Saturday, April 29, 2006

Tye on a Klopfenstein

-NFL Draft Day '06...and the Rams have an impressive first two rounds.

The guy I predicted they would take at #11 (Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Fla. St.) was taken at #14 by Philadelphia right ahead of the Rams. The Rams were picking 15th in the first round after a trade of their #11 pick to Denver who took Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler. The Rams got Denver's #15 pick and a high third round pick in return. The Rams braintrust apparently had more interest in improving the defensive secondary than the D-line and got the guy they had rated highest at cornerback, Tye Hill of Clemson. Everybody I'm hearing rate the Rams pick is positive...but a little concerned about Hill's lack of size. Hill supposedly had the fastest time of anyone at the NFL scouting combine. Not surprising, considering he was a sprint champion running track at Clemson.

The Rams come back in the second round with the 46th overall pick to claim Colorado tight end Joe Klopfenstein. At 6-6, 256 pounds he certainly will present a target for quarterback Marc Bulger when he goes out to catch a pass. The reservations I'm hearing on him...good, but not blazing speed for a guy that size. And, he apparently has some problems with his blocking due to lack of lower body strength. But, I've heard no major negatives about him from anybody analyzing the pick.

Here's what I like about these two picks. They make sense by addressing actual weaknesses on the Rams' roster. Where St. Louis was picking in this draft there was no chance at getting one of the major stars available without trading up to get one. So, keeping their senses, the Rams went for the kind of player who will actually be able to go to work on the field and fill a hole. In other words, the highest rated players on their board who play the positions they want to bolster. Smart. You don't break the bank with a marquee player, and you responsibly address the concerns on your current roster. "Well done!" from here to new coach Scott Linehan, GM Charley Armey...and the rest of the Ram's braintrust.

By the way Klopfenstein translated from German to English means knock stone. Let's hope he's as solid a pick as his name. Tye Hill just sounds like a star player too.

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