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ST LOUIS RAMS

Pro Sports Daily     Official Site     USA Today     Pro Football Weekly     Rams Stats     ESPN

2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft

2005 draft     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

 

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 2 Jason Smith OT Baylor #1 OT Round 1
2 35 James Laurinaitis ILB Ohio State #2 ILB Round 1
3 66 Bradley Fletcher CB Iowa #13 CB Round 3

East West Shrine Game

In an unusual game of fairly nondescript defensive back play, Fletcher had some good moments both against the run and the pass.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Fletcher looked good in practices and during the game at the East West Shrine Game.  All he needed was a solid workout to sustain that momentum.  Bradley, who is a little over 6'0", ran a 4.44 forty and had a 40" vertical, a10'7" broad jump, and lifted the bar 20 times.  Fletcher is an intriguing prospect who will be either a good cover two corner, or free safety.
4 103 Dorell Scott DT Clemson #8 DT Round 3
5 160 Brooks Foster WR North Carolina #32 WR Round 5
6 196 Keith Null QB West Texas AM NR Off My Board
7 211 Chris Ogbonnaya RB Texas NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Roger Allen OG Missouri Western State NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Jarrett Byers WR Northwestern State NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Ian Campbell DE Kansas State NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Phil Trautwein OT Florida NR 7th/FA

 

B+

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Rams filled needs and drafted quality players.  I felt they should have gone quarterback in round one, but cannot argue with tackle Jason Smith.  If they went QB at the top of their draft the rest could have filled out as: OT Beatty, DT Miller, MLB Brinkley, CB Trent, RB Scott and WR Underwood.  Based on their grade of B+, however, I liked most of what they did given their decision to bypass a quarterback.  Teams that pass on a QB early in the draft get a bye from me because a team has to love that quarterback because a bad decision at that spot in the draft can set back a franchise for five years.  The Rams obviously still believe in Bulgar and were not in love with Stafford or Sanchez.

DRAFT PICKS

Jason Smith was my top rated offensive tackle in the draft.  He is strong and has quick feet.  He will be a very good left  tackle for years.  Smith was a good choice to replace the aging Orlando Pace.

The Rams selected Laurinaitis over Maualuga.  Both will be good NFL players, however, Maualuga can be the face/identity of a defense, while Laurinaitis will be quietly efficient.  I liked Maualuga a bit more, but Laurinaitis is a top-flight as well.

Fletcher's draft stock started to rise with an excellent week of practice and solid game at the East West Shrine Game.  His workout continued his rise.  He has good height, strength, speed and athleticism.  Fletcher will start out as a top tier special teams player, but down the line will be a solid starting cornerback.

Scott was good value in round four at a position of need for the Rams.  He is effective plugging the middle against the run.  While he also shows good run pursuit, he is better running in straight line than he is changing directions.

Foster went where I had him graded.  He has an intriguing mix of size, strength and speed.  However, with a backup runner needed and Javon Ringer available, he would have been my selection for the Rams here.  Ringer not only would have been a top change-of-pace back; if Jackson got injured he could have carried the load effectively.

While the Rams needed a developmental quarterback, I would have gone in a different direction than Null.  My top rated quarterback available, Brown, was not a good match for St. Louis. Therefore, I would have drafted Jason Boltus at this spot as my developmental QB.

As a bigger-physical back, I like Javarris Williams much more than Ogbonnaya and he was available here.  However, in my scenario, Ringer would have been added in round five so I would have drafted wide receiver Tiquan Underwood here.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Guard Roger Allen is a very strong kid.  He needs better footwork but is a willing worker.  Look for Allen to make the Rams' development squad and grow into a reliable backup.

Byers is a kid from a small school with good speed and quickness.  He has a chance to stick, bit will most likely be a member of teh Rams' development squad.

Campbell is a quick player whose motor is always running.  His short arms and lack of pass-rush speed work against him; however, if he turns heads on special teams he has a chance.

Trautwein has good size, but needs work.  He could stick on the Rams' development squad, but that is no sure thing.

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Smith Jason Baylor 6'4.5" 309 M-L 33 5.09 1.75 3.00 4.69 - 7.53 24" 8'0"
Laurinaitis James Ohio State 6'1.7" 244 M-XL 22 4.72 1.59 2.72 4.18 - 6.81 33" 9'7"
Fletcher Bradley Iowa 6'0.3" 196 L-L 20 4.44 1.47 2.59 4.22  - 7.04 40" 10'7"
Scott Dorell Clemson 6'3.2" 312 S-L 29 4.90 1.68 2.82 4.84 - 8.28 30.5" 8'11"
Foster Brooks North Carolina 6'0.4" 211 M-L 27 4.44 1.52 2.59 - - - - -
Null Keith West Texas A&M 6'3.1" 222 - - - - - - - - - -
Ogbonnaya Chris Texas 5'11.6" 220 M-L 19 4.55 1.49 2.65 4.29 - 6.85 35" 9'3"
Allen Roger Missouri West St 6'2.6" 326 L-L 38 5.25 1.75 2.98 4.80 - 8.30 26.5" 7'9"
Byers Jarrett Northeastern St 5'10.4" 191 - 14 4.42 1.51 2.61 4.09 - 6.80 - -
Campbell Ian Kansas State 6'3.5" 265 S-L - 4.99 1.73 2.91 4.28 - 6.93 - 9'1"
Trautwein Phil Florida 6'5.6" 308 - 23 5.36 1.84 3.00 - - - 27" 8'3"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Bulger has gone from top starter to middle of the pack starter very quickly.  It's time for the Rams to draft their quarterback of the future.  How soon the future is, depends upon how Bulger rebounds next year.  To make matters worse, Trent Green is the backup and the last thing anyone wants to see if Green taking a big hit, again.
RB Jackson is one of the better running backs in the league, but both Minor an UFA and Pittman are best as the #3 backs on the roster, not the primary backup.  Leonard is also not a back I would feel comfortable turning the offense over to if Jackson got hurt.
WR Holt carries a big cap number and it will be interesting to see if he gets moved in the offseason.  Avery is going to be a star in the league.  I had a first round grade on this kid and was not surprised he was the first receiver taken in the draft.  Just check out his workout numbers which show why he is so good on the field.  After Holt and Avery, however, Stanley is a valuable player to have as a backup receiver, but that's about it for me.  I'm not as high on Burton as the Rams are and Bennett cannot stay healthy.
TE McMichael coming back from injury will help.  Klopfenstein hasn't developed as I thought he would, but I wouldn't give up yet.  Becht is a good blocker.  This is a solid unit.
OL Ingocnito is an UFA, but the Rams have some young guards they like ready to step in.  Pace is still a solid old pro at left tackle.  However, an upgrade over Barron at right tackle and a center could be added.
DL If Little is healthy, he gives the Rams bookend ends (Long).  At tackle, Ryan is okay on the nose, but could be improved upon and, if not, a better backup is needed.  Carricker is wasted at tackle.  he has good athletic ability and should be an end.  that won't happen with Little and Long on hand.  Glover is an UFA.
LB This team needs a true middle linebacker.  Witherspoon is best served at WILL.  If Witherspoon stays in the middle, Tinoisamoa is a solid WILL.  An upgrade at SAM is needed and more depth.
DB Bartell is an UFA and is heading for a big pay day, either with the Rams or another team.  It's time for Hill to step up and be the corner he has the innate ability to be.  Wade is another corner with potential.  However, if Bartell leaves corner will be a need.  At safety Atogwe has developed into a better free safety than I thought he would be.  However, the team needs an upgrade at strong safety.
ST The Rams kicking/punting game is a strength. Stanley is a young return man who could take a big step next year.

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 2 Chris Long DE 6'3" 272 Virginia #2 DE Round 1
2 33 Donnie Avery WR/Ret 5'11" 192 Houston #3 WR Round 1

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Avery has a rep of being a one-dimensional receiver who runs fly patterns.  He is, however, considered a very good one-dimensional receiver because he gets open deep and catches the ball very well.  I believe there is more to his game.  He is a tough kid who will run curls, ins and outs when asked to do so in the NFL, and will catch the ball.  In other words, I expect Avery to blossom in the NFL as an all around receiver who is a home run threat.  He may not be a #1, but will be a very good #2.  He will need some time to round out his game.  He is also a good return man
3 65 John Greco OT/OG 6'7.1" 305 Toledo #12 OT Round 3/Round 4
4 101 Justin King CB 5'10.7" 192 Penn State #9 Round 2
4 128 Keenan Burton WR 6'0.4" 201 Kentucky #20 WR Round 4/Round 5
5 157 Roy Schuening C/OG 6'3.5" 306 Oregon St # 3 C Round 2/Round 3
7 228 Chris Chamberlain OLB/SS 6'1.5" 226 Tulsa   Late Round Value/Free Agent
7 252 David Vobora OLB 6'1.2" 236 Ohio   Late Round Value
FA   Marc Magro ILB/OLB 6'1.5" 244 West Virg   Late Round Value
FA   Justin McKinney CB 5'9.3" 188 Kansas State   Late Round Value
FA   Josh Thompson DT 5'11.1" 304 Auburn   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   Lance Ball RB 5'9.1" 220 Maryland   Late Round Value
FA   Vincent Hall ILB 5'11" 232 Virginia Tech   Round 4/Round 5

 

A-

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Rams did a very good job of adding quality players in this draft.  I personally would have gone Ellis or Dorsey in round one and moved Carriker to end where I believe he would be a stud, but I can't argue too much with their selection of Long which keeps Carriker at tackle.  I absolutely loved the Avery pick which I explain more in a bit.  The Rams also added some players to watch as college street free agents.

DRAFT PICKS

Long will give the Rams a Patrick Kerney-type defensive end who will get sacks and play the run very well.  He is much better as a 4-3 end prospect than as a 3-4 outside linebacker prospect.

While the networks and draft analysts said that no one had Avery as the top receiver in the draft, that almost was not true.  For a short while right after his on-campus workout I had Avery listed as my #1 receiver.  Eventually, he ended up at #3 behind Thomas and Sweed, but he was one of my two favorite receivers in this draft and a player I would have targeted if I was a GM (Hawkins was the other).  I loved what I saw of Avery during Senior Bowl week, but it was his workout that made me jump up and take notice.  I knew he was fast and an excellent deep threat.  I knew he was tough and would go over the middle more than many thought.  I also knew he had good hands.  However, it was his quickness and sharp cutting ability numbers that made me think this kid could be special.  While his short shuttle time was very, very good (3.91) I had seen it before, but his three-cone time of 6.30 is by far the best I can remember since following this draft.  I now have visions of Avery catching a pass, stopping short, making a very quick cut to get into the open and then using his great speed to take it the distance.  To prove the point, in my fantasy football league we have our college draft the morning prior to the NFL draft which makes watching the draft a lot of fun.  Avery was the receiver I targeted and got in that draft.  Obviously, I loved this pick by the Rams and absolutely agree with him being the first receiver off the board.

Greco played left tackle in college but was thought to be limited athletically so he would have to move inside in the NFL.  However, he has good speed, quickness and athleticism for a kid his size.  At worst Greco will be a versatile sub.  Long term I wouldn't be surprised to see him as a quality starter.

Justin King is an excellent athlete with tremendous speed.  He should be a top special teams player and push for playing time in the nickel.  He has NFL starter skills.

Burton is a good athlete with above-average speed who has a chance to become a solid slot receiver.  However, I would have gone with OLB Stanford Keglar here to push last year's college street free agent, Culberson and journeyman Draft for the starting SAM.

Schuening was excellent value in round five.  He could give Romberg a run for his money at center sooner rather than later.

Chamberlain has the speed and change-of-direction skills needed for WILL, but not the speed to chase plays all over the field.  He may be best served as a strong safety.

Voroba was an interesting seventh round pick.  He will be a good special teams player and could develop into a versatile, quality backup linebacker.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Magro is a tough, strong kid who won't make it easy for the Rams to cut him.

McKinney looked good in the East West Shrine Game, but is a bit of a tweener.  He has the size of a slot corner, the skills opf a man-to-man corner, but the measureables of an outside zone corner.  Still he was a good signing and is a "football player".

Thompson is a fire-plug.  He is a short run-stuffer who will have to show he can handle the nose at his short stature to stick or even make the practice squad.

Ball was a highly-productive back at Maryland.  He runs well inside and would have had a shot as a short-yardage back if Leonhard was not on hand.  He could force his way onto the practice squad with some good work in early preseason games.

Hall is a player who won't impress during workouts, but plays much faster and much quicker than times on the field.  He is a good football player and the preseason will tell if he can continue to get by on his instincts or if the game is just too fast for him.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Long Chris VIRGINIA 6'3" 272 NA 4.71 1.60 2.70 4.21 NA 7.02 34" 10'4"
Avery Donnie HOUSTON 5'11" 192 16 4.34 1.56 2.60 3.91 NA 6.30 37.5" 10'6"
Greco John TOLEDO 6'7.1" 305 30 5.16 1.70 2.97 4.63 NA 7.78 32" 9'0"
King Justin PENN STATE 5'10.7" 192 14 4.31 1.47 2.50 4.31 NA 6.91 37.5" 10'7"
Burton Keenan KENTUCKY 6'0.4" 201 10 4.43 1.56 2.59 4.20 11.36 6.77 38.5" 10'5"
Schuening Roy OREGON ST 6'3.5" 306 26 5.30 1.79 3.04 4.54 NA 7.57 30" NA
Chamberlain Chris TULSA 6'1.5" 226 NA 4.67 1.56 2.71 4.09 NA 6.87 34.5" 9'6"
Voroba David OHIO 6'1.2" 236 21 4.59 1.58 2.67 4.14 11.73 6.99 35.5" 9'9"
Magro Marc W VIRGINIA 6'1.5" 244 28 4.85 1.66 2.81 4.31 NA 7.07 34" 9'10"
McKinney Justin KANSAS ST 5'9.3" 188 11 4.53 1.55 2.58 4.38 NA 7.25 33.5" 9'7"
Thompson Josh AUBURN 5'11.1" 304 NA 5.34 1.84 3.04 4.72 NA 7.76 28.5" 7'9"
Ball Lance MARYLAND 5'9.1" 220 19 4.56 1.65 2.66 4.31 NA 7.11 38.5" 9'10"
Hall Vincent VIRG TECH 5'11" 232 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

STL          Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Bulgar is coming off a down year.  Frerotte is getting up there in age and was found lacking when called upon last year.  Berlin is a stop gap #3.  The Rams need to draft a young quarterback to groom and could find a replacement for Frerotte as Bulgar's top backup. 
RB The Rams have a very good and deep unit at running back with Jackson, Pittman, Leonard and Minor.  A blocking fullback could be added to help round out the running corps.
WR  It's time to bring in some young talent.  Holt and Bruce are an excellent starting tandem, but how long can Bruce keep on going?  Bennett has tools but spends too much time on the shelf.  There is very little behind these three, although Looker has reliable hands.
TE A new offensive coordinator may be just what Klopfenstein needs to finally reach his potential.  McMichael has had some very good years, but is inconsistent.  Byrd can't shale his off field issues.  Walker is coming back from injury and has been a solid player.  
OL Injuries plagued this unit all season so it's hard to evaluate the needs this offseason.  There are players with skills and potential, so I say, bring in a body or two to compete in case injured players do not heal well, but that's about it.
DL Little is coming back from injury and wasn't exactly a sack-demon before he went down.  The Rams need a pass rushing end badly.  At tackle Glover and Carricker are fine and Ryan showed promise as well.  I still believe Carricker should be used as an end on early downs and kick inside on passing downs.  He could be a larger version of the Giants' Tuck.
LB Chillar finally played to his potential, but is a free agent and there will be questions as to whether or not to give him a good contract based on his body of work.  Witherspoon continues to be a great free agent signing.  Tinoisamoa can't stay healthy.  He may not have the size to be a reliable starter.  The Rams could use at least one outside linebacker, two if Chillar walks.
DB I like the Rams' corners.  Hill is going to be a star; Brown is solid, and Bartell and Wade show promise.  Their safety tandem of Atogwe and Chavous is a nice mix odf experience and youth, ballhawking and run support.  While the Rams have some good backup safeties, none are serious contenders to take away playing time from the starters so if a good young safety could be added it would be a nice addition.
ST Even though Wilkins missed more kicks than usual, the Rams kicking game is in good hands.  So is their punting game.  Hall is a tough one to figure.  He has been dominate as a return man and also had some pedestrian years.  Look for the Rams to bring in some competition for Hall.

 

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's Draft Value
1 13 Carriker, Adam DE 6-6 292 Nebraska # 2 DE Round 1
2 52 Leonard, Brian FB 6-1 238 Rutgers # 5 RB, #1 FB Round 2
3 84 Wade, Jonathan CB 5-10 192 Tennessee # 7 CB Round 2
5 139 Fry, Dustin C 6-2 326 Clemson # 5 C Round 4
5 154 Ryan, Clifton DT 6-3 310 Michigan State Late Round Value
6 190 Shackleford, Ken OT 6-5 322 Georgia Late Round Value
7 248 Jackson, Keith DT 6-0 305 Arkansas #11 DT Round 4
7 249 Stanley, Derek WR 5-10 175 Wisc-Whitewater Off My Board
FA Buches, Steve TE 6-4 251 Pittsburgh Off My Board
FA Culberson, Quinton ILB 6-1 236 Mississippi St Late Round Value
FA Kirkland, Andre SS 6-0 204 Kent State Late Round Value
FA Lau, Brad FB 6-0 237 Boise State Late Round Value
FA Tate, Drew QB 5-11 200 Iowa Late Round Value
FA Vinnett, Darius CB 5-8 170 Arkansas Off My Board

 

B+

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

I liked the Rams draft.  They got very good value with Wade, Fry and Jackson.  As far as college street free agents go, a free safety with the potential to stick would have been nice, however, Kirkland may be able to make the transition.

Carricker is a freak of an athlete.  At close to 300 pounds he ran a short shuttle that running backs would be proud of.  While the Rams will start him off at nose tackle, long term he will fit in best at defensive end.  Why use a player with his combination of strength and quickness to engage blockers?  He would be a monster playing opposite Little.  He can rush the passer and stop the run.  The fact that Carricker is being used at defensive tackle, however, doesn't surprise me.  I am in a sophisticated (and tons of fun) fantasy football league.  We have our college draft before the NFL draft.  It makes watching the draft a blast.  Every league has one manager who just doesn't quite get it.  In our league it's Joey Prof.  Late in our draft we can always count on Joe to grab the top rated defensive tackle in the draft as his list of prospects dwindle.  This is a player who won't get many sacks and whose tackle stats are interchangeable with many other defensive tackles who will be available during the preseason draft.   In other words, a wasted pick.  Last year we added a new feature - the first defensive player selected in the draft becomes a franchise player who doesn't count against your year end protects for the following season.  In round four this year, Joey selected Carricker as his franchise defensive player, so the Rams moving him to defensive tackle was to be expected based on the Prof selecting him.  Leonard was the best power running back in the draft.  He also has good speed for a big back and is an excellent receiver.  While he can play fullback, he is a west coast fullback more than a blocking fullback.  He should be Jackson's top backup this year.  I normally do not liker a team drafting a player who will be a backup in round two, however, with no free safety jumping out at this spot in the draft I cannot find fault with this pick.   Wade was a great pick in round three.  He is a converted receiver who will only get better.  I had a second round grade on him and was very impressed with him during Senior Bowl practices.  Wade is more fast than quick, so if used as a nickel early in his career he may struggle some.  However, when he wins the starting job, he will be playing his best position and will be very good NFL cornerback.  Fry is the futurama at center for the Rams (sorry, I had to use that pun).  He is a strong kid who is better blocking for the run than the pass.  Ryan was an underrated prospect heading into the draft.  He plays the run very well and in time could allow the Rams to move Carricker outside to end.  Shackleford only started full time one year but has the size, strength, and skills to land on the Rams' development and protect against other teams trying to steal him.  He needs work but could be a contributor down the line.  Jackson was a great grab in round seven.  I love situations where a player is labeled as an effort-guy who is limited athletically, and then has a nice workout.  Jackson is strong, fast for his size and quick.  He also makes plays.  Look for him to become a part of the Rams' rotation at defensive tackle in the next couple of years.  Stanley is a fast wide receiver who was a terrific Division II player but lacks the size to be anything more than a #5 NFL receiver.  To do that he will have to win the kickoff return job which could be tough with Dante Hall now in town.  Look for Staley to be on the Rams' development squad if they keep him around.

As far as college street free agents go, Buches is a tight end with good measureables, some good college moments, but faces a tough task to make the team with the tight ends ahead of him on the roster.  Culberson is a former safety who will be a good special teams player because he goes all out and is a hard hitter.  He has an outside chance to stick as a versatile backup.  Strong safety Kirkland may be the most interesting college street free agent in the Rams' camp.  Kirkland is very quick and was a tackle-hound in college.  He could be a top special teams player and could make the team, especially if he shows he can play free safety as well as strong safety.  Lau was purely a blocking fullback in college who showed he is a tough runner who can catch the ball well at the East West Shrine Game.  He surprised me with his performance in that game and is certainly worth a look in camp.  Quarterback Tate also had his good moments in that game.  If he were taller he would have gone on day two in the draft.  He has the tools to be an effective backup NFL quarterback.  Look for him to land on the Rams' practice squad.  Vinnett is another player (Staley was the other) who is an excellent football player but may be too small for the NFL.  Vinnett is extremely fast, very athletic, quick, has good coverage skills and very strong for his size.  Unfortunately, cornerbacks under 5'8" are hard to find in the NFL.  Still he could be fun to watch in preseason, especially if he gets a pick.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
CARRIKER ADAM NEBRASKA DE/DT 6'6" 296 33 4.72 1.58 2.70 4.18   7.06 33.5" 9'2"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

I know Carriker is a first round pick, but I believe he will be a special player.  A player who goes all out every down with his size, speed, strength, quickness and athleticism is rare.  Think a bigger, quicker, more athletic Patrick Kerney.  Carriker is the rare athlete who comes along once every few years.  If a team drafted him in the top five, I wouldn't call it a reach.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
LEONARD BRIAN RUTGERS RB/FB 6'1.4" 226 28 4.49 1.54 2.60 4.22 11.59 6.88 34.5" 10'2"
Leonard can play fullback or halfback.  He is a strong kid with good speed and is the best power back in the draft.  He also has good hands and will be a weapon in the passing game. 

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
WADE JONATHAN TENNESSEE CB 5'10" 195 8 4.36 1.48 2.50 4.40   7.07 40.5" 10'6"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Wade is another underrated prospect who looked very good during Senior Bowl practices and had a nice Senior Bowl Game.  Wade has very good speed and cover skills, and is a top athlete.  Wade will be best served as an outside corner.  He is more fast than quick and could have trouble covering slot receivers.  Keep that in mind if that is his initial role.  He may not look great in that role, but is a player who will improve if he wins a starting job.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
FRY DUSTIN CLEMSON C 6'2.5" 314 34 5.40 1.84 3.09          
Fry is very strong and will be best served by a team that uses a power running game.  However, in the right system he could develop into a good starter.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
RYAN CLIFF MICHIGAN ST DT/DE 6'2.1" 305 25 5.07 1.69 2.91 4.69   7.36 29" 8'6"
Ryan plays the run well, holding the line of scrimmage and moving in the hole to make tackles.  He is a bit underrated heading into the draft.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
SHACKLEFORD KENDRICK GEORGIA OT 6'4.7" 322 28 5.29 1.87 3.03 5.05   8.35 24.5" 8'6"
Shackleford is all potential at this point, but has good size and strength and is worth developing on a team's development squad.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
JACKSON KEITH ARKANSAS DT 6'0.2" 305 33 4.85 1.65 2.81 4.56   7.65 30"  
Jackson was considered an effort-guy with limited athletic skills.  However, his workout was impressive.  He is strong, has good speed for his size and has good quickness.  He also has good bloodlines.  I like this kid's chances to stick as a backup.

COMBINE
NO

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
STANLEY DEREK WISC- WHITEWATER WR/KR 5'9.6" 175                  
Stanley is a fast wide receiver who was productive in Division III.  He will have to show good kick return skills to stick since he has a slight build and is a long shot to be more than a #5 wide receiver.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BUCHES STEVE PITTSBURGH TE 6'3.6" 251   4.70 1.58 2.72 4.18   7.05 37.5" 9'6"
Buches had some nice moments at Pittsburgh and has good speed and quickness.  However, he lacks size.  He should get a look in a team's camp.

COMBINE
YES

 

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CULBERSON QUINTON MISSISSIPPI ST ILB/OLB 6'0.5" 236 18 4.77 1.59 2.76       29.5" 9'5
Culberson is a former safety who goes all out and will be a good special teams player.  He could stick as a backup.

COMBINE
NO

 

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KIRKLAND ANDRE KENT ST SS 6'0.1" 204 14 4.54 1.55 2.65 4.06   6.97 36" 10'6"
Kirkland was a tackle-hound in college.  He has acceptable speed and excellent quickness and athleticism for a NFL safety.  He will be a solid special teams player while he learns his craft.  Kirkland could surprise and steal a roster spot in some team's camp.

COMBINE
NO

 

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LAU BRAD BOISE ST FB 5'11.5" 237 18 4.83 1.59 2.75 4.28   7.37 30.5" 9'2"
Lau did little running or catching in college.  He was a blocker.  However, he ran tough and showed good hands catching the ball in the East West Shrine game.  A nice surprise.

COMBINE
NO

 

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TATE DREW IOWA QB 5'11.2" 200   4.90 1.59 2.78 4.18   6.87 32" 9'3"
Tate was a bit inconsistent, but showed he could move on the pocket and throw accurately on the move during the East West Shrine Game.  He made some nice throws.  If Tate was taller he would be a solid pick on day as a backup quarterback.  As it is he will probably have to win a job in a team's camp as a free agent.

COMBINE
NO

 

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VINNETT DARIUS ARKANSAS CB 5'7.7" 170 17 4.29 1.44 2.46 4.07   6.94

      39"

11'0"
Vinnett is extremely fast, very athletic, quick and has good man-to-man cover skills.  Unfortunately he is very small, although strong for his size.  He will get a look in a camp and his skills will be tempting, but at under 5'8" he will be a liability in coverage despite his good cover skills.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Nice mix of starter, veteran backup, and young #3. 
RB Jackson is a top back.  A backup who the coach's believe in to spot him should be added.
WR With Curtis and McDonald UFAs, Bruce aging and Holt coming off injury, this position isn't as solid as in the past.
TE Klopfenstein has a nice upside. Byrd can be a good backup if he keeps his head straight.
OL Timmerman was cut, Steussie is an UFA.  The line is getting younger, but depth is now needed.
DL A pass rusher opposite Little and a run stuffer next to Glover should be added.
LB Time for a young LB to step up to play with Tino and Will.  Maybe Chillar.  Maybe Alston.  Maybe not.
DB Depth and competition at corner and safety are needed.  Outside of Hill all are replaceable as starters.
ST Turk is an UFA.  Ponder is a good KR, but PR McDonald is an UFA.

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

St. Louis
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 15 Hill, Tye CB 5-9 186 Clemson # 1 CB Round 1
2 46 Klopfenstein, Joe TE 6-6 256 Colorado # 3 TE Round 2
3 68 Wroten, Claude DT 6-2 303 Louisiana State # 6 DT Round 2
3 77 Alston, Jon OLB 6-1 224 Stanford # 7 OLB Round 2
3 93 Byrd, Dominique TE 6-2 256 Southern California # 5 TE Round 2
4 113 Adeyanju, Victor DE 6-4 275 Indiana # 8 DE Round 3
5 144 Hagans, Marques WR 5-9 201 Virginia   > Round 4
7 221 McGarigle, Tim ILB 6-0 241 Northwestern Late Round Value > Round 4
7 242 Setterstrom, Mark G 6-4 315 Minnesota Late Round Value > Round 4
7 243 Palmer, Tony G 6-2 330 Missouri   > Round 4
  FA Bagwell, Antoine RB 5-11 186 California, PA Late Round Value > Round 4

 

A-

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Rams did not reach at any spot in the draft, and got excellent value with all three of their third round picks.

Tye Hill was my top rated cornerback in the draft, and I like him more than Pacman Jones who went in the top ten last year.  Hill is a short corner but he can leap so he cover taller receives.  He is also extremely fast, quick, has tremendous change-of-direction skills, and is a terrific athlete.  Hill will be a star in the league.  Great pick for the Rams who needed a number one corner.  Long tem Klopfenstein will challenge Lewis to see who is is the second best tight end (behind Davis) to come out of this outstanding class of tight ends.  Klopfenstein has good hands, speed, size and athleticism.  He is also very strong and will become a good blocker.  Look for Klopfenstein to start right away and be a major weapon in the Rams' new offensive scheme.  Ricky Williams Jr. errr Claude Wroten smoked his way to round three.  He has second round talent.  Wroten is a quick penetrating and pursue tackle who can pressure quarterbacks and parallel the line and make tackles.  He is not the massive run stuffer.  However, he is a good player and could push to start.  However, he is probably starting his NFL with one strike in the league's drug policy.  Jon Alston is as uniquely athletic as a linebacker as Hill is as a cornerback.  He is a little light for the position but makes up for his size with tremendous strength, speed, quickness, and athleticism.  Alston will start off as a special teams terror, and down the line will start at WILL or possibly even strong safety.  Byrd was a player with some mixed opinions.  When he plays he shows terrific hands, but never put up big stats, earning him the label of underachiever by some.  He also looks quick on the filed and can get open deep, but his workouts didn't show that he could do the same in the NFL.  My take is that with the weapons at USC it was not surprising he never had great stats, and that he is a short area target with exceptional hands who can sneak deep once in awhile.  Look for Klopfenstein to be the guy, but Byrd to make a key play or two every game as the second tight end.  Adeyanju has a third round grade from me because of his ability to play end in a 3-4.  He is a good pass rusher, but is not the fast, athletic kind.  He gets a jump at the line to get to the quarterback.  He can play end in a 4-3, but went about where he should have gone as a 4-3 end.  As a 4-3 end he is a rotation player only.  Hagans was a former quarterback whose only shot to stick is as a return man.  He is a smallish receiver with below average speed, quickness, and athleticism.  He could surprise, but I liked Bloom, selected three spots later better as both a return man and extra receiver.  McGarigle is a player I like a lot and he should have been on my "list".  He is quick and athletic, and was extremely productive at Northwestern.  He will be a solid backup to Witherspoon in the middle and a good special teams player.  Stetterstrom was another nice pick.  He is an quick, smart, athletic guard.  He is undersized and lacks strength so is not a fit for a power running team.  He landed in a good system and could be the surprise of the Rams' camp (not that he'll be a star, but that he'll outplay his draft spot).  Palmer is very different than Setterstrom.  He uses his bulk and strength because he is not fast, quick, or particularly athletic.  He is an effort guy, but of the two I think Setterstrom sticks and has definite upside while Palmer could find himself on the Rams' practice squad.

The only college street free agent I will mention is running back Antoine Bagwell from little California, PA.  Bagwell is a shift, cut on a dime back, who runs hard and is a plus on special teams coverage units.  However, he is a small back without breakaway speed, and is not a power back.  Still, he could be a candidate for the practice squad and could stick as a fourth running back because of his willingness to play on special team coverage units.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Hill Clemson 5'9.5", 185 4.30 1.52 2.59 4.01 11.17 6.63   41" 10'9"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

Hill is another first round pick who isn't getting his props.  Hill is a better prospect, in my mind, than Pacman Jones a top ten pick last year.  While a but short, Hill has sprinter speed, excellent quickness, and can sky.  With the premium placed on corners, he will be one of the stars that comes out of this draft and is a top 10 talent.  Congratulations in advance to the team that drafts him.
CB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hill may have had the best week of practice of all players at the Senior Bowl.  He didn't have much of a chance to show his stuff in the game, but made one nice tackle which was the only thing that couldn't be evaluated in practice.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hill is a short, quick cover corner with excellent speed and terrific ball skills.  He catches like a wide receiver.  I will be interested in seeing his vertical leap.  He can cover anyone, but can he go up and challenge a high throw?
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Klopfenstein Colorado 6'5.5", 255 4.56 1.68 2.78 4.24   7.40 27 36" 9'4"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

While Lewis, Pope and Byrd gain more attention as the top tight ends after Davis, Klopfenstein is right there with them.  He will be drafted after at least two of those (Pope and Lewis) because of their "upside", however, Klopfenstein could end up as the second best tight end in this class.  After Davis, he has the best combination of speed and strength at tight end in the draft.
TE/LS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Klopfenstein had some nice catches and some good blocks at the Senior Bowl.  He is another good tight end in a very deep draft for tight ends.
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Wroten LSU 6'2", 302   1.81 2.87 4.83   7.70 26 29.5" 8'10"  
DT
Jordan Blum,  Shreveport Times - Louisiana State All-American senior DT Claude Wroten was arrested late Wednesday, Jan. 4, on charges of felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Wroten was pulled over for speeding and was asked if he had anything illegal in the car, to which he admitted having marijuana for personal consumption. Wroten also had $4,000 in his pocket, which he claimed was on loan from his financial adviser to prepare for NFL training.
Mark Rainwater, Bastrop Daily Enterprise -  Louisiana State DL Claude Wroten has had felony drug charges dropped against him. Wroten was arrested Jan. 4 after a routine traffic stop and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Officers allege Wroten had two bags of marijuana and $3,200 in his wallet when he was pulled over for speeding.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - There are reports circulating on the Internet that Wroten has failed a pre-draft drug test.  That is too bad, he has second round talent.  Wroten is a quick penetrating tackle who can pressure quarterbacks, and is a pursue to the running back to make a tackle much more than a run stuffer.  Wroten had 6 sacks in each of his last two years in college.
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Alston Stanford 6'0.4", 223 4.40 1.56 2.65 4.14   6.90 30 40" 11'0"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

Alston is another outstanding athlete.  He is a bit small for a linebacker, but is very fast (4.4 forty), has good quickness (4.14 short shuttle), and is extremely strong for his size (30 lifts).  Add in his 40" vertical, 11' long jump and 16.5 sacks the last two years at Stanford, and you have a unique talent.  Alston will be a specials teams terror while apprenticing for a starting job at either weak-side linebacker, or strong safety.

OLB/SS
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Bryd USC 6'2.7", 258 4.79     4.50   7.22 16 36.5"    
TE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Byrd looked very good getting open and catching the ball at the Senior Bowl.  He showed the ability to make catches down the field.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Bryd could be a tight end or a h-back.  Bryd is a little shorter than the other tight ends, but still has good size and hands, and acceptable speed. 
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Adeyanju Indiana 6'4", 267 4.68 1.70 2.85 4.41   7.38 22 32' 9'4'  
DE
Mike Mayock, NFL Network - Adewanju can play DE in a 3-4 defense.  His stock is moving up. He is raw but has some upside.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Adewanji has the build to add bulk to play end in a 3-4, or to stay where he is and play end in a 4-3.  His value, however, will be more to a 3-4 team where there are less players available with a track record at end who can transition to that position in the NFL.  Adeyanju has no outstanding athletic characteristics, but is acceptable in all areas.
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Hagans Virginia 5'9.3", 198 4.52     4.32   6.88   34.5" 9'8"  
WR
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hagans was a QB in college.  His best shot in the NFL, at least initially, is a return man.  As a receiver he lacks height and okay speed, but below average quickness and athleticism most successful small receivers possess.
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McGarigle Northwestern 6'0.5", 245 4.73 1.63 2.74 4.07   7.10   38" 9'10"  
ILB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - McGarigle is a quick inside linebacker with good athleticism.  He was amazingly productive in college averaging a little over 136 tackles a year with a high of 156 his senior year.  He is a tough tackle hound who could be a very productive two down middle linebacker in a 4-3, or a full time player rotation player inside in a 3-4.  McGarigle is an underrated and underappreciated prospect.
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Setterstrom  Minnesota 6'4", 315 5.38 1.77 3.10 4.53   7.64 19 26.5" 8'4"  
OG
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Stetterstrom has good short area speed, quickness, and quick feet.  He is not very strong.  He fits best on a team that pulls their guards.  He is not a good fit for a power running team.
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Palmer Missouri 6'2", 330 5.54                  
OG - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - A massive guy who goes all out and plays with strength more than athletic ability.
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Bagwell California (Pa)                      
RB - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Bagwell runs tough, is shifty, elusive, and has sharp cuts.  He also played well on special team coverage units.  However, he lacks top speed and is not a power runner.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

STL
QB Bulgar, Fitzgerald, and Smoker are set as 1,2,3.  Martin is a UFA who could push Smoker if resigned.
RB Jackson is solid.  Faulk can still be effective.  A young runner to groom as Faulk's replacement as the change-of-pace back could be addressed this offseason.
WR Holt is a star.  Bruce is still effective.  Curtis is a RFA who the Rams will not let leave.  He is Bruce's eventual replacement and can be a great option opposite Holt.  McDonald is also a RFA with good skills.  Looker is another productive player.  If McDonald leaves the Rams could bring in another receiver.
TE The Rams' tight ends, Manumaleuna included, are pedestrian.  A stud could be added in the draft.
OL The Rams have a solid offensive line.  Injuries have had a part in some inconsistent play, but the talent is there.  Depth is needed because Tucker and Nutten are UFAs.
DL Both starting defensive tackles are UFAs.  Maybe Kennedy will garb a starting spot under the new regime.  Hargrove and Little are okay starters, but a top notch defensive end would be an upgrade.  Green, a useful DE, is a RFA.
LB The vets, Coakley and Claiborne may have seen better days. Tinoisamoa is steady, but is not a big-play linebacker.  Chillar and Faulk played okay, but neither is an out-and-out stud at linebacker.  Two, maybe, three linebackers are needed.
DB The Rams desperately need a top cover corner.  There is depth on hand to fight for the number two and three jobs.  Archuleta is an UFA who is a system player.  He needs the right scheme to be a dominate player.  In the wrong scheme he looks bad.  Carter could be a good replacement.  Furrey made a nice transition to free safety from receiver, but is best served as a nickel safety.  Atogwe is another free safety best served as a backup.  A starting free safety is needed as well as a player to compete with Carter assuming Archuleta departs.
ST Wilkins is a solid kicker.  Barker, the punter is an UFA. Johnson was a fine kick returner. Looker is just okay returning punts.  The Rams need to secure Barker and may try to find a big-play kick returner.

 

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

St. Louis  - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 19 Barron, Alex OT 6-7 320 Florida State # 1 OT Round 1
2 50 Bartell, Ronald CB 6-1 208 Howard # 16 CB Round 3
3 66 Atogwe, Oshiomogho FS 5-11 203 Stanford # 9 FS Round 4
3 81 Incognito, Richie C 6-3 305 Nebraska # 4 C Round 3
4 117 Carter, Jerome SS 5-11 219 Florida State # 4 SS Round 3
4 134 Terrell, Claude G 6-2 343 New Mexico # 7 OG Round 3
5 144 Collins, Jerome TE 6-4 267 Notre Dame Late Round Value > Round 4
6 192 Ridgeway, Dante WR 5-11 212 Ball State # 24 WR Round 4
6 210 Hodges, Reggie P 6-0 226 Ball State # 1 P Round 5
7 250 Fitzpatrick, Ryan QB 6-2 221 Harvard Late Round Value > Round 4
7 251 Hedgecock, Madison FB 6-3 266 North Carolina Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   McChesney, Matt DT 6-4 307 Colorado Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Dukes, Clifford DE 6-3 268 Michigan State Late Round Value > Round 4

 

The Rams reached a little on day one (except in the first round), but bounced back with some very good value picks on day two.  

The Rams stole Barron.  He will be an All Pro offensive tackle within three or four years.  Bartell has a good upside, but was a reach in round two.  I liked Foxworth, McFadden, Miller, and D. Williams better at that spot.  Time will tell.  Atogwe was also a reach in round three.  Considine has star potential and was available at that spot.  Atogwe could be the type of player who is better in college than he translates to the NFL.  Incognito was a solid selection.  He can play anywhere along the line and has excellent skills and athletic ability.  Down the line he could push Tucker at left guard.  If the Rams are serious about moving Archuleta to free safety, Carter could surprise and end up starting next to him at strong safety.  Carter is strong, fast, athletic, and plays with a mean streak.  he was an excellent pick in round four.  Terrell was the third offensive lineman selected by the Rams and the third good pick.  He is very different from Incognito and Barron.  Terrell gets by on technique and smarts more than athletic ability.  Worst case, Terrell will be a solid sub. Collins has the speed at tight end that the Rams like, but hasn't been able to put that speed to use in games.  He needs work, but has potential.  Ridgway will have his work cut out for him to make the Rams' roster because of their superb depth at wide receiver.  However, he is different than their current crop.  He is not a speed merchant, but has good hands and runs good routes.  He is like Ricky Proehl.  Hodges was my number one punter in the draft class.  I had him rated higher than Colquitt who couldn't get the job done consistently in pre-camp workouts.  While many will say look at Colquitt's body of work in college, the statistician in mean says that his poor workouts under pressure may be an indicator of how he will perform under severe pressure.  If I was drafting a punter, I would have waited like the Rams and grabbed Hodges.  Fitzpatrick is a heady quarterback, who could develop into a top backup.  Hedgecock was my top rated fullback.  he can block, catch, and even run.

The rams added two rotation/depth defensive lineman as college street free agents.  McChesney is a defensive tackle who can be a rotation player, effective in short bursts.  Dukes is an out-out effort guy, who will be good on special teams, and could be a good sub.

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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Barron OT 4.83   4.57   7.83 21 38" 9'4" 19
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Barron supposedly has 38¼ inch arms, which would be the longest I've ever seen.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
Offensive tackle Alex Barron of Florida State, whom many agree is the top prospect at his position, certainly didn't hurt his stock here in the Cybex test. The Cybex, which mechanically measures leg strength, is one of the most dreaded tests here, and usually leaves players drained. While the exact number wasn't divulged, two scouts confirmed that Barron broke the unofficial combine record on the Cybex machine during a Thursday workout.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Top offensive lineman in the draft, may see his value rise because this is not a top-heavy draft for offensive lineman.  Should be drafted mid-to-late first round, but a team closer to the top could reach for him.  A left tackle.
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Bartell CB 4.37 1.52       21 35.5"   35
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Bartell has a nice combination of speed, strength, and smarts.  He is raw, but has the size and skills to develop into a starting NFL cornerback.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports:
One player  worth mentioning is Ronald Bartell, Jr. of Howard, who ran a 4.43 and a 4.37. Bartell is a 6-1 1/4 cornerback, and with that kind of speed he will garner some attention. 
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Bartell gets his mention in my Senior Bowl game analysis because he showed good ability on special teams during kick coverage.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Howard CB Ronald Bartell appeared to struggle at times playing at Senior Bowl speed (at practice on Tuesday). Bartell was beaten on one deep route where he didn't show that extra gear to close on the play. Bartell also tended to play too far off and didn't close anywhere near fast enough to make a play.
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Atogwe FS 4.63 1.55       22     30
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Atogwe is a hard hitting safety who makes plays.  He has the look, however, of a player who may be better in college than in the NFL.  However, he would make a good day two pick for someone because, at worst, he will be a good special teams player.
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Incognito C/OG 4.90 1.70       31     32

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

Poor Richie. He keeps getting hurt at his workouts. However, what he has been able to show has been impressive. He has strength, speed and smarts. He could even slide over to tackle and be competitive. He will be a good value pick, and a versatile member of the team that selects him.

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: The knee injury sustained by Nebraska center Richie Incognito on Saturday afternoon in a simple pass-block drill doesn't not appear as serious as initially feared. While combine officials did not release information on the injury, Incognito was walking around Sunday with only a slight limp and his knee wrapped. Incognito went down in a heap Saturday as he tried to "mirror" another lineman while moving laterally. Before the injury, he posted a 4.90 time in the 40, the best of any of the offensive line prospects.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
League officials are forever griping about the number of prospects who annually decline to participate in all of the on-field drills here. The events of Saturday, though, might make it even more difficult for coaches and general managers to convince players that it is in their best interests to complete every event. Nebraska center Richie Incognito, a center prospect who bypassed his final year of college eligibility to enter the draft and who was considered a first-day pick, suffered what appeared to be a very serious knee injury in an afternoon drill. Incognito's knee caught in the artificial surface of the RCA Dome -- which was rated one of the worst surfaces in the league in a recent survey by the NFL Players Association, and which is scheduled to be replaced this offseason -- and he went down in a heap. Incognito was removed from the field on a cart and immediately scheduled for an MRI exam. If the injury is as serious as some scouts described it, there may be a chance Incognito doesn't even get drafted.

Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Former Nebraska C Richie Incognito, who didn't play last fall after leaving the Cornhuskers program, posted some outstanding numbers, running a 4.90 40, including a very quick 1.70 first 10 yards, but then sprained a knee in individual drills and was forced to the sidelines.
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Carter SS 4.51 1.58 4.11   7.19 21 36.5" 10'1" 13
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Carter is a big-time hitter with speed, strength, and good athleticism.  He plays with a mean streak and will be a good starting, in-the-box, strong safety.  
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Terrell OG/OT 5.19 1.89 4.81   8.19 27 24.5" 7'10" 23
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Terrell is technically sound, and plays with passion, but is limited athletically.  He is the type of player, who at best, is an over-achieving, effective starter, and at worst, is a solid sub who can fill in at guard or tackle.
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Collins TE 4.74 1.63           9'10" 26
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Collins is a tight end who has better measureables than on-field production.  If his skills can be developed, Collins could become a solid #2 tight end.  while being developed, a plus in his favor is that he is a good special teams player.
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Ridgway WR 4.58 1.57 4.26   7.27 15 33" 9'10" 18
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Ridgeway came out early after the NFL Advisory Committee game him a second round grade.  However, with the depth in this draft class at receiver that is a bit optimistic.  Ridgway is a technically sound receiver who has good hands, and runs good routes.  He could be the classic third down receiver who can't stretch the field, but can beat single coverage, gat open, and make a catch to move the chains.
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Hodges P                  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: A report from the combine on Ball State senior punter Reggie Hodges was that he had a very good showing at his on-field workout.  His punts were between 38 and 60 yards, with a hang time between 4.04 and 4.80 seconds.  Hodges appears to be a punter on the rise.  he has passed Colquitt on my value chart.  I now consider him the top punter in the draft class, although he will be selected after Colquitt.
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Fitzpatrick QB 4.86   4.07   7.09   30.5" 8'9" 38
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Fitzpatrick is worth drafting on day two.  He could be an ideal backup quarterback in the NFL.
Allen Trieu of NFLDraftShowcase.com reports:
Fitzpatrick has a shot in the NFL because of his intangible qualities. He'll likely be able to catch on as a 3rd QB/practice squad/NFL Europe guy. These are the late round types who usually make it, Tommy Maddox, Kurt Warner, Jon Kitna, smart, accurate QBs who aren't necessarily the best athletes but know how to play the game. Expect Fitzpatrick to be a late round pick or a free agent.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Fitzpatrick had the best day of all the quarterbacks at the Hula Bowl.  He looked good on all his throws except the deep ball.  He showed arm strength to the sidelines, made good throws over the middle, had a quick release and good footwork in the pocket.  The commentators also said he had a good week in practice impressing scouts.  That said, this was the Hula Bowl, which did not have the top talent in the draft at the game.  But it did show Fitzpatrick could play with good players from the bigger conferences.  In summary, Fitzpatrick could be a good day two pick and have a long career as a quality NFL backup quarterback.  One of my top five players in the game.
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Hedgecock FB 4.77 1.73 4.26   7.42 29 32.5" 9'0" 24
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hedgecock is my top fullback prospect in this draft.  He can block, catch, and even run.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Hedgecock, despite a fumble, had a very good Hula Bowl.  He blocked well, caught the ball well, and ran well, showing good power.  The commentators also said scouts loved the way he picked up blitzes in practice.  Hedgecock, a former defensive lineman, impressed at the Hula Bowl.
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McChesney DT/DE 5.07   4.67   7.66 21 27.5" 8'7"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: McChesney has value as a backup lineman.  He can play end in a 3-4, or tackle in a 4-3.
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Dukes DE 4.94 1.68       28 31.5"   15
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Dukes is a hustler who could be a useful sub in the NFL.

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: Cleeland TE, Dishman G, Fisher DE, Edwards S Nutten G, Polley LB, Pace T
Key RFA: Massey LS (7th), Faulk LB, Goodspeed FB
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: Bulgar is a solid number one.  The Rams' plan, for now, is to move Smoker up to number two.  Chandler will be gone.  A veteran back-up is needed.
RB:
The Rams are set with Jackson, Faulk, and even Harris.
WR:
Another position where the Rams are overloaded.  Holt and Bruce remain the league's top pair.  Curtis will be a star.  McDonald is a good slot receiver.  Looker (UFA) and Furrey can also contribute.
TE: The tight end is not used much in the ram offense.  Therefore, they two they have suffice (although Cleeland is an UFA).  However, if upgrades are available, they will be pursued.
OL: The Rams need a RT.  They could also use an upgrade at left guard.
DL:  The Rams appear set at end with Little, Fisher and Hargraves.  At tackle, the rams have some young players who need to continue to improve. 
LB: Would you believe three new starters in 2005?  It's very possible if Thomas is replaced in the middle.  Polley is an UFA who will be allowed to leave.  Tinoisamoa is being moved to strong safety.
DB: The Rams have good, steady corners, but could use a shut-down CB.  At safety Tinoisamoa and Archuleta will form a pair of very hard-hitting safeties, but a nickel safety who can cover will be needed for the nickel.
ST: Wilkins is fine, but the rams need a punter.  Also, gone are the days of the feared ram return-game.  The could use a return specialist.

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

St. Louis
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 24 Jackson, Steven RB 6-2 233 Oregon State
3 91 Hargrove, Tony DE 6-4 274 Georgia Tech
4 130 Chillar, Brandon OLB 6-2 253 UCLA
5 158 Shivers, Jason FS 6-0 201 Arizona State
6 201 Smoker, Jeff QB 6-3 223 Michigan State
7 237 Jensen, Erik TE 6-2 253 Iowa
7 238 Turner, Larry OT 6-1 297 Eastern Kentucky

 

The Rams needed a stud defensive end to replace Wistrom before the news of Little surfaced.  After learning of Little's problem, I was sure the Rams were going to select .... Jason Babin.  They did not and that may be one of the bigger mistakes in the draft.  Instead of the talented defensive end the Rams grabbed running back Steven Jackson.  While Jackson was my top rated running back (and the only running back for whom I had a first round grade), he is no sure thing and is not the kind of back who will be effective with limited touches.  Jackson is the type of back who needs the rock.  Therefore, he is clearly Faulk-insurance and Faulk-successor, and not a change of pace back.  His game is also very different from Faulks.  Playing him in the Rams spread offense will be like the Redskins' playing Davis in their fun-and-gun.  Is Martz the kind of coach to switch things up when Jackson inherits the position?  I'm not so sure.  Hargrove was a solid choice.  He will be a good end, but may not be good enough to take force teams not to game-plan Little.  Chillar was a bit of a reach.  The Rams currently have in listed as a back-up middle linebacker and he may have a hard time sticking if that is his role.  Shivers was excellent value in round five.  He should be Aeneas Williams successor in a year or two.  A very good choice.  The aptly named Smoker, was held in high accord in some circles and was off the board in other circles.  He has some talent, but has off-field concerns (was suspended in college for a substance-abuse problem).  He has a chance.  Jensen has the raw skills to work with as either a receiving tight end or a fullback.  He is a little small for a blocking tight end.  Turner has player all over the line.  He will be, initially, tried as a backup center.  His versatility could work in his favor and he could stick as a backup lineman.  As far as college street free agents, the Rams brought in a slew of receivers.  All will have difficulty making the team as the Rams are very deep at the position.  One player to watch, however, is Nick Narcisse, who has the speed the Rams like, but never blossomed at Tulane.  Another player to watch is Shedrick Copeland, a safety.  He could be a great special teams player.  He loves to hit, is strong, and is a good athlete.  He is currently slotted at free safety on the Rams' depth chart, but he is a much better strong safety prospect.  Long term he could be a more than adequate backup for Archuleta.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

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Jackson 6-2, 231 4.55 - - 4.09 7.03 16 37½" 9-10
Jackson
Oregon State

#1 ranked RB by Jaybird

Pete Fiutak / CollegeFootballNews.com posted at foxsports.com reports: Projected: late 1st round, early second round. Good or bad move to come out early? Going to the NFL is a great move if only to save him from further battering. OSU head coach Mike Riley had no problems running Jackson into the ground, and now Ricky Williams-lite will make a big impact.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Jackson weighed in at pro day down about 10 pounds from the combine and looked great in his workout. After this workout, Jackson becomes the running back leader and probably will be the first one off the board on Draft Day.
Vic Ketchman, of jaguars.com reports: Jaguars.com draft analyst Tony Pauline expects Jackson to be selected in the top 10 picks, and there are those who agree with Pauline. But Jackson may be the player in this draft on whom there is the greatest range of disagreement. Those who are intrigued by Jackson's size and power are offset by those who consider Jackson to be a lumbering runner.  “He can be a one-man show,” Pauline said of Jackson. “He fits a variety of offenses; adequate pass-catcher and a decent blocker. He'll carry the pile, but he's not an explosive back.”  Pauline believes Jackson will be immediate starters for whatever teams draft them.
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Hargrove DE 6-3 3/8, 269 4.68 - 4.24 7.14 31 39½ 10-2
Hargrove
Georgia Tech

#12 ranked DE by Jaybird

Pete Fiutak / CollegeFootballNews.com posted at foxsports.com reports: Projected: 4th to 6th round. Good or bad move to come out early? A decent pass rusher, DE Hargrove goes off to the NFL leaving behind various academic problems over the course of his career. He could've used another season to put up some big numbers and get into the first two rounds.
NFLFans.com reports: Tony Hargrove did not play in 2003 due to being academically disqualified. Scouts do not like that. It shows a lack of dedication to the game. He will be going into the NFL with no game time experience or conditioning since December of 2002. Although extremely gifted as an athlete with great physical attributes, and even though he has proven very productive and an excellent player when qualified to do so, he will probably slip farther down the charts than he should.
Eric Edholm of ProFootballWeekly.com  reports: Under the radar - DE Tony Hargrove, Georgia Tech — Hargrove couldn't make grades last season and was ruled ineligible. He’ll be one of the youngest rookies in the NFL next season at 20, but his raw athleticism and a decent frame (6-3, 265) with room to grow should make some team bite on him as a developmental project late on Day Two.
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Chillar O 6-3, 253 4.64 - - - 21 - -
Chillar
UCLA

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Chillar has been a bit of an overachiever, not really dominating in any aspect of his game. He does not shed blockers well with hands, plays stiff with limited agility, has limited range and diagnostic skills. He has the size and work ethics to progress and learn what is necessary for him to succeed but will be a developmental project.
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Shivers FS 6-0½, 202 4.53 - - - 19 36½" 10-8
Shivers
Arizona State

#7 ranked FS by Jaybird

Pete Fiutak / CollegeFootballNews.com posted at foxsports.com reports:  Projected: first day, 3rd round. Good or bad move to come out early? A tremendous tackler and the lone star on the Arizona State defense this year, he could stand to get a little bit bigger.
NFLFans.com reports: FS Jason Shivers is a hard working speedster who is Arizona State's defensive playcaller. He led ASU in tackles every year he played.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Shivers ran his first 40 in 4.58 at pro day, and then complained of a tight hamstring and did not run another. He did record a 35-inch vertical jump.
Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: As the draft day countdown approaches three weeks, Kiper has identified Shivers as a fast riser.
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Manning 6-3¼, 225 4.99 - 7.50 - -
Smoker
Michigan State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports:  Smoker doesn’t really have any weaknesses. He is an excellent athlete and one of the best quarterbacks in Michigan State history. The big question is what type of work ethic does he have, and how badly does he want to play in the NFL? If Smoker puts in the work, he could be an excellent player in the NFL. Smoker is probably the 3rd most talented quarterback in the draft, although he probably won’t be the 3rd one selected.
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Jensen 6-2¼, 254  4.63 - 4.05 11.10 6.62 23 36" 9-9
Jensen
Iowa

Jaybird: below 4th round

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Jensen was not present at the combine but he looked really good at his workout.  This tight end could end up being a fullback or h-back in the NFL.
GBNReport reports: Iowa TE Erik Jensen, who ran in the 4.65 range at a solid 6-2, 255, is gaining the attention of scouts; and could get a look as either a TE or FB.
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Turner OL 6-1, 297 - - - - - - -
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Narcisse 5-10 7/8, 185 4.40 - 4.22 11.60 7.16 - 37½" 10-1
Narcisse
Tulane

Jaybird: below 4th round

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Narcisse had a solid workout.  However, he only caught 15 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns his senior yaer at Tulane, despite the presence of J.P. Losman at quarterback. 
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Copeland FS/SS 6-1, 216 4.57 4.17 - 6.98 21 37" 11-1
Copeland
Florida A&M

Jaybird: below 4th round

Sportsillustrated.CNN.com reports:  Tough, run-defending safety best in the box. Gets through blocks on his way up the field, strong at the point and wrap-up tackling, easily brings down opponents on initial contact. Solid special teams player. Lacks the fluid backpedal, slow in his hips and not effective in man-to-man coverage.  Copeland possesses the size for strong safety as well as the tenacity to play the position. Best shot is with a squad that keeps nine defensive backs on the roster. 

 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

St. Louis
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 12 Kennedy, Jimmy DT 6-4 322 Penn State
2 43 Tinoisamoa, Pisa OLB 6-0 231 Hawaii
3 74 Curtis, Kevin WR 5-11 186 Utah State
4 106 McDonald, Shaun WR 5-9 169 Arizona State
4 107 Groce, DeJuan CB 5-10 192 Nebraska
5 148 Curley, Dan TE 6-4 254 Eastern Washington
5 170 Walton, Shane CB 5-11 184 Notre Dame
5 172 Garrett, Kevin CB 5-9 194 Southern Methodist
6 184 Tercero, Scott G 6-4 303 California
7 251 Shanle, Scott OLB 6-2 245 Nebraska
7 254 Angulo, Richard TE 6-8 260 Western New Mexico

B

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

Defensive tackle was not on the Rams' radar for round one entering the draft, but settled for best available, picking Kennedy.  He was a steal as the twelfth pick in the draft.  It would not surprise me if Tinoisamoa is moved to the middle and plays a role in the Rams' defense similar to the departed Fletcher.  Curtis was one of my twelve-to-watch.  As far as potential, he has as much as any receiver (other than Rogers) taken in this draft.  He is tough, smart, has good moves and cutting ability, excellent hands, is fearless over the middle and his speed kept getting better and better the closer it came to draft time (was last timed in the low 4.3s).  Curtis should fill the Hakim-role this year, and eventually take over for Bruce who is getting up there in age.  McDonald, on the other hand, will have a tough time making the roster.  Between Groce, Walton and Garrett, the Rams need one to emerge as a starter, and one to show ability to play in nickel or dime coverages.  Garrett is quick and should become the nickel.  Groce and Walton will battle for the starting job, with Groce the better athlete and Walton the better corner.  Curley is a small school prospect whose future is as a part-time, pass-catching tight end.  He will need to get stronger and become an effective blocker, if he wants to see the field more often.  Tercero is a project with some skills.  Shanle is a back-up, special teams type.  Angulo is an interesting athlete but needs plenty of developing to become anything more than a situational player.
Kennedy Gil Brandt, for NFL.com reports  Jimmy Kennedy from Penn State measured 6-4, 322 at the combine.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports,  Observations from one AFC general manager: "You might think I'm crazy but, if I had a pick in the top five, I wouldn't be so quick to jump on (defensive tackle) Jimmy Kennedy (of Penn State). And, hell, I'd love to get a big tackle like him to just clog everything up in the middle. But the guy scares the hell out of me. He takes too many downs off. There are times you look at him and he just doesn't seem interested in making the play. Like I said, probably I'm goofy, and he isn't going to be around anyway when we pick. So I guess it's a moot point, huh? But if he turns out to be just an average player, remember this conversation, man."
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Kennedy (6-4, 323 pounds) ran the 40 three times: 5.2, 5.22 and 5.25 seconds each (ran on Tartan indoors -- a very fast track). He had a 30-inch vertical and a 8-foot-3 long jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.72 seconds and the three-cone drill in 8.06 seconds. He also did 23 bench-presses.
Tinoisamoa AllProScouting.com reports in pre-combine workouts, University of Hawaii OLB Pisa Tinoisamoa is weighing 231-pounds, running mid-high 4.5's on a grass field, and did a personal best 22 reps of 225.
Draft203.com reports, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Hawaii -- Ran 4.56 in the 40... came in at 6-foot-0, 231 pounds... the increased weight and faster 40-time both helped his cause... sure-fire second round choice... best footwork of any linebacker in the draft...
Curtis Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: There were some very good 40-yard times posted by wide receivers on Sunday but no one hit the kind of daily double that Kevin Curtis of Utah State did. One of the fastest-rising players in the offseason, Curtis clocked a time between 4.38-4.40. But get this: He also scored a 48 on the 50-question Wonderlic test, the psychological profile battery administered to players.
The Great Blue North (gbnreport.com) reports, getting accurate times from players who do run at the combines is also difficult. 'Official' times are only provided to the teams, so what leaks out are times kept by scouts themselves, which can fluctuate considerably. Utah State WR Kevin Curtis, for example, was reported by one source to have run a sub 4.3 40, while another had him in the low 4.3s, another had him in the 4.4 range and still another clocked him at 4.48. Whatever, just about everyone agreed that Curtis, who many people had considered to be a small, possession-type receiver after he caught 174 passes the past two season, was very fast; the consensus also is that Curtis' stock is very much on the rise, much like that of Cliff Russell of Utah last year at this time.
Draft2003.com reports, Kevin Curtis, Utah State -- Ran 4.43 in the 40... at 5-foot-11, 186 pounds.. recorded an amazing 48 in the Wonderlic... interviewed very well... pushed himself up towards the second round... especially with return skills and pass catching ability...
WORKOUT NUMBERS  The Great Blue North (gbnreport.com) reports, Utah State WR Kevin Curtis continues to prove to NFL scouts that he has the potential to be much more than just a possession receiver. Curtis, who plays at 5-11 and just over 185 pounds, blazed to a 4.37 40 clocking at yesterday's USU on-campus workout, bettering the 4.43 time he posted at the combines in Indianapolis late last month. (Gil Brandt of NFL.com had Curtis with a best time of 4.34).
Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com Kevin Curtis continues to impress scouts with his post season performances. He is clearly a second rounder and may be a top 50 pick now.  39 1/2" vertical, 4.27 forty, 20 reps, 11 teams on hand to watch his workout. Has another great day.
McDonald Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports WR Shaun McDonald (Arizona State) hurt his draft status at the combine. In the era of the bigger wideout, the 5-feet-9 McDonald needed to show scouts that he had the quickness to play at the NFL level. Scouts suspected he wasn't as fast as his press clippings contended and they left here with that perceptions, because he didn't run. A lot of players moved ahead of him this week.
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, McDonald was 5-8 5/8 and 175 pounds. He ran the 40 in 4.47 and 4.46 seconds on outdoor Astroturf. He had a 33½-inch vertical, a 9-foot long jump, a 4.07 in the short shuttle, and a 6.85 in the three-cone drill.
Groce AllProScouting.com reports CB DeJuan Groce ran a 4.48 forty at the combine.
Walton Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports CB Shane Walton ran a 4.57 in the spring for scouts and stayed in that same range at the combine.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Shane Walton ran 4.71 and 4.69, 6.90 in the cone drill. No jumps were performed, but he did work out.
Garrett AllProScouting.com reports CB Kevin Garrett ran a 4.32 at the combine.
Draft203.com reports, Kevin Garrett, SMU -- Exploded out of the blocks... ran 4.32 on some watches... very quick... likely secured a place among the Top-5 corners in the draft...
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Kevin Garrett had one of the fastest times at the Combine and he again ran extremely well, posting times of 4.41 and 4.39 on grass.

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : C-


Thomas can play both inside and outside.  His best chance may be to eventually challenge Duncan for the starting MLB spot.  He has the speed the Rams love and is a very good athlete.  The Rams had CB Fisher rated more highly than most draft analysts.  Let's hope they are right.  Gordon is a good player with upside but with Faulk and Candidate how will he ever see the field?  Crouch could be a steal or could fail.  Time will tell.  Bullard is another player with speed and could be an excellent special teams player.  Bellisari is a project.  Massey has skills but is very small for a center.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team.

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 31 Thomas, Robert OLB 6-0 229 UCLA
2 64 Fisher, Travis CB 5-9 189 Central Florida
3 84 Gordon, Lamar RB 6-1 214 North Dakota State
3 95 Crouch, Eric WR 6-0 195 Nebraska
4 130 Scott, Travis G 6-6 311 Arizona State
5 167 Bullard, Courtland OLB 6-3 234 Ohio State
6 205 Bellisari, Steve QB 6-1 222 Ohio State
7 243 Massey, Chris C 5-11 233 Marshall

Click here to go to 900 Football Links prospect news to check out more info