FanPost

Sack City


Boy, was I all wrong about the Rams draft. Only players that I saw them grabbing in reference to my previous mocks were E.J. Gaines and Lamarcus Joyner. Oh well...not like anyone else did much better with their respective mocks. I did, however, come across some random Turf Show Timer that successfully predicted the first round picks, though, I can't exactly remember who it was. Anyway...enjoy my RAMdom thoughts.

AARON DONALD...

By now, we've all seen the stats. We've all seen the highlights. We all know exactly what we have on our hands: arguably, the best pass rusher in this year's draft. But with that said, will he be a guaranteed starter come opening kickoff? People too often forget about Kendall Langford, who for the past two seasons has been our best interior linemen. He is set to make $5 million this season, and I still expect for him to earn it. When Robert Quinn was drafted, he was seen as the successor to aging James Hall, who had come off a 10.5 sack season the year Quinn was drafted. Quinn would start off blocking kicks on special teams and then the following year, would be named the starter opposite Chris Long. Difference between Donald and Quinn is the fact that Quinn was away from the game of football after receiving a year long suspension from the NCAA, and he had to physically and mentally get prepared to perform on the gridiron. For many years, it was taboo for a rookie to grab a starting spot from a well performing veteran. That time has passed. However, I still believe Brockers and Langford will still be penciled in as week one starters, barring injury, and Donald will be brought in on heavy rotation with a strong possibility to be named a starter later on in the season. Helluva pick by our front office.

LAMARCUS JOYNER...

Theres so many critics of Joyner due to his minimal size (5'8" 184 lbs). Hmm...funny. I seem to remember two Pro Bowl defensive backs with the exact same size (Tim Jennings and Brandon Flowers) as well as a plethora of other starting defensive backs with the same size who have performed adequately, most notably, Joyner's biggest comparison, Tyrann Mathieu. Joyner has plenty of versatility in the backfield as he played slot, safety and outside corner for the defending NCAA champions. Jeff Fisher is well aware of this as well as the need for help as a slot corner and a safety. If you can remember, this is exactly what last year's starting FS, Rodney McLeod was asked to do. With that said, I personally believe it is a high possibility that Joyner will be the starting FS when the season rolls around. Fisher stated Joyner is a cornerback...ok. Fine. That doesn't mean decisions won't change. I can see Joyner as the free range safety we lack in 4-3 situations, with a swap to the slot during the nickel packages. Once again...this is something we saw a lot from McLeod last season. When McLeod was put into the slot, former Ram Darian Stewart would step into the safety spot along with McDonald. The major difference this year is Stewart is no longer on the team, and any of the new core of players stepping into that formation would be an upgrade, rather it be McLeod going to play deep or if Greg Williams wants his safeties to be interchanging, which would pretty much open a spot up for 4th round pick, Mo Alexander.

TRE MASON...

Zac Stacy will be the day one starter. No if, ands or buts about it...unless he gets injured. Zac Stacy seemed to get nicked up a lot last season. After several plays, you would see him favoring his arm, shoulder, leg, etc. That's due to his style of running. On the final plays of our MNF game against Seattle, Stacy, who was tearing it up all game, was on the sideline due to a lingering injury. We eventually lost that game. Stacy was only brought in during the final play. I'd assume we chose to go with that awful fade route instead of running it up the gut (which we had been doing all game) because Stacy was injured through the entire final drive. That's just one example. Plenty of tape shows Stacy calling for another RB to be brought in after a play due to these nicks that he suffers. While Benny Cunningham averaged over 5 yards a carry, most of that came in two games against poor run defenses (Colts and Bears). Aside from that, Cunningham and Stacy are nearly a mirror image of another in terms of their running style. Boom. Boom. Boom. The Rams needed some lightening to go with all that thunder to change the pace up. They have that now in Tre Mason. A lot of criticism comes Mason's way as many say he can't block/receive. Well, I agree on the block, but as far as receiving, he's no worse of a receiver than Stacy was in college. Love this pick and think he'll prove what Richardson did in 2012 and what Pead never could. *Sidenote: this adds to the Rams being a proponent of second generation characters. Mason is the son of De La Soul member, Vincent Mason.

STEDMAN BAILEY...

When will athletes ever fucking learn? Sheesh. I was one of Bailey's biggest supporters until the news released of his suspension. I was really hoping he would be Bradford's go-to guy, as we never really saw them two on the field at once. With this suspension, the likelihood of Britt making the final roster increases. I just don't think any of us can take another year of having Austin Pettis as a starter. This would be a good time for Brian Quick to step it up and show the world why we chose him over Jeffery.

OFFENSIVE LINE...

It's well known that Jake Long won't be ready come week 1. Soooo...what will our opening day offensive line look like? I'm thinking somewhere on the lines of this...

LT Saffold LG Robinson C Wells RG Jones RT Barksdale.

This would present an excellent chance for Barrett Jones to show what he's made of and possibly, campaign for a shot for the long term center in replacement of the aging and often injured Scott Wells.

RAY RAY ARMSTRONG VS. JO-LONN DUNBAR

This is one battle I'm really looking forward to. Dunbar had an off year last season while Armstrong showed tons of potential. Word on the web is Armstrong is really buckling down and is set to take off this season. Then of course, there's Darren Bates who is the obvious dark horse for the Will position.

Lets go Rams!

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