The Bengals are at home, talented, healthy, and pissed. The Rams are
poorly-coached, their QB is a stiff who lost his job to Case freakin' Keenum,
their receivers are awful, their O-line is practice squad-quality, and
the only unit on their team that could be considered a strength at this
point (D-line) is banged up and lining up against a stout Cincy O-line.
The only way things could be worse is if...oh, I don't know...one of
their teammates was nearly murdered or something. What makes you think that Rams will rebound in this spot?
The Rams simply could not generate team momentum and had another disappointing season. They canned Scott Linehan after Week 4 of the regular season after starting 0-4. Jim Haslett stepped in
and won two very suprising games against respectable NFC East opponents... OK maybe we should not respect America's Chokers anymore until
they actually win the playoffs. After they beat the Cowboys, Rams fans were like, "JIM HASLETT FTW ... CHAMPIONSHIP!" Then, they proceeded
to lose 10 straight games en route to the No. 1 overall pick. Let's get right to the St. Louis Rams draft range at the No. 2 overall
Michael Crabtree: There used to be a very high wave of hype for Michael Crabtree after Larry Fitzgerald's performance in the Super Bowl. I have
always maintained the Rams have far greater needs and left tackle offers more positional value than wide receiver. It does not matter
who is at receiver; if the quarterback does not have time in the pocket the receivers will never have an opportunity to make plays. Crabtree
intelligently elected for surgery, and now no one has a 40 time on him. Crabtree has a zero-percent chance of going No. 2 overall.
Aaron Curry: We all know how desperately the Rams need defense, but I do not see them drafting a linebacker at this pick. They
will move over Will Witherspoon from MIKE to WILL linebacker, which leaves a need in the middle of the defense. Quinton Culberson
could be upgraded at the strongside, but I think he is a solid player. I do not think it is very probable the Rams go SAM linebacker at No. 2
Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe: Here we go. When it is all said and done, the favorites to the No. 2 overall pick will be Smith or
Monroe. Take your pick, or if you are the Rams front office, flip a coin! I am mocking the Rams Monroe over Smith because I think Monroe
has more polished footwork and is the more consistent blocker. Sure, Smith put up 33 reps at the Combine, but he only played in the two-point
stance at Baylor, and as the great Mel Kiper questioned, "...a former tight end? People weren't even wowed over with him before the season? Are you
kidding me?" Kiper was referencing Smith to the Lions at No. 1 overall, but my point is Kiper called Smith out because scouts did not
think very highly of him before the season.
After the No. 2 selection, the Rams have a boatload of needs.
In terms of an inside linebacker, they could go with James Laurinaitis at No. 34 overall if he falls there. They could also take a look
at Darry Beckwith, Dannell Ellerbe and Gerald McRath in the third or fourth rounds if they do not take Laurinaitis early on.
Ron Bartell is one of the most underrated corners in the NFL, but a starter is needed opposite him. Jonathan Wade looks like a complete bust.
Fakhir Brown and Jason Craft will likely not be brought back, and if they are, they won't be entrenched as starters. Coye Francies, Alphonso Smith, and D.J. Moore
are options at 34 overall. If they want to go with a corner in the mid rounds, I like Mark Parson, Jairus Byrd, Kevin Barnes, Brandon Underwood and Keenan Lewis.
Corey Chavous was cut and it looks as if they have no starter at the moment. William Moore, Patrick Chung, and Jairus Byrd (versatile at CB and S) are options
at 34 overall in terms of in-the-box safeties. They might also consider Sherrod Martin, Darcel McBath, Courtney Green and Emmanuel Cook
in their third- to fifth-round draft range.
A backup, change-of-pace tailback is needed behind Steven Jackson. I like Javon Ringer, Kory Sheets and Mike Goodson as options in the third
or fourth rounds.
Do not overlook the Rams taking a defensive tackle off the board at 34. Both Ron Brace, Evander Hood and Peria Jerry all provide very solid value that high in the
second round. Adam Carriker is a complete bust and Clifton Ryan has shown no play-making potential. I also think their draft range for
defensive tackles includes Jarron Gilbert, Alex Magee, Sen'Derrick Marks, and Fili Moala are third or fourth round options. If they want to look
for a late-round developmental player with potential, then they might have their eyes on Myron Pryor, Terrance Knighton and Roy Miller.
I like Donnie Avery, but Keenan Burton is an injury risk. Torry Holt's future is uncertain. I think the Rams have more pressing
needs on defense, and will not opt for a receiver at 34 overall. Brian Robiskie,
Juaquin Iglesias, Brandon Gibson, and Mike Wallace would all be solid third- or fourth-round picks. I like Brandon Tate as a flier in the later
Defensive end depth is very necessary behind Chris Long and Leonard Little. Kyle Moore, and Phillip Hunt are intriguing options
in the third-to-fourth round range.
Marc Bulger really sucked last year, so the Rams might take a flier later on to try strike gold with a late-round selection. The top project
quarterback in this draft I believe is Rhett Bomar of Sam Houston State. I watched him at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, and he has some intriguing physical
tools. He has a good arm, but needs some technique work specifically with his release and footwork. If a coaching staff can mold him and coach him up,
he could be a gem. I expect him to come off the board between Rounds 4 and 5.