- 1 Another round of storms heading for St. Louis
- 2 Painter wins $350,000 in suit claiming retaliation by St. Louis union
- 3 Flashlight out of reach saved Jennings woman in storm
- 4 Man found dead in St. Louis street
- 5 Five dead, six injured in crash of 15-passenger van near Vandalia, Ill.
- 6 Kirkwood schools move to give iPads to all students
- 7 Tornado destroys part of Mount Olive business district
- 8 FBI investigation into St. Louis parks department is ongoing, director says
- 9 Three teens in serious condition after St. Louis shooting
- 10 Fire chief says search almost complete after Oklahoma EF5 tornado
NFL Draft chat: Day 3
Bring your questions and comments about Saturday's rounds of the NFL Draft, and talk to STLtoday.com sports columnist Jeff Gordon.
Trumaine Johnson conference call:(On what’s going through his mind)
“Right now, I can’t even explain it. I’m so happy right now. I was anxious, but when my name got called, I really appreciate the Rams organization for picking me.”
(On if he had any expectations about when he would be selected)
“I was hoping to get drafted. It didn’t matter what round I went in. I’m thankful that the Rams organization picked me.”
(On what he does best)
“I can cover. I’m a cover corner, I believe I’m a cover corner. My ball skills, especially tackling. I take pride in tackling and a lot of corners don’t do that right now in the league.”
(On if the Rams have talked to him about playing safety)
“Well, hopefully it’s corner, but if they ask me to play safety I’m open to it. I’m open to any position, to be honest. I’m just so excited that they picked me.”
(On how many years he was a teammate with Assistant Secondary Coach Brandon Fisher)
“I was teammates with Brandon Fisher, for I want to say two years.”
(On if he has talked to Brandon during this process)
“Yes, actually he called me. He was one of the first people that called me. All of this happened, hearing his voice, he’s with the Rams and Brandon Fisher, so it was a connection right there. I’m just so happy right now. It’s just a lot of emotions running through my head. So I’m just really happy and blessed that the Rams organization picked me.”
(On if Brandon was the person who called him to officially make the offer)
“No, he called me and just said, ‘Are you ready to be a Ram?’, and just, ‘Hold on tight.’ So I held on tight and they called me back.”
(On if Head Coach Jeff Fisher told him that the Rams were drafting him)
“Yes, his father, Jeff Fisher, yes. He told me, ‘Are you ready to be a Ram?’ And I said, yes I was.”
(On what kind of player Brandon Fisher was)
“Brandon was a great player. He really was a great player. He demanded attention. He was a leader on our, what was it, my ’08-’09 year at Montana, so he was a great player. Good player to play with.”
(On if he believes he can start right away or contribute)
“I believe I can come in right away and contribute. That’s even on special teams. Like I said, I take pride in special teams also, and hopefully I get a chance to play at corner.”
(On if he played against Rams RB Chase Reynolds in college)
“He was on my team actually. He was on my team for, I want to say three years.”
(On the amount of Montana Grizzlies associated with the Rams)
“’Grizz Nation’. Yes, sir.”
(On the tazing incident that took place in October of last year)
“I just decided to throw a party after a win. It got loud. The cops came and shut it down. As we were shutting it down, one of my buddies got tazed, so I went over there to try to see what was going on and I got tazed. We both got booked and arrested. I got charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer, and resisting arrest, but they dropped two of the three. They dropped obstructing an officer and resisting arrest. I got charged with the disorderly conduct. I’m going to have to pay that fee, and that was it.”
(On if incidents like that are out of character for him)
“I believe everybody throws parties and has fun in college. I feel like I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, so I shouldn’t have thrown the party in the first place just because we were in the season. I learned from it and it’s behind me now.”
(On if he came to St. Louis for a visit and his impression)
“I haven’t talked to St. Louis since the combine. The last time I heard about St. Louis wanting me, they came down to my high school probably a week ago just to do a little more follow-up on my history. But since then, I haven’t heard from St. Louis at all, so this is a surprise. Like I said, I’m happy to be a Ram. I’m ready to contribute right now.”
(On playing for Head Coach Jeff Fisher)
“I’m so excited. Me and Jeff, I’ve known Jeff since I was at Montana just because his son played. He used to come to some games, so I feel like I knew Coach Jeff a little more. I’m excited. I’m ready to meet all those guys up there.”
(On if he’s thought about playing alongside CB Cortland Finnegan)
“Of course. He’s a great cover corner. He’s a great overall corner, actually. I intend to go up there and learn from him. He’s been in there a for long time, he’s there, so from the seven-man backfield, we should be pretty good, especially with you guys getting (39th overall pick) Janoris Jenkins also. He’s a great corner.”
Day 2 debriefing from Fisher and Snead:(On how he thought his day went)
Snead: “I think, you know what, it was a good day for us. I think it was a very good day. I think every player we got is going to help us next year. So, it seems like everybody wanted a wide receiver, we did, too. We did a lot of work with this kid and we’re looking forward to developing him. I think we got two corners that have starting ability and we’ll put them in the mix and let them compete here. We’ve got a running back that’s going to help us next year. He’s a change of pace of (RB) Steven (Jackson) and can return.”
(On what character background check they did with CB Janoris Jenkins that made them feel comfortable with selecting him)
Fisher: “Well, it started with the scouts’ reports. We did Combine interviews, we had a top-30 visit, we had a member of our organization go down to Florida and spent several days down there, spent time in North Alabama. We talked to many, many, many people that crossed paths with him since he was a young boy growing up in Pahokee, Florida. So we did our work and every person we talked to said, ‘Take him.’”
(On if those people said why the Rams should select Jenkins)
Fisher: “They said he’s a great kid. He’s an exceptional football player. Made a few mistakes in school, obviously has a young family, but he’s got all that stuff under control. We’ve got plans in place and we’re excited about his future here.”
(On what made CB Trumaine Johnson stand out over CB Josh Robinson)
Snead: “I’m going to hold comment on that. Easy question, we thought that Trumaine had starter ability, we did not think Josh did. So that was…he was higher on our board.”
(On how working with Adam ‘PacMan’ Jones will help him as a coach to know how to handle Jenkins)
Fisher: “I’m not anticipating any issues whatsoever with Janoris. Okay, I’m not. The issues, Pac was…he checked out pretty good on all our background checks. He had one minor incident as a freshman. His issues came after he got into the league. Janoris is…again we’re not concerned about him. He’s a first round talent, he’s a good football player. He’s got one of the best in the room in (CB) Cortland Finnegan and he’s going to be a great talent for us.”
(On if Finnegan will take Jenkins under his wing)
Fisher: “Cort’s already called. He said he’s looking forward to meeting his new teammates and working with them and shutting people down.”
(On the offensive players they selected, RB Isaiah Pead and WR Brian Quick)
Fisher: “You know what was interesting, we went to Appalachian State last weekend and we worked him out. We had both of our quarterbacks (Tom) Brandstater and Kellen (Clemens) throw, and when we got in the car to head to the airport they said, ‘Wow.’ And I think that’s where we were, too. Les has been to App State how many times?”
Snead: “I’ve seen him live now four…I was in Boone twice this year and at Greenville, South Carolina once this year when they played Furman and saw him at the Combine. So I’ve seen him live four times and Combine can get a little carried away because you have a lot of things going on, but three of the four I know was a, ‘Wow.’ And that was the first time I saw him practice, all the way to last weekend’s workout. I kind of looked at Jeff and we kind of looked at each other and you didn’t really have to say much. We knew what we were thinking.”
(On what the ‘wow factor’ was)
Snead: “First of all, you’ve got a big man. He’s tall, 225 pounds, long arms, can catch it. He’s got rare hand-eye coordination, so he can go snatch a ball. He’ll get rebounds for us, but that same big man can cut on a dime and he can get off the ball really fast. I think we worked out a lot of receivers and this guy was as good, or better, than all of them.”
(On what they like about Pead)
Fisher: “Isaiah had a great senior year, and obviously was the MVP of the Senior Bowl. Isaiah has got great change of direction quickness, vision, a jump-cut runner. He’s got acceleration, he’s got hands out of the backfield. He’s just a great change of pace runner that we need here right now for Steven. He’s a smart young man. We had him in for the 30 visit. No problems whatsoever grasping concepts of offense, so he’ll be able to help us.”
(On whether Pead has value in the return game)
Fisher: “Yes he does have return value, as does Janoris.”
(On if he can see Pead as an every down back in the future)
Fisher: “I think he’s got potential to do that, yes. He was an every down back for them. He does have the potential, but what we were looking at right now is a guy just to change the pace, a guy that can give Steven a blow.”
(On if he ever saw Johnson play live)
Fisher: “I saw probably four games from his freshman year through his sophomore. First two years. Watched him in practice, and then obviously we did our work on tape and the Combine work. He’s a good football player.”
(On what they like about Johnson as a player)
Fisher: “His size. First off, he’s got great ball skills. He can go get the football. Had a bunch of interceptions. He’s a big corner, he’s got long arms, he can press, he’s going to work at the off coverage, and he’s physical, and he’ll tackle. Both of our corners that we drafted today will tackle, and that’s important. And they’re big. We’re facing big backs in our division, and we need guys that can run support.”
(On if playing at a small college is a problem when transitioning to the NFL)
Fisher: “I don’t think it is. You’re going to compare him to his peers, to those others that are draft-eligible, so I don’t think it is. That question often comes up, ‘Well, look at the level of talent or the receivers he covered,’ so on and so forth. You still see the movement skills. You still see the physicalness in his play.”
(On the trade down in the second round)
Snead: “It came up. We had those first two players that we really targeted, and they fell to us. At that point, we didn’t have a fifth so it was a chance…they called and offered us a fifth, and it was a chance to pick up a fifth so we now have a pick or multiple picks in every round.”
(On Jenkins being a top-10 pick if there were no character issues and if they view him that way)
Snead: “Definitely. Yes, he has first round talent. I think you can go back to his last season at Florida, watching him cover A.J. Green and Julio Jones, who were both rookies last year, and I think I saw tonight where they were two rookies that were top-100 players in the league now. He did a nice job against those two players, so definitely first-round talent, for sure. That was the reason and one of the reasons, when he’s sitting there at the 39th pick…One of the reasons we did the research for the last two, three, longer than that, extensive last two or three weeks to figure out, hey, if he was sitting there, we’re going to take him.”
(On if they’re excited about what they’ve got now in the secondary)
Fisher: “Yes, we are. In our division, the way the game goes now, you’re playing with three corners more than you’re playing with three linebackers, so the third corner in essence ends up being a starter for you. We addressed that. It was important to us. Statistically, we have a good feel for the game, and you have to have depth there and you have to have the ability to play three corners. Depends on how it works out. We have the option to put ‘Cort’ (Finnegan) inside, or we’ve got the option to let Janoris play inside. He’s got tremendous football instincts and IQ, so we’ve taken care of an issue there.”
(On if need trumps best available on the third day of the draft)
Snead: “I think on the last day, I think really scheme fit, maybe not need. You’re starting to get into where the players may have lesser talent, but now you’re looking if, ‘Hey, does he fit a certain scheme? Does he have a trait? Toughness? Can he cover kicks or be a special teams player?’ I think you start looking at that. Best available still may trump a need as well.”
(On if they’re looking to play Johnson at safety at all)
Fisher: “We drafted him to be a corner, and we’re going to develop him at the corner position. I think you automatically assume because of his height, weight, and speed characteristics that he may project there as we speak right now. No, he’s a corner. That may be something that happens later in his career, but right now he helps us as a corner.”
(On what their primary focus will be going forward)
Snead: “I think tonight we’ll do exactly what we did last night. We’ll sit down once this round is over and we’ll take our board and we’ll pick a handful of players that we really would like to come away with and we’ll make a…we’ll call it a “last day board.” We’ll kind of bring those players to the top at each position and try to get those. As we saw tonight, we did it last night and we may have had 15-20 players that we wanted to come away in these four picks and it went fast. I think we were able to accomplish it, but maybe by one.”
(On if there was ever a doubt that they were going to go after a wide receiver to start the day)
Fisher: “No, we jumped up and down last night when the draft was over. There was no doubt in our mind. I wouldn’t let him take a phone call, nor would he let me take a phone call.”
(On if the phone was ringing)
Fisher: “It rang a little bit, but it wasn’t worth it. Nobody was home.”
Snead: “He was a guy we targeted to get that pick for a few weeks now. Like I said, last night we knew that pick was taken. We were going to try to figure out (pick No.) 39 and (pick No.) 45. It went to (pick No.) 50.”
Fisher: “We actually tried to bring him in early. We were going to fly him in at 10:00 this morning, but the league said, ‘You can’t do that until you’re on the clock.”
Snead: “That was going to be our temptation. He was going to be sitting in the building, so we had to take him (laughs).”
(On if they had been planning to build on this second day for a while and how that started)
Fisher: “Obviously, we felt because of the value of the pick and the deal with Washington and the fact that we got the two, that this was going to be our day. That’s really when it started.”
FoxSports.com NFL scribe Alex Marvez raves about what the Rams have done: "The brilliance of what St. Louis has accomplished this offseason was on display again Friday night during the draft’s second day. The Rams had three of the first 13 picks in the second round, including selections acquired from Washington and Dallas in trades.
The first two second-rounders were used to address needs at wide receiver (Appalachian State’s Brian Quick) and cornerback (North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins). The Rams then added an extra fifth-round pick by dropping down five slots from No. 45 in a trade with Chicago. University of Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead, a change-of-pace complement to Rams bruiser Steven Jackson, was tabbed at No. 50.
Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson joined the mix in the third round.
On top of this, St. Louis owns Washington’s first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 after dropping from No. 2 to No. 6 in this year’s draft so the Redskins could secure the rights to Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
On top of that, the Rams scored in free agency by adding quality veterans like cornerback Cortland Finnegan, center Scott Wells and three defensive linemen (Kendall Langford, Trevor Laws and William Hayes) who bolstered a team weakness.
Things are going so well for the Rams that they even made the best out of a bad situation Thursday night during the draft’s first round.
The two players St. Louis most coveted at No. 6 — Alabama running back Trent Richardson (Cleveland) and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon (Jacksonville) — were snatched beforehand following trade-ups. Dallas, which desperately wanted Louisiana State cornerback Morris Claiborne, offered its own first-round choice (No. 14) and a second-rounder (No. 45 overall). St. Louis agreed and still got the next player atop its draft board — LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers.
Bold moves like those involving the No. 2 and No. 6 selections were needed to accumulate more talent.
Here is a look at the 10 best available players on Mel Kiper's board going into the third day of the 2012 NFL draft.
1. T Bobby Massie, Mississippi
You'll probably notice that he was on my list of best available players for Day 2. Massie projects as a left tackle in the NFL and would have been an elite tackle if he had stayed in school another year. At this point, we almost expect to hear about a medical or off-field issue by the time we hit the air Saturday morning.
2. RB Lamar Miller, Miami
Miller has elite speed and is a home run threat at running back. If he can improve his receiving skills out of the backfield, he has a bright future.
3. LB Terrell Manning, NC State
He missed a couple of weeks this past season with a knee injury. He's athletically gifted as a 4-3 outside linebacker.
4. G James Brown, Troy
Played well at left tackle at Troy, but projects as a guard in the NFL. He lacks ideal height for the position but is consistent.
5. LB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma
Lewis is a pure pass-rusher who fits best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He has a ton of talent.
6. S Antonio Allen, South Carolina
A three-year starter for the Gamecocks, Allen can play in the box or hold up in coverage. He is a bargain here.
7. G Brandon Washington, Miami
Athletic for the position, Washington can be a little passive as a pass-blocker.
8. DT Jared Crick, Nebraska
A torn pectoral muscle last season is why he's still available. He has a strong motor and finds a way to make his presence felt on the field.
9. T Zebrie Sanders, Florida State
Struggled some at the Senior Bowl against good competition. He is athletic but needs some technique work.
10. DT Alameda Ta'amu, Washington
Ta'amu can be a major run stopper in the NFL. He isn't much of a pass-rusher but is a definite space eater.
Kiper on what the Rams did Friday: "The Rams really needed to show something Friday. This is a team that once held the No. 2 pick in the draft, and as Jon Gruden noted, if you have the No. 2 pick and don't use it, you need to show something for not taking what you assume can be a star-level player. Well, I really like Quick and have been pushing his name for a while. Jenkins we know is a risk in some respects, but this is a top-10-level pick if it's talent alone we're talking about. If Pead had been the last pick in the first round, I wouldn't have been bothered at all. I like that pick. Johnson has a lot of talent to be there at No. 65. I like the haul for the Rams. And yes, having four picks helps."
Gordo - pbviosly the rams guys know lots more than me so i will wait and see what happens but it is somwwhat refreshing to see acomplete 180 from the last 4 years and see some veryedgy picks .I would say if the rams hit on 3 of 5 oth yesterdays picks i would call it a success.You agree?
Jeff, I don't know what makes sense. We have a few more holes to fill. I think I am the only one that loved the Pead pick. Although, I felt like Pead would still be there to pick up today...in fact, I felt that way with just about everyone we have picked up. Of course, this is why I always lose in fantasy football...
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