No, I don't think the fact that Jadeveon Clowney decided not to do private workouts will have much if any impact on his draft status. After what happened to Clemson's Brandon Thomas, I wouldn't blame any high draft prospect for not working out. How much do teams need to see of a guy, anyway, especially if he is a full participant in his pro day? I had a well-respect agent tell me nearly a month ago that he's never seen so many private workouts scheduled as there has been this year. Maybe that's a result of the draft being pushed back two weeks. But with so many private workouts, maybe an injury like Thomas' was inevitable.
Ben, I could live with any of the three. This is a draft where I really don't have a strong opinion on who the Rams should, or should not take in the first round. There are what appear to be a lot of viable options. If you could tell me that the Rams could get a Day 1 offensive-line starter at No. 13 overall or even in the second round, I would say take Watkins. But I don't know if that'll be the case.
You make an excellent point. Private workouts _ against air _ can be very deceptive.
According to Kevin Demoff, Wi-Fi will be part of the 2014 improvements, as will a better sound system in the dome. The Rams aren't operating as if they expect to leave St. Louis on this sort of stuff. My expectation is that the lease will expire after the 2014 season, and then the Rams will go on a year to year lease for at least the next few years while they try to get the stadium situation resolved.
The parameters remain the same, I think. In no particular order: A.) Take Clowney; B.) Take one of the top 3 offensive linemen, probably Matthews or Robinson; 3.) Take Watkins; 4.) Trade down. Any trade-down scenarios will develop late, probably on draft day.
I'm not sure among centers. But if Jones was coming off foot surgery as was the case last year, it would certainly affect his draft status. As for Austin, I think he'd be considered among the top WRs, but probably not THE top _ as was the case last year. I had one scout, many weeks ago, tell me he didn't think Austin would be a first-round pick this year, not just because of the depth at the WR position, but because of the overall level of talent at the top of this draft.
I'll stick with what I had in my last mock draft: Jake Matthews.
Couldn't agree more. I think most NFL beat reporters have hit a lull here as well because of the extra two weeks. It's a little early for most to start writing their draft series pieces. (Ours will start April 27, although we'll have other draft-related pieces and other Rams stories before then of course.) I think it depends on the ratings whether the league will stick with the May draft.
Yes, at minimum, I'd like to see the Rams come out of the draft witht a starting-caliber offensive lineman, starting caliber safety, starting caliber cornerback. And if they can get a starting caliber wide receiver as well, even better. Interesting that you mention the long pre-draft process, because some teams are giving their scouts time off between now and the draft to avoid "paralysis by over-analysis."
Yeah, but Goodell mentioned about a year ago, that the NFL wanted to have an "event" in May (which is a TV sweeps month if I recall correctly). You know, you have the playoffs in January; the Super Bowl and the Combine in February; the owners meetings and free agency in March. . . .I don't know what that left for April except for the release of the schedule. But the NFL wants to keep itself in the news year-round. (Which I think pretty much is the case anyway except for mid-June to mid-July.)
Wait a minute, I thought this was supposed to be the greatest QB class ever. Bridgewater No. 1! Got to have Manziel!! Don't sleep on Bortles!!! (Sarcasm here.) I've said for quite some time that I didn't see the sizzle at the top of this QB class in terms of franchise-type talent. Again, any trade involving the No. 2 pick will develop late. Even if Clowney goes to Houston, Atlanta might still covet Khalil Mack as it seeks to upgrade its pass rush. I think the No. 2 pick is very valuable to the Rams even if they stay put.
I can tell you that Pryor has no visit scheduled with the Rams at this point. Nor does Jimmie Ward at least check. However, I would expect one by Clinton-Dix although I can't tell you either way at this point. Last year, the Rams took T.J. McDonald. I didn't know that he had visited Rams Park until after they had drafted him.
Well, I'm sure the Rams hope you will be right. But it's 2014 now, not 2011. And disregarding the off-the-field issues, Britt has had multiple knee surgeries since the start of '11.
I think the reviews were pretty routine. I can tell you at this point he has no top 30 visit scheduled with the Rams.
Sure. The first thing that comes to mind is coming out of the draft without immediate help at safety or corner. Or what if they pass on the top WRs and it turns out that their current wideouts show little or no improvement over their play in 2013?
I would be surprised if they weren't looking at him. But if he's a second-round pick, as some project, I believe that might take him out of consideration (unless the Rams come up with an extra 2nd-rounder in some sort of trade-down.)
Tavon Austin is kind of a category all his own. In terms of "classic" receiver skills, I don't think that's him. But we've seen his impressive big-play skills as a rookie, and I think that's what you're looking for from him more than anything else. Remember now, he missed the last three games of the regular season _ as well as part of that Dec. 8 game in Arizona when he got hurt _ so his stats as a rookie could've been even more impressive. I would expect him to be more polished and the Rams to have a better idea of what works and what doesn't work with him this season.
What you say sounds good in theory. You have to factor in that Kellen Clemens was throwing to these guys for 9-plus games last season. But is this group good enough? That's the burning question.
Actually, my second mock did not have the Rams taking Clinton-Dix at 13.. I had Darqueze Dennard going there. As for Matthews (or Robinson) vs. Watkins at No. 2, it depends on what you feel is the best way to help Bradford. If you can't protect Bradford, it'll be hard for him to hit a Watkins lying on his back. But I do get your point on difference makers. And the consensus seems to be that Watkins has the potential _ I underline potential _ to be a difference maker. Again, maybe what Fisher said about Watkins and the Rams' needs at WR is smokescreen. Maybe I read too much into it. We'll see.
I think you meant CBS sports, not SI.com. The story doesn't make much sense to me. If you were going to put Bradford on the market, why not do it at the start of the free agency period, when you'd have more leverage. If other teams are interested in trading for Bradford because they're not sold on the top QBs in the draft (Bortles, Manziel, Bridgewater), then why would the Rams want to trade Bradford for the same QBs that nobody else likes?
1.) Rams aren't trading Bradford. 2.) If you trade Bradford, who plays QB for you? A rookie QB who multiple QB-needy teams don't want?