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"Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

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  • "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

    I keep reading comments about Chris Long and Jason Smith not having a sufficient impact for a top 10 pick. We can debate all day about how well they have played, and how much potential they have, but in the end, how much should be expected from a player in his first 2 years?

    Let's look at the other 8 players taken in the top 5 picks of the last two drafts:

    Curry, Aaron (2009, #4)
    Curry has not been as productive as the Seahawks had hoped, and continues to struggle in pass coverage. He still has world of potential, but he's not there yet. DEVELOPING PLAYER

    Dorsey, Glenn (2008, #5)
    Dorsey's numbers have improved as he moved from 4-3 DT to 3-4 DE, but he has certainly not had a major impact (1 sack, 1 FF in first 27 games) that some expected. DEVELOPING PLAYER

    Jackson, Tyson (2009, #3)
    Jackson has had a very quiet rookie year, registering 14 tackles and no sacks in his first 11 games. DEVELOPING PLAYER

    Long, Jake (2008, #1)
    Long has established himself as an upper tier LT in his first two years. He has anchored a line that has had success running the ball and utilizing the unconventional "Wildcat" formation. IMPACT PLAYER

    McFadden, Darren (2008, #4)
    McFadden has had trouble staying on the field, and has not been very productive when he has played (704 yards, 4.0 ypc in first 20 games played, including 10 starts). Very surprising for a guy thought of as a "can't miss" kind of player. DISAPPOINTMENT

    Ryan, Matt (2003, #3)
    Ryan had a great rookie year and helped the Falcons make the playoffs. He has had a bit of a Sophomore slump, but he's still a key part of the team's future. IMPACT PLAYER

    Sanchez, Mark (2009, #5)
    Sanchez came out of the gates strong, but then hit the wall and started throwing interceptions by the boatload. His confidence is great, but his decisionmaking needs improvement. DEVELOPING PLAYER

    Stafford, Matthew (2009, #1)
    Stafford has had a few good moments, but overall his passer rating is below 65 and his interception rate is alarming. Given that he is playing with Calvin Johnson and a first round pick at TE, the Lions are looking for more from him. DEVELOPING PLAYER

    I'd call C.Long and Smith "developing players" as well, so that means the tally is 2 impact playes, 7 developing players and 1 disappointment.

    What does this tell us? That losing teams draft badly? I think that's a circular argument. My explanation is that MOST players don't make an immediate impact in their first two years. However, Top 5 picks have more of a spotlight on them, so they deal with higher expectations, more pressure, and more negative publicity if they don't make the Pro Bowl right away.

    So, if the Rams find themselves in the top 5 again, the can either do what they have done in the past two years - take the guy they think will be the best long term fit - or hedge their bets and try to trade down to get multiple picks. History shows, there's not right answer to that debate.
    Last edited by AvengerRam_old; -12-02-2009, 10:24 AM.

  • #2
    Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

    Nice post Av. I think any draft class you want to look at will show the same thing. Regardless of where players are drafted, it's going to take a year or two before they develop.

    I'm still happy with taking Long and Smith (despite the concussion problems), and think they'll develop into difference makers.


    • #3
      Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

      That's why some are saying the worst time to be picking in the top 5 is this year. Really, there isn't one player worthy of the top 5 pick coming out of college this season.....and really no one was last season either. What a time to pick high when these two draft classes may have the worst in the decade to be drafting so high.


      • #4
        Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

        Originally posted by txramsfan View Post
        That's why some are saying the worst time to be picking in the top 5 is this year. Really, there isn't one player worthy of the top 5 pick coming out of college this season.....and really no one was last season either. What a time to pick high when these two draft classes may have the worst in the decade to be drafting so high.
        I hear what you're saying tx but I think it's to early to make that distinction.
        Most players that come into the NFL need time say 2-3 years to "develop".
        sigpic :ram::helmet:


        • #5
          Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

          I'm just going by draftknicks and Jeff Gordon. I mean, I'm just a flunkie on a website but you know what......the draft IS a crapshoot.



          • #6
            Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

            Way too early to evaluate this year's draft pool. We don't know (1) which underclassmen will declare, (2) how players will do in the evaluation process, and (3) how healthy the potential #1 pick (Bradford) will be by draft day.


            • #7
              Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

              Good post Av. I think three to four years is a more proper way of looking at things. We all want immediate impact, but some of us just can't grasp that they are new to the league...


              • #8
                Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

                Definitely too early to make any definitive evaluations on the last few drafts. Look at Mario Williams. Houston was absolutely slammed for picking him number one, then everybody said I told you so and labeled him a bust after his first year, then in his second year he developed into major impact player.


                • #9
                  Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

                  Chris Long has shown improvement over season one, no question. And although slowed by injury, nothing suggests Jason Smith won't be a solid player on the line for quite awhile. You can do a lot worse than these guys.

                  I am happy we have both of these guys on the roster.


                  • #10
                    Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

                    I like Chris Long and his game, Im fine with what he has done so far, especially so since he is playing pn the different side of the line which he is accustomed to.

                    JSmith on the other hand-- to have been selected where he was; I really feel he should have shown by now that he was more than good enough to supplant any LT the Rams currently have- Barron included.
                    Anytime someone is injured over, and over, and over again has never been a good sign.

                    The past 2 years yielded the other Long and SThomas at LTs, and they made an immediate impact at that position. Going into the '09 draft, while I thought JSmith was good, I never felt he was good enough to draft as a LT where the Rams were drafting.


                    • #11
                      Re: "Long and Smith have not played up to their top 5 status." Um... who has?

                      It's hard to evaluate players so much depends on the guys next to you. Also coaching changes can't help early on in players development. Spags did not draft some of these guy so you wonder if he had the team the last 3 years how would the roster look. I like Long and Smith I think the team want be disappointed if the team can add some more talent around them.


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                      • Nick
                        In-depth examination of the top four offensive tackles
                        by Nick
                        Separating the Elite OT Prospects of the 2009 NFL Draft
                        by Sigmund Bloom on 02/08/09

                        After a first round that saw no less than seven offensive tackles go off the board last year, we could see a run of tackles in the top half of the first this year that rivals 1985 (four in the top 12 picks including Lomas Brown, Jim Lachey, and Ken Ruettgers—and one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, Kevin Allen) and 1992 (four in the top 13, led by Bob Whitfield). Many factors have converged to create this possibility - the dearth of franchise players at other positions, the massive success of the Miami Dolphins offense last year after they went with LT Jake Long at #1 overall, similar success stories in Denver (Ryan Clady at #12), Carolina (Jeff Otah at #19), and Atlanta (Sam Baker at #21), and most of all, the high quality of the top four offensive tackle prospects this year. Even the second tier of offensive tackle prospects includes at least two players who could break into the first, so back to back years with seven tackles in the first 32 picks is not out of the question (although arguably Branden Albert made it eight last year). For now, we’ll focus on the elite top tier and answer the question “What separates them as NFL talents, and how will teams value them in relation to each other?”

                        Body Type
                        Eugene Monroe - Monroe is right off the assembly line - around 6’5” 315, with long arms and well-distributed bulk. His lower body could be a little thicker to anchor better, and his midsection could be tighter, but one look at Monroe tells you why Virginia kept 2008 first round pick Branden Albert at guard.
                        Jason Smith - Smith is another in a long line of players who come to college as a TE and leave as a LT, and he looks the part. At 6’5” 305, he’s got room to bulk up, but he’s got the long-limbed, well proportioned frame of an NFL LT.
                        Michael Oher - Oher is another prototype at 6’5” 309 (and good, but not exceptional 33 1/4” arms), and his numbers are confirmed pre-combine, since he showed up for Senior Bowl week in Mobile.
                        Andre Smith - One of these things is definitely not like the others, and it’s Andre Smith’s 6’4” 330-340 frame. He’s top heavy, and carrying a lot of extra weight around the middle. He’s also got shorter than ideal arms (let’s see what the combine measurements reveal), and the thick thighs of a interior lineman.

                        Jason Smith - Smith is the king here. He still moves with the quickness and burst of a skill player, even though he’s in the trenches. There’s no doubt that his speed and coordination are very rare in left tackle sized young men.
                        Eugene Monroe - Monroe is no slouch when it comes to overall athleticism. He has great feet to mirror speed rushers inside and outside, and he can move well enough to find targets at the second level. He’s very quick and agile out of his stance and fits the elite prospect profile.
                        -02-10-2009, 11:44 PM
                      • RamDez
                        Rams Have to Tackle This Draft
                        by RamDez
                        Rams Have to Tackle This Draft
                        By Howard Balzer
                        Friday, April 24, 2009

                        Everybody has an opinion. And nowhere is that more true than the NFL draft. In baseball, we second-guess the manager because we all think we could make decisions just as good as they do.

                        In football, we second-guess the talent evaluators because we read a draft book and believe we know as much about picking players as they do. At this time of year, people that have never watched a minute of game tape in their lives scream and yell at the TV set because they believe their team “reached” for someone they never should have picked.

                        Of course, what emboldens everyone is the inescapable fact that many players selected never live up to the expectations heaped upon them as a first-round pick. And somehow, that means the team picking that player made “a mistake.”

                        What is overlooked in the unending effort to assess blame is another inescapable fact: The player picked by your favorite team that flopped would have been picked by somebody else. The truth is some players have peaked in college, while others simply don’t have the passion for the game necessary to compete at a high level on a consistent basis.

                        So it is that the Rams are ready to draft this weekend, the first one with general manager Billy Devaney in charge and with Steve Spagnuolo as head coach. Once again, everyone has an opinion. Many say the Rams have to pick a tackle like Jason Smith because teams are built from the inside out. One of the guys saying the latter consistently has been Spagnuolo. Others want the Rams to select linebacker Aaron Curry. Still others point to wide receivers Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin, or quarterback Mark Sanchez.

                        What’s somewhat odd are the reasons being given for some of the opinions. There are those that say the Rams shouldn’t pick Smith or Eugene Monroe because they aren’t as good as Orlando Pace was when he was selected No. 1 overall in 1997. How that’s relevant escapes me. Using the same logic, the Rams shouldn’t take Curry because he isn’t as good as Ray Lewis or Lawrence Taylor, or Sanchez because he’s not Peyton Manning.

                        The reality is that teams can only select the players available. How they compare to other players in the past doesn’t matter. What’s also odd about the infatuation many have with Curry is that the fact he would be switching positions is being ignored. For several years, Rams fans have said the team should move Will Witherspoon from middle linebacker to the outside because he is better on the outside. Yet, somehow it supposedly makes sense to pick Curry second, pay him more than $20 million in guaranteed money, and put him in the middle, a position he didn’t play in college and where he won’t be as good as he would be on the outside.

                        The other reality is that NFL defenses simply don’t feature...
                        -04-24-2009, 01:54 PM
                      • Bruce=GOAT
                        Draft last 3 years and its impact on the current team
                        by Bruce=GOAT
                        I am not exactly a draft guru like Mel Kiper Jr or Mike Mayock or Nick, but thinking back to tonights game really gets me thinking about the yearly draft and all the high picks the Rams have made that are key contributers today.

                        Going back the last 3 years look at what the Rams have added:
                        QB Sam Bradford--hands down ROY winner, broke records and took every snap
                        LT Rodger Saffold--Allowed only 2 sacks all season at the toughest pos on OL
                        RT Jason Smith--Solid anchor and run blocking beast at RT
                        DE Chris Long--Run stuffer, gets off the ball well and torments the QB
                        CB Bradley Fletcher--4 ints and a very solid corner and still young
                        WR Donnie Avery--Burner who will stretch the field when healthy
                        MLB James Lauriniatis--100 plus tackles and unquestionable leader on def

                        This shows what an amazing job the Rams have done in the draft recently. If you go back the past few years, the only real home run the Rams were able to hit was in 05 drafting Atogwe and Bartell in rounds 2,3 respectively. However, Alex Barron was the Rams 1st rounder that year and including him, no player drafted in 06, 07 are on the team today.
                        So in summation, the Rams have added solid bookend tackles, a franchise QB, an amazing MLB, a potential solid track-star WR, a great DE and solid CB in the last 3 years.

                        Kudos to the front office and Billy D!
                        -01-03-2011, 04:11 AM
                      • RamDez
                        Rams need to show courage in the draft
                        by RamDez
                        Bernie Miklasz
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                        Thursday, Apr. 23 2009
                        The Rams' new management regime faces a crucial test in this weekend's NFL
                        draft. For the second consecutive year, the Rams have the No. 2 overall choice.
                        And here's the question: Will the franchise's football leaders buckle up and go
                        for what they really want, rather than opting to play it safe?

                        In 2008, the Rams circumvented risk by drafting Virginia defensive end Chris
                        Long at No. 2 overall, even though they had LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey
                        rated higher. Less than 48 hours before the draft, the Rams' board was adjusted
                        to make Long's grade roughly equal to Dorsey's.

                        The crew in the draft room also resisted team President John Shaw's urging to
                        take a close look at Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan. The Rams stayed true
                        to Long and Atlanta grabbed Ryan with the No. 3 overall selection.

                        I had no problem with the Rams taking Long. He'll be a very good player in the
                        NFL. But I will always wonder if the Rams took Long for the wrong reasons.

                        When it comes time to make the big decision Saturday, I hope that Rams GM Billy
                        Devaney and associates follow the strength of their convictions rather than cop
                        out and settle for a noncontroversial choice.

                        The conventional wisdom is that the Rams must absolutely, positively draft an
                        offensive tackle — either Jason Smith (Baylor) or Eugene Monroe (Virginia).

                        Not so fast ...

                        Look, if Devaney, the scouts and the coaches truly believe that Smith or Monroe
                        is the second-best player in this draft then they should go with it. But don't
                        take an OT at No. 2 overall for the wrong reason.

                        You don't draft one of these guys just because Orlando Pace's time in St. Louis
                        came to a close. You don't draft Smith or Monroe because you are thin at the
                        position. And you certainly don't draft Smith or Monroe because you subscribe
                        to the misguided theory that it's imperative to use a premium pick to secure a
                        cornerstone left tackle.

                        True, the 1999 Rams (with Pace) and the 2000 Baltimore Ravens (Jonathan Ogden)
                        won Super Bowls with left tackles chosen among the top three overall.

                        But among more recent Super Bowl champions, only the 2006 Indianapolis Colts
                        had a starting offensive tackle (Tarik Glenn) who was drafted in the first

                        Matt Light started for New England's three Super Bowl champions as well as
                        their 16-0 team in 2007; Light was a second-round draft pick, No. 48 overall.

                        The 2007 New York Giants' left tackle was a fifth-round draft pick, David
                        Diehl. The 2002 Tampa Bay Bucs started a third-round choice, Roman Oben, at LT.
                        The 2005 and 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowls with either Marvel Smith
                        -04-23-2009, 03:40 AM
                      • Weddle
                        Updated Mock Draft (Picks 1-35)
                        by Weddle
                        Taken from my Rams blog at

                        With the draft only a few days away I figured it's time to update my Round 1 and a bit mock draft and put together a final version. Since I last made some wild stabs in the dark at who would pick who, there have been a few trades, so obviously that will mean there will be changes! I won't be guessing at future trades though so no-one will be dropping out of the top 5, and no-one will jump back into the end of the round either.
                        Onto my selections...

                        1.1 - Detroit Lions
                        Matthew Stafford (QB) -I still think the Lions take Stafford. Rumours suggest they'll be paying him $40m guaranteed. Wisdom says that a franchise needs to be built around a QB. Stafford is the consensus top rated signal-caller in 2009, although Sanchez has made a late surge. The Lions are stupid enough to pick him despite the fact he's a junior with poor accuracy (57.1%) and low yards per attempt (7.83). Ever heard of David Greene??? No?? He was the guy before Stafford in Georgia who played in basically the same system, with the same HC (Mark Richt) and posted better numbers (59% & 8.01). Greene has now retired, having never taken a NFL snap. Even Matt Millen would turn not be a fan of this pick (He probably wants Percy Harvin).

                        1.2 - St Louis Rams
                        Eugene Monroe (OT) - Last time round I went Jason Smith, but I think that Billy Devaney will prefer the relative safety to be found in the higher ceiling that Monroe has according to talent evaluators. Add in the fact that he hails from the same college that yielded 2008 Rams first-rounder Chris Long you can be sure that the Front Office will trust the system he'll be coming from. There's plenty of speculation right now the Rams want to trade down and are actually interested in Mark Sanchez. For me that is pure smoke screen talk. Sanchez is too much of a gamble for a franchise that cannot afford to miss right now unless it wants to spend another 3 or 4 years in the doldrums.

                        1.3 - Kansas City Chiefs
                        Jason Smith (OT) - Monroe and Smith swaps spots in this version. Still the same reasoning. Scott Pioli is a smart cookie and knows how to build successful franchises. As good as Aaron Curry is a LB at #3 isn't a smart value pick. Pioli knows that games are won in trenches and he wants to keep the anti-Cutler standing. Smith and Albert will form an athletic and dynamic pair of bookends for Cassel.

                        1.4 - Seattle Seahawks
                        Aaron Curry (OLB) - Although many people will be clamouring for Mark Sanchez here, replacing Julian Peterson is a bigger need despite Cory Redding plugging up the hole in the middle to a degree. I did say that picking a LB this high isn't a value pick but I think you can argue that neither is picking a QB with only 16 college starts! Curry is regarded as the 'safest' pick in '09 and that can't be a bad thing.

                        1.5 - Cleveland Browns
                        Everette Brown...
                        -04-23-2009, 01:05 PM