So many things to post, so little time. Just a cornucopia of Rams related info after the jump. Dig in and let me know what you think.
What is the value of trading Danny Amendola? The New England Patriots have shown interest and according to this post, if the Rams allowed him to slip away to the team coached by "The Hoodie", they could be looking at gaining a second rounder. Steve Smith seems like a slot reciever similar to Amendola and now that he is in town, does it make Dan the Man expendable? If we gained that second rounder, would the Steelers consider trading Mike Wallace to us for our first pick in the second round? If we could draft Stephen Hill or someone like Brian Quick, sign Jericho Cotchery and start the season with Mike Wallace, Steve Smith, one of those draft picks and Jericho Cotchery as our first four options for Sam Bradford to throw to, I would be very excited.
The signing of Steve Smith has me very excited for our WR prospects in the upcoming season. I was looking at my 2010 NFL Preview magazine and reviewed the stats for wide recievers for the 2009 season. Yes, I realize this was three years ago and Smith has been dinged up a bit but just consider the stats:
Steve Smith 107 catches, 1220 yards, an average of 11.4 yards per catch and 7 touchdowns.
I went through to find who the top Rams recievers were that year and this is what I came up with:
Donnie Avery 47 catches, 589 yards, an average of 12.5 yards per catch and 5 touchdowns.
Danny Amendola 43 catches, 326 yards, an average of 7.6 yards per catch and 1 touchdown.
Brandon Gibson 34 catches, 348 yards, an average of 10.2 yards per catch and 1 touchdown
The three Rams recievers totaled 124 catches between them, 1263 yards and 7 touchdowns! 17 more catches and only 43 more yards and the same amount of touchdowns. Says a lot for what Smith can bring to the table and also what a crappy passing game we had in 2009.
The free agent frenzy last year compared to this year. I remember at this time last year we were collectively getting excited at the rapid fire pace in which we added free agents to the roster and how we thought we were going to run away with the NFC West. Last year we added Harvey Dahl, Quintin Mikell, Mike Sims-Walker, Cadillac Williams, Jerius Norwood, resigned Mark Clayton, added Justin Bannan, Daniel Muir, Brady Poppinga, Zac Diles and Ben Leber. It seemed like we were stacked and the excitement of having Josh McDaniels as our offensive coordinator was going to be fun. Well, we all know what happened.
This year, free agency seems to be moving a lot slower because of a regular offseason instead of the lockout situation last year and it kinda seemed like we have been moving at a turtles pace. But if we stand back and look at what we have accomplished, we are actually looking pretty good. We signed Pro Bowlers in Cortland Finnegan and Scott Wells. Kendall Langford, Steve Smith and Jo Lonn Dunbar are young and up and coming players who could have a positive impact on our season and help raise the level of play for the players around them. Matt Mulligan (TE), Tom Brandstater (QB), Robert Turner (OG) and Quinn Ojinaka (OL) help with depth. Some holes have been filled and the Rams draft strategy may be a little clearer. I still think a trade down in either the first round or second round is a distinct possibility and if we can add another pick or two, we can increase the number of players we draft in the top 100 and better our chances of adding more impact players to the roster. The future is bright my friends, the future is bright.
If (and that's a BIG IF), the St. Louis Rams can go through a healthy season like we did in 2010 and this new coaching staff "coaches up" some of the talent that already exists on this team, the potential for a bevy of Pro Bowl Rams is definetely there. If we can add protection and weapons on the offensive side of the ball, it is possible that Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Josh Brown, Lance Kendricks, our new #1 WR (whoever it winds up being), Harvey Dahl, Scott Wells and maybe even Roger Saffold could get invites to the NFC Pro Bowl offense. If the offense becomes high octane enough and we pin back Chris Long and Robert Quinn's ears to put pressure on the quarterback, it would only make things easier for James Laurinaitus, Cortland Finnegan, Bradley Fletcher and Quintin Mikell to shine on the defensive side of the ball. Whoever we draft to start at DT and OLB will have a better chance to succeed being surrounded by good veteran talent. Hopefully the Dolphins and Saints will regret letting Kendall Langford and Jo Lonn Dunbar go. Were just a little over three weeks away from the draft. The first round is on Thursday April 26....I can't wait!