The draft is right around the corner, so I thought that this would be a perfect time to review the Rams 2008 draft. The Rams were coming off a 3-13 season, and hoping that a good draft would help them improve on that record. Yeah, well seeing the the Rams went 2-14, the next season that plan didn't go well.
I put a draft grade next to every player the Rams drafted in 2008. I'm not going to lie; I am a harsh evaluator. Here is how I came up with the grades, how much of an impact the player made, what his role is now, and who we could have drafted. I know that hindsight is 20/20, but it's interesting who we could have had.
Round 1 - Overall Pick # 2 - Chris Long - DE Grade: A+
Yes, Chris Long has received my highest praise in this draft. Long isn't the best Defensive end in the NFL, but he has developed into a great player. The only person in the top 5 I would have took over Long is Matt Ryan. Long will be a great cornerstone for the Rams defense for years.
Round 2 - Overall Pick # 33 -Donnie Avery - WR Grade: C+
Donnie Avery is player that gave me a lot of difficulty when I was grading him. Avery has been injured a couple of times, and being injured for the whole season didn't help. Avery could become a great player, or he could be cut next season. Adding Josh Mcdaniels could help Avery reach that next level if he can stay healthy. I couldn't get anyone who might be cut next season, because of performance and injuries a B, but with his potential he gets a C+
Round 3 - Overall Pick # 65 - John Greco - G Grade: D
I'm sure this is where things will get ugly. John Greco has been on the Rams for 3 years, and has only started 4 games. Greco just hasn't shown anything special. During the 2010 season, guard was a huge weakness, and the Rams didn't even think about putting him into games. Greco couldn't beat Adam Goldberg for the starting OG spot, and Goldberg is fit to be a good backup. I feel that at best, Greco will be a good backup, who will be a good situational starter. Think about the players we could have got instead of him. Jamaal Charles who went 8 picks later, and Early Doucet who went 16 picks later.
Round 4 - Overall Pick #; 101 - Justin King - CB Grade: D
This was a good pick when it was made. However King missed his whole rookie season. During the 2009 season it seemed like King would be a pretty good player. Then 2010 happened, and King barely got any playing time. King could still end up a good player, but I don't see it.
Round 4 - Overall Pick # 128- Keenan Burton - WR Grade: F
He is no longer on the team, so the pick gets an F. The Rams could have selected Tashard Choice or Xavier Adibi.
Round 5 - Overall Pick # 157 - Roy Schuening - G Grade: F
He is no longer on the team, so the pick gets an F. The Rams could have drafted Jonathan Goff.
Round 7 - Overall Pick # 228- Chris Chamberlain - LB Grade:D
What can I say about Chamberlain? He was a 7th round pick who managed to stay on the team, so he gets bonus points for that. Chamberlain is a pretty good special teams player, but he shouldn't be trusted to start a whole season. The only other player I would select would have been King Dunlap.
Round 7 - Overall Pick # 252 - David Vobora - OLB Grade: D+
This player has a special place in my heart. How many Mr. Irrelevant's have stayed on a team for more than 3 seasons? You have to wonder what would have happened, if Vobora ended up starting those 4 games in 2009. He isn't the best player, but another good special team player. As of right now, I would be okay with him starting at a linebacker spot, if the Rams had to.
Final Grade for 2008 draft C
You have one cornerstone in Long. You have the two players who got cut by the Rams. Avery could become a starter, or he might just be used as a deep threat. Then you have two underachievers in Justin King and John Greco. Lastly you have the two 7th round linebackers, who although they are still on the team, they most likely won't be more than rotational guys, or good special team guys.