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Out Of Bounds

Real sports insight that non-sports fans can understand.

Archive for February, 2012

St. Louis Rams: Will trading down help?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Notable Free Agents: WR Brandon Lloyd, S Darian Stewart (Restricted)

The St. Louis Rams just can’t draft worth a crap. Here are the last six 1st round picks starting with last year and where they are now:

2011: Pick 15, DE Robert Quinn (Average rookie year, but under-achieving for a 1st rounder. Five sacks and 23 tackles last year)

2010: Pick 1, QB Sam Bradford (Solid rookie year, but injured much of 2011)

2009: Pick 2, OL Jason Smith (Injury-prone and on the verge of being cut)

2008: Pick 2, DE Chris Long (May finally be living up to the hype. 30.5 sacks for his career including 13 in 2011)

2007: Pick 13, DE Adam Carriker (No longer with the team. 4.5 sacks in the four years with team. 5.5 sacks last year for Washington Redskins)

2006: Pick 15, CB Tye Hill (No longer in the league. Three years and 28 games for the Rams and only four INTs. 5 INTs in his five-year career)

 So will trading out of the #2 pick help the Rams at all? Maybe, but they need O-line help desperately if Bradford is going to succeed; which is why they should stay at #2 and take Offensive Tackle Ryan Kalil. He would end up being what they thought they were getting with Jason Smith. Now they also need help in the secondary and wide receivers that won’t get hurt, but protecting Bradford should be first and foremost on the Rams list.

If they decide to trade the #2 pick, I wouldn’t blame them as long as they are getting a wealth of picks (and a couple of players) in return. I see a team like the Seahawks try to trade up to get QB Robert Griffin III and it could work. Seahawks trade WR Sidney Rice, their #1 pick this year and next year for the Rams pick. That would work for both teams. Rams get a top-notch receiver (if he can stay healthy) and two #1 picks which could help plug some holes on the O-line and in the secondary. Would I do this? Probably, but I would be hesitant to take on a highly-paid and injury-prone WR. They already have somewhere around 7000 WR coming off Injured Reserve this off-season, do they really need a another?

I don’t know. It’s all speculative anyway. Bottom line: If the Rams don’t trade down, they need to take OL Ryan Kalil.

UPDATE: The Rams will trade the #2 pick! According to ESPN.com, the Browns (Pick #4), Redskins (Pick #6) and Dolphins (Pick #8)  are interested in trading up. I bet they trade with the Redskins because, frankly, Owner Dan Snyder is an idiot and will give up way too much to move up. I don’t think the Fins need a QB. Chad Henne was coming into his own before he separated his shoulder and was placed on IR. It all comes down to what is offered for the Rams. This should help them rebuild quickly and get Bradford the help he desperately needs.

On the Clock: Minnesota Vikings (Pick #3)

Indianapolis Colts: With or Without Peyton

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Indianapolis Colts (1st overall pick)

Notable free agents: DE Robert Mathis, WR Reggie Wayne, WR Pierre Garcon, LB Philip Wheeler, C Jeff Saturday, G Ryan Diem

I would not want to be GM Jim Irsay right now. The decisions he makes in the next couple months will affect the Colts for the next decade. First and most importantly: Do you keep franchise QB Peyton Manning? Manning is owed $28 million dollars if he is on the roster on March 8. That’s a massive amount of cash for someone who is still rehabbing a neck injury over a year and a half after the injury happened. Plus, if they do bring him back, there is still no timetable for his return and he may not be able to return at all. I know Manning wants to play and he wants to stay in Indy. But $28 million is a huge price for a question mark, even if that question mark is the greatest player in Colts history (sorry Johnny Unitas fans). Irsay needs to shake his hand, give Manning a big ol’ man hug and say “Thank you.” 

Then draft Luck and begin rebuilding. Why? They are a team that is getting old. Future Hall of Fame center Jeff Saturday may have another year or two of Pro Bowl play, but he’s aging. Do you really want Luck learning to gel with someone who is one or two years from retirement? The veteran presence would help, but Luck seems to be poised enough as it is. I don’t think it’s that necessary for him.

Then there are the receivers. Wayne’s skills are tailing off and Garcon is good, when he’s not dropping balls like Lil Wayne drops rhymes. I’d keep Garcon on a one- or two-year deal and if the butterfingers improves, then sign him long term. As for Wayne, if your cleaning house and starting over, then it’s time to say “Goodbye.”

And if the Colts defense is going to be any good at all, they need to sign Mathis long-term. DE Dwight Freeney can’t do it all and if the Colts rebuild on offense and let Mathis go, then another 2-14 season could be in store.

So Irsay could let the free agent veterans go and start rebuilding now (which is my suggestion), or he could sign them all to one- or two-year deals in the hope of winning one more Championship. Regardless if he keeps Manning or not, if he doesn’t draft QB Andrew Luck, he will regret it. And if he guesses wrong with Manning, he will lose his job. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Time for the NFL preview!

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Yeah, you read right. The NFL combine is right around the corner. Free agency begins in just a couple of weeks and the draft is two months away. As a die-hard NFL fan, this is almost as exciting as the season itself. So for the next month, I will be profiling one team a day (in draft order) with some commentary from some guests as well.

So gear up footballers! We here at Out of Bounds are ready to blow your mind with analysis and predictions so accurate, you’d think we have Cleo writing for us.

First up tomorrow: Indianapolis Colts (1st overall pick)