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April 18, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Wagoner

Nick Wagoner
  (1:02 PM)

Good afternoon everyone. Hope you're all having a great week and ready for the weekend. Still about three weeks until the draft. In the meantime, let's continue to discuss the millions of ways things could play out!

Roger Schutt (Grass Valley, CA)

Nick, various reporters question the Rams' coaching staff's ability to properly prepare Wide Receivers for battle in the NFL. They say "Why Draft Sammy Watkins, etc." when there is a lack of ability to sculpt top receivers. Ray Sherman has been an NFL Receivers Coach, among other titles, for ages. What are your thoughts on this??

Nick Wagoner
  (1:05 PM)

Ray Sherman has a longer track record of success than he does of failure. The development of the young wideouts the past two years has been disappointing but that is still an awfully young group and you don't often see young receivers come in and make a huge impact. That said, the Rams need to get more out of the wideouts they have. Not to make an excuse for that, either, but it's important to remember those young wideouts didn't have their starting QB for most of last season. This year will be a better referendum on his ability to develop young wideouts. I guarantee you the Rams aren't thinking that they'd pass on Watkins for this reason which is all that really matters. Not saying they're taking him but if they didn't think he was capable, he wouldn't be there. We've seen that with the DC position two years in a row, for example.

Chad (Houston)

What is your opinion on the "whispers" that the Rams are interested in trading Bradford and drafting Johnny Manziel?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:07 PM)

It's so easy to write or say there are "whispers" of something. It's not even citing a source or who is doing the whispering. I'm not saying the Rams don't have interest in Manziel, I haven't really been able to get a feel for what they think of the top QBs but they have been steadfast both publicly and privately in saying they're committed to Bradford. Something like that playing out would register as a huge, huge surprise.

GO RAMS (NM)

What two players (1 offensive 1 defensive) players do you think are poised for breakout seasons this year?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:09 PM)

Can I wait until I see some actual football in training camp? No way of knowing how these guys are going to come back from the offseason.

TexRam (Texas)

Hi Jim, I'm hearing many that want Watkins at #2, but I still want Greg Robinson. If we're indeed going to be a running team, I'd like to develop the best line in the league, with unstoppable road-graders like Greg, Saffold, and Long. I think that will also help our current receivers take that next step, as play-action fakes will be more effective, the defense has to play closer to the line of scrimmage, and more defensive game-planning will go into stopping our (impossible to stop) run game. While I love Sammy Watkins, I think getting a monster like Robinson to step in as guard (and tackle later) would open up more for this offense than a great receiver (particularly in a draft with many good pass-catchers. Your thoughts.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:11 PM)

Completely understand your point and it's entirely valid. In fact, this is one of the main arguments for taking Robinson. While I've said I would take Watkins, I don't have any problem with Robinson or Matthews or Clowney as the pick, either. I do disagree with the idea of taking a wideout later unless it's someone like Evans, who has true No. 1 potential. The Rams have enough guys that aren't that type.

drew Bolivar mo [via mobile]

Any word on the private workout with Mr Watkins? Are you see access?? Also, What're your predictions for rams rounds 1-3? Draft need our best player available? Thanks!

Nick Wagoner
  (1:11 PM)

Taking place today in Clemson. No predictions from me yet.

ScottyG (St. Louis)

How far of a drop is it from the top 3 OT to the next level - guys like Martin from ND? Seems to me that the way to go is to take Watkins at 2 (unless overwhelmed with a trade down option) and then possibly trade back at 13 for a OL - unless they can move up back into the top 10 to get one of the top 3. The D needs help, but not nearly as much as the offense, at least in my opinion.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:13 PM)

I think there's a noticeable drop off but I don't think it means a guy like Martin can't succeed right away, either. I think the Rams like Martin and he could absolutely help them in year one. But Robinson, Matthews and Lewan would all have gone before the top tackles last year, if that's any indication. I'm with you on the strategy but not so sure that's how the Rams view it. Maybe Watkins puts on a show today that makes him too good to pass up?

Evan (OC)

Hi Nick, any chance the Rams pick 3 times in the first round? Sounds crazy, but if the Rams trade back from either pick they should have enough ammo to jump back into the first round.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:14 PM)

Any chance? Sure, why not? But I'm not sure it's that important to do that especially if it means giving up a second or third round pick. Remember, this is considered a deep draft so those second and early thirds will have quite a bit of value.

Pat (Chicago)

I know there has been a lot of talk of trading down from 2. Why haven't we heard any possibility of moving up from 13 so we could potentially grab two elite players (one of the WRs and one of the OTs)? Thanks Nick, I really like your work

Nick Wagoner
  (1:15 PM)

Because there's really no way of projecting something like that this far out. But we've talked about it here and elsewhere. I wouldn't rule it out, especially if they could move down at 2 first. But trying to project trades for the middle of the draft three weeks out is awfully difficult. Especially when we don't even know for certain who is going first.

mantooth420 (Evergreen Park, IL)

what are the chances of the Rams taking Manziel with the second pick?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:16 PM)

As regular readers here know, I never say never. This is the NFL and this is the most secretive thing these teams do. But I'd put the chances of that happening as close to zero as possible without saying never.

Brandon (Saint Louis)

I really believe that the public display of confidence in their receiving corps is the smokescreen of all smokescreens! I think they want Watkins, but would prefer to get him a few slots later, along with another receiver (Latimer) in the 2nd round. What are your thoughts?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:18 PM)

I'd be shocked if they took two wideouts again, especially in the first and second rounds but I do think Watkins is in play. They could be trying to deke everyone but the private workout plus the pre-draft visit usually indicates real interest. And as I wrote after they signed Kenny Britt, that to me indicates they believe they need an upgrade at wideout. Which would point to one of those top guys being in play.

Glenn (Bakersfield) [via mobile]

Hi Nick, I'm warming on the idea of taking O line instead of Watkins. I keep thinking of how our interior linemen got dominated against Arizona and Seattle. Only thing is, I really hate to pass on Watkins. Couldn't we pick up Incognito? He's a cheap upgrade, would free up a early pick and he'd be reunited with his best friend Long.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:19 PM)

Don't see it. If they go back down the vet route for another guard, my guess is Harvey Dahl could be brought back. But I wouldn't expect anything until after the draft when they can take stock of what they have at every position.

Jim (Indianapolis)

I personally do not know how I feel about Bradford. I know officially the Rams say he is the man. However, do you think if the right situation presented it self they would draft a QB now and part ways with Bradford. I know you get asked about the QB a lot but one more question won't hurt.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:20 PM)

I've received a total of zero indication from the Rams that this is the plan. Could it be the smokescreen of all smokescreens? Sure, I suppose it could. But they've been awfully convincing in their comments about him both on the record and off.

Just The West (Los Angeles)

Do you think the Rams' young cornerbacks will be ready for more press coverage with DC Greg Williams' blitz heavy schemes?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:21 PM)

Well, the first assumption here is that they will press more. I think we all assume that, myself included, but that's not guaranteed. Williams hasn't had a chance to work with them yet so he may see them and think they aren't suited to do a lot of that. We'll have to see how that plays out in OTAs and training camp.

John Visalia, Ca [via mobile]

Would the Rams draft a corner at #13 Gilbert and move T. Johnson to Safety? Same thought on Lewan for Right tackle and move Barksdale to guard. I read we're he had done some work in Practice there? Thanks.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:23 PM)

I don't understand the fascination with moving Johnson to safety. Look, the Rams need help at corner and safety, if you draft a corner and move him to safety, you again have a need at corner. Plus, bigger corners are becoming en vogue in the league and they're hard to find. If Johnson can continue to develop, that's a really nice asset to have to compete with the bigger receivers around the league. Of the top three tackles, Lewan is the one that would most likely have to play tackle right away. It's possible Barksdale could play guard, you probably read it here that he did some work on his own last offseason in trying to get familiar with the position. But he's never done it in practice or team setting with the Rams.

Armen Dacity (Winter Park, Florida)

Have any of the top safeties (Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Ward, Buccanon) made or scheduled visits to Rams Park? If not, isn't that somewhat surprising given the need at the position?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:25 PM)

To my knowledge, the Rams haven't hosted the top safeties but that doesn't mean they haven't. Right now, the list is incomplete and the Rams don't release their visits and not all agents are willing to share where their clients visit. If they haven't visited, it's mildly surprising but it's also indicative of nothing. Plenty of players visit every year that don't get drafted and teams draft plenty of players that don't visit.

Mike (Folsom, Ca)

There seems to be a lot of chatter about Jadeveon and whether or not we'll have a shot at him. I am also aware that the biggest need for us on D is probably Safety. That said, what about Khalil Mack? Could you see taking him at 2?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:27 PM)

By my own admission, I've been something of a hypocrite on this one, previously saying that I didn't see the fit because he wouldn't be on the field enough. But if I can make the argument that the Rams would find ways to use Clowney then I think we have to be open minded they could do the same with Mack. And the Rams have showed at least some interest in Mack by having him visit. Mack is probably best suited in a 3-4 but that doesn't mean the Rams couldn't use him or that he couldn't succeed in St. Louis. I would be surprised if they used the No. 2 pick on Mack but I'm not going to unilaterally throw him out as a possibility especially in a year when the Rams have played everything so close to the vest.

Doug (Sacramento)

A few chats ago I mentioned Donald as an option at 13 and you gave a short answer that you didn't think so. With the Rams showing more interest in him recently do you now feel he is more of a possibility? Thanks.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:28 PM)

I'd still be quite surprised if the Rams used a first-round pick on a DT. Although I can see how Donald would fit in the defense. Again, it'd be silly to rule him out but I don't expect them to go that way.

romanuick (seattle)

Hey Nick torn acl aside would you say Jake Long was a top 5 left tackle in the nfl last season? His pff rankings were pretty high

Nick Wagoner
  (1:30 PM)

Top five? I don't really know because I can't say I watched every LT in the league last year. But I'll say this: when the Rams went more run-heavy, Long was much, much more effective and comfortable. He's an outstanding run blocker and plenty of the Rams' rushing success was behind him. It'd be dishonest to try to rank him against a crop of tackles I didn't see play but I thought he had a good year all things considered.

Phil M. (Bluefield, WV)

The Ram's obviously are not satisfied with Sam Bradford and rightfully so. Do you think they go after a late round signing of a QB or do they go after a QB like the backup for the Redskins ??

Nick Wagoner
  (1:31 PM)

The Rams aren't satisfied with Sam Bradford? Based on what? They already signed a backup in Shaun Hill and I've been writing for four months that they'll take a QB in the draft, perhaps as early as round 2 or 3.

Mike A. (Culver City)

Why is no draft expert predicting the Rams take a running back with an early pick, there is no way you can count on one guy, a sophomore, to carry the entire load. Pead is a bust, we need another running back...

Nick Wagoner
  (1:32 PM)

Two things: 1. Taking an RB with an early pick isn't something most teams seem to be considering these days. The Rams already have a starter at RB so drafting an RB early would seem to be too early, right? 2. The Rams have a lot of faith in Benny Cunningham to be the No. 2 back. Another year removed from injury, he could be better in 2014. I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams took a back somewhere in the draft. I would be surprised if it happened before the fourth or fifth round.

Doug (Sacramento)

Who would you choose between Robinson and Mathews? In my mind Robinson fills the guard spot this year and moves to tackle next. Kind of saves us from drafting two lineman early.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:33 PM)

I prefer Robinson for the simple fact that if the Rams want to be a run-first offense, he makes a ton of sense. And, as you point out, he can probably be a difference maker at guard right away. But let's be clear, I still think Matthews would be an excellent choice.

F (Canada)

Hi Nick, I am wondering how Jake Matthews compares to Luke Joeckel? If you had to pick one coming out who do you like better and why?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:35 PM)

I like Matthews more and for me it's not all that close. Watching the two of them, I always got the impression Matthews was more technically sound and had more of a mean streak in him. Not to downgrade Joeckel, who should still be a good player in the league but Matthews is the better of the two, in my opinion.

GO RAMS (NM)

lets pretend the rams do some shuffling up and down the draft board, and end up with 10 TOTAL players drafted this year. Give me a run down (by position) of how you think those picks will be spent.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:36 PM)

Positionally? Just a guess and in no order: OT, OG/C, CB, CB, S, OLB, QB, RB, DT, WR.

zaine (british columbia)

Hi Nick thanks for the chats. Who do you like better for the upcoming season at are wr position Bailey or Givens? I thought Jake Long was having a pro bowl season last year and would have made it if he didnt get injured. How do you feel about him going into this year?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:38 PM)

Both should have their place in the offense but if it's down to down, I'd like to see what Bailey could do. Of course, you could have both on the field together depending on what you add in the draft, too. I saw enough from Bailey at the end of the season to make me think he can win outside the hashes consistently and I'd like to see more of him.

Brett (STL)

How bout those BLUES! LGB!!!!

Nick Wagoner
  (1:38 PM)

Awesome game last night. Should be a heck of a series.

John B (Los Angeles, CA)

Hi Nick, I was wondering how many primetime games you think the Rams will draw this season? Also, did you fill out the $100,000 schedule and if so what were your picks?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:40 PM)

Not participating in the contest but I think I'm going to take a stab at guessing the schedule in an unofficial capacity on the blog here in the next couple of days. For those looking for clues, do the opposite of what I guess. It would have helped you tremendously in your NCAA tournament pools. As for primetime games, I'm guessing two. They're guaranteed a Thursday nighter and I think we'll see them on our home station here for a Monday nighter at some point, too.

Brett (STL)

Nick, any chance that any chance that the Falcons are just doing Sneed a solid in saying they may trade up to try to drum up trade value? or is there a legit interest from them?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:42 PM)

I think the Falcons have legit interest in Clowney. But let's be clear: the Falcons haven't come out and said they want to trade with the Rams or anyone else. They have said they are open for business and always explore every opportunity. That's what the Rams say too. And every other team.

Anthony (St. Peters)

Do you happen to know if Ray Ray Armstrong is staying at OLB this season or perhaps moving to safety? He looks to have slimmed down a little bit in his most recent photos.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:43 PM)

LB

Michael California [via mobile]

Would the Rams be willing to move out of the top 7, to a team like Detroit? That move could potentially land us Lewan** and a couple of extra draft picks for the future, but would put us out of contention to get an elite player such as Robinson or Watkins.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:45 PM)

It would be REALLY risky if you want to land one of those top 3 OTs. I personally think Lewan is gone by 9 and I think Evans will be too. Which means maybe you take a corner but I'd be hesitant to move that far unless I got an absolute boatload of picks. And by boatload, I mean Detroit's top two picks this year and next year. That's just me, though, I don't know what the Rams expect in return for the 2 pick this time around other than to say they know they won't get what they got from Washington again.

Ross Poteat (Pittsburg, Ks)

If the Rams have decided to go with either Robinson or Matthews with their first pick, wouldn't it be prudent to trade down to 5, 6 or 7 where one of them would surely be available and pick up additional picks?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:45 PM)

Easier said than done.

Isaiah (Imperial)

how come people don't realize Bradford is legit? even when we had Jackson at running back the run game was never consistent, he had 3 different OC's his first three years right? he just needs to stay healthy the rest will work itself out..... are you as optimistic as I am regarding our new DC! cant wait, p.s. all I want for Christmas is clowney or one of the stud OL's

Nick Wagoner
  (1:47 PM)

You sort of answered your own question. Let's put all of the other stuff aside for a minute but if you ask me why people don't think Bradford is legit and then soon after say he "just needs to stay healthy" well that would indicate to me there's at least one reason you're already well aware of. Just staying healthy seems like a simple concept but it's much harder in execution and so far that's been an issue for Bradford.

Mike (Canada)

Hey Nick,Seems to me that high end OTs seem to come along more often then an elite WR. Seems like in recent drafts there have been way more OTs taken in first 15 then WRs ,this is why passing on Watkins is very risky. That type of WR comes along every 3 -4 years, where the OT are there almost every year.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:47 PM)

You won't get much argument from me. And more to the point, not only do top WRs only come along so often but how often is your team in position to draft the ones that do? The Rams haven't been in a long, long time.

Mike (Canada)

Hey Nick, I am a Watkins guy and I think he helps our entire offense immediately more so than an Oline guy would. Is Saffold going to play LG this season and if so that really brings Harvey Dahl back into the equation when he is healthy does it not ?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:48 PM)

Saffold projected at RG right now but he could theoretically play LG depending on who else is brought in.

Gene (Manteca CA)

How is Sam doing with his injury? Do you think he will be ready to go for training camp?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:49 PM)

All we have to go on is what we're told and right now, the Rams maintain he's doing fine and on schedule to return sooner than later. I do expect him to be ready for camp.

Michael (Fresno, CA)

Based on my perceived draft value, I really like both Jimmie Ward and Terrence Brooks as FS prospects--I like Lamarcus Joyner as well, but as more of a hybrid player than a pure FS. I have read on multiple draft sites, however, that scouts view both players as "too short" and "undersized". I understand that Ward and Brooks could both benefit from a bit of weight-gain to play the position, but Ward and Brooks both measured in at 5'11" at the combine and unless I'm mistaken, many of the best safeties in the NFL--Jairus Byrd, Earl Thomas, TJ Ward, Eric Weddle, Devin McCourty, Troy Polomalu--are 5'10". What gives?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:50 PM)

Seems like just the normal knocks you see on players. Everybody has warts and size is an easy one to fall back on. But make no mistake, guys like Ward, Joyner and Brooks are still going to go pretty early in this draft.

Rob (Niagara Falls, NY)

Nick: as always, thanks for the chat. I look forward to reading your column and articles. Quick question concerning Sam Bradford. He is not negotiating with the Rams on a long term deal because he's banking that he'll have more leverage after a solid season. He's putting a lot of stock in himself, while it seems that the majority of us (fans) are not. What are your thoughts on all of this?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:53 PM)

It's an interesting, albeit risky approach. I believed the Rams when they said they'd sign him to an extension last year before the injury but now it would seem silly to do that without seeing how he returns from the injury and what type of season he has in 2014. From his perspective, betting on yourself can go either way. It worked out great for Joe Flacco, for example. Either way, I think something has to be decided after this season.

Walter [via mobile]

Martin or Bitonio? To me, they seem very similar in style and versatility with Bitonio being slightly more powerful.

Nick Wagoner
  (1:54 PM)

I like both players a lot but I like Martin just a little bit more because of his athleticism. Martin will go round 1 but I wouldn't be surprised if Bitonio sneaks in there, too.

Scotty G (St. Louis)

Not saying the should deal Bradford, but what could they get for him? First round pick? Would Cleveland, for example, deal their two firsts for Bradford and #13 (or some combo of picks?) Could be interesting to see what the interest around the league is......

Nick Wagoner
  (1:54 PM)

I have no idea how teams around the league would value Bradford at this point. But I don't think it's a conversation that's all that relevant, either.

Don Riley (New Jersey )

I've heard some famed sports figures comparing Robinson to Orlando Pace ? I don't know ............Robinson just seems so unpolished to me. Tremendous upside, but Pace was a finished product when he came out of Ohio State. Just interested in your opinion. Also does the Aldon Smith incident begin to bring into question drafting Sophomores ( I believe he came out after his second year)..........possibly they are not mature enough ? Interested in any input ?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:56 PM)

Robinson has nowhere near the polish that Pace did. I'm assuming any comparisons there are made on the assumption that Robinson reaches his vast potential. But even then, I'd compare Robinson to more of a Walter Jones type because of his ability to crush people in the run game. With Aldon Smith, I don't think you make any sweeping generalizations about young players because of the actions of one player. I'll say this, when Smith was at Mizzou I never heard a bad word about him. But when he was coming out, I remember a scout telling me that he was a little different. Not that he had red flags, just that his personality was a little eccentric.

PA (DC)

Would you trade Robert Quinn for Dez Bryant?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:57 PM)

No chance.

Don Riley (New Jersey )

I'm becoming a believer in Sheldon Richardson. And in watching him with the Jets this year I noticed he always seems to play at the same speed, no highs or lows, just consistent. The Jets had L. Tomlinson for a while and he had those same qualities, I believe Ray Lewis also played that way early on. Is there anyone that you've noticed in this draft who is this way, consistently productive and who plays at the same level consistently. I guess Long from the Rams also has that same quality, just interested in listening to your opinion on this and Ram players who play that way ?

Nick Wagoner
  (1:59 PM)

I think I've written it before but Sammy Watkins plays like his hair is on fire all the time which is one of the things that sets him apart from other WRs in the eyes of scouts. FSU's LaMarcus Joyner is a guy like that, Wisconsin's Chris Borland is a guy like that, Aaron Donald is a guy like that. That's just off the top of my head of guys I've watched who look like they bring it on every snap.

Scott (San Diego)

Hi Nick - Welcome back! I know this almost never happens in the NFL - the Eli Manning/Phillip Rivers trade is the only one I can think of - but doesn't this year seem like the perfect time for a potential draft-then-swap trade by the Rams? Obviously, part of the hesitation with moving down is the risk of moving too far down and missing out on the top players. But if they draft Watkins, and if Det really wants him, could they wait until 10 to see if there's a player they are comfortable with (say Lewan, for example) before pulling the trigger? Worst case, you keep Watkins. Again, I know it never happens, but it seems like a move that might make sense this particular time around.

mike ofallon [via mobile]

Charlie Campbell has a source that last year identified Ogletree predraft. This yr same source saying Mack at 2. Thoughts?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:01 PM)

That's an interesting thought. No way of knowing if they'd consider that but it would be a rare occasion where you'd be happy with either outcome of keeping the player or trading him.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:02 PM)

On Mack at 2, I take everything I hear with a grain of salt. As I mentioned earlier, Mack might be a little off the beaten path but you can't rule out the possibility entirely. As for Ogletree, there were many of us who got wind of the Rams' interest in him and wrote about it before it happened. The Rams are playing this one a bit closer to the vest, it seems.

mike ofallon [via mobile]

Lots of rumors about the Rams trading back past 6. (minn, or det, ect). Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd. The mission statement in that War Room needs to be QUALITY over QUANTITY!

Nick Wagoner
  (2:03 PM)

I wouldn't let rumors bother me if I were you. You'll go crazy.

Cody (St. Louis)

If the Rams took Watkins at #2, do you think they would be willing to package #13 with their second round pick to move up for OT Matthews?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:04 PM)

Wouldn't rule out anything with Fisher and Snead calling the shots assuming someone like Matthews fell to a spot where the other team would be willing to make a move.

Jason (St. Louis) [via mobile]

Does fan interest have any weight at all on how a team drafts? I know Watkins would generate more enthusiasm than a Matthews or Robinson as he's an exciting playmaker

Nick Wagoner
  (2:04 PM)

No.

mike ofallon [via mobile]

If the Rams take Watkins at 2, and cb or S at 13, who are some OL options for rd 2 and 3?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:05 PM)

Morgan Moses, Joel Bitonio, Gabe Jackson, Cyrus Kouandjio, Billy Turner, to name a few.

Omar (Fontana, CA)

I just don't see why the Ram's would take Watkins when the O-Line is in question because of Jake Long's injury status and the lack of a right tackle. They would look like the Lions from a couple years back when they took nothing but wideouts for a couple years straight. Any word if the Ram's have had lineman for visits or workouts?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:06 PM)

They've hosted Robinson, Matthews, Lewan, Bitonio, Billy Turner and that's just the ones we know of. And the comparison to the Lions doesn't make much sense.

Walter [via mobile]

If the Rams took Mack, would he potentially be used in a Von Miller Sam role in a 4-3 then come down as an end in Nickel situations?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:07 PM)

That would be on way to use him.

Gabe (St. Louis) [via mobile]

Who do you think are our most likely trade partners for #2. Rumors are that Detroit may want Watkins and may have to move up to us to get him. If clowney is still there many teams may try to move up. If clowney is taken QB needy teams will want to move up. What do you see playing out?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:08 PM)

I feel it's very unlikely a team would move to No. 2 for a QB. I've said all along if Clowney is off the board, moving the No. 2 pick is going to be a lot more difficult. But someone could move up for a Robinson, Mack or Watkins. I think there's a greater possibility the Rams use the No. 2 pick now than there was when it looked like Houston would go QB.

Jason (St. Louis) [via mobile]

Hey Nick. Do you think the home opener will have more attendance or less than last year? Do you feel Rams fans are more excited for this year than last considering the team was respectable without a decent QB? Or do you think another sub .500 year killed off more enthusiasm?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:09 PM)

Hard to say where fan enthusiasm is right now. I'd guess it's about the same as last year but the cloud of the stadium situation hanging over the head of the team isn't helping things, either.

Walter [via mobile]

Which of the top QBs do you like best? I'm a big Bridgewater guy and think he's a steal outside of the top 10. I think the concerns over his pro day and adequate frame (Very similar to Rodgers) is being way overblown.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:10 PM)

If I had to choose one, I'd take Manziel. I think he's going to be a good NFL QB though I also understand why people are not as high on him.

Michael (Fresno, CA)

Many of Nick Saban's defensive players from Alabama have been early draft picks, and more often than not they do not live up to the hype. It has become protocol, it seems, for mock drafts to simply pencil in HaHa as the #13 pick for the Rams, but I personally do not like that pick for reasons including, but not limited to, Alabama's recent track record. Should such track records be used in evaluation of players, or should players be evaluated simply on a case by case basis?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:11 PM)

You have to go on the individual player but I think your point has some validity in the sense that some guys are "system" guys. Which is to say they succeed more because of the scheme than individual talent.

David (New Mexico)

Am I the only one who thinks that moving the draft back to May 8 was a little silly?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:11 PM)

No. If you felt the other way, you'd be the only one.

Cody (St. Louis)

Do you agree that Mike Evans would not be a good fit for the Rams? Sam seems hesistant to throw into "jump ball" situations.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:12 PM)

That's a chicken or the egg question. Is Sam hesitant to throw the jump ball because he's afraid of making a mistake? Or is he hesitant to throw the jump ball because he doesn't have a receiver who can win them consistently? If you believe the latter then perhaps Evans would be a great fit.

Michael (Fresno, CA)

Lots of talk centers on Robinson's ability to step in and start at guard. I know he hasn't done it, but it seems to me he would be capable of doing it effectively, if not very very well. What do you think about Matthews' ability to play LG, at least for a year?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:13 PM)

I think it should be noted that it's not so easy to just step into a guard spot if you play tackle. I know you didn't say that but a position change is still a position change. Still, with Matthews experience and technique, I think he'd be very good at guard right away also.

Joey Higgins-Luckow (Madison, WI)

Typically teams with two first round picks with no a hole lot of holes go one offense, one defense. Do you expect the Rams will do that? Or could they go Robinson/Evans or something like Mack/Clinton-Dix?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:15 PM)

Don't think they pigeonhole themselves into picks like that.

Jon (Seattle, WA)

WR's like Watkins might not come along every year, but neither do WR classes like the one we have this year. Success in the draft is about maximizing the value of each pick......Wouldn't it make more sense to target WR's later on in the draft? Also, it's not like Greg Robinson is simply a safe choice, the guys oozes potential

Nick Wagoner
  (2:17 PM)

If you target a receiver later in the draft, are you getting a No. 1 type of guy? That's the point here. It's not about getting A receiver, it's about getting THE receiver. That isn't to say that a guy taken later couldn't become one of those players but doesn't it reduce the margin of error if you take the guy many believe is the best WR to come out since AJ Green/Julio Jones? If they pass on Watkins and, perhaps, Evans, why bother taking a wideout?

Joey Higgins-Luckow (Madison, WI)

Do you think St Louis would be willing to slide down for significantly less than market value if they're sure they'd get their target there anyway? Say they like Robinson, and Cleveland offers only a 3rd round pick to move up. Robinson is sure to be available at 4, but a 3rd obviously doesn't provide equal value according to any chart out there. But, it's still better than nothing.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:18 PM)

Wouldn't rule it out. It's easier to take less than asking price if you don't have to move too far. We've seen it in the recent past.

Joe (New York) [via mobile]

What are your thoughts on Brooks, the safety from FSU? Personally, I don't understand why he's flying under the radar. He has excellent speed, tackling, instincts, and college experience. The only knock I see is possibly height. I think he would be a great value pick.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:20 PM)

Like him, too. And he would seem to be a good fit for the type of safety the Rams need. Could be a nice option in rounds 2 or 3.

mike ofallon [via mobile]

Nick, most anticipated home opponent in 14'? For me it's Seattle. The Rams gave shown that they can compete, and a solid draft should narrow that gap. Plus silencing their obnoxious fans is always great.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:22 PM)

Get to see the NFC West opponents twice a year every year so I'll say Denver. Chances to see Peyton Manning are going to get fewer and farther between here. Probably his last visit to St. Louis.

Tyler (Los Angeles)

Speaking of J. Long...Any updates to his progress?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:23 PM)

Again, we don't get access to players this time of year. Rams have said he's coming along fine. What that means, I don't know. Next week is start of offseason program, perhaps we'll get an update.

Ryan (Montreal)

Many people having been linking Matthews to the Rams because Fisher coached his father. My initial instinct is to shrug this off until I remembered last draft when Fisher took Mcdonald who also has a father coached by Fisher, if i remember correctly. What are your thoughts on this line of thinking and does it make you nervous like it does myself that Fisher might pass up the superior player in Robinson for built in relationship he has with the Matthews' family.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:24 PM)

It doesn't make me nervous because I don't really care what they do (aside from a working capacity) and because I think Matthews is going to be a very good player in his own right. I do think it could be a factor in the conversation, though.

Joey Higgins-Luckow (Madison, WI)

Nick, I agree with your line of thinking that if they don't get Watkins or Evans, why go WR at all? Austin, Bailey, Britt, Quick, Pettis, Givens... plenty of good bodies there. One guy who could drop who could develop nto a #1 is Kelvin Benjamin, who is just raw. What do u think of him?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:30 PM)

Not very high on Benjamin. Looks the part but not sure he plays it. Maybe he reaches his potential in the right system, you never know. Also, if you want a big wideout who is raw then why did you spend two years trying to develop Brian Quick?

Ryan (Montreal)

Do you think the Rams should look to draft a centre to eventually replace Wells or do you think Barrett Jones is the long term solution at that position?

Nick Wagoner
  (2:31 PM)

I think they'd like it to be Jones but it's too early to say with certainty that he will be the guy. Tim Barnes still in the mix, too. Wouldn't surprise me if they took a C who can also play guard again.

Nick Wagoner
  (2:31 PM)

All right. That's going to do it for today. Thanks to all for the questions. Back at it next week. Have a good weekend.