By now, most of you know my distaste for the needed (yeah right) mock drafts that are a plague to my screen after opening this great site. So my efforts to disrupt this has met with marginal success with beautiful ladies and captions. The next move on my part is to put the roster as it stands today into AnAngry perspective.
The players leaving that will hurt the most-
Ron Bartell- once considered the premier d-back on defense before injuries that hurt his resigning stock considerably.
Donnie Jones- will not replace his ability to pin teams deep. But as much as it was asked of him to do it last year wore him down to a injury risk. Good luck to the Rams (a 1-15 team has no MVP) best player in 2009.
Brandon Lloyd- once, I considered calling him Duct-tape for his level of play after joining the Rams. He fixed a small part of a machine that was driven like a Vett but ran like a Gremlin. If the other parts.........hope your happy standing on the PATS sidelines watching Brady crumble in McDueces offense.
Players retained (so far) that will help the most-
Darian Stewart- He now holds the title of premier d-back on the Rams. While not a shutdown player, his overall skill set will make a new regimes defense that much better. With him,health and Finnegan, the defensive backfield has become a Ram strong point.
Dominque Curry- Some of you have called this guy crap. But did anyone notice how much the kick-off coverage improved with him as a wedge-buster. That kind of player who plays with a defensive mentality on offense may fit well in Fisher's scheme.
Kellen Clemens- This dude has started a few games for us and the Jets. A double benefit due to being familiar to players and now the new offense. I expect that he will be a much better mentor and team mate to Bradford than the one he replaces.
New Players that will help the most-
First I want to make an important observation. Age hurt the Rams the most (injuries didn't either) on both lines last year. Purging the older players was more of a spring cleaning than spraying air freshener like 'Sir Four Pillars' did last year. Hats off good sirs!!!!!!!
Scott Wells- I'm putting him first because that's where at all starts on offense. The last guy that manned this position and had it taken away was no better than a mid 90's Taurus you bought for your wife. Ok for short distances, but you always needed to carry a phillips and crazy glue. Now that the line calls will be back where they need to be, Bradford again benefits from this signing. Dudes, he's snapped the ball to Bret Farve and Aaron Rodgers...nuff said.
Cortland Finnegan- I really thought his signing would put a stamp on getting more talent in free-agency. But it wasn't the case, but adding him will certainly cut down the blast size of down-field attempts from last year. Heavy hitters is a Fisher trademark and having a better second level core doesn't hurt either.
William Hayes, Trevor Laws, Kendall Langford and retaining Jermelle Cudjo instils youth and some experience in the rotation on the d-line. These are players that will get Long and Quinn less snaps but better stats.
Steve Smith- He won't replace Lloyds' production but when healthy, he's still an improvement to the scabs there now.
Players on the bubble this year-
Receiver and Linebacker are areas that even the draft and a new coaching staff won't address. Not even put an band-aid on. As fans, we need to plan on every team we play to exploit these positions. But, as a team, I see enough improvements to be competitive against middle and lower level talent teams. I expect though, that somewhere a better back-up to #39 will be picked up.