Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' schedule, complete with two Monday night games. shows the team is heading in the right direction. Also, general manager Billy Devaney feels good enough about the roster to consider trading up in the draft. Devaney: "You know how it was around here. In the past, we had so many needs to fill and had to find a way to put this foundation together. We couldn't afford to trade away any of our picks because we had so many needs, so many holes. Then again, in years past, there also was no need to move up because, unfortunately, we were already at No. 1 or No. 2. But things are a little better now. I'm not saying now we're just one player away from putting this thing together. But on the same token, I feel good about our foundation. So if (a potential trade) was something reasonable -- I'm not saying a high pick -- I would feel more willing to do it than in years past."
This worries me, as although he quickly said "not a high pick" I feel that the focus of the team has become more shortsighted and win now orientated.
Every team should look to win now, but before we've always had the long term goal in place.
You can't help but think that the idea of moving up is there, in any round, and with that is to me a loss of focus and long term vision. To say we are in a better place is very true, however, losing Atogwe leaves us with a monumental gap at FS as well as the dire need of (number 1) WR, RG, OLB, SS, DE, DT, HB, FB and even maybe TE.
That is still a lot of holes to fill Devaney. To entertain moving up even in a later round is foolhardy in my opinion.
To move back in the first and get some more bang for an average pick would be wise.
14 is a tough spot, you miss out on the top 10 elite talents, with maybe a character or injury concern guy slipping, or with one guy slipping due to teams reaching for a QB. To move back and select someone like Pouncey or Austin or Paea in the late 1st makes too much sense. It also means we can stick closer to BPA in the later rounds where the depth and needs really need to be addressed.
My ideal draft:
- 1st Round: Move back, acquire another 2nd rounder or 3rd and another late pick (6th for example) and select Pouncey, G, Florida.
- 2nd Round: Mason Foster, OLB, Washington or Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
- 2nd Round: (should we acquire another) Marvin Austin, or Paea - DT
- 3rd Round: Jaiquan Jarret, S or Quinton Carter, S or Aaron Williams, S
- 3rd Round: (should we acquire another) Demarco Murray, RB or Greg Romeus, DE or Ugo Chinasa, DE or Allen Bailey, DE or Leonard Hankerson, WR
- 4th Round: One of the 3rd Round guys we didn't get. If gone, one of my man crush RBs. Jacquizz Rodgers, Jamie Harper, Kendall Hunter, Noel DeVine or Taiwan Jones.
- 5th Round: Robert Sands, FS or Virgil Green, TE or one of the guys previously stated.
- 6th Round: BPA/One of the players already mentioned not yet drafted.
- 7th Round: BPA/One of the players already mentioned not yet drafted/biggest combine or pro day freak.
This would hopefully fill all of our needs. There's no way this would happen and I haven't scouted extensively enough, but these are guys that have caught my attention and I'd like.
[Please check the hyperlinks]
I've always been very supportive of this FO, and maybe I'm over-reacting, but the moves we have made this off-season really make me feel uneasy. EVERYTHING points to a win now approach. We simply don't have the starters to accomplish this (depth will be very strong should we get starters at the positions of need).
Losing Atogwe was very poor roster management. With such a young team a veteran leader like him is invaluable, no matter how good JL is. Not only his leadership but his ELITE production will also be missed.
Rumours of us moving up in the 1st round should hopefully be smokescreens, but it's not hard to imagine that Devaney will be excited by the prospect of Julio Jones. The measureables are ridiculous, but unfortunately for me, no matter how I try the questions around Julio are sticking. I really wish someone could persuade me otherwise but look at the knocks:
- Inconsistent hands at crucial times.
- Long injury history, sure he played hurt, but he still got hurt.
- Physical mentality, fantastic to see and hear, but imagine seeing your number 1 WR try and put his shoulder down against Ray Lewis? With a guy who plays this hard and is susceptible to injury, it's a dangerous combination.
- He's pretty much WCO only. Ran underneath routes from the slot a lot at Alabama and we need a big number 1 to stretch the field (ala AJ Green).
- Not a fluid athlete. He's a tremendous athlete, but in pads his 4.3 40 becomes a 4.5 and he runs upright and stiff. Means he can get pushed off his route and the coverage playing at WR 1 will be better than the nickels he faced in college.
Now all this being said, I love him as a prospect, but not for us. To see Devaney entertain moving up anywhere, and especially the first round is straight up worrisome.
Couple the lack of starting quality players with the issues the CBA has brought up and a brutal schedule, it'll be tough to improve on 7-9. To match that would be an achievement.
Changing the offensive scheme, bedding in rookies and (hopefully) Free Agents are all things that will have to be done in 'expert timing'.
Regardless here is my look at the schedule: (being positive - the divisional away games can easily be L's)
1. vs. Eagles – Win. Gonna go for the upset. Vick will not be the same (and probably Madden cursed), Kolb is a bum and Spags will know how to beat his old boss.
2. @ Giants – Loss. Just because it’s away, on MNF and I think NYG will be a superbowl calibre team this upcoming season. My pick to win NFC East and they will only get better in the off-season.
3. vs. Ravens – Loss. Well these guys are brutal. Flacco is a dud and our D will play lights out, but unfortunately their D will be better. Their CBs should be healthy next season, so it’s gonna be even tougher.
4. vs. Redskins – Win, They will be MUCH improved but they’ve got such a soft roster we should beat them. Just gotta start early and demoralize the overpaid babies.
6. @ Packers – Loss, these guys are superbowl champs for a reason, and they did it with half a roster on IR, they’ll be back next season. Think our Offense will do well but their Offense will do better…
8. vs. Saints – Loss, I think this is a big shot for an upset, but I’ll err on side of caution. Hopeful we can maul their weak DLine and Lbackers corps. Defense will have to come out all guns blazing and turn the ball over.
9. @ Cardinals – Win. These guys still won’t have a QB.
10. @ Browns – Loss. Probably cold, Shurmer will have the advantage knowing how to attack our D and counter what Spags can throw at him. They always play tough and I don’t like us in the cold.
11. vs. Seahawks – Win. These guys will always be a Win in my book. Nothing to be scared of, we want revenge.
12. vs. Cardinals – Win, after brutal loss in Cleveland we’re revitalized with the destruction of seattle, get on a roll and maul AZ at home.
13. @ 49ers – Win. Avery gonna burn the slow DBs deep, SF offense will have growing pains behind the lack of QB (no matter who they draft or sign, there isn’t a franchise QB available this off-season)
14. @ Seahawks – Win, same bums we beat the other week, handle biz and get the monkey off our back.
15. vs. Bengals – Loss, ridiculously talented roster. Naive to think these guys will suck, on D they have literally no holes.
16. @ Steelers – Loss … thought Ravens are bad? these guys have an offense.
17. vs. 49ers – Win- Fuck the 49ers.
I can only hope this is how our season goes.
Disclaimer. A lot of this is based on my perception that there is not a Franchise QB available to anyone in this draft. Cam Newton may have a VY like career and taste success, but he is not a Franchise QB. Gabbert can be good but that's his ceiling, just like Joe Flacco. Carson Palmer is done, and wherever he is, he will only be average. Kolb is a bum, he's yet to justify the hype (and the extortionate price tag). Andy Dalton is too ugly to be a franchise QB, Locker is too inaccurate, Mallett is too hooked on Coke and being overrated to be a Franchise QB and Ponder just doesn't have the arm.