NFL Nation: Draft Watch 30310

Draft Watch: AFC North

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:05
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: schemes and themes.

Baltimore Ravens

Theme: Getting vertical. The Ravens are dedicated to helping third-year quarterback Joe Flacco as much as possible. This will not be limited to the NFL draft. Baltimore also will explore free agency and the trade market in an effort to find receivers and tight ends who can stretch the field. Flacco has a very strong arm, but the Ravens were not able to throw deep enough last year. There is speculation that Baltimore could be in the market for veteran receivers such as Brandon Marshall (trade), Anquan Boldin (trade) and Terrell Owens (free agency). Baltimore holds the No. 25 overall pick. So options in the draft include speedy Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate, Arrelious Benn of Illinois and Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham.

Cincinnati Bengals

Theme: Getting vertical. Cincinnati, like Baltimore, wants to improve the deep passing game. Was the problem in 2009 quarterback Carson Palmer or his supporting cast? For the first time in his career, Palmer struggled with deep accuracy. The struggle was highlighted down the stretch when Cincinnati lost four of its last five games. But other than receiver Chad Ochocinco, no one else was able to get behind the defense consistently. Look for the Bengals with the No. 21 pick to have similar targets with Baltimore, such as Gresham, Benn and Tate. Cincinnati also is rumored to be interested in Owens. Usually, the Bengals are not major players in free agency.

Cleveland Browns

Scheme: Adding West Coast principles. For Cleveland, it's all about scheme and philosophy this offseason. Although the Browns are being vague about the topic, there are a lot of internal discussions going on about the offensive side of the ball. Cleveland president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert both believe in the West Coast offense. Head coach Eric Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll do not. At some point their schemes and principles will have to mesh to come up with Cleveland's new offense for 2010. But what does this mean for the quarterback? Do Brady Quinn's strengths match the West Coast system or the old offense under Mangini? Should the Browns find another quarterback? Will they draft West Coast-type receivers and tight ends? There are a lot of questions that need to be settled before Cleveland takes the field in September.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Theme: Plugging holes. For a team that missed the playoffs last season, the Steelers do not have a lot of glaring weaknesses. Pittsburgh is still a veteran-laden team that is in position to compete for a title if everyone stays healthy. Last year's absence of safety Troy Polamalu helped keep the Steelers out of the playoffs. This year's draft is about adding depth and plugging holes. Pittsburgh could use help at cornerback and depth on the offensive line, either at guard or tackle. The Steelers struggled in the red zone, so getting a physical presence on the offensive line could cure those ills. Idaho guard Mike Iupati would be a good fit. There are not a lot of top-flight cornerbacks available at No. 18, but Boise State's Kyle Wilson has impressed a lot of scouts and might be an option. Also, despite Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton's three-year extension, do not rule out Pittsburgh finding his heir apparent in this year's draft, which is rich with defensive linemen.

Draft Watch: AFC South

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:03
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Schemes and themes.

Houston Texans

Alex Gibbs is gone, but offensive line coach John Benton learned from the master and the Texans are expected to continue to rely largely on the zone blocking run scheme Gibbs installed. That means the interior offensive lineman the Texans bring in to compete for a starting spot will be a smaller, more agile type, not a super-heavyweight bruiser. The bigger running back they seek to run behind that line needs to be a one-cut-and-go guy, not a dancer. If the Texans draft a back, look for them to go for a bigger guy who can get a tough yard and fare better in goal-line situations.

Indianapolis Colts

Speed and agility are always at more of a premium than size for the Colts, though they welcome all of those when they can get them. It would seem they would look to add at least one offensive tackle who’s a sure pass-protector but can also help spring a running back like Joseph Addai around the corner with some consistency. Another Colts' tenet is that a steady, threatening pass rush is a crucial component and it’s likely time to upgrade end No. 3 and groom the next Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Head coach Jack Del Rio says quarterback David Garrard is good, but not elite, and that’s perfectly true. For him to lead the Jaguars to the playoffs, he needs to be surrounded by a quality cast that plays close to error-free. So look for second-year general manager Gene Smith to try to mirror his first draft that brought in quality players who had no character questions. Many members of his first draft class were team captains in college, a leadership trademark the team would like to continue to add to its roster. They dabbled with a 3-4 last season, but are back to a 4-3 and need a high motor, consistent pass-rusher more than anything.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans don’t prefer to blitz, but when their front four doesn’t generate sufficient heat they either have to bring extra people or suffer the consequences. Defensive linemen in Tennessee are asked to stop the run on the way to the quarterback. A defensive end who can be disruptive as a rusher is a priority for a team coming off a mediocre pass-pressure season and looking at a youth movement. They’ll be looking at cornerbacks, too. Just as they expect their wide receivers to be a force in the rushing offense, they expect their corners to be big parts of the run defense on the perimeter. They won’t draft a guy afraid to nose in on tackles.

Draft Watch: NFC North

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:01
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Chicago Bears

No matter what scheme they run, the Bears will have limited opportunity to find impact players in this draft without a first- or second-round pick. The Bears, however, have specific schemes on both sides of the ball that require special personnel attention. They don't run their "Tampa 2" defensive front on every play, but they still place emphasis on athletic interior linemen who can mount their own pass rush. And while they value coverage ability, they also need cornerbacks who are big enough to redirect receivers on the line of scrimmage before passing them on to the secondary cover man. Offensively, new coordinator Mike Martz needs quick receivers who run precise routes more than bigger deep threats. Running backs must also have above-average receiving skills to play in his system.

Detroit Lions

After three years in a defense that emphasized speed, the Lions now focus on size when it comes to linemen and linebackers. Defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill, who weighs 330 pounds, never would have been a Lions draft pick under the previous regime. They aren't likely to select many 285-pound defensive tackles or 240-pound defensive ends. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham wants his line to push back against pressure, not run around it. Offensively, the Lions are lucky to have a flexible scheme that emphasizes the strengths of their players. They don't need a prescribed height, weight or skill set for that side of the ball.

Green Bay Packers

Because they play the 3-4 defensive scheme, the Packers will keep an eye out for college defensive ends who are athletic enough to make the transition to outside linebacker in the NFL. They'll also look for college defensive tackles who could move to the end position in their scheme. And with Dom Capers as the defensive coordinator, you shouldn't rule out a wild-card draftee: A player with 'tweener skills who could be used in a creative way. USC safety Taylor Mays comes to mind. Offensively, the Packers look for linemen who can play multiple positions and can operate in a zone blocking scheme. And every offensive skill player, including tight ends and running backs, must have a high comfort zone in the pass game.

Minnesota Vikings

Under vice president Rick Spielman, the Vikings take a nuanced approach to the draft -- identifying specific players they want and then trading up or down in a round to make sure they get them. Second-round pick Tyrell Johnson (2008), a big and athletic safety the Vikings considered a perfect fit for a Cover 2 defense, is an example. They also prefer offensive players with experience running a version of the West Coast offense. That, for example, is why they traded up to get quarterback John David Booty in 2008. The offense Booty ran at USC has the same passing tree as the Vikings'.

Draft Watch: AFC East

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:00
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: Schemes and themes.

Buffalo Bills: As if the Bills didn't have enough holes to fill, they've chosen to overhaul their defense. New coach Chan Gailey and defensive coordinator George Edwards are converting a Tampa 2 defense into a 3-4. They're missing the keystone of that scheme, a blocker-absorbing nose tackle. Logic would suggest the Bills draft either a nose tackle or an offensive tackle with the ninth overall pick, but they had the need for a left tackle last year and selected pass-rusher Aaron Maybin with the 11th pick. The 3-4 switch is good news for Maybin because he was invisible as a rookie and projects better as an outside linebacker. Still, the Bills will need to infuse that position with more talent in this transformation.

Miami Dolphins: Because quarterbacks coach David Lee and offensive coordinator Dan Henning were the Wildcat innovators, many look at their draft needs through that prism. They didn't disappoint the prognosticators last year when they reached to draft scat quarterback Pat White in the second round for the purposes of using him in their direct-snap offense. I'd be surprised if the Dolphins drafted for Wildcat purposes again this year. White's selection was a disappointment. He was no threat as a passer, and the coaches couldn't figure out a way to use him. Another theme to watch is how the Dolphins draft linebackers. They didn't like the way their linebackers performed under defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, inside linebackers coach Edwards (now with the Bills) and outside linebackers coach Jim Reid. All three coaches are gone.

New England Patriots: The Patriots have incredible flexibility entering the draft with four selections among the top 53 slots. They can go any direction they choose, but will Bill Belichick keep his picks or barter them? The Patriots have tweaks to make all over the place, particularly on defense. Fortunately for the organization, Belichick has a much better success rate when it comes to identifying defensive players early. Some of the Patriots biggest draft mistakes on Belichick's watch have been on offense. They found a keeper with left guard Logan Mankins, but didn't connect on such prospects as tight ends Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson and receivers Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson. Running back Laurence Maroney has been a contentious pick, too.

New York Jets: General manager Mike Tannenbaum said at the NFL scouting combine Friday the organization isn't placing any extra importance on collecting draft picks, but the Jets need to sow young talent onto their roster. Over the past three years, the Jets have traded away most of their draft picks to move up in the order and select players such as cornerback Darrelle Revis, linebacker David Harris, quarterback Mark Sanchez and running back Shonn Greene -- all successes to date. But their ranks have been thinned with only three draft picks last year and 13 since 2007. The Jets have used undrafted free agents and castoffs from other teams to fill out their roster, a philosophy that's difficult to maintain for the long haul. The Jets also are affected by the "final eight" plan that prevents them from signing unrestricted free agents until they lose one. A plump draft class would do the Jets wonders.

Draft Watch: NFC South

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:00
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: Schemes and themes.

Atlanta Falcons: There is little doubt what Atlanta’s biggest need is. It clearly is a pass-rusher, specifically a defensive end. The Falcons thrived in 2008 when John Abraham was having a career year and struggled last season as he suddenly got old. Coach Mike Smith wants speed on the outside to help protect his secondary. Lawrence Sidbury and Kroy Biermann have some potential as pass-rushers. But the Falcons don’t have anything truly close to an every-down defensive end in their 4-3 scheme. There’s little doubt they’ll try to find one early in this draft.

Carolina Panthers: The defensive line used to be the foundation of a John Fox football team. The Panthers went to a Super Bowl with Mike Rucker, Julius Peppers, Kris Jenkins and Brentson Buckner dominating up front. That was a long time ago and, with Peppers about to walk out the door, there’s not a marquee player on the defensive line. Fox likes defensive ends who are quick, even if they’re a bit undersized. He likes defensive tackles who take up a lot of space. The return of Maake Kemoeatu from injury should help, but he’s not getting any younger. The fact the Panthers don’t have a first-round pick is going to make it difficult to get any sure things along the defensive front.

New Orleans Saints: It’s kind of ironic how the secondary has gone from being an area of need to a huge strength in just one year. Even if the Saints let safety Darren Sharper walk in free agency, they don’t need to do much with the secondary. That leaves the front seven as the biggest area of need. Outside linebacker could be an issue with Scott Fujita headed toward free agency and Scott Shanle carrying a big salary. Fujita and Shanle played well last season, but defensive coordinator Gregg Williams prides himself on playing an aggressive style. It might be time to get some younger legs to surround middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quarterback Josh Freeman has hinted he wouldn’t mind having a burner at wide receiver. That’s something the Bucs desperately need. Freeman has one of the strongest arms in the league and the Bucs would like to take advantage of that. The problem right now is they don’t have a true downfield threat on the roster. They’ve got some decent possession receivers and Sammie Stroughter might be perfect for the slot. But Freeman is the franchise and you’re about to see the Bucs start building around him. On defense, Raheem Morris decided to get back to the Tampa 2 scheme late last season and the results were positive. But cornerback Ronde Barber is near the end of his career and safety Sabby Piscitelli struggled mightily. It’s time to get some younger legs in the secondary.

Draft Watch: AFC West

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:00
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Schemes and themes.

Denver Broncos

Denver is a team that definitely will be drafting this year to fit its scheme. Second-year coach Josh McDaniels is still very much building his own program. Much of the scheme drafting will be done on the front lines. Denver is straying from the zone-blocking scheme employed in the past. McDaniels used the zone-blocking scheme last year. But he is switching to a more traditional power offensive line. Denver will look at bigger guards and centers in the draft. Defensively, Denver will be looking for a nose tackle to play in the 3-4 defense. Denver still needs an anchor on the line. With few options available in free agency, expect the Broncos to try to find a nose tackle in the early rounds of the draft. The Broncos also may try to find an inside linebacker to fit the 3-4.

Kansas City Chiefs

This will be the second year that Kansas City will use the 3-4 defense under general manager Scott Pioli and coach Todd Haley. With new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel on board, Kansas City is going to be committed in this draft to find players who fit the 3-4. Finding them isn’t easy. There is a growing number of NFL teams adopting the scheme but there is a limited number of college players who are prepared to play in it in the NFL. Still, Kansas City will look for perhaps a nose tackle and linebackers to fit the 3-4. Offensively, the Chiefs will look for receivers who are strong after the catch to fit with starting quarterback Matt Cassel.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders are going to be looking for multiple offensive linemen. Under head coach Tom Cable, an offensive line specialist, Oakland uses the zone-blocking scheme. Zone-blocking linemen are usually smaller and more athletic than the more traditional plodding, road-grading offensive linemen. There are plenty of zone-blocking offensive linemen out there, but it is difficult find some who are ready to play. But that’s what Oakland probably will be doing at least twice during the draft. Defensively, Oakland is the only 4-3 base defense in the division. Oakland needs linebackers and interior defensive linemen and it shouldn’t have trouble finding quality players. Of course, Oakland’s biggest draft theme is fast players. That will always be the case on Al Davis’ team. Expect the Raiders to take among the fastest players at each position they address.

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers have two major needs in the draft this year and they are both specific to the team’s schemes. Offensively, San Diego is looking for a power back. The team released longtime star running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Finding a new primary back to fit San Diego’s system is necessary. Defensively, the Chargers are going to look for a nose tackle in the 3-4. Jamaal Williams is getting older and may only have one year remaining in San Diego if at all. Williams anchored the defense at nose tackle. He was sidelined for all but one game last year and San Diego’s defense missed him. The Chargers' 3-4 defense won’t be truly at its best until it gets a big nose tackle to collapse the middle of the offensive line. That’s San Diego’s goal this year in the draft.

Draft Watch: NFC East

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:00
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Schemes and themes.

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin showed some improvement in '09, but the club will continue looking for his replacement. The Cowboys were very pleased with Gerald Sensabaugh's performance last season and would like to find another safety who has similar cover skills. The Cowboys are taking a long look at South Florida safety Nate Allen, who has the ball skills of a cornerback. USC's Taylor Mays might make Cowboys fans remember Roy Williams at safety -- and that's not a good thing. On offense, the Cowboys have to keep trying to draft and develop linemen. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett seems to prefer enormous linemen who can engulf defenders. Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell turned heads at the combine with his 4.8 speed and 32-inch vertical, but the Cowboys rarely call plays for left tackles to leap into the air. It's more likely the Cowboys would go after a big right tackle such as Iowa's Kyle Calloway later in the draft. NFL scouts and coaches swarm to Iowa because head coach Kirk Ferentz keeps delivering such technically sound players. A player such as Calloway could be developed as Marc Colombo's eventual replacement.

New York Giants

I asked general manager Jerry Reese to describe a Perry Fewell defense. He simply indicated that the Giants will be much more aggressive under Fewell and that you'll see a lot of creative alignments with an emphasis on getting to the quarterback. Reese also said he wouldn't enter the season on a wing and a prayer that Kenny Phillips will be fully healed. That's of course what the Giants are hoping for, but that won't keep them from potentially selecting Texas safety Earl Thomas at No. 15 overall. Thomas needs to get stronger, but he's excellent in coverage. I think he'd be a great fit for the Giants. There's also a chance the Giants could try to land inside linebacker Rolando McClain out of Alabama. Will he slip to No. 15? I have a hard time believing that. But I do think the Giants love his intelligence and playmaking ability. He'll start in the league for the next 10 years or so.

Philadelphia Eagles

The theme of the offseason will be closing the gap with the Cowboys. So you need a safety who can cover Jason Witten and a linebacker who can help account for Felix Jones. A cornerback who can cover Miles Austin would also be nice. I think the Eagles would be better off finding a safety via trade or free agency. We've seen how the defense works with a rookie safety. And even if you land Mays or Allen, there's no guarantee it will be a huge upgrade. A veteran safety who can make plays would be perfect. Darren Sharper anyone? I think new general manager Howie Roseman is also on the hunt for another pressure player to go along with Trent Cole. After doing some research during the combine, I think Roseman's much more adept on the football side than I'd realized. Keep your eye on Michigan's Brandon Graham. He's a little undersized but the guy has 29 sacks over the past three seasons in the Big 10.

Washington Redskins

Even though Mike Shanahan wouldn't confirm the Skins are transitioning to a 3-4, you know it's coming. That's what new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett feels the most comfortable doing. Everyone will talk about quarterback and offensive tackle this offseason, but the Redskins need to be on the lookout for 3-4 defensive tackles. As we saw with the Cowboys, transitioning to a 3-4 isn't always smooth. There's no guarantee that linebacker London Fletcher can hold up in a 3-4 because he'll have to take on enormous guards and centers on a regular basis. You'll see a big transformation with this team over the next couple years. If Sam Bradford's already gone, look for the Redskins to zero in on left tackles Russell Okung and Bryan Bulaga. Either one of those players could end up anchoring the offensive line for nine or 10 years. Tremendous college players who both have a high ceiling. The Skins have taken a long look at Campbell out of Maryland, so they'll be looking to see if he slips into the second round.

Draft Watch: NFC West

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:00
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: Schemes and themes.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals should continue becoming a more physical team offensively as Beanie Wells assumes a more prominent role in his second season. Kurt Warner's retirement also makes the running game more important. Selecting Herman Johnson in the 2009 draft showed the Cardinals value super-sized offensive linemen. The trend could continue if Arizona decides to fortify its line in this draft. On defense, the Cardinals have become a more straightforward 3-4 team. Arizona could use a nose tackle in the draft and linebackers with prototypical 3-4 size.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers varied their approach offensively last season, at one point abandoning their power-running roots, but coach Mike Singletary and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye want to play a physical game. They want to run the ball more consistently. This is probably the year San Francisco drafts a big right tackle to solidify the line. The 49ers carried only two tight ends on their 53-man roster last season. Another blocking tight end might not hurt. The 49ers have not drafted a running back or defensive back in the first two rounds since general manager Scot McCloughan arrived in 2005. They could stand to get younger at corner.

Seattle Seahawks

The theme in Seattle has been to draft for defense early. The Seahawks need to address the offense with at least one of their two first-round choices. They have selected only one receiver in the first four rounds over the past eight drafts. They haven't selected a running back in the first round since 2000 or a quarterback since 1993. This marks the second consecutive offseason in which the Seahawks have talked about the zone-blocking scheme. This time, the team plans to make a full commitment. That probably rules out some of the more massive draft prospects on the offensive line. On defense, the Seahawks will look to get bigger in the secondary, specifically at cornerback.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams enter their second season running a West Coast offense. Any quarterback they consider in the draft should have good short and intermediate accuracy, the ability to move within the pocket and experience working under center as opposed to the shotgun. The accuracy and ability to work under center are pretty much requirements for West Coast quarterbacks because the offense emphasizes timing throws from three- and five-step drops. A backup running back with receiving skills would also help this offense. On defense, tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy would fit the Rams' 4-3 scheme.

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