@Half Empty --Sorry for the delay. I was a guest at a scholar-athlete luncheon for St. Louis Public High League students. A very nice event. Ok. . .here we go.
I can only say for sure that Stan Kroenke was around for Day 2 of the draft _ the 3 second-rounders and the 1 third-rounder. He has little or no input on the draft. He lets his football people make the football decisions.
I would say only in the sense that he knew a little more about Johnson because of his familiarity with the program and the fact that his son played there. But I think he was pretty widely regarded as a second_ or third-round player. I talked with a veteran western scout (not with the Rams) about Johnson before the draft, and this scout liked him a lot.
John Hekker of Oregon State was signed as a rookie free agent.
Well, they did add Scott Wells at center, a former Pro Bowler, in free agency from Green Bay. They added G/T Quinn Ojinnaka and C/G Robert Turner in free agency. And they drafted Rokevious "Rock" (or he might spell it "Rok" _ I'll have to find out ) in the fifth round. Line coach Paul Boudreau is known for being able to develop talent. The belief is he'll get Saffold back up to par at left tackle and can straighten out Jason Smith's technique. For now, Ojinnaka, Turner, Watkins, and returning squad member Bryan Mattison will all be thrown in the mix competing for the left guard line.
Smith appears to be totally back from his knee issues and took part in the two-day veteran minicamp held the week before the draft. We'll see how the knee holds up over the rigors of training camp in late July and August.
If the Rams keep six cornerbacks, I would say: Finnegan, Fletcher, Murphy, Gordy, Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson. Wide receiver a little harder to project. But I would say these 4 for sure barring injury: Quick, Givens, Amendola, Steve Smith. And then Salas, Pettis, Alexander, and Gibson competing for two _ maybe three _ spots. Keep in mind, Pettis, is ineligible for the first two games of the regular season as he finishes out his 4-game supension.
As I mentioned once or twice in print, the Rams went back and forth in the days leading up to the draft on whether to keep Janoris Jenkins on their board. He definitely has first-round talent. And if you know Jeff Fisher's background, he's not against taking players who are something shy of choirboys. So I guess I wasn't really surprised. As we've joked previously, the days of 4 Pillars at Rams Park are gone.
I think it's status quo for now. I'm wondering though about the possibility of maybe Fletcher at safety at some point.
I'm sure the Rams will still be looking around, either at the few remaining veteran free agents, or if any LBs worth anything get released at the end of the preseason. I think they got a pretty good group of undrated rookies. The agent of one pretty good LB prospect who signed as a rookie FA with the Rams, said he guided his guy to St. Louis because he felt he's have a much better chance to make the final roster with the Rams. And Sammy Brown of Houston. I know he didn't play at a BCS school, but he's 6-2, 240, runs a 4.6 in the 40 and had 13 1/2 sacks and 30 tackles for loss last season. I'm thinking they're might be something there. We'll see. But those undrafted rookie LBs such as London Fletcher (who signed w/Rams in 1998 out of John Carroll don't come around too often.
For one, Quick knows how to run a route as least to some degree. No greater authority than Gil Brandt told me before the draft that Stephen Hill didn't know how to run a route comint out of Georgia Tech. As for Rueben Randle, the Rams almost added him to their list of private workouts, the weekend before the draft. Apparently, he's very hard to get along with, so that may have scared the Rams off to a degree. But I'm not certain of that.
No. But I think Steven Jackson did tweet that he was trying to reach Pead to congratulate him on joining the Rams.
I think it's basically unheard of. Rookie kicker AND punter? That's _ I'll use a polite word _ bold.
I will try to track them down by the end of the day.
I'll just say this. It's very disappointing that the Rams are unwilling to reveal this proposal. Sooner or later in some way shape or form, Joe Fan is going to have to foot the bill on any improvements _ maybe even Joe Non-Fan _ I just think the public has the right to know.
I thinks the favorites to start remain Quintin Mikell and Darian Stewart, although I couldn't tell you who would be free or strong in Fisher's system, or if they're somewhat interchangeable.
Not at all. This is the NFL. You have to prove yourself every year, and you only get so many chances.
Yes, Frank Cignetti, who was QB coach for Jim Haslett in New Orleans way back when and more recently has had extensive experience as an offensive coordinator in the college ranks.
Well, I'm sure the idea is to start him from Day 1, if he shows he's ready.
I thought Salas was coming along very nicely before he suffered that season-ending leg injury. He has some shiftiness to him and displayed some yards after the catch ability. Pettis didn't do much last year. Had some costly drops.
I'm really anxious to get a look at Givens at WR. He has the most speed the Rams have seen since Donnie Avery.
I'd say that's pretty optimistic at this point.