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SOME THOUGHTS ON POSSIBLE RAMS THOUGHTS PT. 2!!! (o-line scenario cont.., more receiver, and overall needs)

Before I begin I just want to say this is merely about possibilities and evaluations, and not predictions. I like to think of myself as a person who LOVES the game of football. So I follow everything, not just the rams, very closely. And something about me, not just involving football, but is more just my personality, is i pay very close attention to detail and I am usually pretty good at reading between the lines and using tendencies and statements to figure out what someone is thinking. Now let’s begin…

In case you missed PART 1!!!!!!!

Lineman continued

-I’m just going to dive right into where I left off in part one. It is obvious that the rams would like to draft D.J. Fluker, but due to draft position, unless they make a major reach they will not be able to get him. But they do want to draft a lineman. So the only clues we have as to who that lineman may be is Les saying “one of the better players on the board, your first thought is ‘OK, can he play guard?’ and then eventually move to tackle”. So guys that are projected with a / in their position listing (DE/DT, T/G, G/C, CB/S, etc…) are the kind of linemen they will be targeting. Fluker is the dream but will not be available. Enters the list:

1. Kyle Long

2. Justin Pugh

3. Terron Armstead

4. Chris Faulk

5. Brian Winters

6. David Quesenbury

7. Xavier Nixon

The players on this list range from mid-second round guys to late fourth. They will probably end up drafting one of these players, unless of course Chance Warmack falls to them at 16. In order for this to happen he has to make it pass Detroit, Arizona, Tennessee, and San Diego. And even if he does get pass those teams, the rams would have to watch for teams trading up to snag him knowing if available the rams will take him. Then there is Jonathan Cooper. I’m not sure how much they value him,but I am pretty positive he is on their board. Warmack is the nasty mauler type of player with advanced pass skills that Fisher likes, where Cooper’s reputation comes from athletic ability and technique. I think if Cooper is available the rams will have a tough decision. It is very possible that both or either of these two are available at 16, but if not, look for the rams to do some heavy thinking about one of the seven players listed. Because if the line is not addressed in the first it will certainly be addressed sometime between the second and fourth, but most likely 2-3. Me personally I like Terron Amstead best. This kid is being called raw due to level of competition and that’s wrong. Call him raw from playing in a scheme that lacks NFL style plays, which is not the case for linemen (excluding the few schools that use those unreal splits and loads of quick passes). Armstead is full of potential. And even put a whipping on the guys from the upper echelon schools in the east west game. I also like Faulk as a great value pick who fits the T/G profile and can be had between the late third and mid fourth.

Drafting a linebacker

-When I think of linebacker and the rams I think athletic, fast, great leadership, and really physical. But more than anything I think really really frickin smart (football Einstein’s). The reason I think of these things is because of Fisher and Snead’s history. Fisher loved guys like Keith Bullock, Gerald McRath, David Thornton, Stephen Tullock, etc. And Snead had his hand in on the drafting of guys like Sean Weatherspoon, Akeem Dent, and Stephen Nicholas. All of these guys are true three down linebackers who can play run, cover, and rush the passer, and they are all brilliant football players, a very high football I.Q. across the board. With that being said the first player that jumps out at me is Khaseem Greene. Greene is the epitome of everything listed. He is a hell of a leader, unbelievably hard worker, best 3rd down backer in the draft (cover and rush), physical, fast, smart, he has it all. Oddly enough his name has cooled down in the media, but I am willing to bet not in war rooms. The next guys is Alex Olgetree. Greene is daaaaaamn good, but I question how much better he will get. Olgetree on the other hand has the higher ceiling. The highest of any backer in this draft. Next I would say Arthur Brown. He could be the best run defender of this yrs linebackers group. But he doesn’t cover as well as you would think considering his smarts, instincts, and athletic ability would indicate he should. After him is Zaviar Gooden. Physically he is the most gifted LB in this draft. An ex-safety who has the potential to be a 140 tkl, 4 sack, 3 int, 10 pbu kind of player. His problem is the football I.Q. criteria. If someone can teach him the game and end his struggles to grasp responsibility so he can play smart and under control and be in the right place more often, look for him to possibly be the steal of the draft. The rams have a wide range to draft a LB probably rounds 1-4.

Quinton Patton

-For those of you who have seen my previous posts, you probably are convinced I am head over hills in love with Tavon Austin, and that’s because I am lol. But what may have slipped pass you is he is not my favorite WR in the draft. Without question its Quinton Patton. The first time I watched his tape I immediately thought of Tory Holt. This wasn’t a fan of Tory Holt type of comparison. If Tory played for the chiefs his entire career I still would have said him, because that’s truly who his game reminds me of. Great route running, great hands, great yac, he just has the IT factor. So I was a fan from day one. But the more I watched the less Tory Holt I saw, and the more Andre Reed, with all due respect to Tory, but Reed is an even better comparison. Reed was a fourth round pick who went on to play 16 seasons, and retired in the top 5 of every major receiving category, and second in receptions only to Jerry Rice’s first. I think he has that type of potential. But it was the game against Mississippi State, around the 4th time I watched it, that I saw Reed. It was his after catch ability that did it. In that game against an “SEC” defense he absolutely was unstoppable and single handedly brought the team back. He has deceptive sub 4.5 speed, and quickness that can only be measured by watching film. And stands at 6' 202lbs. But the most impressive things about his game is his hands and routes. I think this is what the rams are drawn to the most (which by the way I was so ecstatic to hear they loaded up the van to see Patton, hopefully its like Quick and he “HAS TO BE BROUGHT IN”). With the departure of Danny Amendola (great routes, reliable consistent hands) and Brandon Gibson (Mr. 3rd down) taking his talents to south beach, the rams will be looking for someone to pick up the slack. Well they can kill two birds with one stone (that’s such a violent analogy) by taking Patton, and I honestly believe they know that. Patton is a day one starter and he is also a hard worker which I think Sam would like since his hardest working target is gone (Amendola). He is also an exceptional leader, and great samaritan. When Louisiana tech played TCU “in the Poinsettia Bowl, but during the broadcast, it came to light that Patton and teammate Adrien Cole gave up the $300 Best Buy certificates awarded to them in their bowl prizes to kids participating in the Make-a-Wish Foundation” (NFL.com/draft). Mix that character with his skills, smarts, and leadership, and this is a guy that anyone would want in their the locker room. With so many risky character guys, we need to keep that balance of good leaders to keep everyone working and focused.

Two receivers

-The rams lost two receivers, and while they have five on the roster (enough to play a game with), only two, Chris Givens and Austin Pettis, has any true game experience, while two have never played in a real game. I don’t see it as being unlikely that the rams draft two wide receivers. Remember from part one, I mentioned Fisher and Snead saying making strength a power for a position group, well why would that only apply to CB. Last year the rams drafted two CBs, two WRs, and two RBs. I believe them when they say they want to build through the draft and make a strength a power, because last year there were a lot more needs than this year and we had ten picks, which was enough to cover everything if one player per need was drafted. But when you only draft one per need you still have a need because there is no depth, causing the position to lack strength and never being viewed as a power. Now I know that Les Snead said he was not interested in drafting a player like Da’Rick Rogers, because the team already has a guy of that skill set in Brian Quick. But if he is available in the 4th the value of that pick may be to enticing to pass up. Here is a guy that last year was being talked about as a possible late 1st guy. Now due to failed drug tests his stock has dropped to late 2-4. Also what about a guy like Aaron Dobson. I really really like Dobson, he has sleeper written all over him. I know the team interviewed the guy at the Sr bowl, so they have clearly shown interest, but how strong is that interest? Dobson happens to have, statistically, the best hands in the draft. He runs pretty decent routes, and ran a 4.41 at his pro day. His speed was the biggest question mark of his game. Dobson is being projected as a 3-4 guy. He carries awesome value because if he had not played for Marshall or this draft was not so deep at receiver we are talking about an early to mid-second rd guy. Then there is Marques Wilson. He is a long, contested, highlight reel catch, kind of guy. The rams have shown no interest, as will most teams after literally quitting on his team and throwing the coaching staff under the bus afterwards. This sounds familiar though. Didn’t a guy by the name of Mike Williams do the same, then go on to be drafted in the fourth round of the draft by the bucs, and thus far has had a trouble free, highly productive first three years (averaging 64/910/8), on a run first team, with inconsistent quarterback play? That sounds pretty accurate to me. So far the rams have shown the willingness to take risks on players (4 in last yrs draft, Quick 33rd overall, and Janoris, Givens, and Johnson all had character flags). Maybe this will be the case with Wilson as well. The last guy to look out for is Chris Harper. This guy is an Anquan Bolden clone, from top to bottom. At 6’ 228lbs with 4.5 speed he certainly looks like a young Bolden. And built like a rock, with exceptional strength, and strong, consistent, reliable hands, he certainly plays like Bolden. Reports also say he is a big locker room guy, with a lot of personality. Again, with so many risky character guys, we need to keep that balance of good leaders to keep everyone working and focused. Harper has exceptional focus when catching the ball, it’s just too bad he had Colin Klein as a QB instead Andrew Luck or someone. He is being projected as 4-late 5 guy. Much like Wilson, the rams have not shown any known interest, but its their job to scout and create a scenario of that player being on the team with everyone available prospect that can be had.

Pick 22 trade down

-I said last year when we made the RGIII trade that I doubt if these picks are for drafting, I think they are for trade bait to load up on more picks. Just think if we trade a first for next yrs first and do it again next yr, and again the yr after that, etc etc… The rams will always have extra picks, creating better and more flexible draft scenarios. I remember a time when the patriots use to do this. Every yr they would take a first and trade it, and get back a pick or two between rounds 2-5, plus a first next yr. It gave them so much fire power and the ability to build a strong roster. The rams are looking poised to do that. And after showing no hesitation last year with the willingness to move back expect more of the same this year. Last year the rams traded back 3 times. That is a pretty high number. But it was genius since in return we went from 20 picks between years 2012-14, to 26 picks over the same time frame, with the possibility of future compensatory picks. The reason I say pick 22 is because I honestly believe the rams draft boards top five players consist of:

1. Chance Warmack

2. Sheldon Richardson

3. Tavon Austin

4. Alec Olgetree

5. Jonathon Cooper

I came to this conclusion by looking at all the players that the rams beat writer Jim Thomas has said to be players of interest (the most plugged in to the rams man that’s not on the rams staff). I then looked at needs, player skills, 10 big boards, checked Fisher’s history for style of player he likes for each need, what positions have I heard Fisher and Snead mention the most this yr, used last yrs draft and rookie free agent signings as a reference, and finally looked at the list comprised from all that and say who has a chance to actually be available at 16. It took one full day. One of these players is almost a sure fire guarantee to be available at 16 making them the best player on the board and a player of need meaning the rams will probably draft him and then trade the other first rounder. About right now it should be becoming ever so clear why two first round picks are such a big deal. I would trade one every time, unless the two players available at each pick is someone like Jerry Rice and Adrian Peterson. Trade back; get a pick for next yr, and probably a 2 and 4 this yr. And with drafts like this one when the depth and talent is in rounds 2-4 what better time to do it. But I don’t think it ends there. I am expecting two trade backs from us. For example say we trade pick 22 to the jags for pick 33, then trade back to pick 40 and get in return another 4th..that would be NICE!!! Or say we trade 22 to the jags and get pick 33, draft a first rd guy that just missed the first, then trade pick 46 back to 55 and get a 4th. Oh yea you definitely read that and smiled. That would give us 10 picks, 6 of which are in rounds 1-4 the best and deepest part of this draft. Look for the rams to trade back more than once much like last yr in order to continue the double dip (two WR, two S, two LB) technique they have shown interest in, and has paid dividends. If you think it hasn’t look at it this way; imagine if we only took one CB, WR, and RB, and it was the first of each group. That would have meant we would have played last yr with Quick, who saw about 100 plays all yr (struggling to adapt), so no Givens and his 710 yds from scrimmage production, Jenkins who was the best CB in the draft so we r good there, but Tru played extremely well just was overshadowed, and we would have had Isaiah who carried the ball a whopping 10 times and had 3 fumbles on the year, and runs very timid/indecisive and waits for the hole to much rather than hitting it. This is why double dipping and depth is good. All made possible by trading down. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, expect to see more of this method this year.

Here is a list of the Visits and meetings set up courtesy of walterfootball.com

Ezekiel Ansah, DL, BYU (SR bowl meeting)
Terron Armstead, OL, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
David Bass, DL, Missouri Western (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Xavier Brewer, CB, Clemson (East West shrine meeting)
Sanders Commings, DB, Georgia (Very Interested)
Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall (SR bowl meeting)
Jack Doyle, TE, Western Kentucky (SR bowl meeting)
Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson (SR bowl meeting)
D.J. Fluker%, OT, Alabama (PRIVATE WORKOUT) (COMBINE MEETING)
Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa (East West shrine meeting)
Josh Johnson, CB, Purdue (East West shrine meeting)
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (COMBINE MEETING)
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (COMBINE MEETING)
Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati (COMBINE MEETING)
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Robert Lester, DB, Alabama (SR BOWL PRIVATE MEETING)
Kyle Long, OL, Oregon (PRIVATE MEETING)
Vance McDonald, TE, Rice (SR BOWL MEETING)
Xavier Nixon, OL, Florida (SR BOWL MEETING)
Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Will Pericak, DL, Colorado (East West shrine meeting)
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech (PRIVATE MEETING) (SENT THE WHOLE STAFF)
Bacarri Rambo, DB, Georgia (SR BOWL MEETING)
Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina (SR BOWL MEETING)
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri (COMBINE MEETING)
Desmond Trufant, DB, Washington (SR BOWL MEETING)
Conner Vernon, WR, Duke (SR BOWL PRIVATE MEETING)
Earl Watford, OL, James Madison (East West shrine meeting)
Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State (COMBINE MEETING)
Melvin White, CB, Louisiana Lafayette (East West shrine meeting)
Brandon Williams, DL, Missouri Southern (PRIVATE WORKOUT)
Nathan Williams, LB, Ohio State (East West shrine meeting)
Sylvester Williams, DL, North Carolina (SR BOWL MEETING)
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, DB, Connecticut (SR BOWL MEETING)

As always thank you all for reading, commenting, and recommending. It is greatly appreciated. Also thank you for bearing with me on this long two part article. See/read you all in three weeks!!!! (BDAY WEEK LOL)

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