I want to preface this post with a couple of things. I'm not an expert, I won't pretend to be an expert. I love football, and I love the Rams. I have my whole life. I'm 29, I fell in love with Eric Dickerson, watched some of those great late 80's teams, stood by them strong through the 90's and am still as strong of a fan now as ever. The following are some thoughts, opinions, and observations from the draft.
Wow what a controversial draft! I can't remember a recent draft that drew so many differing opinions from fans. Very interesting to say the least.
It's hard to argue that the consensus feeling on drafting Quinn was a no brainer. If 5 years from now Quinn is a bust and flames out, I won't criticize the Rams for the pick. With him sitting there at 14, he had to be taken. The guy has the potential to be a defensive game changer. What a steal!
Our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks don't receive the same consensus feeling. Some greatly criticize the Rams for these picks, others seem to put faith in the FO, and are looking for the good in these 3 picks. I tend to side with the latter, and I'll explain why soon. Something I have a theory on, haven't heard it anywhere, and maybe I'm way off. As said earlier, I'm just a fan. I believe its possible that Kendricks was not drafted to be a TE. I think it's possible the Rams see him as a Marques Colston type. Colston played WR in college, but was thought to be a TE in the NFL. Colston is 6'4" 225, was listed at 230lbs coming out of college. Kendricks is 6'4" 239lbs and runs well for a TE. I've heard a few grumblings around TST, that the drafting of Kendricks means the FO is conceding that the 2 TE's we drafted last year are busts. I'm theorizing against that. Maybe my head is in my ass, but it's just a thought.
Now for our 3rd and 4th round picks. My opinion is very similar to what Van eluded to earlier today on the front page. The FO was going for smart picks. With so much uncertainty ahead, the Rams nabbed a couple of players that are probably a bit more polished than most college WR's coming into the NFL. My other thought on the drafting of these 2 WR's is the Rams are trying to create competition among the WR's. Put some pressure on guys like Brandon Gibson, Laurent Robinson, DX and the rest of the cast. Competition is never a bad thing. Maybe someone will really step up there game if they feel they don't have a spot "waiting" for them. Let's face it outside of Clayton (pre injury) and Amendola none of our receivers stepped up when needed during the season. Lets create some competition and get these guys motivated.
As far all the negative critics of the draft, I have some thoughts on you too. To those who say the Rams don't know what they are doing, remember something. We are fans, not scouts, not GM's, NOT EXPERTS. I know it's fun to talk about the draft, talk about what we like and don't like. The ones that get to me are the ones that are so defiantly sure that they know more than highly paid football execs. The same people that were so sure that Mark Herzlich and Derrick Locke would be drafted. Maybe Kendricks, Salas and Pettis aren't future Pro Bowlers. But do you really think that us (and yes I'm inlcuding myself in this) arm chair QB's, youtube watchers, and blog readers know more than scouts and GM's. I trust the Rams FO has a plan. No draft pick is safe from being a bust, including Quinn, who everyone loves. Maybe every single player the Rams drafted this year will be a bust. Maybe they will be superstars, maybe they will be something in between. My point is regardless of the outcome, the guys making these decisions do know more than us, they have more knowledge, been around the game more, are at the combines, personal workouts and interviews. You know what? We aren't. I'm not saying that I believe the Rams had the greatest draft ever, I just believe the guys making the decisions know more about football and these players than any of us ever will, so I'm willing to stand by them.