Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:LaDainian Tomlinson
Posted on: April 20, 2010 8:52 am
 

Advice to Rams: If not 100% on Bradford, trade

As I reported a week ago and Cleveland Browns' general manager Tom Heckert publicly confirmed two days later, the St. Louis Rams are having internal discussions about trading out of the No. 1 pick.

With the several potential suitors (Cleveland, Washington, Seattle, Denver), it is possible that the Rams get the 3,000 "points" as required in the draft pick trade chart every team and media member refers to in these situations.

Far be it from me to offer the Rams, and specifically general manager Billy Devaney, advice on the situation, but I'm going to anyway:

Dear St. Louis Rams,

If you are not 100% sure that Bradford is the answer to your problems, trade the pick.

Even if it means getting less value than the talking heads think you should.

Sincerely,

Rob Rang

Trading out of the No. 1 pick for less than its perceived value will likely generate some negative reaction from other teams and the media.

The reality is, the Rams, winners of only 6/48 games over the past three regular seasons have holes throughout their roster. The 2010 draft is as deep and talented as any we've seen in over a decade. The money saved on not utilizing the first overall pick would cover the extra players.

And for all of the talk about how difficult it is to trade out of the top pick, the last two teams that did so, received more than fair value for their courage -- though they weren't necessarily viewed as the consensus "winners" when making the deal on draft day.

The San Diego Chargers did it the unconventional way in 2004, selecting Eli Manning with the first pick and then shipping he to the Giants for the 4th overall selection, Philip Rivers, and three picks that the Chargers ultimately turned into Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding and veteran offensive tackle Roman Oben.

San Diego was involved in the last trade involving the No. 1 pick, as well, trading out of the top spot in 2001 to Atlanta. The Falcons got Michael Vick and the Chargers got the fifth pick, which they used on LaDainian Tomlison, as well as Atlanta's 3rd round pick in 2001 (Chargers selected CB Tay Cody), second round pick in 2002 (WR Reche Caldwell) and veteran receiver/returner Tim Dwight. Having not filled their quarterback need in the first round, the Chargers used their first pick of the second round on some guy named Brees.

There will be those that argue the Rams should simply ignore Bradford and use the top pick on their highest rated player, almost surely Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, having spent high first round selections on the defensive line in 2007 (Adam Carriker) and 2008 (Chris Long) likely precludes the team from doing so.

My admittedly two-cent advice? Capitalize on the best deal you can get and trade out. Let someone else gamble on Sam Bradford's shoulder. Fill other areas of concern with the first round pick(s). And take the quarterback you really want -- Texas' Colt McCoy -- 33rd overall.

Who knows, maybe the short, remarkably accurate, gutty leader is the second coming of Drew Brees, after all.










Posted on: March 16, 2010 4:54 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2010 11:28 am
 

Jets, Rams schedule visits with RB Mathews

The belief among league insiders is that future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson signed with the New York Jets over the Minnesota Vikings because he thought he'd be able to get more carries playing with Shonn Greene than Adrian Peterson.

Sound thinking, probably.

However, the Jets might have another running back to add to the backfield if their choice of private visits is any indication.

Fresno State's Ryan Mathews told me the Jets and St. Louis Rams have invited him to come to their facilities for private meeting. Mathews told me this during our interview for his next journal entry for NFLDraftScout.com's Path to the Draft series.

Rams fans and running back Steven Jackson might be surprised by the news, as well.

Mathews also informed me that he'll be working out at tomorrow's Fresno State Pro Day despite the fact that he turned heads during the Combine with an impressive all-around performance. Mathews, who weighed in at 5-11, 219 pounds, was clocked at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash.

Mathews led the nation with an average of 150.67 yards per game in 2009.

NFLDraftScout.com rates him as the second best running back in the 2010 draft (behind Clemson's CJ Spiller) and a first round prospect.

I projected him to be selected by the San Diego Chargers with the 28th overall pick in my most recent mock draft.

Posted on: February 22, 2010 9:09 pm
 

LT's release clears the way for AJ to target a RB

I consider the Chargers' AJ Smith to be one of the better talent evaluators in the NFL. He is willing to take a risk in the first round -- see DE Luis Castillo and CB Antonio Cromartie as examples -- but often gets immediate returns with his picks.

He isn't, however, the most difficult to predict.

The Chargers, like an increasing number of teams, have seemingly put aside the mantra of always taking the "best available player" to instead look to fill immediate needs in the first round.

Consider this past April. Smith needed a pass rusher, as the Chargers, mostly due to the injury to Shawne Merriman, dropped from 5th in the league in sacks in 2007 (42) to 31st a year later. Smith selected pass rush specialist Larry English out of Northern Illinois, converting the former defensive end to a rush linebacker.

With questionable depth at cornerback and safety a year earlier, rival scouts weren't surprised to see the Chargers select versatile defender Antoine Cason in the first round.

A year earlier, with a clear need for a receiver, Smith took LSU's Craig "Buster" Davis in the first round.

Though Davis hasn't panned out as expected, Smith's strategy has generally been very effective and a key component to the Chargers' ascension to the top of the AFC West.

The release of LaDainian Tomlinson opens up a huge hole at running back for the Chargers.

This team, of course, is clearly built around quarterback Philip Rivers and the passing game. Darren Sproles has the speed and elusiveness needed to star in this offense and the team has a suitable big back in Jacob Hester for the tough yardage. Still, a workhorse back -- to be used much like the Saints used Pierre Thomas -- is a definite need for this club.

Considering the talent likely to be available when the Chargers are on the clock at No. 28, don't be surprised at all when AJ Smith takes his pick between Fresno State's Ryan Mathews or Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer.

After all... they'd fill a need.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com