Reviewing Rams 2015 Draft Picks

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The Rams have been trying to build their offensive line for years.  They’ve thrown a ton of money into this pursuit, but with little success (Recent examples: Scott Wells and Jake Long).  So there’s little surprise that Fisher spent a majority of the Rams’ 2015 draft picks on offensive linemen.  Question is…  did he do a better job this year?

Pick #2, Round #2 – T Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin – stiff knees so he comes off the line tall, but otherwise a big dude with a lot of ability.  Havenstein wasn’t expected to be drafted until the 3rd or 4th round so Rams have high expectations for him.

Pick #3, Round #2 – OL Jamon Brown, Louisville – he’s also a big powerful guy with a lot of upside, but he’s an average athlete and can wear down late in the season.  Also expected to go much later in the draft.

Pick #5, Round #4, OL Andrew Donnal, Iowa – Not known for having strong legs and might not be able to provide the kind of push the Rams are going to need to develop a strong rushing game.

Pick #7, Round #6, G Cody Wichmann, Fresno State – thought to be able to help in the run game, but his experience at Fresno State was in a passing offense (???).  Said to be an average athlete.

It’s hard to tell if Fisher et all did good work.  As always there’s a lot of potential here, but only time will tell.  Below is a list of the Rams remaining draft picks and a short comment:

RB Todd Gurley, Georgia – elite first-round running back, but has ACL history.

QB Sean Mannion, Oregon State – set 18 school passing records, but had tons of interceptions.  He also fumbled a lot.  Arm strength said to be below pro starter level.

WR Bud Sasser, Missouri – had a great senior year, but much less productive previously.  Average athlete and does not have elite speed.

LB Bryce Hager, Baylor – solid linebacker at Baylor (thumbs up pick!!)

DE Martin Ifedi, Memphis – played well at a small college.  Should make a solid backup TE.

Rams Send Unhappy RB Stacy to Jets For Draft Pick

Dallas Cowboys v St. Louis Rams

The Rams made a deal Saturday, sending unhappy running back Zac Stacy to the New York Jets.

The deal was made in exchange for the 224th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Stacy requested a trade after the Rams drafted Georgia’s Todd Gurley in the first round on Thursday night.

Stacy last season saw the bench due to increased playing time for Tre Mason. On the year Stacy ran for 293 yards, this after going for 973 yards two seasons ago.

The Rams selected Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager with the seventh-round pick acquired in the Stacy deal.

Todd Gurley the Rams Choice in Round One of the NFL Draft

Auburn v Georgia

The Rams have a new running back to give the ball to, as in the first round in the NFL Draft, the team took the best running back in the draft, taking Todd Gurley.

There’s great hope for Gurley if he can stay healthy, and that’s a big if based on the backs history.

Here’s a scouting report on Gurley.

If it weren’t for the knee injury, Todd Gurley would be my first- or second-ranked player in the 2015 NFL Draft with Jameis Winston being the only other player I would consider ranking ahead of Gurley. In speaking with sources, they agree that those two are the most talented football players in the 2015 NFL Draft. Gurley could be even more physically gifted and rare, but the importance of a quarterback would lean toward Winston being ranked No. 1. In my opinion. Gurley is the best running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson in 2007.

Gurley burst onto the scene in the SEC during 2012. He had a superb debut to lead the Bulldogs’ ground game as he averaged 6.2 yards per carry for 1,385 yards with 17 touchdowns. In the SEC Championship, the freshman ran for 122 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns against Alabama’s tough defense that won the National Championship.

Gurley was awesome when healthy in 2013. The sophomore averaged six yards per carry for 989 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had 30 receptions for 344 yards and five touchdowns.

In 2014, Gurley started the season well by destroying a very good Clemson defense. He finished that game with 198 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns rushing to go along with a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown. Gurley was later suspended for four games for signing autographs. Sources with multiple teams told WalterFootball.com that the suspension won’t hurt Gurley’s draft stock. They say that this is more tyrannical NCAA nonsense. League contacts say their character reports on Gurley are strong. They say he’s a good kid who loves football.

Gurley’s 2014 season ended early in his return to the field against Auburn, which had seen him quickly pick up where he left off. The junior ran for 128 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. Even though Georgia was up 27-7 with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Gurley was still in the game running between the tackles and while being tackled, he tore an ACL. In 2014, Gurley averaged 7.4 yards for 911 yards with nine touchdowns. He had 12 receptions for 57 yards.

Nick Fairley leaves Detroit Lions for St. Louis Rams

Detroit Lions v Carolina Panthers

The Rams are expecting big things out of their newest big man on the defensive line, Nick Fairley, and hoping that he can only add to a defense that at times was flat out dominant last season. Discover the 2015 Draft Moves That Could Have Huge Impact on NFL Lines at Mybookie.ag.

How good was the Rams defense in 2014? Don’t forget they recorded back-to-back shutouts in the second half of the season, and also recorded division wins over each of their three NFC West opponents – two of which made the postseason.

The team believes so much in Fairley that they are going to give him a shot to earn more than the $5.5 million that the Lions would have paid him had they exercised their 2015 option on his contract.

How is that? He simply needs to stay healthy and in shape in addition to productive on the field.

Fairley has per-game roster bonuses that make up $500,000 of his base salary and he has another $500,000 tied to a workout bonus.

Reports from Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch say that it very well could be the largest workout bonus that the Rams have ever given to one player.

The newest Rams D-lineman says that he weighs in about 280 pounds and is looking to put on muscle between now and the start of the regular season.

It’s a good idea on paper, now it will be up to Fairley to put his money where his mouth is – because it’s rather apparent that if he puts too much food in that mouth he’s not going to see that bonus that he’s out to try and earn for his new team.

Fairley was the 13th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, and with a ton of potential, he’s yet to be that dominant force on the field that he could be.

Now he’s got a one-year deal with the Rams worth $5 million but also includes another possible (though unlikely) $2.5 million that can be attained.

Here’s the overall list of money that Fairley can attain this season.

Base salary: $2.5 million

Roster bonus: $1.5 million (paid March 15)

Additional bonuses: $31,250 per game active, up to a maximum of $500,000, and a $500,000 workout bonus

Cap charge: $5 million

Cash charge: $5 million

The Rams come into their offseason already with a good defensive line with Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers at tackle in addition to Robert Quinn and Chris Long at end.

Adding Fairley, who needs to stay motivated and in shape, and overall the Rame can have the best defensive line in the NFL.

Bradford Said He Knew Going to Philadelphia was a Possibility

St. Louis Rams v Cleveland Browns

Sam Bradford said he knew coming to the Eagles was a possibility “3-4 weeks ago,” another indication of Chip Kelly’s interest in acquiring the former St. Louis Rams quarterback, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“This has been in the works for awhile, so it didn’t catch me by surprise when it happened yesterday,” Bradford said Wednesday at his introductory news conference. “I think any quarterback in this league would love to play for Chip and his offense. It’s extremely quarterback-friendly. In the tape that I’ve watched, it’s a lot of fun to play in. It’s similar to what I did in college at Oklahoma.”

He said he only had a brief conversation with Kelly and is still processing the trade, which he learned about 24 hours ago.

Report: Foles Said to Be Happy To Finally Be Done with Eagles and with Rams

Philadelphia Eagles v Houston Texans

Quarterback Nick Foles is reportedly glad to be out of Philadelphia according to Sal Paolantonio of ESPN.

Commenting on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly, Paolantonio said, “I just talked to a member of Nick Foles’s family. He is absolutely pumped, overjoyed he’s out of Philly.” There were no direct reports of friction between Foles and Eagles head coach Chip Kelly but it has become increasingly obvious that Kelly was not sold on any of his offensive skills players.

“He jettisoned deep threat wideout DeSean Jackson last summer and shed the team of Foles, leading rusher LeSean McCoy, and top wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in just the past week. Foles likely will also not miss the frantic no-huddle offense in Philly.

It is easy to see why Foles is overjoyed to go to St. Louis, despite the team’s 6-10 record in 2014. He is walking into a situation where he knows he will be the starter barring a catastrophe and to a team with one of the most dominating young defenses in the NFL. After Kelly’s purge of the Eagles roster, it could also be argued that the Rams have better offensive skill players.

Rams Looking To Build Off 2014; But Challenges Lie Ahead This Offseason

New England Patriots v St Louis Rams

The 2014 season was not an easy one for the St.Louis Rams, as the team wasn’t able to build on their 7-9 record in 2013, and actually record-wise went backwards in 2014, going 6-10.

The team suffered injuries at the QB season which seemed to set them back all season. They got an early blow with Sam Bradford again going down, and were forced to use backups like Austin Davis and Shaun Hill.

On a positive note, the defense played lights out at points during the season, recording back-to-back shutouts in weeks 13 and 14. The team demolished the Oakland Raiders 52-0 in week 13 at the Edward Jones Dome, and in week 14 they went to the Nation’s Capital and shutout the Washington Redskins 24-0.

Tre Mason was the teams best running back, going for 764 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, it was Kenny Britt leading the way with 84 grabs for 748 yards and three scores.

The team though needs to keep building through their defense, and in 2015 they will need another big season from DE Robert Quinn, who in 2014 had 10.5 sacks.

They also need to figure out the future of injured QB Sam Bradford, who was unable to play a down in the regular season due to injury. If the team keeps Bradford, they need to be assured he can stay healthy, which is no easy task.

The Rams also still play in a tough division with the NFC Champion Seahawks (who the Rams beat in 2014), and 49’ers, who will have a new look with a new coach, and the Cardinals, who made the postseason as well as a wild card in 2014.

The offseason should bring some interesting changes to the Rams, as they decide the future of their franchise. Currently Amreican football odds at WilliamHill Canada have the Rams listed at 45/1 to win the Super Bowl next season.

It won’t be easy for this team to overcome those odds, but this offseason should set the course for the Rams as far as if they have it in them to be a true contender for their second Super Bowl title.

Rams Owners Won’t Return Cities Call Amid Speculation Team Going Back to Los Angeles

Los-Angeles-Rams-return-to-Los-Angeles-FOOTBALLPHDS

St. Louis City officials said Wednesday that the owner of the Rams isn’t returning their calls, so they plan to work directly with the NFL on efforts to keep a team — any team — in St. Louis amid speculation the Rams are headed back to Los Angeles, Arash Markazi of ESPN reports.

Rams billionaire owner Stan Kroenke is part of a joint venture that announced plans Monday for an 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburbs, a move that could soon return the NFL to the nation’s second-largest market and the home of the Rams from 1946 until they moved to St. Louis in 1995. The move would have to wait at least a year; the NFL has said no team moves would be allowed in 2015.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon isn’t giving up on the Rams.

“St. Louis is an NFL city,” Nixon said Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s too late to keep the Rams.”

But city leaders are hedging their bets, saying the plan now is to work directly with the NFL, not the Rams. The change in philosophy is due in part to the fact that Kroenke won’t take calls from Mayor Francis Slay or other city leaders, said Maggie Crane, Slay’s spokeswoman.

“He hasn’t responded, he hasn’t called back, he hasn’t done anything,” Crane said of Kroenke.

“After a while, you sort of get the hint,” said Jeff Rainford, the mayor’s chief of staff.

Messages left Wednesday at Kroenke’s office were not returned. A Rams spokesman declined comment.

“The NFL can make money in St. Louis,” Rainford said. “It may end up being the Rams with this owner, the Rams with a different owner, a different team with a different owner.”

Rainford said St. Louis can make a compelling argument to remain an NFL city: It is the nation’s 20th-largest market, with a loyal fan base that sold out every game at the Edward Jones Dome from the team’s arrival until a long run of bad play — the Rams haven’t had a winning record since 2003.

If the Rams leave, it isn’t clear which team St. Louis might pursue.

The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers also have been reported as teams that could move to Los Angeles.