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Deep and Wide: Rams and WRs in the Draft

Ted Ginn, the lightening quick Ohio State wide receiver, garnered lots of ink in his first day at the combine. Considered by many to be the fastest player in the draft, Ginn said that he hasn't run a 40 in "a couple years" and won't run the drill this week, opting instead to put on a show at Ohio State's senior day on March 10. Ginn reportedly runs a 4.3 second forty, the same time as the fastest forty from last year's combine posted by Rams safety O.J. Atogwe.

There's been plenty of talk about the Rams taking a WR in the first round and Ginn's one of several names that get mentioned an awful lot. While Ginn's WR skills develop in the NFL he would give the Rams' special teams a huge boost by becoming this year's version of Devin Hester, only, hopefully, with a bit more football sense. In a related note, when asked about stepping into a defensive back role, Ginn noted that he'd be willing to explore the opportunity. With Ginn at CB and Atogwe at S, the Rams would have an incredibly fast backfield on defense. The article reference above notes the appeal of a multifaceted player in New England, but we've seen Linehan display a decided preference for players pulling multiple duties where possible. Of course, Ginn's value to the Rams is as a wide receiver, but some time on defense and special teams probably couldn't hurt his development.

Nevertheless, it could be a dead issue, as one NFL GM, Rick Smith from the Texans, felt that Ginn would still be top 10 material, even with out running the 40 this week.

Sports Illustrated notes a couple of interesting sleeper picks that might be of interest to the Rams in their combine. TST reader jroman cited this report earlier in the week mentioning K-State WR Yamon Figurs. The speedy WR isn't on a lot of radars right now, and could be a real steal after the first round or two, until that sub-4.3 forty gets him some more attention. Figurs was one of the top deep threats in the Big 12 and another top-flight kick return man. He could be a real pick for the Rams he falls to the third round.

Paul Soliai/DT/Utah: Already anointed by scouts as the next top Polynesian performer at the combine, Soliai is ready to produce some eye-popping numbers. He weighs 338 pounds, is expected to run under five seconds and should complete 35 repetitions on the bench.
Yamon Figurs/WR-RS/Kansas State: Figurs will be one of the fastest players at the combine. The sleek pass-catcher could be one of the few athletes who runs faster than 4.3 in the 40.

Now that we're on the subject of wide receivers in the draft, here's Sports Illustrated's look at the top 10 prospects at that position.

TST reader Big Red provided a link yesterday to a mock draft at that has the Rams taking South Carolina WR Sidney Rice. The SI article linked above gives some more insight into Rice, comparing him to Plaxico Burress. Rice has had a terrific college career in college football's top division. He was named to the All SEC 1st team in his freshman year. In just two college seasons, he's posted 1,000+ yards, 70 or more receptions and double digit TDs each year.