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Rams make cuts; remembering the 2005 draft

Another round of cuts from the Rams today. The most surprising names on the list: Marques Hagans and Jerome Carter. Ok, not that surprising, but I did think Hagans maybe had a shot. Now, among the fringe WRs, I'd say Stanley has the best chance to stay on the active roster...maybe. According to the piece at the official Rams site, the team is interested in keeping Hagans for the practice squad. He'll have to clear waivers first. 

Jerome Carter's release means Eric Bassey most likely has a spot on the roster, adding depth at safety and role playing on special teams. That's a good move, IMHO. Remember that Ron Bartell has been working some at safety, though his primary m.o. remains CB. Carter was a fifth round pick in the 2005 draft, and like a number of Rams picks that year, he never lived up to his potential. (more on the 2005 draft below)

The other cuts came as no surprise: Matt Caddell, WR; Nick Cleaver, TE; Willie Williams, DT; Henry Smith, DT; Tanard Davis, CB; Cortney Grixby, CB; Donovan Raiola, C; and Marcus Riley, LB. Based on our limited viewing of these guys, I'd say, besides Hagans and Carter, Marcus Riley has the best chance of catching on somewhere else. 

Carter becomes the latest disappointment from the 2005 draft, when the Rams took a whopping 11 players. Also drafted in fourth round by the Rams, none other than classy Claude Terrell. Still, compared to others, the '05 draft turned out ok for the Rams. Of the 11 players taken, the four still with the Rams are starters.

First round pick Alex Barron hasn't lived up to his first round potential, but he has been a solid everyday player that hasn't missed a start in two seasons. Second round pick Ron Bartell battled inconsistency, but finally looks to be over the hump. He's starting at nickel for the Rams, and his performance down the stretch late last season and through this preseason could make him a starting CB for plenty of teams in the league. He's scheduled to be an UFA after this season, so see if that elevates his play. The Rams hit pay dirt in the third round, drafting O.J. Atogwe with the second pick in the round. They drafted Richie Incognito in the same round, 81st overall. 

Two other players taken by the Rams are still in the league. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, and Madison Hedgecock, FB, both seventh round picks, have roles with other teams after getting jettisoned by the current Rams regime.

Those four players are solid contributors, and in one case, one of the league's elite at his position. But it's still just four of six, and after watching the game last night, it's clear that those drafts of recent past have hurt the Rams, leaving them without quality depth players. 

Contrast that with this year's draft. Our first round pick, despite a slow start, is widely expected to be a star. The two WRs, second rounder Donnie Avery and fourth rounder Keenan Burton, already look like solid players, with Burton maybe the steal of the draft. They should at a minimum give the Rams good depth at WR down the road. Third round pick John Greco won't replace Orlando Pace, but he already looks like a winner at G. CB Justin King, the other fourth rounder, could have been 4th on the depth chart this year had the injury bug not bit him. People are raving about one of the two LBs taken in the draft, Chris Chamberlain, and David Vobora, while still raw, could be a keeper. The biggest question mark of the draft is fifth round pick, G Roy Schuening. His ability was praised heading into the draft, but he had trouble adjusting in preseason. Still, with his profile and supposed dedication, he should be able to pick it up eventually. 

Truthfully, considering poor drafts have been the main culprit in long stretch of mediocrity for the Rams, Billy Devaney has been the most important offseason addition.