The St. Louis Rams are in the process of filling out their coaching staff. Nevertheless, they have boots on the ground in Mobile this week watching prospects at the Senior Bowl. Through a drip drop of information here and there, we're getting a picture of which players the Rams have been talking to, a few of them anyway.
Contrary to a report that popped up on Twitter recently, the Rams do have staff in Mobile. In addition to the scouting staff held over under Mike Williams, until the front office changes over, Mike Waufle is on the scene decked out in Rams gear, according to Jim Thomas.
A group of Rams people were seen today talking to Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw, according to Shane P. Hallam at Draft Countdown.
Wait? Upshaw's a 3-4 rush linebacker, right?
Most tend to think of him as a strongside backer in a 3-4. He has a tenacity for getting to the passer, but coverage isn't his bag. He's also likely to be picked early in the first round, so why exactly would the Rams be talking to him?
Good football players and good players. Coaches will find a way to fit them into their plans, the good ones anyway. Rams DC Gregg Williams talked yesterday about being more focused on the personnel than trying to fit them into a scheme.
Some are now seeing the potential for Upshaw as a 4-3 defensive end. Check out this note about Upshaw from Tony Pauline at SI.com on Tuesday:
A point of concern in Courtney Upshaw's game is the limited speed he shows on the field. While he's effective rushing the passer out of a three-point stance, Upshaw looks very limited in his ability to pursue and catch the ball-handler from the backside when stood up at linebacker.
Alabama's Courtney Upshaw is now being used at defensive end and looks good. He put offensive tackle Matt McCants of UAB on his bottom with a powerful bull-rush, then did the same to James Brown of Troy State.
At 6'1" 271 lbs, some are questioning Upshaw's height as a 3-4 linebacker. That's vastly overstated. He looks like a player who has the kind of talent to play anywhere he wants to, so long as a team is smart enough to use his skills.
For Rams fans, the bigger question may be why the Rams would be looking at another defensive lineman. The answer is simple: good football players are good football players. If Upshaw is on the board in the top 15 picks if the Rams trade down, they would have to consider him.
Mocking the Draft has a scouting report on Upshaw out today.
Waufle, the Rams new defensive line coach, was in the same position with the New York Giants from 2004 to 2009. During that time, the Giants drafted Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka in consecutive years despite having Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora on the roster already.
A likely third day pick, Taylor was overshadowed by the big names in the LSU secondary. He was still a pretty important part of that defense. Fisher has had a good track record with mid- and late-round defensive backs.
Here's a scouting report on Taylor from the National Football Post.
Some videos for your viewing pleasure.
Here's Upshaw on a bull rush at the Senior Bowl.
And here's Taylor against Alabama.