Random Ramsdom: January 28: St. Louis Rams - Super Bowl Week

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This weeks Super Bowl marks the end of the 2013-14 NFL season. Our full attention will be turned to the off season: managing the tight salary cap, free agency, cap casualties, the NFL draft, and a plethora of mock drafts. The news may be cold right now, but will be heating up in the coming weeks.

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Very proud moment for Rams fans:

The draft day plot thickens:

Can Les Snead Win GM Battle?: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Trent Baalke and John Schneider have put together impressive teams as architects of the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, respectively. Can Rams GM Les Snead surpass them?

2014 NFL Draft Top 200 Big Board: SB Nation - Mocking The Draft

MTD's Matthew Fairburn presents his updated big board, which now includes the top 200 prospects in the nation.

Lindenwood's Desir makes NFL scouts take notice: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Local small-school cornerback prospect Pierre Desir is getting plenty of attention, as the evaluation process continues leading up to the draft in May.

A storm is brewing: National Football Post

Did the NFLPA sell the best players in the draft down the river with the new CBA signed in 2011?

"In a survey of 10 NFL general managers and/or salary cap specialists, all of them said they expect almost every player from the first round in 2011 to be tendered for a fifth year in their contract rather than sign a long-term extension this year."

Snead needs to find his poker face: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bernie Miklasz ponders whether Les Snead should be keeping his cards closer to the vest this off season. Is Snead showing too much of his hand?

Vetting potential trade partners: Falcons: ESPN NFC West

Over the next 6 weeks, ESPN's Nick Wagoner examines potential trade partners for the Rams' #2 selection in the upcoming NFL draft. First on the list: The Atlanta Falcons, who hold the #6 overall selection.

Draft Prospects Highlight Reel: CB - Justin Gilbert - Oklahoma State

Justin Gilbert #4 Oklahoma State Career Highlights (via Next2Greatness)

Looking at Jeff Fisher's draft history might indicate who the Rams will draft in 2014: Cover 32 Rams

Ted Bryant examines Jeff Fisher's entire draft history as a head coach, and charts every pick he's made. The results confirm what many already surmise: don't expect Jeff Fisher to draft an offensive lineman in the first round.

Report From Rams' Season Ticket Holder Luncheon With Kevin Demoff: Rams News Now

Some interesting news from Kevin Demoff regarding the stadium/lease, Sam Bradford, and Rodger Saffold.

Improving the defense is Rams' blueprint for a successful 2014 NFL Draft: Rant Sports NFL

As Les Snead noted in an interview this past week at the Senior Bowl, in a division like the NFC West, you better be able to play defense...tough defense.

A St. Louis Rams Complete 2014 NFL Mock Draft: S.I. - Fansided

DE Jadeveon Clowney, OT Zach Martin, and S Deone Bucannon head the list of this complete 7 round Rams mock draft.

Want a QB? Best to draft early: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Let's hope QB-hungry teams pay attention to the QB draft results tabulated by Bernie Miklasz, when contemplating trading up to the #2 spot in the upcoming NFL draft.

Stat Facts Of The Week: 3rd Down Conversion Efficiency

3rd Down Conversion Efficiency
Rank Team 3rd Down Attempts 3rd Downs Converted 3rd Down Efficiency %
1 San Diego Chargers 206 101 49.0 %
2 Denver Broncos 205 95 46.3 %
3 New Orleans Saints 221 97 43.9 %
4 Carolina Panthers 208 91 43.8 %
5 Atlanta Falcons 207 89 43.0 %
6 Detroit Lions 221 95 43.0 %
7 Chicago Bears 197 83 42.1 %
8 Tennessee Titans 227 94 41.4 %
9 Green Bay Packers 216 89 41.2 %
10 Cincinnati Bengals 225 92 40.9 %
11 Washington Redskins 235 95 40.4 %
12 New York Jets 231 90 39.0 %
13 Philadelphia Eagles 213 83 39.0 %
14 Pittsburgh Steelers 216 82 38.0 %
15 Indianapolis Colts 213 80 37.6 %
16 New England Patriots 221 83 37.6 %
17 Seattle Seahawks 204 76 37.3 %
18 San Francisco 49ers 211 77 36.5 %
19 Minnesota Vikings 214 78 36.4 %
20 Baltimore Ravens 253 92 36.4 %
21 Houston Texans 231 83 35.9 %
22 Arizona Cardinals 210 74 35.2 %
23 Oakland Raiders 223 78 35.0 %
24 Miami Dolphins 217 76 35.0 %
25 Cleveland Browns 237 83 35.0 %
26 Dallas Cowboys 180 63 35.0 %
27 Kansas City Chiefs 213 74 34.7 %
28 St. Louis Rams 212 73 34.4 %
29 Buffalo Bills 244 83 34.0 %
30 New York Giants 211 69 32.7 %
31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 221 69 31.2 %
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 225 70 31.1 %

The success of a team is partially dependent on its ability to convert on third downs. Efficiency in this area helps teams sustain drives, and score points. The Rams ranked 28th in this vital statistic for the 2013 season. The chart is courtesy of "Sporting Charts".

Senior Bowl Review: Rotoworld

Respected NFL draft analyst Josh Norris reviews players that stood out during Senior Bowl week, and selects his top-25 Senior Bowlers.

One Ram who needs to see the field more in 2014: Cover 32 Rams

That one Ram would be none other than wide receiver Stedman Bailey.

Sam Bradford Injury Impact: Brian Quick: Ramblin' Fan

Did Sam Bradford's season-ending injury have a negative impact on the development of wide receiver Brian Quick?

The NFL Has A Major Underclassmen Problem: S.I. - MMQB

A record 98 underclassmen declared for the NFL draft this year. Why the rush to enter the NFL? The 2011 CBA.

"If people say there are a lot of juniors this year, that means there might not be a lot of seniors next year and teams will say, ‘Let’s maybe use future picks for this year,’" said Rams general manager Les Snead. "You never know how that’s going to work. But I do think when it’s deep, that it does affect strategy. It just depends on how creative people get."

"I’m ecstatic about where we’re sitting now with the 2 and 13," Snead said. "The deeper this (draft) gets, all of a sudden you may have more quality. You may have a second and a third that you might feel good about trading to get lower and with more picks. Should be fun."

Top Heavy Spending In The NFL: Over The Cap

OTC takes a look at the top 5 player salary cap charges per team for 2014. The Rams rank 7th highest in the NFL.

On This Day In Sports History

1960 - The NFL announces the awarding of franchises to the Dallas Cowboys (1960) and the Minnesota Vikings (1961).

A nostalgic look back at Eric Dickerson's record 248 yard rushing game against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1986 playoffs (link)

Eric Dickerson 248 (via Robert McDorman)

St. Louis Rams have "nice piece of real estate" in draft: NFL.com - Video

Rams GM Les Snead was interviewed by the NFL Network during Senior Bowl week, and shares his thoughts on this years draft.

Eli Manning's Tips To Big Brother Peyton For Playing In The Super Bowl In New York: Sports Pickle

A tongue-in-cheek look at sibling rivalry, and what Peyton Manning can expect playing in brother Eli's house.

NFL's move towards big receivers means need for big corners: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

12 of the top 15 wide-outs in receiving yards for 2013 were 6'2" and taller. Jim Thomas suggests the way to counter that trend is with bigger cornerbacks.

NFL Draft Redux: Sports Illustrated

S.I.'s Don Banks shadow-mocks the 2013 draft. The Rams - instead of Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree - end up selecting WR Cordarrelle Patterson and OLB Sio Moore.

2013 All-NFC West Team: Pro Football Focus

PFF includes three Rams on its year-end team. The inclusions of John Hekker and Robert Quinn were no surprise. The surprise is Rodger Saffold...at guard.

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2014 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation - Mocking The Draft

MTD offers up its first two round mock draft of the year. The Rams trade down to #6 (Atlanta), and select WR Sammy Watkins.  S Calvin Pryor is the selection at #13. In the second round, the Rams select OT Antonio Richardson and DT Will Sutton. The Rams receive a 2nd round pick from Atlanta for moving down 4 spots. A couple of thoughts: if that's all the Rams end up getting for the #2 overall draft pick, I would be very disappointed in the front office. With the likely abundance of quality guards in the second round (and the obvious need), I'd like the Rams to address that position sooner than later in the draft.

St. Louis Rams' Top Needs And Fits In The 2014 Draft: Bleacher Report

Offensive linemen Greg Robinson and Cyril Richardson, plus defensive backs Justin Gilbert and Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, head the list of players that could fill needs for the Rams in the upcoming draft.

Quinn and Hekker impress as Team Rice wins Pro Bowl: Ramblin' Fan

Both John Hekker and Robert Quinn played well in last weekends Pro Bowl, proving they belonged with the elite of the league. Hekker punted 4 times for a 47 yard average. Quinn had a sack, and tipped a pass that led to an interception.

A Tale Of Two Cities: Grantland

Bill Barnwell takes an in-depth look at how the Denver Broncos' historic offense will fare, against Seattle's dominant defense, in the Super Bowl. My prediction? Still sticking with the Broncos, as I have for many weeks: Denver 23 - Seattle 20.

How The Seahawks Built A Super Bowl Team: S.I. Audibles

A detailed, insightful article revealing how the Seahawks were built, from the ground up.

St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

The Rams currently have $172,529 in Available Salary Cap Space, second-lowest in the NFL. They will likely carry this amount forward into the 2014 off season as a credit towards the 2014 salary cap.

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Kiper Re-Grades Rams' 2013 NFL Draft: ESPN

Mel Kiper Jr. provides team-by-team re-grades for the 2013 draft. Kiper originally gave the Rams an A- for their selections. That grade has been reduced to a B+ after the 2013 season. I have to disagree with him on this one. Zac Stacy, Tavon Austin, Alec Ogletree, and T.J. McDonald are all starters, and should continue to shine and grow. Still an A- in my mind.

Who Rams Fans Should Root For In Super Bowl: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bernie Miklasz believes Rams fans should be cheering on the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Can you bring yourself to do it?

St. Louis Rams' Team Report: Yahoo Sports

A unit-by-unit analysis of the Rams' 2013 season and roster.

Rams Chat Rewind: ESPN Sports Nation

Nick Wagoner continues his weekly question and answer segment, touching on all subjects related to the Rams.

How did the Seahawks get here?: CBS Sports

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora examines how the Seattle Seahawks were built, rising from a middling record, to the playoffs, and now the Super Bowl.

Jake Long had his ACL surgery: Pro Football Talk

Jake Long's torn ACL was repaired last week without issue. The injured MCL was expected to need 4-6 weeks to heal before the ACL could be operated on. Luckily for the Rams, the MCL healed faster than expected. Will this positive development influence their off season plans?

How the Denver Broncos built their Super Bowl team: S.I. - Audibles

Since the Rams are moving forward in establishing a Super Bowl-worthy team, it's always a good idea to look at how other teams - like the Broncos - have built theirs.

Top 10 Cornerbacks in The 2014 NFL Draft: Bleacher Report

BR lists their top ten cornerbacks entering the 2014 NFL Draft.

Tony Softli addresses concerns regarding the impact of Jake Long's Injury:

Draft and free agency capital used on wide receiver/tight end positions since 2011

The accompanying chart presents the Rams' draft selections at the WR/TE positions since 2011:

Round 1 2 3 4
Year
2011 Lance Kendricks Austin Pettis Greg Salas
2012 Brian Quick Chris Givens
2013 Tavon Austin (Tavon Austin) Stedman Bailey
Totals 1 3 2 2

In addition, the Rams acquired TE Jared Cook in 2013 via free agency. Note that Tavon Austin accounts for two picks on the chart, as the Rams gave up their second round selection to move up in the draft for Austin.

Favorite Sports Of Americans - Chart Courtesy Of "Business Insider"

Most Popular Sports

Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Tuesday: Led Zeppelin - Dazed And Confused

Led Zeppelin - Dazed And Confused "1969" [ Good Quality ] (via ubackdoorman)

Please have a great Tuesday and a Ramtastic week!!

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