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Getting excited about Gurley

The reactions - to the St. Louis Rams drafting Todd Gurley with the tenth overall selection - are both varied and intense. Let's take a look at the immensely talented ball carrier from the University of Georgia...

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams were on the clock in round 1, the moment many Rams fans had been waiting for since the final seconds ticked away in Seattle last year.  For the fans of the 20 NFL teams who miss the playoffs, the NFL Draft signals the beginning of their return to the post season.  For a fan of teams like the Rams, with long playoff droughts but seemingly on the verge of a breakthrough, there is a lot of excitement built up during the seemingly never ending draft speculation.  The Rams possessed the 10th overall selection, and the possibilities for improving the team seemed plentiful.  Perhaps the top offensive tackle would fall to them to help shore up a line in desperate need of additional talent.  Others hoped that the top WR would drop to 10 and give the Rams their first true #1 since Torry Holt.  Of course there was always hoping the Rams would be able to trade back if those scenarios didn't play out, pick up some additional draft capital, and get more bang for their buck.

As the first 9 picks wore on all of the most frequently mocked names were coming off the board.  Stranger still, not a single trade had been made prior the Rams being on the clock.  As St. Louis went on the clock, I was practically screaming at the TV to trade down.  It seemed there was no possible scenario where the Rams would get a good value out of the 10th pick, but based on the teams needs and the players still available a trade down seemed like the only attractive option.

Instead of a trade, the screen showed that the pick was in, in near record time.  It seemed not only had the Rams used a pick on a player they likely "reached" for, but hadn't even taken the time to consider any potential trade offers.  When they announced the selection I was definitely disappointed, if not down right pissed off.  ANOTHER RUNNINGBACK?  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!  Perhaps the single most loaded position on the entire roster, and they were adding another player to the mix?!?  Heck, if they had added a DE they could at least pretend to be planning long term for Chris Long's eventual departure, but they already had a whole stable of young and talented running backs...

Surely this was the most Jeff Fisher thing that he had ever done. Though he's been quoted saying regarding pass rushers "you can never have too many", I guess the same applies to running backs?  Needless to say I went to sleep Thursday night slightly angry, hoping the rest of the draft would play out in a way which would better fill the Rams roster holes.  When the 2nd day started, I just knew the Rams were going to address the offensive line, the teams biggest area of need, and probably add a WR as insurance for Quick's recovery and or to push him as the potential #1 the team needs.  During day 2 the team selected 2 "road grader" style offensive lineman and a developmental QB one NFL pundit called "A poor man's Peyton Manning".   Just how poor that man is has yet to be seen, but that's neither here nor there.  The team had drafted solidly to fill need, which allowed me to think more on the selection of Gurley at 10.  As someone who doesn't get too deep into College Football player evaluation and draft projections, I honestly didn't know much about Gurley other than he was coming off an ACL injury.  Time to consult the Google machine!

If you Google Todd Gurley draft profile or scouting profile you are likely to get a result from  Instead of making you go through the process, you should just check it out right here.  The article is a ranking of the best RB prospects in the 2015 draft, a list Gurley is at the top of in spite of his ACL injury and Melvin Gordon's monster 2014 campaign.  It was after reading this article I first started to come around regarding the Rams first round draft choice.( anybody who is mentioned in the same breath as Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker will make you take notice)  Everywhere you look, draft experts or NFL talent evaluators will tell you the only thing keeping Gurley from being a top three selection was the ACL concerns.  Let it sink in for a moment: no RB had been drafted in the first round since the 2012 draft, and the idea a RB would have been in the mix for top three is almost insane.  Gurley has been described as the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson was drafted in 2007, and surely you've heard the Marshawn Lynch comparisons as well.

So far the least flattering comparison I have heard for Gurley is Marshawn Lynch, which is pretty impressive when you think about it.  Gurley has all the measurables to be the next great NFL RB; he has the size and strength to run through tackles and the speed to turn any touch into a touchdown.  He has some pretty decent receiving skills, and has been described as a very willing and capable pass protector.  Gurley sure seems like the complete package at RB, as long as he is able to get - and stay - healthy.  Through all of the reading and watching of highlight reels, I have come around a bit on the selection.  I will say I can imagine a first round selection I would have been more in support of, one that would have matched need and talent better, but I also realize no amount of wishing will change what happened.  Might as well watch some highlight reels and get excited about the future of the Rams RB position.