[Note by VanRam, 03/29/11 5:38 PM EDT ] A thoughtful piece, well worth some FP attention.
With our lengthy list of needs heading into the 2011 draft, it seems evident that we won’t address every starter need this year. I’ll consider 2011 a successful draft if we land 3 starters and 2 more make the final roster from our 7 picks.
Our number of needs far exceeds the number of draft picks we hold. I currently count WR, OG, DT, DE, FS, RB and OLB (x2) as pressing needs, and some depth would be great too. The 2011 draft class doesn’t look that deep either so we need to make those early picks count.
I’ve tried to look at this and take into account several factors, including the depth of this draft class, the expected limited free agency, the FO commitment to building through the draft and an early look at next years draft class.
This draft class looks pretty deep at D Line. But the drop off looks to be around the end of the 3rd round. Scat backs look to be plentiful in the mid rounds. OGs that look like immediate starters seem to disappear after the 2nd round. OLBs are not numerous, and after the 3rd round pickings are slim. The top 2 WR’s look great, but it seems unlikely either will fall to us and after them I’m not convinced any of this class offer something we don’t already have. The safety class is thin, but might 2nd to 4th round looks to have some potential.3
An early look at next years draft class looks to be stellar at WR (Alshon Jeffrey, Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles, Michael Floyd, Mohamed Sanu, Juron Criner, Dwight Jones, et al) and excellent at CB and OLB. At the moment OG doesn’t look as strong as this year. After the elite talents at the top of the draft, DE and DT does not look great and the safety class might even be thinner than this year unless a several underclassmen come out.
While players will rise and fall on big boards and some will decide to stay in school, I think that the positional depth of the 2012 draft should be considered.
With that in mind, and working off the presumption that neither Jones or Green are available to us, I’d go:
1. DE. Robert Quinn would be first choice. Aldon Smith in the alternative.
2. OG. Danny Watkins or Rodney Hudson preferably, but I’d settle for Marcus Cannon. Any of them should be ready to start straight away.
3. OLB in the 3rd. Bruce Carter or Mason Foster would hit the spot. KJ Wright otherwise.
4. FS in the 4th. DeAndre McDaniel, Deunta Williams or Jaiquawn Jarrett in that order of preference.
5. RB in the 5th. Jordan Todman, Kendall Hunter, DeMarco Murray, JacQuizz Rogers or Noel Devine (if he can keep the wieight on).
7a & 7b. Roll the dice on another Fendi type project and hope that a DT drops.
Ideally, I’d like a DT in round 3, but I think OLB is such a need that we have to get one with a chance of starting.
To supplement the draft, supposing we get even a limited FA, find a WR, OLB and S to play stop gap for a year or two while we continue to build a roster that can compete.
I’d be grateful for your views on how the Rams should approach the draft as I’m hoping to play back up to buckeyefan55 in the next MTD live draft, and your advice is likely to be acted upon (if I get chance of course).