Thursday, March 26, 2009

Draft Prospect Spotlight: OT Jason Smith

Baylor OT Jason Smith 
Height: 6-5, Weight: 298

Strengths: Tremendously gifted athlete…a former tight end, has unreal feet and quickness for an offensive tackle prospect…out of the top three offensive tackles expected to go very early in the 2009 NFL Draft, may be the best pass blocker of the bunch…is just scratching the surface of his pro potential…at 6’5 298, there is still plenty of room for growth and improvement…uses his hands effectively to keep on-rushing defenders from getting inside on him and controlling him…doesn’t seem to lose focus and plays every play to the whistle…

Weaknesses: Inexperience at the offensive tackle position is a large concern…weighing in at just under 300 pounds, will he get overpowered by stronger defensive ends the likes of Julius Pepper and Kyle Vanden Bosch?…the measure of the length of his arms is going to be a point of emphasis, shorter arms would limit overall potential…has a long way in developing into a premier run blocking offensive tackle…athletically gifted yes, a somewhat raw offensive tackle prospect, also yes…will need more time to adapt to the NFL level than will Andre Smith and Eugene Monroe…has draft momentum on his side, but may be slightly overrated…a high bust factor…

Overall: Whereas there is not very much concern that Andre Smith or Eugene Monroe will becomes draft busts, there is some concern surrounding the future of Jason Smith. There has to be, a former tight end transitioning to offensive tackle, with a slight frame, there are causes for concerns. A year ago, 1st round pick Duane Brown made the transition and performed very well, and Smith is a superior prospect than Brown. Jason Smith has the skill set to become a stellar left tackle, but his development is likely to take longer than the other two top offensive tackle prospects, and is likely to struggle early in his career. That being said, there is a ton to like in Jason Smith, he is mega-athletic and if he can pick up NFL game faster than anticipated you have a stud on the left side of the offensive line for the next decade and a half. 


Opinion: Another sure fire prospect that the Rams could draft at #2 overall. Smith and Virginia's Eugene Monroe are basically equal on most cases with Monroe having a slight upside in terms of experience as a offensive tackle. 

Draft Prospect Spotlight: OT Eugene Monroe

Virginia OT Eugene Monroe 
Height: 6-6, Weight: 315

Strengths: Possesses the best combination of pass blocking and run blocking of any prospect in the 2009 NFL Draft…played at Virginia, which has been increasingly effective at producing top level NFL talent on both the offensive and defensive lines…is such a terrific talent that he kept top 2008 NFL prospect Branden Albert at offensive guard…at 6’6 315, has prototypical size for a NFL left tackle…dominated at times throughout his collegiate career, but perhaps even more importantly, he never seemed to battle inconsistencies that many offensive tackle prospects do…a very low bust factor, and you know when your drafting a prospect the likes of Eugene Monroe, he will contribute from day one…

Weaknesses: There is not a specific element of his’s game that one can point to as being superstar level quality…very good prospect, but can he be great?…low bust factor yes, but also may not possess the potential and ceiling that a few other offensive tackle prospects in the 2009 draft class do…one would have thought that with top-tier NFL talent the likes of Monroe and Albert playing side by side the Virginia rushing attack would have been more dominant…would be well served to add some more muscle to his wiry 6’6 frame… would like to see him play with a bit more of nasty streak…

Overall: There is not much to dislike in regards to the draft prospects of Eugene Monroe. Eugene Monroe is another safe pick and there is little to no chance that a team in the top ten do not select him to protect the blindside of their quarterback. Eugene Monroe has long arms, uses his hands very effectively, and is arguably a better pass blocker than Andre Smith. Eugene Monroe will continue to progress and develop, and although he may not have Pro Bowl level potential like some, he will start and contribute immediately.

My Opinion: Before, I go over my opinions about the prospect in particu;ar, I just wanna say that the Rams are clearly gonna draft an offensive tackle to address the loss of Orlando Pace. the idea of moving Alex Barron to left tackle is a bit unclear because Barron works better at RT. 

Regarding Eugene Monroe, the possibility of him being drafted at #2 overall is close to none unless Detroit drafts him beforehand. Monroe has a similar report to his fellow Virginia alumnus DE Chris Long (which the Rams drafted in 2008) on which he has the best overall skillset but little room to improve (so as they thought).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Versatile O-Lineman Adam Goldberg re-signs with the Rams

Rams has re-signed offensive lineman Adam Goldberg to a two-year deal. Contract terms weren't not available.

In three seasons with St. Louis, Goldberg has proven to be a valuable backup and spot starter. With Goldberg on board, the Rams now has valuable depth on both tackle and guard positions.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rams Add Depth on both Offensive and Defensive Line

Continuing to build their offseason roster, the Rams have re-signed offensive lineman Mark Setterstrom and defensive end Eric Moore, as well as four street free agents.

Setterstrom, who has missed most of the the past two seasons with knee injuries, has started 9 games since being taken in the seventh round of the 2006 draft. A healthy Setterstrom could compete for a starting job at guard, or at worst provide depth on the interior. He suffered a preseason knee injury last August which ended his season, but participated Monday in the start of the Rams’ offseason conditioning program.

Moore, has spent the past 2 1/2 seasons with the Rams, spending part of that time on the practice squad. He appeared in seven games for the Rams last season in a reserve and special teams role, recording five tackles from scrimmage with one sack and 3 quarterback hurries.

Also signed were quarterback Jeff Otis, defensive back Marcus Brown, tight end Eric Butler, and center Tim Mattran.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rams finally released Torry Holt

Torry Holt's days in St. Louis has finally come to an end when the Rams finally released the 7-time Pro Bowl wide receiver. Prior to his release, Holt has already told the media that he wants out and wanna finish his career elsewhere.

Before that the Rams also released another 7-time Pro Bowler in Offensive Tackle Orlando Pace. Pace was hounded by injuries which contributed to his release.

The Rams gets an additional $14 Million in salary cap space.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rams signed FB Mike Karney for 3 Years

According to's Jonathan Clayton, the St. Louis Rams finally have a full backfield after reaching a three-year contract agreement with fullback Mike Karney.

Karney agreed to a three-year, $3.6 million contract that includes $1.2 million in guarantees, according to a source. The Rams have been struggling at that position since they released Madison Hedgecock in 2007. Hedgecock ended up becoming a Pro Bowl alternate for the New York Giants last season.

The signing of Karney gives St. Louis a chance to be more successful in two-back formations. The 27-year-old Karney was named to the All-Pro team in 2006 when he played for the New Orleans Saints. The Saints released him on March 5, putting one of the league's more respected fullbacks on the market. The Rams were quick to have him in for a visit.

The 5-foot-11, 258-pound Karney had 46 career starts in five seasons with the Saints. Karney will be the blocking back for Rams halfback Steven Jackson.

Opinion: FINALLY! a good fullback to compliment Steven Jackson

Rams released OT Orlando Pace

Offensive tackle Orlando Pace has been released by the Rams.

Pace, 33, was taken by the Rams as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft and has been with the team since then. He was a staple at left tackle, earning seven trips to the Pro Bowl. Pace was hampered by injuries in recent seasons. A knee injury caused him to miss two games and part of a third this past season.

The Rams save $6 million under the salary cap by letting Pace go.

With Pace gone, Alex Barron becomes the new left tackle, and if his offseason tutoring goes well, Jacob Bell will assume Barron’s old spot at right tackle. Recently signed free agent Jason Brown is the center, and Richie Incognito and John Greco are the favorites to start at guard.

It pains me that the Rams let go of one of the francise's greatest Offensive Left Tackle of all time but the team is moving on and I respect that. It would have been an "easier" decision if the Rams worked on trading or releasing Torry Holt first than starting with Orlando Pace. Holt has already said he wants out of St. Louis. Pace on the other hand can still play and loves to play for the Rams.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SS James Butler signs with Rams; FB Mike Karney to Visit

League sources confirmed Monday night that the Rams and free-agent strong safetyJames Butler have agreed to contract terms. An announcement out of Rams Park is expected Tuesday. Butler, who spent the previous four seasons with the New York Giants, reportedly will get a four-year deal that, with incentives, could net him $17 million. Butler, 6 feet 3 and 215 pounds, is 27. 

In another news, Free-agent fullback Mike Karney and Rams officials will meet Tuesday at Rams Park. The team is looking for a lead-blocking fullback, and the 5-foot-11, 255-pound Karney, released by the Saints on Thursday, could fill the bill.

Karney, 27, is an Arizona State product who has spent all five of his NFL seasons in New Orleans. The Rams also had shown interest in former New England fullback Heath Evans, but he signed with the Saints last week.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Opinion: Rams should go with Brock Berlin as #2 QB

There were reports that the Rams are planning to sign veteran quarterback Gus Frerotte back after the releasing Trent Green, well for me this move is PREPOSTEROUS. They are gonna replace an old veteran with a much older veteran.

The Rams should think of giving Brock Berlin a chance to prove himself and draft another QB in the late rounds for QB #3.

Meanwhile the hunt for Steven Jackson's lead blocker has suffered a minor setback as fullback Heath Evans signed with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints also released FB Mike Karney to make room for Evans. In my opinion the Rams should pickup Karney because he's a proven solid lead blocker and average receiver out of the backfield which can be very beneficial.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rams Re-signed Ron Bartell for 4 Years

Cornerback Ron Bartell decided to remain with the Rams by agreed to a four-year deal that includes $13.6 million of guaranteed money. The overall value of the contract can max out at $28 million if certain incentives are meant.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rams solidifies O-Line signed C Jason Brown

Rams finally landed their first free agent for the offseason as they signed former Baltimore Raven C Jason Brown to a five-year, $37.5 million contract — a deal that averages $7.5 million per year. Brown earns $20 million in the first two years; $24 million in the first three. Of the $37.5 million, $20 million is guaranteed.

The signing of Brown solidifies the interior of the offensive line which has suffered from injuries setbacks on the middle of the offensive line.

Also, Rams released QB Trent Green and WR Drew Bennett.