Looking Back: Draft Grades

With the news that the Falcons jettisoned Tye Hill, I thought it would be interesting to look back the past few years and see how the Rams fared in the numerous post draft report cards. I don't think much of them personally (it's always nice to read about your team though), but are they really worthless? Do some people have a history of judging the Rams drafts well? Can they spot those troubled players? Or will all this article do is take you down memory lane? Let's find out...Hit the jump to continue.

First off is the 2005 draft. I'll go over the '05, '06, and '07 drafts. I think you need about three years to tell how well a draft did, so 2008 gets a year bye. Chris Long, we're looking at you. Anyway, here is Yahoo Sports analysis. Charles Robinson gives us props for picking O.J. Atogwe (yay!), Claude Terrell (much quieter yay!) and Alex Barron (boo!). He doesn't like the Ron Bartell pick:

The choice of Howard's Ronald Bartell with a second-round pick was questionable. That was at least one round higher than most thought the very raw Bartell could go

He also notes that Richie Incognito might not have been the best of picks, because he had an anger problem. Damn you Dark Richie!

Next is Sports Illustrated. Dr. Z has his grades, giving the Rams a C. He doesn't like the Rams pick of Alex Barron, because of the fact that he doesn't project well to the right side. He also says Incognito has anger problems and likes the Madison Hedgecock pick...because of his name. I guess we can say he got lucky?

Finally, we have the grades from Walter football. He does a relatively good job, noting the Madison Hedgecock was a great pick (indeed he was) and also likes Ryan Fitzpatrick (he was a suitable backup). He says that:

Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe and center Richie Incognito were both decent third-round selections

Which indeed they have been, to say the least. If the Rams don't get O.J. back, at least it can be said that the third round pick on him was justified. Like everyone else, he disagrees with the Ron Bartell pick, only because of Bartell's value. Personally, I don't think Bartell isn't anything more then a good 2nd CB, but purely based on value, he's right. You don't pick a 4th rounder in the 2nd. Did they get it right? So-so. It could have been better, but at least Madison Hedgecock has a cool name, right?


Next is the cluster$%& that is the 2006 NFL Draft. Yahoo! Sports once again first on the ticket. Robinson gave us high marks for finding good value picks, like Jon Alston and Claude Wroten (uhm, yeah). He had this to say about Tye Hill:

First-rounder Tye Hill is a feisty corner who should eventually challenge for a starting spot.

Tye looked like he was progressing well before he lost all confidence because of a couple injuries, so you can't exactly fault Charles for saying that. But that 'fiesty-ness' was nowhere to be found after his injuries. Overall, he gave the Rams a B-, which is quite high (it'd probably be an F now).

Up next is the report card from Sports Illustrated, from Dr. Z. He gave us a B+ and was even less accurate then Yahoo. He had this to say about the Rams first few picks:

Here's the good news: CB Tye Hill, who won the Fastest Man at the Combine Workouts prize with his 4.30; Joe Klopfenstein, an intriguing, athletic TE prospect...John Alston, a linebacker with combine numbers you can't believe...4.40 speed, a long jump of 11 feet, third longest of all the jumpers in the joint (there's a guy who's improved by leaps and bounds)

The only negative thing he had to say was that Claude Wroten was a schmuck. In fact, I wouldn't even necessarily say he graded the draft; all he points out is workout numbers and the fact that Joe K. is 'intriguing and athletic."

Finally we have grades from draftstock.com. They are all over the place, but they do have a slightly better perspective. They gave us a B, and while they did say that Joe Klopfenstein was:

[the] best athlete [the Rams have had] at tight end in a decade

they also had a couple of high notes for their analysis of Day Two:

Victor Adeyanju was one of the players that I was shocked went undrafted during the first day. Mark Setterstrom and Tony Palmer immediately beef up the Rams line and were great value picks for the seventh round.

Maybe not so much Tony Palmer, But Victor Adeyanju and Mark Setterstrom were good value picks and barring injury, were good depth players, exactly like Draft Stock said. From all the other draft reports I saw, it was pretty much the same thing: Tye Hill is fast, Alston was a workout warrior, and Claude Wroten was a good value pick. Did the pundits get it right? Absolutely Not.


Moving on, we now have Yahoo's 2007 grades. Charles Robinson has this to say about Adam Carriker:

Defensive end Adam Carriker gives depth and flexibility to the defensive line and adds a hefty player to go along with Jimmy Kennedy to play against the run. They may regret passing on Leon Hall at this spot, though.

He pretty much is dead on with this statement, minus the Jimmy Kennedy nod. Carriker when not injured, has provided depth and flexibility to the line. Not only that, adding Leon Hall instead of Jonathan Wade, (who he says might never develop in the NFL) was a good call as well. He liked the Brian Leonard pick, but he can be forgiven for noting that:

Defensive tackle Clifton Ryan and offensive tackle Justin Fry have the potential to be fifth-round sleepers.

He gave a B-, which again seems a bit high now, but it's closer than 2006.

Also once again, there is the SI Report Card, once again from Dr. Z. And also once again, he was off the mark:

Top draft Adam Carriker is a 298-pound brute of a DE...Brian Leonard is an interesting second-round choice, half fullback, half running back, well schooled in the fundamentals. How this translates into an NFL lineup, I don't know, but I like the idea of the club taking him this high. Third rounder Jonathan Wade is a cornerback who deserved to have been placed above his station.

He doesn't say much else about the picks, so there isn't too much to say. He, like Robinson, liked the Brian Leonard pick, even when better options were available.

I couldn't find Draft Stock's grades, so to replace them, once again we have the breakdown from Walter Football. It's a good report (in line with what Robinson said over at Yahoo). He likes the Carriker pick because he can play anywhere on the line, and really like the Clifton Ryan pick. He knocks the Rams because of the Brian Leonard pick, but loses any points by saying the Rams picked up a quality corner in J. Wade.

So did the talking heads do good? Definitely better then 2006, but there is still room for improvement. Should we listen to these draft grades? History says...maybe. All of them have been hit or miss, but the graders have been able to find and note that some "prospects" will do better then others. Looking at these three years, it turns out this was mostly a trip down memory lane. But we did learn to avoid anything Sports Illustrated says about the Rams drafts like the plague. You learn something new everyday!

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