St. Louis Rams TE and 2006 second round draft pick Joe Klopfenstein got the axe today, as the Rams trimmed their roster to meet the league's mandate to pair down to 75 player rosters today.
Also getting cut were WR Jarrett Byers, CB Marcus Brown and C Daniel Sanders. That leaves one more cut to go. Could that move be putting Brooks Foster on IR? Stay tuned.
Klopfenstein had decent enough hands during his days playing at Colorado, but his, um, potential never developed at the NFL level. The Klop pick, along with Brian Leonard, symbolize the Rams drafts of the Linehan era. Klop did not have the speed required of NFL tight ends to keep defensive backs honest on seam routes. Klop never developed as a blocker either, leading to more than one mistake or two in pass protection. A tight end without speed and blocking ability in the NFL...
Like Brian Leonard, his skill set was somewhere in between two roles. Both players were absurd wastes of a second round pick, a pick that could have been used on solid contributors. In 2006, the Rams could have selected Maurice Jones-Drew, Cedric Griffin, Pro Bowl OT Marcus McNeill (at a time when the Rams could have really used OT depth), Darryl Tapp, Devin Hester, yada, yada, yada. Hindsight is always 20-20, but it should have been clear their were more projectable, better prospects to be had with the pick the Rams used on a TE lacking speed and blocking ability.
The 2006 draft is the perfect example of why the Rams are going through a rebuilding program, even though nobody on the team will call it that. Guys taken that year in the draft would be gearing up for their fourth year in the league, emerging as reliable starters, if not key building blocks. This year, the Rams are giving their first round pick from 2006, CB Tye Hill, one last chance to stick on the roster...and he's probably going to lose a starting role to 2007 third round pick Jonathan Wade. The Rams had 10 draft picks that season, more than they've had since. Of those 10 picks, only HIll, DE Victor Adeyanju (4th round) and OL Mark Setterstrom (7th round) remain with the team, the later two having given the Rams solid depth at their respective positions (don't forget that Setts has been a starter and probably could be a regular starter). For the Rams, the 2006 draft was a colossal failure. I get pissed every time I think about it. Breathe, Van, breathe. It's a new day for Rams football.