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Snead & Fisher: First Draft Impressions

 
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JAD


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Snead & Fisher: First Draft Impressions Reply with quote

Well after the inaugural draft of our new Head Coach and GM, thought I would write up some observations of mine. A look at some of the occurrences of the 2012 draft to see the attitudes, behaviors, and possible future directions of this new dynamic duo in STL.

Movin' on Down
Well if you had to pick one highlight from the Rams draft, it would have to be the event that took place back in March with the trade down from #2. This was a huge trade that should set the Rams up for the future. However, beyond this trade, the Rams moved back more in this draft than we have in years. Devaney never was one for moving. In fact in Devaney's 4 drafts here, he moved down twice. twice. Only one of those times did he receive additional picks (an extra 7th rounder). Snead traded down twice that amount in his first draft here! In total, he acquired an additional two 2nds and a 5th this year, and firsts in the next two years. Snead obviously sees the value in adding more picks to a talent deprived team. Which leads me to my second observation..

Snead Likes Picks
If anyone heard any of the transcripts that were coming out from the Rams draft room, they heard Snead trying to get back that 5th round pick that wasn't here when he arrived. He asked the Cowboys to throw one in, and he finally got the Bears to do so. Snead never likes to be off the clock long, and he mentioned after the draft that he didn't like the huge gap between the 4th and 6th round. That additional 5th rounder (added by only trading down 5 spots in the 2nd) added a potential 53-man roster guy at Guard. He was able to slide down in the 1st round this year to acquire another mid 2nd round pick. It will be interesting to see how he utilizes TWO possibly early first rounders next year. Hopefully he utilizes those picks to grab our team more...

Playmakers (for real this time..)
Billy Devaney, August 1st, 2010 wrote:
I think we've got a lot of guys here that can make plays. I really do.


Ehh not quite, Billy.
Devaney stressed a few times about getting playmakers for both sides of the ball, however come the draft you had to wonder if he sent a stunt double into the draft room who didn't hear all this 'playmaker' talk. Last year this was personified when the Rams viewed the best additions to help Sam Bradford were an H-back in the 2nd round, a slow, undersized possession wide receiver, and a big slot receiver. While I think it is too soon to completely write these guys off, I think we all know the ceiling is low. The ceiling of this whole football team is low. Snead also came in and stressed adding playmakers.. and I think he has added more potential in this one draft than Devaney did in his time here. Brockers has massive potential. Quick reminds the staff of TO. Jenkins was once a top 10 prospect, and didn't get any worse on the field. Pead is the most athletic back we have had since we drafted Jackson. Snead knew what this team needed. They need potential stars. They don't need low ceiling, high floor guys. He needs big time potential. He need guys who aren't afraid to be the....

Big Men on Campus
The biggest pattern I noticed from this years class? The Rams drafted 5 players in the top 70ish prospects, and 4 of those 5 were the best players on their team. Janoris Jenkins, Brian Quick, Isaiah Pead (on offense anyway), and Trumaine Johnson were all the big men on campus at their schools. They were the stars. They were going to be the first and in some cases only players from their teams to be drafted. They are used to leading, they are used to being the best, and they are used to less talented people playing around them. Obviously there are possible negative aspects of this; entitlement, cockiness, or arrogance.. but it seems it was worth the risks for Fish and Snead. And taking risks on prospects with possible character questions is something we may want to get used to because....

The Four Pillars are DEAD
While there is definitely a debate into how much they were ever alive (Gilyard had questions, Murphy was regarded as quite arrogant, Fletcher had issues in the past, etc), this was still something we heard early on in the Devaney-Spags era. And even if it wasn't truly a by the book, black and white, no tolerance policy in regards to who they drafted, the Rams were far from a 'take a risk' type of team. I'll never forget when asked after the 2010 draft if the Rams would take a chance on signing Legerrete Blount, Devaney replied "hahaha..no." Blount would end up as a solid runner on the Buccaneers, but many forget he started training camp with Jeff Fisher in Tennessee. Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson are two guys Devaney would have said "hahaha..no" to. Some of us may not be okay with some of these risks, but Fisher is an authoritative head coach whose players love him and who offers leeway with his players. I think the combination of Jeff Fisher's confidence in handling the "troubled" kids and Snead's learning under Thomas Dimitroff of thoroughness and drafting football guys is a real winner. This showed up in their (almost insanely) thorough background of Jenkins. Talking to locals in his home town, high school teachers, old coaches, etc. That thoroughness will prevent us from being burned, while Fisher's coaching ability lets us grab the guys who aren't sparkling clean. Another potential pattern we saw was that....

Visits Matter
Michael Brockers, Brian Quick, Janoris Jenkins, and Chris Givens all paid visits to Rams park. The Rams also paid a local visit to see Greg Zuerlein. That is 50% of the Rams draft that visited beforehand. This might be an interesting pattern to look at going forward. Devaney said they really only used prospect visits to find any missing information that they didn't get from film/workouts, and to see how the players interacted (in their big prospect day events, where all prospects were here over a 48 hr period). There really weren't ever more than a couple players that the Rams brought in that they ended up drafting. Snead made it seem like it was important to work the players out here, get a closer look at the guys they liked, and let their coaches get a good look at guys because now....

The Position Coaches are Involved
My favorite quotes after the draft were from D-line Coach Mike Waufle raving about Brockers and WR coach Ray Sherman comparing Quick to TO. We are all excited to have experienced and gifted position coaches to be involved in the process. This is not to say that they weren't involved in the previous regime, but I like how they shared their opinions on the prospects and were allowed to talk about them to the public. This brings me to my final point, and in reality the most underrated and important point for fans....

The Closed Doors are Now Open
My biggest peeve in regards to Devaney and Spags was the seclusion. Spags never made a statement that didn't sound like reading a chapter from a "how to deal with the media" handbook. Devaney was good for a chuckle every now and then, but aside from the occasional joke, he never let anything meaningful out. For us fans who live and die by this team, I've never felt more disconnected from the team than I had these past couple years. Jim Thomas talked about how gloomy it was around Rams park, then came the strange firings of long time employees, and there just wasn't much talking coming from the team. Snead is a great talker and from day one he has been open to letting everyone know what is going on. He said we were trying to trade the pick, he talked about guys he liked, he talked draft strategy, etc. My favorite part of draft day one? Finding out that the Rams let a reporter from YAHOO SPORTS NEWS into their WAR ROOM to report what was going on. Can you imagine if Devaney or Spags had been approached from Mike Silver asking to sit in on the war room? This is a great way for fans to connect to the team. I am a big time St. Louis Cardinals fan and ever since I was a tiny kid I remember loving this team because of how connected they were to the fan base. Opening the doors, talking to the media, getting out into the community (Hearing how Rams players hung out with fans at Dave & Busters) is what is going to sell tickets, bring in fans, and ultimately help this team prosper. I am very excited for the future.


Everyone else please feel free to post observations as well as comment!
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El ramster


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice read. Also Snead bas some Lulz.
Someone asked him about the punter!
He said something like we're not punting haha.
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jrry32


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting read, I agree with the Snead philosophy of trading down. I love picks, it'll be interesting to see what we do with our firsts next year in regard to staying put vs. trading up/down.

However, your piece needs more Rokevious Watkins love. He's going to be a steal. Wink
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Wr80


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El ramster wrote:
Nice read. Also Snead bas some Lulz.
Someone asked him about the punter!
He said something like we're not punting haha.


That was Fisher, he joked about not punting the ball at all.
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chris00cm


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snead drafts the Patriot way. The only way a team should draft if you ask me. The further down in the first round you go, the more value you get per pick.

With just a little creativity, next years draft could really set up us for the long haul. Trade down with one of the firsts to get future picks.

I understand the mind set in this draft to have a many picks as possible just so that Snead can put his stamp on the team immediately. In the next drafts, I expect him to put more into the future.

I have one more thing to add. I wouldn't exactly rely on Snead to draft players that visited next year. I think that was just a case where he was hired during the middle of the scouting season, and they didn't want to take any risks on players they haven't seen personally. Next year, Snead and his gang will have way more players on their board and will watch more players.
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JAD


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jrry32 wrote:
Interesting read, I agree with the Snead philosophy of trading down. I love picks, it'll be interesting to see what we do with our firsts next year in regard to staying put vs. trading up/down.

However, your piece needs more Rokevious Watkins love. He's going to be a steal. Wink


Lol. I like Rok. I really hope he can secure one of the guard spots. I just haven't seen enough of the guy.
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Flatlyner


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write up, thanks man.

All in all, I'm quite happy with their handling of the draft. Sure, I wish they had done the initial trade back with Cleveland and picked T Rich, but cant fault them for the haul they got for the pick. Drafting the Patriot way has been quite successful for the Pats, and they even proved it this year getting some great guys later in the draft. We can certainly use some of that here, having been deprived of talent evaluators for the last many years.

Hell, I'm still fuming over our 2001 draft.... 3 freaking picks in the first round and..... nothing ?!?! 5 HOFers were drafted in that first round, not by the Rams
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kmklink


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOVE this post !! and if Snead can keep repeating these kinds of trades where we can keep multiple 1st rounds in the draft by trading a 1st rounder while keeping one and adding picks in other rounds, we should stay strong and young!! love the philosophy of this , always have ...

And we should have traded 2 of the 3 , 1st rounders in 2001. Iwas yelling every %&$#*(! curse word at the TV that Iknew .. and the year we took L.Phillips instead of Eddie George , I almost shot my dog in Anger just for looking at me with a dumb ( whats the big deal )look .
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Wr80


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmklink wrote:
LOVE this post !! and if Snead can keep repeating these kinds of trades where we can keep multiple 1st rounds in the draft by trading a 1st rounder while keeping one and adding picks in other rounds, we should stay strong and young!! love the philosophy of this , always have ...

And we should have traded 2 of the 3 , 1st rounders in 2001. Iwas yelling every %&$#*(! curse word at the TV that Iknew .. and the year we took L.Phillips instead of Eddie George , I almost shot my dog in Anger just for looking at me with a dumb ( whats the big deal )look .


I love the trading down, it can be a huge long term build up. I think we'll do very well with these 2 in our office not to mention we got real scouting instead of the [inappropriate/removed] we had before.
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JAD


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flatlyner wrote:
Nice write up, thanks man.

All in all, I'm quite happy with their handling of the draft. Sure, I wish they had done the initial trade back with Cleveland and picked T Rich, but cant fault them for the haul they got for the pick. Drafting the Patriot way has been quite successful for the Pats, and they even proved it this year getting some great guys later in the draft. We can certainly use some of that here, having been deprived of talent evaluators for the last many years.

Hell, I'm still fuming over our 2001 draft.... 3 freaking picks in the first round and..... nothing ?!?! 5 HOFers were drafted in that first round, not by the Rams


I agree that the Patriot way works wonders. I am especially a fan of the way Dimitroff has handled his work since going to Atlanta. A lot of people complain he hasn't won them a ring yet.. but GM's build teams, they dont build Super Bowls. He has done just an amazing job since coming in and kickstarting the post-Vick era. Snead exemplifies a lot of Dimitroff's qualities as a thorough, intelligent, and passionate guy while still being laid back and fun. Snead won't overthink or underthink it. I think we all can agree he added a ton of raw talent to this team. And with an experienced coaching staff, hopefully they can develop.

Ugh, preaching to the choir bud. I was a big Archuleta fan before he got injured, but I just didn't get the Pickett or Lewis picks. ESPECIALLY Lewis. Thought that guy was a bum. Pickett needed to be drafted into the 34. Either way, the best team in the NFL (at the time) with 3 first round picks???? and here we are today.. Worst record in NFL history over a 5 year span.
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Halradio


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new regime certainly isn't afraid to take chances.

Of course when your team has the worst record over the past 5 years you have to do something.

Although the raised a lot of eye brows by passing on Clairborne - the fact his availability for the start of training camp is in doubt vindcates that decision at least in the short term.

As for the 2001 draft it looked like they had struck gold for the first couple of years with the likes of Archelata, Pickett, and Polley - particularly during their last Superbowl run. Then the wheels started to come off starting in 2002.

I try not to look at past drafts to play the "what if" game, but when you have four picks inside the first 42 its hard not to.
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The J.R.S.


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halradio wrote:
The new regime certainly isn't afraid to take chances.

Of course when your team has the worst record over the past 5 years you have to do something.

Although the raised a lot of eye brows by passing on Clairborne - the fact his availability for the start of training camp is in doubt vindcates that decision at least in the short term.

As for the 2001 draft it looked like they had struck gold for the first couple of years with the likes of Archelata, Pickett, and Polley - particularly during their last Superbowl run. Then the wheels started to come off starting in 2002.

I try not to look at past drafts to play the "what if" game, but when you have four picks inside the first 42 its hard not to.


Archuleta was a good player before his neck injury.

Pickett was a good Green Bay Packer.

Lewis proved to be a rotational guy and nothing more.

Tommy Polley was single handedly responsible for Brady's last drive against us in the Super Bowl. Watch that tape and notice the Pats attacking an out of position Tommy Polley on nearly every play....
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keepnitgangsta1


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very aggressive and I love it. Great post by the way.
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