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Monday, September 1, 2008
St. Louis at Philadelphia: Eagles DNA profile

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams face an extremely tough draw in their opening-week matchup with the Eagles in Philadelphia. These franchises have very little in common.

The Eagles' roster features 33 players drafted by the organization, one behind league leaders Chicago and Green Bay. The Rams have only 23 of their own draft choices. Holding onto one's own draft choices isn't necessarily a good thing, but failing to hold onto them often reflects poor drafting, poor management, frequent scheme changes, etc.

By my count, 18 Rams players entered the NFL as draft choices for other teams, about four more than the league average. The Eagles' corresponding number is seven. The low figure reflects a disciplined approach to roster management.

For more on the Eagles, pick up a copy of Philly's 25-category roided-out roster. Five quick notes on the team I picked to represent the NFC in the next Super Bowl:

The Rams had to grimace when they saw the 2008 schedule for the first time. This was a fragile team coming into the offseason, to the point that coach Scott Linehan wanted to win preseason games for momentum. A victory over the Eagles in the opener would represent a giant step forward for the Rams under Linehan, but it's a tough draw.