Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2010 Draft strategy for the Rams

At the dawn of the 2009 draft, it was clear that the Rams had the worst offensive line in professional football. As we run out the 2009 table, this is no longer true. The Rams line is not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it has improved dramatically. We will likely unload Alex Barron, which is addition by subtraction, we will likely add another free agent, and a 2nd or 3rd rounder to our collection, and the line should be fine.

So why are the Rams loosers now? We have no passing game. It is just as simple as that. So why is there no passing game in St. Louis, a city once famous for a massive passing attack? Is it the QBs or the WRs? I would tell you that both are lacking, but this current predicament in much more the fault of our QBs than our WRs. We need a couple of major-league play-makers, but more than anything we need a Hall of Fame QB. An HOF QB would make all the difference in the world for the Rams.

Perform this thought experiment if you like: Suppose for just one moment Peyton Manning were the QB of the Rams. Do you think we would be stinking losers as we are? Certainly, sans Dallas Clark & Reggie Wayne, Manning's figures would be hurt. Still, with a power running attack in Steve Jackson & decent receivers, we would score enough points to go at least 10-6 or 11-5. This is the difference an HOF QB can make.

Should we go into the draft for a QB, and I think it is likely we will, we need to be looking for a slam-dunk HOF QB. We need to look for that building block that will keep us winning for 10-12 years straight. A Peyton Manning comes out once in a generation. We need to look out for that guy.

There are a small collection of offensive guys who have absolutely caught my eye this year, and these are guys I would love to see play for the Rams on Sunday:
  • Jevan Snead, Quarterback, Ole Miss Running Rebels: 6-3 215 pounds. A slightly more compact version of Phillip Rivers with better mechanics, and more speed. He has a sniper rifle for an arm. By that I mean accurate and powerful. He has been running a hurricane passing attack down at Ole Miss, so don't worry about his skills. He can also run a little. He can convert 3rd downs with his feet if the need arises.
  • Tim Tebow, Quarterback, Florida Gators: 6-3, 240 pounds. What can I tell you about the most famous player in college football? Many scounts, including Mel Kiper Jr. do not believe he is a pro quarterback. Regardless, I want him on my team. If we play him at FB, TE, or Wildcat, backup QB, I could care less. He is championship material, he is a play maker and we need him in our huddle.
  • Dexter McCluster: 5-9 170 pounds. Running Back, Ole Miss Running Rebels: Small, undersized hyper-fast and elusive running back. He takes short passes and turns them into 35-45 yard gains with speed and elusiveness. On the college level he reminded me of Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, and Marshall Faulk. They say he is too small to play in the Pros, but this is also what they said about the Chargers' Darren Sproles. McCluster is going to be like Sproles in the NFL. We can get him cheap, and he will make a lot of big plays.
  • Seyi Ajirotutu, Wide Receiver. Fresno State Bulldogs: 6-4, 210 pounds. Big, strong, lean, fast, athletic wide receiver. Physically, he looks like a young Terrel Owens, but he doesn't have the attitude. He leaps for the ball like Lynn Swann. I couldn't believe the over-thrown passes this guy dragged in during the Wisconsin game. This guy is going to be a massive play maker in the NFL. It is a good thing that nobody knows about him yet. We could get him cheap.
  • Hunter Lawrence, Kicker, Texas Longhorns: 6-0, 187 pounds. Recently, in the Hall of Fame preview shows, I have heard several experts saying things like: "Greatness is like Pornography; I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." I saw greatness in this kid several times during the course of a championship caliber season for this kid. If you wanna ask me who the next Adam Vinatieri is, I would say it is Hunter Lawrence. Like Colt McCoy says: Hunter is a clutch guy. Josh Brown was an expensive free agent, and he has been missing a lot of field goals out there lately. He may be trying to kick his way off the team. Let him go.
We'll talk defense next time.