Pete Prisco, a senior NFL columnist over at CBS, is known for being a bit, hmm, what's the best word here...unusual.
His points of view are almost always well articulated, though somewhat controversial; still, he's miles away from the Skip Bayless School for Ratings at All Costs.
Today, Prisco released his "four-pronged" rankings, and the Rams came in...18th. You likely won't see the Rams crack the top 20 on any other power rankings at least until late September, and that's if things go really, really well early in the season.
So why such a high ranking? Well, it's pretty simple. The answer after the jump.
Plenty of teams overthink their rebuilding. They either work around picking up a franchise QB or once they do, they get silly on building a real core (see: the post-JaMarcus Russell Raiders). BTW, what the hell is Buffalo doing? Sorry. Tangents.
The Rams haven't done that. What began slowly in 2008 hit full stride in 2009 as the Devaney/Spagnuolo era would place the reconstruction of the entire roster as its prime objective. In the three subsequent drafts, here's a year/position breakdown for the first three rounds:
2009: OT (J. Smith) > ILB (Laurinaitis) > CB (BFB)
2010: QB (Bradford) > OT (Saffold) > CB (Murphy)
2011: DE (Quinn) > TE (Kendricks) > WR (Pettis)
That's a pretty focused effort. Sure, it's going to leave you with holes at places like OLB and safety and interior line, but rebuilding is a process.
So is it really that surprising that Prisco has the Rams at 18? I don't think so. It's why I've said the Rams aren't rebuilding under Fisher and Snead. It's why Cortland Finnegan has echoed that position.
What Prisco's really ranking is the nucleus of every franchise. While we as Rams fans haven't had much to be excited about, we do have a strong core of young, talented players moving forward.
That alone should have Turf Show Timers looking forward to 2012 and the seasons ahead.