Wednesday, January 13, 2010

St. Louis Rams: 10 players to watch

This will prove to be a crucial off-season for the St. Louis Rams. While I don't expect the Rams to have a winning record in 2010, history has shown that if you make the right moves your team can drastically improve in one off-season. With so many needs the Rams could go in many directions. So here is my watch list for the Rams 2010 off-season.

1: Michael Vick QB Philadelphia Eagles
One year ago it was a risky move to sign Michael Vick. Nobody knew how the public would view his return to football, and I'm sure people were wondering how Vick would conduct his own behavior. To me those questions have been answered. The Rams need a QB with some mobility, and there's nobody with more mobility that Vick. He would add a much needed playmaker to this offense. Sure he's not the greatest passer, but the Rams aren't going to sign a great passer. Vick might give the 2010 Rams the best chance to win.

Also, if the Rams were to acquire Vick we would instantly become a talking point and relevant to the NFL, something we were not in 2009. Now, he won't come free. The Rams would have to trade for Vick from the Eagles. And if I read between the lines correctly the Rams are interested. The only problem might emerge if other teams desire Vick's services as well. The Rams aren't exactly a desirable place to play right now.....

My prognosis: Make it happen. 60% chance.

2: Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
Suh is regarded as the best talent in the 2010 NFL draft. The St. Louis Rams have the first pick in said draft. The Rams had the 4th worst defense in the NFL and 6th worst rush defense. All signs point to drafting Suh. Two reasons why: one is that Suh is being touted as a "special" player that doesn't come around that often. After watching him in college, I agree. Second point is to win in the NFL you need to win the battles on the line both offense and defense. This would go a long way in securing our defense. Let's put it this way, only if the Rams trade down would I be happy if we don't draft Suh.

My prognosis: Please do this. 90% chance.

3: Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
I really think the Rams need a new QB, and Clausen is the best QB in the draft. Drafting him would make the Rams relevant to the national media with everyone looking into his development. Also, the Rams would gain the attention of the loyal Notre Dame alumni which would help our attendance and overall interest.

However, is Clausen the right QB to draft number 1? I don't think so. Sure he's good, but he's no slam dunk. And great QB's don't have to be drafted in the first round, they often get drafted in 2nd and 3rd rounds. However, Clausen will gain lots of media attention especially with the Rams need at QB. In fact, I will say now that if Clausen gets drafted number 1 it's because another team trades up to get him!

My prognosis: Not my choice, but I could see it happening. 10% chance.

4/5/6/7: McCoy/Tebow/Bradford/Pike

As I mentioned before, the Rams need a QB. If we take Suh with the first pick I fully expect the Rams to pick up a QB in round 2 or 3. The real question is who will be available? I like Colt McCoy the best. I like his accuracy, mobility and leadership. Sam Bradford has much to prove, but if he is healthy again he has promise to be a great passer in the NFL. Tim Tebow may not be the prettiest passer available, but his heart and leadership and determination to improve makes him a viable candidate. Tony Pike could move up the boards with some good workouts, but so could other QB's. My point is that there will be some QB's available in this draft. The question is who will still be on the board?

My Prognosis: 90% chance a QB is taken. I rank them McCoy, Tebow, Bradford, Pike.

8. Reggie Bush RB New Orleans Saints
Bush is one of the most electric playmakers in the NFL. At least of the players who are free agents this off-season. Think about what Bush could offer to the Rams. He's a great compliment to Stephen Jackson. He's a playmaker both in the running game and the passing game. In fact, his pass catching ability would help make up for our lack at wide receiver. But I wonder if Reggie would choose to come to St. Louis if he receives multiple offers. (which I think he will) And how much would he cost? How much can the Rams afford for a number 2 back?

My prognosis: A boy can dream. 20% chance.

9. Osi Umenyiora DE New York Giants
Osi made it clear he is unhappy with the Giants. And the Rams just so happen to have his former Defensive Coordinator in our head coach Steve Spagnoulo. Plus think about if we have Umenyiora combined with Suh and Chris Long? Tell me our defense wouldn't be better! The problem is how much would it cost the Rams to trade for him? With all the needs the Rams have it would not be shrewd to give up too many picks on trades this off-season.

My prognosis: Osi will have a better chance to win in NY. 10% chance

10: Danario Alexander WR Missouri Tigers
Fans of Mizzou know about Danario. They know about his speed, his hands and his overall explosiveness. We've heard him compared to Randy Moss and know he could be a first round pick. What puzzles me is how the rest of the nation doesn't seem to get it. I've seen him listed as going in the 4th round! The Rams have great need at the WR position and really need a tall receiver to compliment Donnie Avery. The trick is if he is still on the board in the 3rd or 4th round. I'll say this right now, if Danario does fall to the 4th round the Rams take him with the first pick of the 4th.

My prognosis: Just the luck of the draft. 20% chance.

So there's my watch list. In the end I expect at least 3 of these 10 players to be on our team next year. And frankly, any combination of 3 players should lead to better play on the field next season.

1 comment:

Klick4MU said...

Another great "column" Ricky, should be interesting to see what happens this off season. Overall I'm reminded of a line in the great baseball musical Damn Yankees, "We gotta get better 'cause we can't get worse", go Rams!