OK, I will be the first to admit that dreaming about the draft, new head coaches, general managers and OFFENSIVE coordinators is one of the few remaining fun things to do at the end of a...well awful season. Unfortunately, there has to be a reality check put in place every now and then.
First of all, lets start with the draft. Since the merger, QB's chosen in the top 5 have roughly a 60% chance of being a true success. For every John Elway and Peyton Manning, there is a Jeff George and a Ryan Leaf. Remember, that coming out of college, Leaf and George had all of the experts like Mel Kiper creaming all over themselves just like they are over Andrew Luck right now. That is no guarantee of success.
While not as visable, the O-line is almost as large a risk (Tony Mandarich, and a certain current Ram tackle), and wide receiver is bigger still. Actually, the only thing close to a semi-sure bet is defensive tackle (not end - tackle). So with all of that being said, why in the world would we possibly use the number 1 or 2 overall pick? We have a franchise QB that was rookie of the year last year. In my mind, that already lowers the risk over an unknown college kid going Pro.
We also have at least one quality guard AND tackle. From what I have seen, there are at least 5 potentially very good tackles in this draft. There are at least 2 outstanding guards possible in free agency. Use one draft pick on a top notch tackle. Again, no need to keep this top 2 pick to accomplish this. Kalil is good, but once the dust settles at the combine, I believe there will be at least 3 others who will score in the same range.
As far as wide receivers, I know there are a lot of people sold on Justin Blackmon. The numbers are great, but so is the Oklahoma State University system. Again, WAIT until the combine!! My guess is that there will be a minimum of 2 receivers who will go ahead of Blackmon when all is said and done. Remember, there is a certain Dallas Cowboy who shined brighter than Blackmon that was picked in the late first round, and while his numbers are respectable, he is no megatron or Fitzgerald.
Now to Spags side of the ball. There is no Suh or Sapp in this draft. There are however some very nice run stuffers who should still be around in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I am not crazy about taking DT's in free agency, so I really haven't looked at who is out there. The biggest problem with free agent d-tackles is the price for the good ones. My favorite position in the draft this year is outside linebacker. This class is deep and has speed all over the place. This should be Spags wet dream considering how many of these guys have sideline to sideline speed AND the speed to cover most tight ends and a lot of receivers.There are some nice corners in the draft, but not many. An actual upgrade will cost a 1st round pick. Otherwise, try to build some depth later.
Finally, the issue of coaching. I hate to see Spags go, but I think McDaniels has sealed his fate. Yes, I blame McDaniels. He brought in a completely new system, in a strike shortened offseason, without the players in place to run the system. He didn't even bother to bring in a QB coach for a second year starter who had never handled close to the responsibility required in his offense. I am really hoping we get Jeff Fisher as head coach. I hope ownership brings in a GM to handle some of the admin responsibilities, and forces him to consult Fisher on all personnel decisions. For all I know Fisher may actually keep McDaniels as the OC, but I would all but guarantee he would have him on a short leash with a spiked choke chain! SO, 700 words later, whats the actual point of this rant? Trade the first or second overall pick for multiple later picks, and hire Jeff Fisher and give him the stroke he needs to turn things around. The basic tools are already in place, and with a few moves, this year can just be a bad dream and the Rams can keep building off of the 2010 season.