When discussing the Rams and Les Snead's prowess at roster building there is aways, amongst the differing opinions, some consensus thoughts that stand out. Snead doesn't draft well in the early rounds but succeeds in the latter. Another is his penchant for acquiring top-notch players through trades.
In an earlier post I dug through past drafts and found that 64% of Snead's draft picks, since taking over as GM in 2012, lasted at least three years in thew NFL. No comparisons to other GM's, just looking to determine for myself whether Snead was drafting NFL caliber talent. The long stretch until the Rams next game gives a chance to review Snead's current roster and draw some conclusions about his work.
First some bookkeeping.
#1 The number after the round is the percentage of the roster.
#2 Player acquired from another team in parentheses.
#3 Using the current 53 plus injuried players for a total of 56.
Rd1 7.14% QB Stafford (DET), DL Donald, Floyd (CHI), Ramsey (JAC)
Quality over quantity. Good news is they are all top-shelf talent, bad news is only Donald is a Ram draftee. Gone are the days of Rams drafting in the top ten. Using their lower Rd1 picks to acquire proven, top-notch talent is proving successful at keeping the team a relevant, perennial playoff team.
Rd2 19.62% RB Michel (NE), Woods (BUF), DJackson (PHI), Jefferson, Atwell, Whitworth (CIN), Corbett (CLE), Havenstein, Rapp, Akers, Robinson (DET)
Six of the eleven are acquisitions. Woods and Whit have been cornerstones of the Ram turnaround. Of Snead's picks, Hav has been a solid pro, the others have had mixed success but it's still too early to pass a dispassionate verdict.
Rd3 14.29% RB Henderson, WR Kupp, OLNoteboom, OLEvans, ILB EJones, E Lewis, S Burgess, CB Long
Our long, lost Fanpost friend, Ferragamo15, gave us his 33% theory. It stated that only 1/3 or Rd3 picks eventually became team contributors. Rams, with all in-house talent, are meeting that standard with the potential to shatter it. Hendo, Kupp, and Boom have all contributed and Lewis looks for real. Burgess and Long, I think, just need more snaps to contribute. Bound to be growing pains for all these youngsters.
Quick Snead check #1: 41.05% of roster are from the first three rounds. Of these 23 players, nine were acquired from other teams. 19 of theses 23 start or have seen starting snaps. One is out with injury.
RD4 14.29% TE Higbee, TE Harris, TE Hopkins, C Allen, DL Gaines, DL BBrown, ILB Young (BAL), CB Rochell
Selecting there of four TE's in this round supports the conclusion that Snead drafts on potential and +traits over need for immediate production. Many experts opined that the BoyGenius offense would feature his TE's, That just hasn't been the case. Would be remiss not to note Allen's elevated play, missing a season and a half a coming back, born-again-hard, is a great story.
RD5 7.14% OL Edwards, E Okoronkwo, K Gay (TB), Hollins (DEN)
The later rounds are where Snead's prowess supposedly kicks in. Edwards has been solid and improved each year, Obo is still a ?. Gay and Hollins are both good acquisitions, with Gay solidifying last seasons place-kicking woes and Hollins showing marked improvement before his injury.
Quick Snead check #2: 21.43% of roster are mid-round picks. Of these 12, five are starters and two more receive substantial snaps. Four are from other teams. One is injured.
Rd6 3.57% DL Joseph-Day, S Fuller
Two for two. Both are late-round, home-grown values. Fans have watched SJD as he blossoms into a stellar NT. Fuller does what he did in college, be a smart, team-oriented FOOTBALL player. Neither has off-the-charts athletic ability but succeed wit smarts and 100% effort.
Rd7 10.71% RB Funk, WR Skowronek, ILB Howard, E Garrett, S Scott, OL Anchrum
Getting anything more than solid ST play out of this round is gravy. Snead has stocked up here on guys who play hard, are willing to bang heads and might earn some rotational snaps. Scott has done this, playing past guys with higher draft pedigrees.
Quick Snead check #3: 14.28% of roster are late round picks. Of these eight players, they are all Ram draftees and only two are starters. The others all provide value on ST, but that is probably the case with all NFL teams.
Undrafted 23.21% QB Wolford (NYJ), QB Perkins, OL Shelton (SF), OL AJackson, DL Hoecht, DL Williams, ILB Reeder, E JJones (PIT), S Hughes, CB Williams (BAL), P Hekker, LS Orzech (BAL), TE Mundt.
UDFA's make up 30% of NFL rosters. Rams are running lower than the norm this year, but have a history of scouting and mining talent. Williams and Hekker are gems. Reeder, Mundt and Orzech are all contributors. the new regime's scouting department has made this group a nice mix of home-grown and poached players.
Final Snead check: 72% of Ram roster is raised by home cooking. Of the final 28% (17 players) acquired from other teams, 13 are starters and one (Hollins) is injured.
In grading Snead's roster, he has done fine job of acquiring early round talent. His own draft picks, in the early rounds, are a work in progress. The consensus on this can be considered on target
His mid rounds are solid, the kind of success a team needs when they are so top-heavy on salaries.
The consensus of his late round success is not unfounded, but two starters out of the last rounds doesn't scream superior evaluation. Most of these players are destined to the bottom 1/4 of the roster and the possibility of replacement next year.
Finally, Snead has been stellar in acquisition, making high-profile moves to upgrade the starting rotations and subtle moves to improve the middle down. He's not afraid to bust moves, admit mistakes, or cut bait and move on. His collaboration with BoyGenius on evaluating, procuring, and keeping the talent level high has been stellar.