Practice has wrapped up for the Senior Bowl - yeah, the one the Rams aren't coaching. Appropriate that this week, of all weeks, individual players' stock rose and fell, three quarter point rate cut or not. Tony Pauline has a rundown at SI today. Some players of note for the Rams. Picking a WR in the second round is not out of the question, considering our aging core of wide outs and the possibility of Bruce playing somewhere else. Cal WR Lavelle Hawkins practiced his way up draft boards this week.
USC's Sedrick Ellis made the case for being the second best DT in the draft, behind LSU's Glenn Dorsey. Pauline sees him as a top ten pick, which might be a reach at #2, but if Haslett's really committed to using the 3-4 more often then Carriker could spend more time at his natural DE position. Arguably, that could take away the need to grab a DE in the first two rounds. Of course, if that's the plan, you'd be better served picking Dorsey. If they opt to take that route with a DT pick in the second round, Texas A&M's Red Bryant had a great week and laid to rest some concerns about his knee. He could be more of a Gilbert Brown run stopping specialist in the middle of the D-line. With the second overall pick, we've got our choice of OTs, so Gosder Cherilus wasn't likely on the menu for that pick anyway. Good thing. His stock slipped with concerns about his ability to block like an NFL left tackle would need to.
I'm sure any of you out there in the working world have been burned by cronyism. I have, more than once even. Well, Madison Hedgecock doesn't work in an office, but the sting of cronyism burned him anyway. There hasn't been enough said about the impact on the Rams of losing a tried and true blocker at the full back position. Just look at our running game stats. The Rams running game had a -19.6% DVOA, third worst in the league. Last season, we had a 1.9% DVOA, 11th best in the league. I don't know why they didn't shitcan Linehan when they had a chance, but hopefully they've at least taken away some of the personnel decisions...it doesn't look like they have given the cronies he brought it to coach with this season. That piece pisses me off as much as anything I've read about the three win Rams. Another real blocker on the team would have certainly had an impact. If only...
Beware the heavily favored. The Patriots are favored over the Giants by 13 1/2 points, the biggest gap since the Patriots were 14 point underdogs to the St. Louis Rams at the high point of the Turf Show Days in 2001.