Sorry for my absence here yesterday, just kind of turned into one of those days. You know how it is.
Let's get right back to the draft, inching closer day by day. I think we all seemed pretty satisfied with the Okoye pick in the SBN mock draft. If only he could actually fall to the Rams. It's not unlikely, but I won't be surprised if someone grabs him before the 13th pick rolls around. TST member Elric raised a good point in the comments yesterday about Okoye, noting that he probably won't become an NFL nose tackle. His description of Okoye as "a fast strong young man who will take on double teams to open up single blocks for those players on either side of him, or will beat single blocks to get to the QB himself" and a comparison to Detroit's Cory Redding strikes me as dead on, and I think Okoye's lack of size - be it the 15 or so pounds Branch has on him or the Gilbert Brown DT prototype - as well as his speed and playing skill don't suit him for the role. On the line with Kennedy still at NT, Okoye's presence could significantly improve the defense by opening things up for the rest of the line and keeping the linebackers from getting blocked by the extra attacker that should be stuck on Okoye. Again, I don't think anyone will confuse the Rams 2008 defense with the Bears 2006 defense, but a solidly mediocre defense should give the Rams an extra couple of wins and a sure shot at the playoffs.
I'm sure Jimmy Kennedy, heading into free agency after this season and not much of a case for big $$, hopes things work out this way.
Draft Tek, a data driven mock draft site, has teamed up with us for the SBN Mock Draft. Their system had the Rams taking Okoye in the first round as well. It's a really interesting site and their analysis adds a great dimension to the mock draft discussion.
Grant Wistrom is retiring. As he said earlier, he needed to figure out whether or not he had the 110% that it takes to compete. The guy had a long career and played his heart out, so I'm not surprised. This game takes a real toll on the human body, and Wistrom gave it his all every single down he was on the field. Despite those seasons with the Seahawks, he'll always be a Ram. We wish him the best, and wonder about a potential summer conversion.
If Claude Terrell needs some time for family issues, he's certainly entitled to it. However, the Rams need depth on their offensive line and Terrell gives them quality depth - if not as a back up then as a starter. After missing most of last season with an injury, you'd really like to see him in the offseason conditioning program though. However, it sounds like he'll get there, and that this isn't some kind of petty dispute resulting from the back and forth on the wrist surgery decision.
I still like the idea of drafting a offensive tackle with some real potential sometime after the first two or three rounds. If it's a late enough pick and they work out, then at the very least the Rams have depth and in the best case scenario they have a potential replacement on the right side for when Barron replaces Pace.
Dominique Byrd pleads not guilty in his little dustup with the law. I wonder what the team fallout will be? I can't imagine the Rams, so dependent on Leonard Little on defense, can give the cold shoulder to a guy for a DUI. However, I do wonder, with McMichael now on the team, what value Byrd or Klop might have on the trade market.