Random Ramsdom, 4/26: Life without a lockout...and a first round wide receiver

The St. Louis Rams prepare for life in the post=lockout world...for now.

As if draft week weren't enough, the federal courts had to go and throw out the lockout, thrusting chaos on the NFL. What happens next is still unknown, and there won't be much clarity until the court makes a decision about a stay while it hears the NFL's appeal of Judge Nelson's decision to lift the lockout. The appeals court could indeed overturn Nelson's decision, but I still think it's unlikely. Nelson made a very thorough decision, emphasizing the players' claim to immediate and irreparable harm caused by the lockout along with some pretty solid logic on the NFLPA's ability to decertify as a union. The 8th circuit might have a hard time finding flaw with that decision, and I also wonder what court would be willing to claim that workers have to remain unionized...could be a very interesting precedent, no? 

On with the linkage!

Awkward!
Players may indeed show up at team facilities today under the injunction issued by Judge Susan Nelson yesterday, but what can happen beyond that depends on who you ask. According to the NFL, teams have been instructed not to open weight rooms and workout facilities. Contract discussion are also off limits while legal limbo hangs over the league. The NFL will ask the court for a stay of Nelson's order while they appeal the decision.

Getting used to life without a first-round WR
The Rams probably won't land a wide receiver in the first round of the draft, but all is not lost say a few scouts who know. One scout in the article mentions that great QBs and running backs can make wide receivers fit the offense. Options beyond the first round, like Anquan Boldin, are also mention. A couple names pointed out here that could be on the Rams' radar in the later rounds: Torrey Smith, Randall Cobb and Indiana's Tandon Doss, who was personally scouted by Rams' WR coach Nolan Cromwell. The most important things to look for, say the sources here, are good hands and the ability to separate from coverage.

Don't sleep on Nebraska WR Niles Paul
Nebraska WR Niles Paul isn't getting much discussion from draftniks lately, but he could be a real sleeper after playing in the Huskers' run-first offense and having a couple of alcohol-related incidents on his record. Paul has good hands, versatility and has shown enough speed to stretch the field. He's not without criticisms though, and figures to be a third round pick.

Trading down doesn't always work
Sometimes trading down in the first round and acquiring more picks nets a team nothing but more picks. Teams have bypassed solid players by trading down only to have the draft class fizzle out, even with more picks. This is a reminder that it's about quality not quantity. The right player in the first or second round can make a much bigger impact than three players who never become more than roster depth.

SIU still hoping to lure Rams for training camp
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has made some upgrades to their athletic facilities. One hoped for outcome of the renovations: becoming the St. Louis Rams training camp location this summer.

Todd Lyght boasts a Super addition to Ducks’ staff
Following a 12-year NFL career that included a Super Bowl title, Todd Lyght set out to forge a life after football. The two-time all-American at Notre Dame worked several years as a radio analyst, then decided to try his hand in business and became co-owner of a national pizzeria chain. More recently, he helped run a restaurant and night club in southern California. In 2009, the football bug bit again, and Lyght took his first coaching job, as the defensive backs assistant at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas.

Aldon Smith "I want something different."
So maybe Aldon Smith doesn't want to play for the St. Louis Rams. In this profile piece where he talks about getting ready for the draft, the Missouri DE talks about some of the non-Missouri based NFL teams he's visited as he imagines life in the NFL. 

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