mediocrity. They are: arm strength, physical bulk, and "pocket footwork."

                                Arm strength refers to the ability to get the ball out and to a receiver quickly. It is a function of two factors: (1) release speed and (2) velocity. One factor can compensate for another, but the best QBs have both.

                                Physical bulk, I believe, is more important than height. I'd rather have a well-built 6'1 QB, than a 6'6 string-bean. Otherwise, an injury-filled career is too big a risk.

                                Finally, "pocket footwork" is, in my opinion, far more important than running ability. Give me a guy who knows how to step-up, side-step and roll out over a guy who can take off and run for first downs.

                                2. Contagious Confidence
                                People often mistakenly mistake brashness or vocal presence for leadership. To me, its more a question of a guy who displays confidence in his demeanor, what he says, and how he plays when the chips are down. Give me a guy who can throw 3 interceptions in the first half, shrug it off, and throw for 3 TDs in the second half.

                                3. Unaided College Productivity
                                Combines and workouts serve a purpose, nothing compares to productivity in game conditions. There's a caveat, though... beware of "aided" productivity. A college QB who racks up great stats in a non-pro style offense, against outmatched competition, or through "all-purpose" yardage will rarely be able to duplicate their productivity when they reach the NFL. You also have to throw out won/loss percentage, to a large extent. There are simply too many great college teams that merely carry their QB along for the ride. I'd rather have a smaller-school guy who plays in a pro-style offense and puts up great stats against teams with similar talent on the roster.

                                So... how do I evaluate the top current prospects for the 2010 draft?

                                Well, in terms of MPTs, I look at Locker and Clausen as the top prospects. McCoy and Bradford have some "bulk" issues that concern me, though in Bradford's case, his fragility may be overstated. In terms of footwork, I'd give McCoy the highest grade (though I'm not sure I've seen any college QB with better footwork than FSU's Christian Ponder).

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                                -10-27-2009, 02:30 PM
                              • Goldenfleece
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                                by Goldenfleece
                                A Pre-Combine consideration of some of the draft’s top quarterbacks:

                                Sam Bradford
                                Observations: The one benefit to Bradford’s lost season was highlighting the impact he had on the Sooners’ success. With Bradford in the lineup, OU was a national title contender in ‘08. Without him, they struggled to 8-5 in ‘09. Like Tebow and McCoy, he was a key component of one of college football’s best teams. Unlike Tebow and McCoy, Bradford was a pocket passer who succeeded using the same skills he will be asked to draw upon in the pros. He goes through his progressions, makes quick decisions, uses good judgment, and has completed a high percentage of his throws.
                                Risk Factors: By far, the biggest question is how his shoulder checks out. Bradford played in a spread offense but stayed in the pocket more than most spread quarterbacks. Nonetheless, there will be some questions about transitioning to a system where he will be dropping back on the majority of plays.
                                Gut Reaction: Bradford's got game. If his shoulder checks out, he is the only quarterback I'd seriously consider drafting in the top five at the moment.

                                Jimmy Clausen
                                Observations: If some quarterbacks are raw prospects and others polished, Clausen is that shiny spot on a bronze statue that has been rubbed about a million times for good luck. Jimmy’s older brothers were Division I quarterbacks, his parents paid for him to learn from a professional quarterbacks coach in junior high, he went to a prep school with a high profile football program, and capped it off by learning a pro system at Notre Dame from none other than Charlie Weis. It is doubtful that any other quarterback in this class compares in terms of preparation for the NFL. The flip side is that he might also be the closest to his ceiling. Despite what might sound like a slightly pampered upbringing, Clausen has played through injury and sickness and earned his place on the team. He has a quick release and throws with velocity and accuracy.
                                Risk Factors: One area of concern is that despite Clausen’s gaudy personal statistics, the Irish never made it into a BCS bowl under his leadership. His college career ended with his head coach being fired after 4 straight losses to the likes of Navy, Pitt, U Conn, and Stanford. This was the team’s second loss to Navy in Clausen’s three years starting, snapping a 43-game streak of Notre Dame wins in the match-up. Given that all of ND’s losses were close last season (7 points or less), it is a bit disappointing that he did not pull off a few more comeback wins. He did not have the greatest defense or running game to help out, but he has benefited from playing with receivers like Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. Some also say he doesn’t have the greatest deep ball. I would also have slight concerns about how he would fit in with his teammates based simply on my own experience with Notre Dame alumni who often seem to forget that not everyone has enjoyed
                                ...
                                -02-18-2010, 04:43 PM
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                                Former Florida star Tebow oozes intangibles. But his elongated release fueled criticism at the Senior Bowl.

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                                "Tebow is never going to look like Sam Bradford, that classic passer," Mayock says. "But can you modify him to the point where those changes stick under pressure? It's one thing to go out on your pro day and throw. It's another thing when you're facing an overload blitz from the Pittsburgh Steelers and you're trying to get rid of the football to your hot-read receiver."

                                Bradford, whom the St. Louis Rams are considering with the first overall pick along with Clausen and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, said his shoulder is 85% healed after Oct. 28 reconstructive surgery performed by renowned orthopedist James Andrews.

                                Bradford said there was no damage to his rotator cuff and that he has been throwing the past six weeks at Athletes' Performance Institute in Pensacola, Fla., with former NFL quarterbacks coach Terry Shea.

                                "Sam's accuracy is probably his signature," Shea says. "That's a pretty darn good signature to have.

                                "Sam has all those consistent manners about his play that Peyton Manning brings to the field. Sam brings that 6-4, very tall frame in everything he does.

                                "To be that tall and have as good a feet as he does? That's a rare combination."

                                Bradford met Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning while working as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana over the summer.

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                                -03-06-2010, 08:11 AM
                              • npow81
                                For Me...Its Down to Three QBs
                                by npow81
                                After seeing everybody play in Mobile, and keeping everything in mind (estimated draft position, etc.) if we are to draft a qb in this draft I think it comes down to three players.

                                Colt McCoy
                                Tony Pike
                                Dan Lefevour

                                I know the Clausen and Bradford supporters might come out and state their case, but I honestly don't think the value of either supercedes (1) taking the BPA at #1 (or even at #3 as some want), which they certainly are not (2) the difference in ability from the three above players.

                                Personally, while I wouldn't be disappointed seeing us draft McCoy at the top of the second, if he's there, again I think the same principle as above comes into play in the second and there is too little difference in value between McCoy and Pike and Lefevour to bypass the bevy of talent likely available at that slot.

                                Therefore, hoping (and praying) either Pike or Lefevour is available in the third I take the remaining qb in the third and I think we have our qb of the future. Either of which I would be plenty happy with. As always, its a roll of the dice drafting a qb, but I think this situation will maximize value while minimizing the risk associated with drafting a qb and allowing us to fulfill other important holes along the way.
                                -01-31-2010, 02:29 AM
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