Friday, March 21, 2014
Morning Ram-blings: Draft do-overs
By Nick Wagoner
It's probably a safe bet that the St. Louis Rams would like to have a mulligan on many of their draft picks over the past 10-plus years. Unfortunately, the league doesn't allow for do-overs and the accumulation of draft busts the Rams have piled up in that time is matched by only a few select teams.
But it can be interesting to look back at certain drafts and wonder how things would have been different had teams been given the benefit of 20/20 foresight instead of perfect hindsight.
One of the few first-round picks the Rams really got right in the past decade was 2004, which also happens to be the subject of a look back from NFL.com's Bucky Brooks.
That, of course, was the year the Rams selected running back Steven Jackson after trading up with the Cincinnati Bengals to No. 24. The Bengals moved back two spots and took Michigan running back Chris Perry, a decision that now looks really poor after seeing how the careers of Jackson and Perry played out.
In these types of trips down memory lane, it's rare to see a player the Rams picked actually go higher than where the team took him but that's exactly the case here. In the draft do-over, Jackson goes all the way up at No. 7 to the Detroit Lions, who actually took receiver Roy Williams.
Jackson had a strong nine-year career in St. Louis and remains the team's all-time leading rusher. Looking back on it and comparing him to other picks in that draft, he's clearly one of the best picks the team has made in the 2000s.
For what it's worth, Brooks has the Rams taking linebacker Daryl Smith at No. 24 in his adjusted look back. Smith has been a good player in the league but certainly not the franchise foundation Jackson represented. The Rams would love another crack at many of their first-round picks over the years but 2004 isn't one of them.
A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we took a closer look at ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando's piece on 13 teams, including the Rams, who should be in the market for quarterback help. ... Next, we offered the many reasons why the Rams should not have interest in running back Chris Johnson, who is apparently on the trade block. ... Finally, we closed the day with a look around the NFC West division in free agency and how the Rams have clearly been the least active team of the four.
Meant to post this Thursday but a good read from Vikings reporter Ben Goessling on the difficulty in evaluating quarterbacks.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas takes a look at local cornerback prospect Pierre Desir's pro day performance.
Thomas also has this story on the league's discussion of eliminating extra points.
Kara Henderson Snead, former NFL reporter and current wife of Rams general manager Les Snead, will be taking to the airwaves for regular radio appearances.
A quick video profile from NFL.com on Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson.