Greg Salas (above) and other Ram's receivers have been unable to get by opposing DB's the last few years
Since the 2008 draft the Rams have attempted to fill it's need at receiver through the draft with players like Donnie Avery (2008), Brooks Foster (2009), Mardy Gilyard (2010), and more recently Austin Pettis and Greg Salas (2011). Although all of these receivers had serviceable hands and may be reliable possession receivers only Avery seems to have had any trait that truly set them apart, and even his speed was little use once injured and on the bench.
With a new Regime in GM Les Snead and HC Jeff Fischer is there reason to believe that their picks at Wide Receiver, Brian Quick and Chris Givens, can be more successful than those in previous years?
Before we get into any wild predictions, lets start with a quick recap of the given information, puns anyone?
Brian Quick: 6'4 220lbs.
For the first time in years the Ram's decided to go after a BIG receiver in the draft. The only player with comparable size that has been on our roster is Danario Alexander, and as I remember hearing from an opposing DB's press conference...This is paraphrasing at best but... no one in a leg brace that big is ever beating a serious player down field. Not only does he have size but Quick ran a 4.5 40 at the combine and impressed many at the Senior bowl with his wide catching radius and ability to run routes at his size. Still many questioned his ability to adjust to the NFL from DI-AA Appalachian State where he faced mostly soft zone coverage and played inferior competition for the most part. So far as other TST bloggers have previously stated, Ram coaches have been praising Quick for his ability to bring a TO body with an Issac Bruce work ethic.
Best Case Scenario: 60 rec, 750 yds, 6 TDs
Worst Case Scenario: 30 rec 400 yds, 4 TDs
Quick may have to adjust to press coverage and a more complex route tree, limiting his catches and receiving yards in his rookie season. Despite this fact, it seems that with his size and ability to go get the ball at it's highest point he will be able to at least make an impact as a redzone target for QB Sam Bradford.
Chris Givens: 5'11 194 lbs.
The first thing you notice about Givens is his blazing speed, running his 40 in 4.35 seconds, and yea, this time it translates to the field. At Wake Forest givens was an All-ACC target known for blowing the top off of defenses and many thought he was on his way to being a second round pick. I know what you are all thinking at this point, I know i thought it as well: hey doesn't this guy sound like Donnie Avery? Are you sure he's so good, if so why was he picked in the 4th round and not the 2nd? During Pre-draft workouts many teams become concerned despite full medical clearance by all team doctors about his two surgically repaired ACL's, which were repaired in High School. The fact that these injuries occurred before college and he has not had significant issues with them in college eases my concerns, remember when Dejuan Blair of the NBA fell down draft boards due to his non-existent ACL's? Ended up being a steal for the Spurs, hoping we're building like they are... Ram's coaches think so, I've heard Maclin comparisons, you know some guy from this place called MIZZOU.
Best Case Scenario: 45 rec, 600 yds, 3 TDs
Worst Case Scenario: 30 rec, 400 yds, 1 TD
Despite his breakaway speed I don't think he will be ripping off huge touchdowns just yet. I see Givens gaining big chunks as DB's turn away from him for a second too long, but unless Quick progresses quickly and draws double teams I don't see defenses giving him too much room to work with just yet.
Barring injuries (knock on wood) these two youngsters seem to be indicative of how the new regime wants to rebuild this team. In selecting a small school prospect and a medical miracle player the Ram's brass showed they want talent on this team and are willing to take chances and bet on their own ability to coach these young men up. While others were clamoring for Blackmon or Floyd, who both have plenty of questions themselves, the Ram's picked up complement receivers for the future in the 2nd and 4th rounds. I personally applaud them for the move and opting away from the possession receivers of the present and back to the explosive prototype of the past.
This is my first post so feel free to agree or disagree on the post board below!