Saturday, April 21, 2012

On The Clock: St. Louis Rams

The Saint Louis Rams absolutely ripped off the Washington Redskins. Not only do I think Robert Griffin III will be a huge disappointment, but now the Redskins will forever be known as the team that gave up two first round picks and a second round pick for the future bust. The Rams should easily be able to rebuild over the next two years. Not only do they have three picks in the top 40, but they will most likely have at least one top 10 pick next year. The Rams could look to move down again this year if a player such as Matt Kalil drops. Before we get to the picks, let's take a look at the 2011 season for the Rams.

Similar to the Buccaneers the Rams were a disappointment in 2011. They did not drop off as much as the Bucs, but they were 7-9 in 2010. 2011 saw an injury to Sam Bradford and a disappointing season overall. Bradford threw for 2,164 yards, six touchdowns, six interceptions and a 53.5 completion percentage. If the Rams are going to turn it around in 2012, Bradford is going to have to start to play better. Steven Jackson quietly had another good season finishing with 1,145 yards and five touchdowns. That makes seven straight seasons with at least a thousand yards for Jackson. The Rams traded for Brandon Lloyd during the season and he finished with 683 yards and 5 touchdowns. However, Lloyd left for the Patriots at the end of the season.

The Rams had a decent off-season so far. They added Cortland Finnegan from the Titans. Alongside Steve Smith from Philadelphia and Scott Wells from Green Bay. The Rams were middle of the road with 39 total sacks (15th) in 2011. They also had 12 interceptions (23rd) which explains why they targeted Cortland Finnegan this year. Offensively, Saint Louis was a disappointment. They led the league by allowing 55 sacks (32nd) in 2011. They were 30th in passing yards, 32nd in passing touchdowns, 23rd in rushing yards and 29th in rushing touchdowns. The Rams could use help on both sides of the ball but I will start on the offensive as I think their number one option should be

1. Justin Blackmon - Wide Receiver - Oklahoma State - The Rams have to hope that Blackmon drops to them at the number six spot. They could certainly use another receiver to help Sam Bradford. If anyone can name a Saint Louis wide out besides the one I mentioned before, I would be impressed. Their number two receiver was Danario Alexander and Brandon Gibson (both somehow had 431 yards). The Rams could use the physical receiver to open up the field for the rest of their players. Also, finally giving Sam Bradford a big target might be what propels him to the next level. The Rams have a solid run game, they just need to worry about the passing game. They could also use some help on the defensive line and that is where their second choice comes into play with

2. Fletcher Cox - Defensive Tackle - Mississippi State - Finally a player I have not mentioned throughout these articles. The Rams have a very disappointing group of defensive tackles in Cornell Banks, John Henderson, Trevor Laws and Darell Scott. Personally I think the Rams will look to take Cox to try and improve their defensive line. Cox is a physical and strong defensive tackle who can stuff the run and occasionally get to the quarterback. He can certainly push the quarterback to the outside and allow Chris Long to take him down for a sack. Cox finished his career with 114 total tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Scouts love his strength and believe he still has room to get stronger. Furthermore, he was a three year starter in the SEC. The Rams could get a defensive tackle later in the draft but the position is not very deep. They could also look to improve the defensive line elsewhere and pick

3. Quinton Coples - Defensive End - North Carolina - I think Coples might come as a surprise  to a lot of people at the number six spot but the Rams could use help at defensive end. Giving Chris Long another pass rusher would help to improve their entire line. Coples does not possess elite speed but is fast enough to get around the edge. He has longer arms which allow him to keep offensive lineman away from him. He is incredibly strong and a sure tackler. He played defensive tackle and defensive end at North Carolina but fits as a 4-3 defensive end in the NFL. He ranks fourth in the country among active players with 24 career sacks and leaves Chapel Hill with 144 total tackles, five forced fumbles, 22 quarterback hurries and four pass breakups. Coples might be the surprise pick but could be the smart pick as well. Some scouts question his motor and wonder if he tends to take plays off but once motivated, Coples could be the best pass rusher in this year's draft. The Rams could try to trade down but would have to have a player drop to them at six to find a partner. It will be interesting to see what the Rams do with their pick. 

No comments:

Post a Comment