We're all hoping the 8th circuit court comes to its senses and denies the NFL's request for a stay while the appeal of Judge Nelon's ruling enjoining the lockout is heard. Nobody hopes the court denies that stay than a crop of pretty talented undrafted free agents and the 32 teams who usually start calling those players today in the draft's unofficial eighth round. The St. Louis Rams, with many needs left to fill, will be especially pleased once the lockout lifts.
Here are a handful of undrafted free agents who could fill big needs for the Rams, guys who Billy Devaney ought to have on speed dial just in case this lockout mess ends soon.
Yes, like you, I'm still mystified at why the Rams passed on so many talented rookie running backs. Word on the street is that they have their eyes on some veterans, but veterans aren't as cheap as rookies. Still, this is a position where smart teams can find a gem almost anywhere.
Graig Cooper, Miami: A good eye for the field and versatility. Has medical concerns, which makes him a perfect candidate for the Rams to take a flyer on.
Derrick Locke, Kentucky: Speed is his game, small is is frame. Still, if the Rams want to find a burner for the outside, this would be a good guy.
Noel Devine, West Virginia: Was scouting by the Rams earlier this spring. He's small, but explosive enough to make big plays.
Mario Fannin, Auburn: A big back with a raw skill set (raw as in undeveloped, I'm old, remember), he could really benefit from working with Sylvester Croom.
This is a probably a need that gets filled via free agency, the big money kind, but there are a few guys out there, the kind that Spagnuolo loves to take under his wing and turn into useful parts of the machine.
Ian Williams, Notre Dame: Strong with a good anchor, he could be kind of the poor man's Stephen Paea as a one-technique tackle.
Martin Parker, Richmond: He's a potential three-technique that could really grow with the coaching staff in St. Louis.
Do the Rams simply plan to take the path of least resistence, the one that makes so much sense and use John Greco? We'll see, but there are a few linemen out there who could help.
Ray Dominquez, Arkansas: A college tackle who has the size and power to make a difference in the run game at the NFL level.
Justin Boren, Ohio State: Could the Rams take their Ohio State relocation program to the offense? If they did, here's a big, powerful interior lineman.
Tim Barnes, Missouri: His natural spot is center, and he was considered one of the best available at that position. The Rams could really use a backup center, and Barnes could benefit from an internship behind Jason Brown while he develops. Questions about his strength on the line in the NFL.