So far the rams have shown major focus on being true to their word and getting Sam Bradford an offense that can help him show off his big time potential. The bulk of the money for free agency went to the offensive side of the ball. So far of the 30 possible pre-draft visits, 17 have been offensive players, and they still have 6 available slots for visits. It looks as if the team will be target the offense heavily in the draft. And I expect the same for free agents post draft as shown in PART 1. But with so much effort going in to the offensive side of the ball don't be surprised to see a boat load of defensive rookie free agents come in the following days after the draft the ends. I have stated repeatedly I believe the rams will be doing a lot of trading back during the draft, and I honestly believe when it is over we will have about 10 picks. Of those 10 I am predicting about 4 to be defensive picks. Hardly enough for a defensive minded head coach like Fisher. The best part about rookie free agents is there is so much talent, and there is zero risk involved. You didn't invest some major draft pick, or millions of dollars in them. I am expecting talent to be brought in for every defensive position, and in the neighborhood of about 14.
In case you missed The offensive version CLICK HERE!!!!!
Rookie Free Agents
The rams D-Line is top notch. And if Kendall Langford plays the way we thought he would this season, expect to see an already impressive O-Line to become arguably the best. Fisher loves talented D-Linemen that can work different positions along the line. He also loves physicality mixed with great athleticism. Guys who want to beat up on offensive players all day, while also making athletic splash plays to force stops and turnovers.
Quanterus Smith DE, Western Kentucky; Smith goes 6'5" 260 with insane production. He recorded 29.5 sacks the last 3 years, with 33 tkls for lost. He played ball for WKU and of course the small school label means he never stood a chance of coming off the board before the 3rd or 4th round to begin with. But what killed his draft status was the tearing of his ACL at the end of the season. He will not be available for at least the first six weeks. His chances of being drafted are slim to none. But the interest from teams will be there. Smith consistently showed amazing agility and burst off of the snap, and consistently good hands. He showed power with a nice bull rush and a nice arsenal of moves at his disposal.
Quanterus Smith vs Florida International (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)
Earl Okine DE/DT, Florida; Okine is the perfect prospect for Fisher. He is that versatile DL that Fisher loves. He stands at 6'7" 285, he has more than enough size to play either end or tackle. He also possess some impressive agility and power. Physically it is all there, but his technique, hands, and motor all need work and refinement. He has the versatility and power Fisher loves, now if he can turn that attributes into skill then look out world, he could be dangers. He reminds me of Calias Campbell.
Earl Okine DE Florida #91 - 2012 Highlights (via otgsports)
Brad Madison DE, Missouri; Madison is one of those tricky prospects. He has ample potential and good size (6'4" 260) but it sometimes seems like he is purposely sabotaging himself. His lack luster effort can get old very quickly. But when he is actually trying and putting forth the effort to succeed and win, he can get off of the line as fast as anyone. He will even flash some very nice physicality. The trick with him is getting that type of effort on a more consistent basis.
Glenn Foster DE, Illinois; Foster is another tweener guy that can play both DE/DT at 6'4" 286. He is motor guy. He is not overly talented and special, but he is ridiculously physical and has a motor that never quits. He is said to be a big time team guy as well. He seems like a less talented version of Chris Long, who could be a good depth signing to learn from who else but Chris Long and give him the occasional breather. Although I love his motor I think his best attribute is how well he plays the run, and sets the edge. He also has enough power and quickness to collapse the pocket from the middle.
Glenn Foster Highlight Video (via 1stroundtalent)
Abry Jones DT, Georgia; Jones didn't receive the hype or national attention that his Georgia defensive brothers got. But he was darn good in his own right. And at 6'4" 313 showed very impressive athleticism playing every position on the defensive line in both 3-4 and 4-3 formats. I think he could a starter in 2014. For some club that needs help at the defensive tackle position, albeit the rams or someone else. He has massive potential and skill, with a motor to match. Just happened to play on a defense filled with All-Americans.
Abry Jones - DL - Georgia (via SECDigitalNetwork)
Kapron Lewis-Moore DT, Notre Dame, Lewis-Moore played an integral role in the success of Notre Dames top ranked run defense this year. Constantly plugging holes and holding his ground. He also displayed some decent pass rush ability with six sacks and nine qb hurries. He will be the ideal rotational player at the next level. A guy that can come in for a series here and there and the defense not miss a beat. Also love his effort to beat double teams.
Kapron Lewis-Moore vs USC 2012 (via Jared Stanger)
Brandon Moore DT, Texas; Moore is a guy who if he had decided to go back to school probably would have been a 4th to 5th round pick. Why he left I have no clue. He posted the statistics of a back-up, and only played one season at Texas after transferring from Jr college. But the kid is HUGE (6'5" 317, 34 1/2 inch arms, 10 1/2 inch hands) and athletic enough to play DT, DE (3-4), and NG.
Fisher likes his Linebackers smart. I like to call them "Footballs Einstein's". You have to be smart because Fisher's defense has always been more read and react than here this is what you have to do. The players are allowed to roam more and get to the ball, where in most defenses you a lot more responsibility since the coaches usually put you in position. Fisher's defense is about playing smart and putting yourself in the correct position. You have a job, yes, but say the call is cover three and you are playing OLB and you have to get to the flats, but your pre-snap read tells you nothing will be there well now its your job to figure out the hole in the zone and fill it. I found this out when fisher first got to St. Louis and Laurinitis broke down why he loved this defense so much. But the linebackers fisher likes also have to be mean physical jerks. Guys who would hit their own mom if she was carrying the ball. He likes his linebackers to fly around and hit people. Be as physically imposing as possible without drawing a flag (something else that requires thinking).
Michael Clay OLB, Oregon; Clay is "undersized" (5'11" 230) but that means nothing to me but the media is nitpicking desperate to find a negative or a hole in his game. Clay displayed the football I.Q., toughness, consistency, and physicality not just fisher would want on his team, but any coach. Clay is being projected as a 7th-FA player for the draft, but if he makes it out of the draft the rams are going to have to do some serious fighting to get to him before the other 31 clubs who will be calling.
Michael Clay 2011 Highlights (via madmike1951)
Nick Moody OLB, Florida State; Moody is an ex-safety. The move came when they realized he was nearly 240. But that is never a bad thing as he is ahead of the game in coverage ability. As a safety he played a lot in the box also so it was not unfamiliar territory when he was moved his Sr season. He is a savvy football player who uses his football intelligence more than his football skills to make plays.But as you can see below he gets down hill quickly and does NOT shy away from contact.
Archibald Barnes OLB, Vanderbilt; Barnes reminds me a lot of Jo-Lonn Dunbar. He is bigger than Dunbar, but plays the same game. They are both good run defenders with barely average pass coverage ability. But the good news for Barnes is Dunbar's pass coverage was absolutely horrid coming out of college and now is average, whereas Barnes is coming out at the same level, meaning he could be decent 3-4 fours from now. Barnes is physical and aggressive, but I am not sure about his football intelligence. I don't know if it is where Fisher would want it to be.
Tristan Okpalaugo OLB, Fresno State; Can you say BIG HUGE ATHLETIC FREAK? That what we have here. He flies around non-stop. It's almost like he doesn't believe in fatigue. He is really raw, and thats a problem, because it means his understanding of the LB position is low. He didn't really see the field at all until his Jr season. And in high school he played TE and DE. So there will be a learning curve, but again who cares when there is no risk involved in bringing in undrafted rookies.
Tristan Okpalaugo vs Oregon (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)
Jordan Campbell OLB, New Mexico Highlands; I had to do some serious digging to find this prospect, but when I found him, I loved everything I read, and saw. He is 5'11" 248 and runs in the 4.6s. He was also ridiculously productive in college. This is from the scouting report written on him entering the 2012 season:
~2012 PRESEASON RMAC FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jordan Campbell, N.M. Highlands, Linebacker, Senior...Named to the Daktronics, Don Hansen Gazette and D2Football.com All-America teams after the 2011 season.... Led the RMAC in tackles with 110... Named First Team All-RMAC, Campbell also led the nation in tackles for loss with 28.5 for the season, setting a new conference record... Campbell was also the Cowboys punter and tied the RMAC record for longest punt with an 89 yarder against Fort Lewis... Campbell has been named to the Lindy's and BSN Preseason All-America teams going into his senior season for the Pokes. - Rocky Mountain football~
2x All-AMERICAN - JORDAN CAMPBELL Weak side LB 2011 HIGHLIGHTS NFL PROSPECT (via Jordan Campbell)
Vince Williams MLB/OLB, Florida State; Not much of a cover guy, but he sure can play the run. He brings the heat with his tackles, and has shown consistent pop with his blows. He's an aggressive, smart, physical backer, who can play all three positions. He is also a reliable open field tackler.
FSU LB Vince Williams Senior Season Highlights (via RayFoye Combo)
Bruce Taylor MLB, Virginia Tech; Taylor is virtually a Vince Williams clone. Two big differences though, he is not anyone close to being the elite open field tackler that Williams is, and Williams is more athletic. Other than those two things they share the same scouting report.
Bruce Taylor vs Rutgers 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
Nick Clancy MLB, Boston College; A brilliant LB who was left to fill the shoes of one of the best who ever did it in Luke Kuechly. And he did an admirable job recording 145 tackles (3rd in the country), proving to be quite the run stopper. He is not that athletic and for that reason is strictly a MLB but he is a field general who knows where to be and gets the job done when he gets there. Truth be told he reminds me a lot of James Laurinitis. Something about those BC MLB that just seems to get the job done (Mark Herzlich, Kuechly, now Clancy).
Like everywhere else on the defensive side of the ball, Fisher adores physical DBs. But this is where Fisher dabbles into the athletic ball hawks also. If you can make plays on the ball and force turnovers in-general, while also stricking fear in the hearts of TEs and WRs, then chances are Fisher will give you a chance. He has a history of using guys that have one area, and their job is to allowing nothing in that area. A good example would be Michael Griffon. He manned the deep center a lot, and if the ball was in the air he was looking to make it his, but also is was not afraid to come down hill during running plays. Another good example is Cortland Finnegan. Do I even need to explain him? Fisher will look to bring in guys like he did last year in the secondary when he brought in Matt Daniels and Rodney McCloud. Two guys known for being extremely physical and aggressive, but also athletic enough to make plays on the ball.
Khalid Wooten CB, Nevada; Wooten is a really good cover corner, which is why I wonder how he is flying under the radar so well. He is decent in run support, and had 10 int, 5 ff, and 20 pbu, for his career (two yrs as a starter. He also has good size and speed (5'11" 210, 4.43 40). But he is being projected 7th-FA. If he falls out of the draft, I pray somehow some way he ends up in STL. He could be a nice addition. I am willing to bet if he went to Florida or Alabama he would be a 2nd-3rd prospect.
Kayvon Webster CB, South Florida; Webster tore up the combine and has ideal NFL size for the CB position, but its one of those cases where the skills never translated to the field. But as usual there will be a coach who says I can make him the player he should be. I'm not one to take the risk on a guy in the early rounds of the draft when he dominates the combine but not college (i.e. Stephen Hill, this yr Ziggy Ansah), but I am all for bringing that guy in as a FA. Granted he has to make to that stage. As of now he is a 6th-FA prospect which is probably more telling of his production in a conference that lacks elite WRs.
KAYVON WEBSTER CAREER HIGHLIGHT (via SOUTHFLORIDAVIDEO)
Xaiver Brewer CB, Clemson; Brewer is one of the guys that the rams have shown some interest in this off-season. He is not being projected to be drafted in any place that I have looked. He did not perform as well the last season and a half as he did prior. He was not as consistent as before but he did display intriguing potential during that time and has nice size (5'11" 195) and athleticism.
Xavier Brewer CB #9 Clemson 2013 Highlights.mp4 (via arnsports)
Aaron Hester CB, UCLA; Hester is a big CB (6'2" 204) with nice speed (4.47) and better tackling ability. But he is a bit stiff in the hips and may need to move to safety to start and maintain a career. He could be a nice FS/CB tweener. He plays very aggressive, but does not create many splash plays. He reminds me of a much bigger version of Cortland Finnegan.
Aaron Hester vs USC (2012) (via Adrian Ahufinger)
Cooper Taylor SS/OLB, Richmond; Taylor may be making a move to OLB. 6'5" 235 is one BIG safety. But he certainly is not an unathletic BIG safety which may be what gets him a chance to show what he has as at the position. But I think ultimately somewhere down the line he ends up as an OLB. Taylor ran 4.58 and 4.49, had a 36" vert, 10'7" broad jump, 4.29 shuttle, 6.96 three-cone, and 23 reps on the bench. He has some nice athletic ability, and is not as stiff in the hips as his size would suggest. And before playing Richmond, he originally played for Georgia Tech. He displayed some decent ball skills at both schools and actually was the ACC freshman of the year. But I question how nasty can he really get. A guy that BIG and that fast you would expect to see more punishment. He plays kind of soft at times shoe lace tackling as if he is 5'9" 180. He is somewhat of a project and his medical history combined will ensure he does not get drafted. But I am eager to see how this guys career shakes out. No matter what he will end up on someone's roster.
Cooper Taylor -- University of Richmond (via RichmondSpiders)
Ray Ray Armstrong SS, Miami (FL); Armstrong displayed late first early second rd potential his first two seasons at Miami. He played fast and aggressive and developed a knack for making splash plays. At 6'3" 220, he proved to be faster than one would think. Butt after only plating in 7 games between his Jr and Sr season (all in Jr season), due to suspensions, the odds of him being draft have become non-existent. It doesn't help that at his pro day it looked like he didn't work iut once the entire 2012 season while at home. Reports have said since the off-season began he has been working non-stop, but that means nothing if he did nothing Aug-Dec, because then you are out of shape and playing catch up. He performed terribly at the pro day, running a 4.7 and a 9'8" broad, while performing very average at best in the other drills. But this could be another case of Vontaze Burfict. Here's a kid that did everything wrong, refused to workout and prepare for the combine (ultimately having the worst performance there), went undrafted, but killed it his rookie season. Now entering next season as the projected starter. One thing about both Burfict and Armstrong, they were being projected as first round picks early on for a reason, the tape never lies.
Ray Ray Armstrong Highlights (via JBoston923)
Orhian Johnson SS, Ohio State; Johnson is sort of a hybrid player. While at Ohio State he played SS, FS, CB, OLB. He could literally line up everywhere. And it had nothing to do with struggling to find a home, his primary position was SS, he was just versatile enough to line up in different places on different plays. He had the size and speed to play of these positions at 6'2" 218, 4.54 40. Johnson plays smart, fast, and physical. He also has some pretty nice ball skills. He gets down hill and attacks the ball carrier in a hurry. His scheme versatility remains his biggest strength and will be the reason he is on someones active roster, for at least a few games next yr.
Ray Polk FS/SS, Colorado; Polk is a big rangy FS (6'1" 220) that's a violent hitter. He was moderately productive during his time at Colorado. To me he is more of a SS. He has some injury history, but with exception of his concussion (missed 2 games), he displayed amazing toughness playing through some pretty painful ones. He did not create many splash plays while playing the deep middle, but he certainly has the ability to cover back there with his 4.40 speed. But in 4 yrs he only registered one INT, one FF, and 8 PBU. To me he is more of an in the box SS safety, a lot like we used Quinton Mikel (also an undrafted FA) last season. I think he could play that role and play it well. He also played a big role on special teams as a part time returner, gunner, and KO coverage.
Rashard Hall FS, Clemson; Hall had an a very good career. He had 302 tackles, 10.5 TFL, one sack, 14 INT for 186 yards and a touchdown, five QB pressures, 10 PBU, two FF, and three recovered fumbles in 2,697 snaps over 53 games (40 starts) in his career. He is not the greatest athlete around by any stretch of the imagination. NFL.com had this to say about him "Hall’s on-field performance is enough on its own to garner NFL attention, as he’s been a regular in Clemson’s always-talented secondary for four seasons. But the fact he became just the second Tigers football player to graduate in just over three years also shows he has the intelligence and work ethic to become a starting strong safety, or at least a valued reserve and special teams contributor at the next level." Hall's Poor draft stock has nothing to do with a troubled past or present, it has nothing to do with production, it has nothing to do with anything but his athletic ability. He might not be the fastest, or the strongest, biggest, or even quickest player, but he is going to bring toughness, intelligence, and production. Like I said earlier the tape never lies. This kid is a FOOTBALL PLAAYER!!! And someone will give him his shot, I just pray that it is us. Because you can tell he has that certain demeanor that when he gets that shot, he is going to make everyone pay for passing him up.
Rashard Hall vs BC and Miami (via JMPasq)
Dominick LeGrande SS, Marshall; Of all the possible defensive rookie FA acquisitions on defense, there is no one i like more than LeGrande (with Rashard Hall coming in at a close second). He is a true physical specimen, who translates every ounce of his physical abilities to the field. He stands at a JACKED 6'1" 213 runs a 4.28 40, 23 reps of 225, 3.99 shuttle, 35" vert, and 10'4" broad. Until this point he has bee completely overlooked, although I cannot tell you why. I also cannot tell you why he barely played his first three seasons, while at Boston College. Obviously they could see they had to get him on the field, which is why they never red shirted him. But they also kept him as strictly the back up and special teams guy. Now, I've checked the books, BC's safeties were not that great, and its not like he has a troubled past, so I cant help but wonder if he was a victim of favoritism? He only play one season at Marshall, but absolutely dominated. He finished with 132 tackles from the safety position (almost double his total for 3 yrs with BC), 2 int (could have been 4 but two were called back do to penalties), 7 PBU, 4 TFL, and a FF. for his entire career as a college athlete 204 tackles, 4 FF, 4 INT, 18 PBU. I am beyond curious what his totals would look like had he started two season at BC, or even one season.
CLICK HERE!!!!! to actually see him run his blazing 40 (FAST FORWARD TO 3:38)
Dominick Legrande (via SportsCapitalGroup)
As always thanks so much for taking the time out to read. Looking forward to comments, and recommendations. Curious what you guys think about some of these prospects. Or who might be your favorite guy that probably will go undrafted. Two more weeks, before questions start to get answered, can't wait!!!