We finally made it!! 10 days left before the NFL draft! We can finally begin our countdown 10, 9..... I know and realize that the passion on this TST has lead to an endless array of speculation, zany trades and yes plenty of good, cold hard calculated mock drafts. With of course everyone having at least ONE thing in common.....that we all truly want and hope for the best for our Rams. Of course in so doing, our efforts indicate and admit there are many paths one can choose to get there. So how does our FO get there?
I have been consistent in saying that I don't really care who's name is on the back, I just care about the position and hope that the round drafted in matches my internal value I have placed on that position. I know it is fun to latch on to a name we have known or seen and then visualize that player in horns. But I think Fish has a propensity drafting a multitude of small school players sometimes at a figure north of 40%of the time! Which translates into most of us probably will end up saying to ourselves as we watch the draft.."who is the hell is that?", when the choice is announced. But back to why I really don't care about "who" is drafted but "what" is drafted....because we really never have any choice anyway, right? So I'm not going to get all worked up this guy or that guy....just about what does that guy do....at least I can hang my hat on the fact that now we truly believe in the mantra....Stay Calm and Snead on.
To that end, here is what I am hoping for 10 days from now. I think for us to make the biggest impact and secure the foundation started at last year's draft we should trade down. I know, I know, your saying that is definitely NOT a news flash, and I agree! But I think when most TST'ers think of trading down they are of mind that we are trading a 1st round choice for multiple lower round choices. Like trading a first for 3 seconds, or 2 seconds and a first. That type of thing, I think most of us our conditioned that we must lose our first to make the trade. I don't believe that, nor do I think this FO does. My hope is that we trade down slightly each of our 1st round choices but STAY in the first. Say for example we take our 16th and swap it for a 20th and a 2nd round. Then we trade our 22nd, for say a 26th and another 2nd rounder. By doing this we end up with (2) 1st round picks and (3) 2nd round picks. Our own plus the two we picked up. That would be 5 picks in the first 55-60 players, where they really count and it would appear by everyone's opinion...the so called "experts" and the real ones here on TST:) that there really isn't a big difference after the first 10-15 picks. Especially so to us, because if we were already on the fringe of that small elite group, than why not take our 3 picks and get 5 players of relative equal quality? The first two rounds is usually where your most likely starters come from. I feel like it's a no brainer.
Of course, now here is where I know I will lose a couple/many/most of you:) In order I would take the following positions. OLB, OL, WR, S, OL. At the end of the second round we have addressed our 5 biggest need with roughly all equal quality players. Additionally, I now opposed to trading down our own 2nd for another 2nd and a 3rd. But whether that happens or not. From the 3rd round on, we are maybe picking up that extra CB/S like an Amerson, or a RB like Lattimore in the 4th. Then sleepers/fallers and depth. Again I am only throwing out names as examples, but you see my point. In this manner I have addressed my biggest needs prior to the 3rd round, and not having to still draft a position of need in the 5th? To me that's not where I draft a need, that is where I draft depth. I for the longest time had been of the thought, that if Warmack was available at 16, I would take him regardless, and then trade down the 22nd. But the more I think about how this draft is setting up, I think it would be best to do as I propose above even as much of a diehard Warmack OL fan I am.
I know some of you will have a gag reflect affect to seeing not one but two OL in the first 5 picks. Here is my reasoning. First there are a couple of excellent OL choices that play multiple positions available in the early rounds of this draft. This is something of an anomoly, at least it has been...I say let's capitalize on it. Such as a B. Jones, so not only are we addressing a bon-a-fide need this year, we are addressing needs at multiple positions with one pick for next year too. While you will be able to pick a nice one position OL player in say the 4th or 5th round, I feel this is a much better and stronger why to address it. But with regards to our current group; with all the injuries that always just around the corner, the age of a few of our starters, and their contract status, meaning they may be playing there last year here. Why not take a player who can start at guard this year and then center next if the BPA is another guard next year? It will make drafting our OL easier next year when we have flexibility in taking either one or the other, because our current player(s) can player either or.
Secondly, the reason Sam's favorite target was Danny was because he could trust that he could get open in the very limited time Sam had before he was horizontal! Which also is why the overwhelming majority of Danny's catches were 4-8 yard slants and button hooks. Because Sam didn't have the time. So he focused on the one player he knew could get separation quickly. Now to me there is a majority opinion here on TST to draft a WR with our top pick, in fact I've seen multiple WR in many mocks. But that pick still doesn't buy Sam anymore time does it? Nor does it help in the run blocking we so desperately need to improve. If you take two OL's in the first two rounds with multiple position players, we are set for this year, and the coming years with flexibility to handle injuries, defections through FA, cuts because of injury or needing cap room, and future drafts. We give Sam the running game, which improves the passing game by default. It also improves all of our receivers, because we are not always in third and long. With the OL addressed, now I don't need the absolute best receiver, because Sam will have the extra time, and weapons (quality run game), extra TE and improvement from our young receivers for another above average receiver from this draft to get open. Of course the domino's continue to fall as our running backs are immediately better with blocking (duh), we keep our defense off the field more, we try less FG's and score more points...win more games. All by finishing the foudation of our offense...the OL, which improves all of our skill positions.
Well I know your as excited as I am as we begin this count down. Last year, I think most of us were cautiously optimistic, but having been burned by a decade of FO mismanagement, we in a truly wait and see what these guys can do for us. Plus we had so many holes to fill that respectability seemed so far away. But this year, with what we saw the FO picks do for our team last year, taking our team to the last week before being eliminated from the playoffs....I know I am just stoked to watch how this all unfolds.
Welcome all of your thoughts...it's okay I've got my amour on!