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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, 09:24 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, 10:44 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, 12:54 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, 03:11 AM
                      • ramhard
                        Clearing up the BUST debate - Long
                        by ramhard
                        There is one comment that always sparks heated responses on this forum - calling someone a draft BUST (well, and bringing up Martz or Warner but that's for another thread). The arguments usually start with someone calling a player (this year it's Long or Smith) and then angry responses to the contrary. The arguments against usually are something along the line of:

                        1. You can't judge a player after X years (fill in the blank), you gotta have patience.
                        2. He is a productive player, have realistic expectations.
                        3. He's playing as well as Y player, why don't you call that player a bust.
                        4. For a low drafted player - he's only a (5, 6, or 7th) round choice, most don't pan out anyway.

                        Arguments in favor of a bust are usually:

                        1. He's not playing at Pro Bowl caliber.
                        2. He doesn't have the stats of Z player (someone drafted equal or lower in a similar draft).
                        3. He 2 years he only has ______(fill in the appropriate statistics) so he's a bust.

                        The problem is that the arguments are mixing issues. Here are some groundrules for judging the returns to a player:

                        1. Draft Position - where a player is drafted DOES matter. Why? Because a player drafted in the top 5 of a draft has very different cap implications than a player drafted in the 4th round. A player who eats up $5-$10 million of your cap room needs to have a higher impact than a player who eats up $400k. People have often argued that's why in the current system, no one wants to trade into the top 5 draft picks because the cap hit is so high and if you miss on a player it hamstrings you for 3-4 years with your cap.

                        So yes, a player drafted in the top 5 draft picks can be a bust with average performance; while the same player drafted in the 4th round with the same performance isn't a bust.

                        2. Playing Position - the position a player plays DOES matter. Why? Again back to cap implications, but also to when the typical player makes an impact. Position matters because certain positions have higher average salaries than other positions, so missing on a low average position kills you more than missing on a high average position. For example, if the average QB costs (across the league) is $4M, while the average offensive guard is $1M, if you draft a guy high and give him a big bonus at QB (say a $5M average) you only lose $1M on your cap because of what you have to pay to an average replacement QB; while at guard you would lose $5M.

                        Also, certain positions have quicker impact than other positions. For example, reaction positions like RB and LB (and maybe OT) the top players are good quickly. While at other positions like QB, C, and DT they often take longer. Now of course there are exceptions to every rule, and things change over time. For example, it looks like at the QB position, the development time is starting to be reduced - in part because of the control of...
                        -10-23-2009, 10:18 AM
                      • RamDez
                        St. Louis Rams mull options at offensive tackle with No. 2 pick
                        by RamDez
                        BY JIM THOMAS
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                        Wednesday, Apr. 15 2009
                        Michael Oher of Mississippi appears to have faded out of the top 10. The same
                        holds for Andre Smith of Alabama.

                        For a team with a top pick — like the Rams at No. 2 overall — that leaves only
                        two possible options at offensive tackle in the upcoming draft: Eugene Monroe
                        of Virginia and Jason Smith of Baylor.

                        There are some at Rams Park who like Monroe better — he's generally viewed as a
                        more athletic pass blocker. There are some who favor Jason Smith — he's
                        generally viewed as a more aggressive run blocker.

                        But is either really good enough to take at No. 2 overall? Keeping in mind that
                        only the Rams' opinion matters, there seems to be a difference of opinion on
                        that question around the National Football League.

                        "They're good, but they're not like Orlando (Pace)," said a veteran NFC scout,
                        speaking on the condition of anonymity. "They're not even close to Pace and
                        (Jonathan) Ogden and those guys, where you turn on the tape and say, 'Oh my
                        God, he looks like a Hall of Famer.' Walter Jones — he was way up there. Those
                        guys are rare."

                        There are some scouts and coaches who feel that Michigan offensive tackle Jake
                        Long, who went to Miami with the No. 1 overall pick, had that same kind of
                        potential coming out of college.

                        As for Monroe and Jason Smith?

                        "Monroe, I hate the way he finishes," said a veteran NFC offensive line coach,
                        also speaking on the condition of anonymity. "At the end of the play, if you
                        watch tape on him, he watches. He has his hands down by his side, the ball
                        carrier isn't tackled, and he makes no effort to get out in front of anybody,
                        to go out and pick somebody off a pile."

                        When asked about Jason Smith, the line coach said: "The kid from Baylor, I
                        think he's a better run blocker right now than he is a pass blocker. He's a
                        little stiff.

                        "If you have him on the left side, and you're going to have him be the personal
                        protector for your quarterback — early in his career he's going to struggle
                        more than he's going to have success. He's going to have to have some help,
                        which a lot of rookies do."

                        But it's not as if Jason Smith and Monroe don't have their backers. Tom Marino,
                        a longtime NFL scout who now serves as lead NFL analyst for, likes

                        "He's a very good player," Marino said.

                        And he really likes Monroe.

                        "First of all, he gets out there (in space) and he can adjust in the open field
                        as well as anyone I've seen," Marino said. "He's a real force out there. I'm
                        not going to say he's Orlando because Orlando's the best I've...
                        -04-15-2009, 01:12 AM