The countdown to the 2011 NFL Draft is underway with exactly two weeks to go from today. Like most teams, the St. Louis Rams are in the heat of draft prep, hosting approximately 20 prospects at Rams Park this week. There's a slight trend among the guards paying a visit to, emphasis on the word "slight."
Smaller guards, big news to cover after the jump.
C/G Jason Kelce visits Rams
University of Cincinnati guard/center Jason Kelce is among the offensive players visiting the St. Louis Rams. I don't know if he's a guy that can bulk up, but at 280 lbs I'm assuming he'd have to. The Rams visit list includes some lighter, more athletic guards so far.
OG Daniel Kilgore visits Rams
OG Daniel Kilgore from Appalachian State measures 6'3" 308 lbs. That's a little bigger than Jason Kelce, who will also visit the Rams this week. Still, he's a player more in the mold of Jacob Bell than Richie Incognito. More on the interior linemen visiting later this week.
The Second Shutdown 40: #58 – Jon Baldwin, WR, Pitt
Doug Farrar at Shutdown Corner goes to the tape on Baldwin...and it's not exactly two thumbs up. Read the full report, but I'll sum it up: awkward. Baldwin's problems center on body control and physicality. He gets compared to Malcolm Kelly. Yikes.
Mark Ingram off two draft boards
Smoke screen or legitimate information? Or both? Whispers are that teams are worried about the Alabama running back. Some draft pundits are even starting to whisper about Mikel Leshoure being drafted before Ingram. We'll see.
The NFL wants to cut almost 60 percent of guaranteed pay for first-round draft picks, lock them in for five years and divert the savings to veterans as part of a new CBA. Naturally, there will be some serious negotiations done around that. It was rumored that the two sides had tentatively agreed on a rookie wage scale in the last round of talks. A bigger issue than the money, the five-year contracts will be a sticking point, four-year deals for players beyond the first round. Locking players up that long won't set well with the players because of the impacts on free agency. For one, the rookies will have to wait before getting a bigger deal, but more controversial will be the impact on the mid-tier free agents who could be shut out of the market with players locked up longer on their rookie contracts.