Let's Take A Look At The Roster

Well, the draft is over and while there has been some teeth gnashing over some of the picks, my personal opinion is that the team filled it's most pressing needs and built some good depth.

Then again, that's my gut reaction.

The team solidified it's Offensive Line (Jason Smith) and bulked up the Run Defense (James Laurinaitis, Dorell Scott).  They then went out and added some depth with some players who have raw talent (Brooks Foster and Bradley Fletcher)  and a quarterback who has a lot of us scratching our heads. 

I have to say I'm not exactly sure about Chris Ogbonnaya, but he's bigger than I realized and apparently has pretty reliable hands.  Honestly, he's a lot like Steven Jackson without the stunning track record.

Anyway, the question that needs to be addresseed is, "is the team better after this draft?"  I can't see how anyone would say it isn't.  We added the best Offensive Lineman and a Top Middle Linebacker to the fold and these were two spots of definite weakness.  But what about the rest of the team?  Sure we got better at two key spots, but that might not be enough,  Let's take a look at our depth chart to see if it is.

Starting with the offense.


  • Mark Bulger - 6'3" 212 - 32 years old - 5 years remaining on contract
  • Kyle Boller - 6'3" 220 - 27 years old - 1 year contract
  • Keith Null - 6'4" 222 - Rookie
  • Brock Berlin - 6'1" 215 - 27 years old - Will be a RFA

Here, I'm listing Null as the number 3 since I really think he'll displace Berlin.  Berlin brings absolutely nothing to the table so why not go with Null, right?  He's younger and could possibly become something...well, something better than Brock Berlin.  Besides, it's not like you could make the argument that Berlin knows the system.  No one really knows the system since it's a new system.

Running Back:

  • Steven Jackson - 6'2" 231 - 25 years old - 5 years left on contract
  • Kenneth Darby - 5'10" 211 - 26 years old - Will be a RFA
  • Chris Ogbonnaya - 6'1" 225 - 22 years old - Rookie
  • Antonio Pittman - 5'11" 195 - 23 years old - Will be a RFA
  • Brian Leonard - 6'1" 226 - 25 years old - 2 years left on contract

Well, there's some depth.  Probably nothing that could take over if something happens to Jackson.  (By the way, I'm slotting Ogbonnaya in the 3rd slot.  No particular reason, but that's how I see it.)  I'm still holding out hope the Rams get after Warrick Dunn.  He'd be a difference maker.

(Note: Jeremiah Johnson did not get drafted)


  • Mike Karney - 5'11" 258 - 27 years old - Signed through 2011

That's it.  Hope nothing happens to him, but what are you gonna do?  Have two really good blocking Fullbacks on the roster at the same time?  No.  So, we should be fine here and since Karney is a great blocker, hopefully we'll keep Jackson healthier this year.

Wide Receiver:

  • Donnie Avery - 5'11" 190 - 24 years old - Signed through 2011
  • Laurent Robinson - 6'2" 195 - 23 years old - Signed through 2010
  • Keenan Burton - 6'1" 200 - 24 years old - Signed through 2010
  • Brooks Foster - 6'3" 205 - 23 years old - Rookie

After Foster, you'll see Derek Stanley, who's injured, followed by Travis Brown, Joel Filani, Chad Lucas, and Nate JonesDON'T expect to see any of those guys on the roster this year.  DO expect to see the Rams re-sign Dane Looker.  You might also expect to see them add a veteran receiver who's either already available or becomes availalble during camp (but I wouldn't count on it).  This is a very young receiving corps (average age 23.5 years), but I feel there is a ton of upside here.  Not necessarily for this season (it'll be there in flashes), but it should start to develop and really start to blossom in 2010. 

However, if our ground game takes off like a lot of us hope it will, then you'll see an immediate (positive) impact on our receiving corps.  It all starts up front and we now have the horses to get it going.

Tight End:

  • Randy McMichael - 6'3" 255 - 29 years old - FA in 2010
  • Billy Bajema - 6'4" 255 - 26 years old - Under contract through 2011
  • Joe Klopfenstein - 6'5" 262 - 25 years old - FA in 2010
  • Daniel Fells - 6'4" 252 - 25 years old - FA in 2010
  • Eric Butler - 6'2" 255 - 24 years old - FA in 2010

Let's hope McMichael stays healthy.  If he does, you can pretty much add him to the receiving corps making it much more potent.  Then you add Steven Jackson and possibly Ogbonnaya and you've all of a sudden find a lot of options.  Then if you can just add Warrick Dunn..............

Anyway, as far as Tight End, look for the Rams to draft one next season.  Tight ends seem to be able to make the move to the NFL rather easily so it wasn't imperative to draft and groom McMichael's replacement this year.


  • Jason Brown - 6'3" 320 - 25 years old - Signed through 2013
  • Tim Mattran - 6'5" 298 - 24 years old - FA in 2010

I don't know who Tim Mattran is, and I don't care.  Jason Brown is a difference maker and should improve things immensely.


  • Richie Incognito - 6'3" 330 - 25 years old - FA in 2010
  • Jacob Bell - 6'4" 295 - 28 years old - Signed throught 2013
  • Jonn Greco - 6'5" 325 - 24 years old - RFA in 2011
  • Adam Goldberg - 6'7" 318 - 28 years old - Signed through 2010
  • Mark Setterstrom - 6'4" 314 - 25 years old - FA in 2010
  • Roy Schuening - 6'4" 308 - 25 years old - RFA in 2011

Lot's of depth here and with the addition of Brown as the Center, I expect Incognito and Bell to have great seasons.


  • Alex Barron - 6'7" 315 - 26 years old - FA in 2010
  • Jason Smith - 6'5" 298 - 22 years old - Rookie
  • Adam Goldberg - 6'7" 318 - 28 years old - Signed through 2010
  • Daren Heerspink - 6'6" 315 - 25 years old - FA in 2010

Jason Smith rounds out this line and should be able to step in on day one and have an impact.  He's not Orlando Pace in his prime, but who is?  What he is is a great athlete with a great work ethic who has been extremely good and has yet to reach his full potential.  We should see great things from this line.

Average age of Line Starters: 25.2 years (Barron 26, Bell 28, Brown, 25, Incognito 25, Smith 22).

So, going into next year, we're going need a new Tight End and we'll have to probably draft a legit Quarterback plus possibly look for a big Receiver. 

On to the Defense:

Defensive Tackle:

  • Adam Carriker - 6'6" 296 - 24 years old - Signed through 2011
  • Clifton Ryan - 6'3" 310 - 25 years old - RFA in 2010
  • Dorell Scott - 6'4" 320 - 23 years old - Rookie

After Scott, they'll have to find a possible fourth DT for the rotation from Willie Williams, Antwon Burton, and Michael Marquardt, or go out and sign someone who gets cut during camp.  I really like those top three, but the depth is less than palatable.

Defensive End:

  • Chris Long - 6'4" 284 - 24 years old - Signed through 2012 (Voided 2013)
  • Leonard Little - 6'3" 263 - 34 years old - FA in 2010
  • James Hall - 6'2" 280 - 32 years old - FA in 2010
  • Victor Adeyanju - 6'4" 280 - 26 years old - FA in 2010
  • Eric Moore - 6'4" 268 - 28 years old - FA in 2010
  • C.J. Ah You - 6'4" 275 - 26 years old - FA in 2010

There's enough depth here for the season, but look for the team to move on without Little after this season.  And despite what some may say, Chris Long had a good season last year and should improve under Coach Spagnoulo. 

Middle Linebacker:

  • James Laurinaitis - 6'3" 240 - 22 years old - Rookie
  • David Vobora - 6'1" 236 - 23 years old - ERFA in 2010

Laurinaitis lends stability, leadership, and legitimacy to the middle of our defense.  He'll be a difference maker.

Outside Linebacker:

We've got good depth here and with the addition of Laurinaitis at MLB, we can now move Witherspoon back outside where he is a legitimate playmaker.  Pisa is a bit of a weak link, but should improve with the upgrades at MLB and SLB.  Nevertheless, look for the Rams to find a new WLB next year but it's not going to be on the top of the list since Pisa is locked up until 2012.


  • Ron Bartell - 6'1" 205 - 27 years old - Signed through 2012
  • Tye Hill - 5'10" 185 - 26 years old - FA in 2010
  • Bradley Fletcher - 6'2" 200 - 22 years old - Rookie
  • Justin King - 6'0" 186 - 21 years old - RFA in 2011
  • Jonathan Wade - 5'10" 195 - 25 years old - RFA in 2010

After Wade, you'll see Marcus Brown and Eric Butler.  This isn't the fanciest of units, but the addition of Fletcher's size could help a ton when going up against the giant receivers in our division.  Then again, if the defensive line can put adequate pressure on the quarterback, then you make the job of the DBs that much easier. 

Strong Safety:

  • James Butler - 6'3" 215 - 26 years old - Signed through 2012
  • Todd Johnson - 6'1" 200 - 30 years old - FA in 2011
  • David Roach - 6'2" 215 - 23 years old - ERFA in 2010

The addition of Butler to the Defensive backfield should greatly help out the CBs. He was great under Spags last year and looks to continue that success.

Free Safety:

We should be expecting a lot out of the duo of Atogwe and Butler this season.  Those two make our Defensive backfield legit.  Atogwe is franchised this season.  Look for the Rams to lock him up next offseason (hopefully before the offseason).

So, there you have it.  This is the roster as it stands today.  I'd still like to see a D-Lineman who's been cut to fill out the rotation along, and you all know how I feel about Warrick Dunn

Next season, look for the Rams to add a top tier Quarterback (Lefevour?  Please?), a Tight End, a WLB (maybe), a DL, CB, and a big Receiver.  They could possibly find the Linebacker, Receiver, and D-Lineman through free agency.  They'll also have to address Atogwe at some point. 

Bottom line is, this isn't done.  This team has been improved, but we had a long ways to go.  This is a great start and the team is extremely young and there is talent emerging in the right areas.

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