Rams add Mike Evans. #KRM

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Beast mode WR: Mike Evans.

Writers write.  Thus it is with Matt Borcas.  When he gets the call to contribute his word assembling talent for only the vague psychic benefit of enriching Kanick’s 100-200 odd daily readers, his response is, “Who have I got and when do you need it?”  Rams.  “Aw.  Damn.  Ok.”

**************

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Wow Les Snead.
Just wow.

It’s an honor to occupy the cranium of Rams GM Les Snead, what with the dude’s immaculate head of hair and steadfast commitment to the truth.  While the jury’s still out on Snead’s franchise-defining RG3 trade, the early returns look favorable, save for one notable exception:  Tavon Austin, and the wide receiver position in general.

Let’s backtrack to the 2012 draft – Snead’s first at the helm of the Rams – to see how this happened.  Upon completing the RG3 trade, the Rams owned three picks in the first two rounds: no. 6 (Washington’s), no. 33 (their own), and no. 39 (Washington’s).  Considering their top returning receivers were Brandon Gibson and the unbelievably frail Danny Amendola, wideout was an obvious and pressing need from the get-go.  Perhaps Snead was hoping for the light of MKC’s life, Justin Blackmon, to fall to him at no. 6; alas, Jacksonville grabbed Blackmon at no. 5, and Michael Floyd would’ve been a pretty big reach with the sixth overall pick, so wide receiver would have to wait.

At this point, Snead channeled his inner Mangenius and moved down from no. 6 to no. 14, adding Dallas’s second-rounder (no. 45) to his already vast arsenal of picks. This has proven to be an objectively great move – while the Cowboys sacrificed a precious resource to trade up for Morris Claiborne, the Rams got Michael Brockers and ended up landing Janoris Jenkins at no. 39, who’s significantly outperformed Claiborne by every relevant measure.  Meanwhile, Snead chose to address the team’s gaping hole at receiver by using no. 33 on Brian Quick, a huge but raw-as-sushi prospect out of Appalachian State.  Chalk this one up as a mistake – Quick remains a work in progress, 218 lbs. of untapped potential.

Hindsight being 20/20, the better move would have been to take Alshon Jeffery at no. 45 instead of trading that very pick to the Bears so they could take Jeffery.  Jeffery’s morphed into what I imagine Snead thought Quick could be – a jump-ball grabbing WMD and quarterback bailout machine.  Still, even the best GMs don’t bat 1.000, so it’s hard to fault Snead too much for the Quick pick.  Lesson learned, right?

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Working metaphor of first round draft picks whose talent resume includes “Kickoff Returns.”

WRONG.  Due to Amendola’s departure and Quick’s general suckiness, wide receiver remained a major need for the Rams heading into last year’s draft, which also happened to feature the least talented crop of prospects to come around in some time.  What’s the last thing a GM’s supposed to do when faced with a historically weak draft class?  Surrender his first, second, third, and seventh round picks for a glorified punt returner, which is precisely what Snead did when he traded up for Tavon Austin.  This was a staggering bit of wasteful spending; it was as if Snead went to the grocery store in need of pantry staples and somehow came home with a $300 bottle of Dom Perignon.  GLUG GLUG GLUG LOOKS LIKE I FORGOT BREAD, CEREAL, AND TWO GALLONS OF HAIR PRODUCT.

Kanick readers weren’t surprised1 when Austin proceeded to underwhelm in his rookie season; indeed, he was actually a more impressive rusher than receiver, and unless Jeff Fisher brings in a new offensive coordinator who calls nothing but gadget plays, he appears fated to become the next Antwaan Randle El.  Cordarrelle Patterson would sure look nice on the Rams right now, as would whatever additional talent Snead could’ve obtained by not giving up a bounty of premium assets to the Bills for Austin.  But he did, and so for the third consecutive year, the Rams will enter draft day with a glaring need at wide receiver.  (And no, Kenny Britt’s one year deal does not change this.)

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Evans displays a different sort of elusiveness from other WRs.

Based on the success he’s enjoyed at pretty much everything besides drafting wideouts, one must assume that Snead possesses the capacity to a) admit when he’s made a mistake, and b) take the proper course of action to combat said mistake.  If the actual draft goes anything like the #KRM, this is gonna be crucial, because Snead has been gifted the opportunity to erase the stain of the Brian Quick/Tavon Austin picks in one fell swoop.  It’s foolhardy to compare any receiver prospect to Calvin Johnson, but if you locked the world’s best geneticist in a lab and told him to generate a Megatron clone, the end result would look a lot like Mike Evans. Evans is a hulking, deceptively fast matchup nightmare who’d make life 100x easier for Sam Bradford.  Frankly, if I were Snead, I’d strongly consider drafting him at no. 2.  At no. 13, he’s an absolute steal, the ultimate coalescence of team need and best player available.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Well.  I concur in every way that is possible.  Nuff ced.  The Insane NFC West is going to go undefeated outside their division this year.

BAM!!  Next up is the JRich Experience with the Chicago Bears.
Pick #TeamSelection
(linked to KRM post)
Reader
1TexansBlake Bortlesjpftribe
2RamsGreg RobinsonDave Kolonich
3JaguarsSammy WatkinsClevTA
4BrownsJadeveon ClowneyZarathustra
5RaidersKhalil MackPete Franklin
6FalconsJake MatthewsOXR
7BucsJohnny ManzielPeterM
8VikingsTeddy Bridgewatertrashycamaro
9BillsTaylor Lewanclay
10LionsHa’Sean Clinton-Dixbluedog93
11TitansAnthony Barrkanick
12GiantsEric EbronRod of Disaster
13RamsMike EvansMatt Borcas
14BearsAaron DonaldJRich
15SteelersDarqueze Dennard tmoore94
16CowboysLouis NixGrandRapidsRustlers
17RavensJustin GilbertMGBode
18JetsBrandin CooksZarathustra
19DolphinsZack Martintrashycamaro
20CardinalsCalvin PryorJRich
21PackersJace AmaroClevTA
22EaglesMarqise LeeGrandRapidsRustlers
23ChiefsRa'Shede Hagemanclay
24BengalsBradley RobyOXR
25ChargersKyle Fullertexinottawa
26BrownsDerek CarrChuckKoz
27SaintsOdell Beckham tmoore94
28PanthersXavier Su'a-Filojpftribe
29PatriotsTimmy Jerniganbluedog93
30NinersJason VerrettRod of Disaster
31BroncosCJ MosleyPete Franklin
32SeahawksCameron FlemingDave Kolonich
33 (2nd rd)TexansTroy NiklasMatt Borcas
34RedskinsStephon Tuittkanick
35BrownsRyan ShazierMGBode
36Raiders
  1. Kanick is like:

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  • actovegin1armstrong

    “While the jury’s still out on Snead’s franchise-defining RG3 trade, the early returns look favorable”
    Favorable? Giving away the farm for RGINJURY was the worst draft move that I can remember. It is common to draft a Ryan Leaf, mistakes are easy to make, but to give up 47 draft picks for Bob Hayes with a bad knee is crazy.
    RGINJURY runs right into trouble, he is as elusive as a divorcee’ at last call.

    • Matt Borcas

      It’d be a mistake to completely dismiss the possibility of an RG3 comeback. He was unstoppable as a rookie and it’s perfectly conceivable that he could return to that form, in which case he’d likely haunt Snead for the rest of his career, especially since Bradford is looking more and more like a bust.

  • mgbode

    So, here’s the deal. There are times that I get locked into my engineering nerd-world and actually consider myself a pretty good writer. Everything I do is more analytical than poetic, but good enough.

    Then, I come along someone who actually knows how to write after I have put together most of what I have for mine and feel like I’m the random mafia guys in this gif:

    http://cdn.smosh.com/sites/default/files/ftpuploads/bloguploads/0713/sidekicks-superheroes-hitgirl2.gif

    In other words, great blend of analysis and writing. I could not have done better and I mean that I can not possible write as well as that no matter how much time I spend on it. Great article/post here.

    • ditto this. borcas is really good and consistently so. i always think of talent as something you’re born with so how can one be a ‘talented’ writer, but i do think borcas is talented and i swear i’m not saying that to blow smoke up anyone’s anything.

      • mgbode

        my dad explained it to me as such:

        We are all climbing mountains in everything we do. Your natural talent just determines which mountain you get to climb. Some people have to climb a steep slope just to end up at a modest elevation while others have an easy climb to higher ones. But, if you don’t work at it, then you’ll never know how high your mountain goes.

  • zarathustra

    This is a smart pick, but I must voice a quibble: wr is indeed a need for the rams, but not because tavon austin is a bust. Tavon is not even a wr, he is an h back, a different kind of h back to be sure but an h back nonetheless. His ascension to superstar status would still leave the rams with a need at wr. I fear that the kanicki tavon-itis is spreading and infecting the best of our young minds. Please seek treatment young Borcas….before it is too late.

    • ok i take it all back, didn’t realize he was an h-back. in that case i dont want him less than deandre hopkins or cordarelle patterson. ?

      he was a silly pick. was a silly pick at the time and will be a silly pick forever. the proof is that in fact that WR is still a major hole for the rams in spite of burning #7 overall on a WR (sorry H-back) last year.

      that’s not to say he won’t be a good punt returner and if kickoffs still existed he’d probably be good at that too but they don’t.

      but if small fast h-backs are really top 10 pick worth, then dri archer will be a steal for your jets pick.

      archer: 4.26, 38″ vert, 31″ arms, 5-8, 8-7/8 hands;
      austin: 4.34, 32″ vert, 30″ arms, 5-8, 9-1/8 hands.

      the only diffs between the two: archer is the better athlete; austin tapped into media group think.

      you might should let it go zara, i don’t think the austin pick is going to look any better this year.

      • mgbode

        Here is my feeling on it:

        The Rams picked Tavon Austin as if he were Percy Harvin or DeSean Jackson (both of whom went later in the draft because it is a risky proposition to find guys who can pull it off as they do), so until he piles up those numbers and shows that type of game-breaking ability, he was a bad pick.

        I actually don’t see much difference between Austin and Ginn Jr.’s career arc to this point (and that is the risk with taking a guy like that so early).

        • lookit. if tavon at #7 overall is/was a good pick, why is dri archer being projected in the third round?

          my point was and is: every year there is a player that somehow gets pimped far above his value. kendall wright was another but tavon austin was the most egregious i can remember. not sure who this year’s over-done prospect is yet (but leaning teddy bridgewater).

          • mgbode

            I agree with you on Tavon and thought I was providing support with my post : ) He was pumped up way more than he should have been having to do with the “worst defensive game in the history of football” (’12 Baylor v. WVU) and the OU game where he just shredded their ailing defense before people realized how much the injuries were hurting it.

            Dri was hurt for the LSU & PSU games (which could have really helped his draft stock). Also hurting him is that his biggest profile game was the ’12 game v. NoIll where it was dubbed Lynch v. Archer but he had a terrible game.

            and, I obviously disagree on Teddy. Of the QBs, I would say it’s Bortles by far. But, overall with the mocks, I would probably go with Pryor. The NFL market just showed how much the value should be for a hard-hitting run-stopping S with TJ Ward yet we are to believe that Pryor (same type of player) is worth a top20 or top15 pick? I am not impressed with his coverage skills. If not him, then either of the Notre Dame guys (Martin & Nix). Neither is all that impressive, but they are still getting the ND-bump despite the Irish having a mediocre year. I don’t get it. Both are nice players, but they sure look like 2nd/3rd rounders (especially THIS year).

          • “Pick the most hyped prospect” sounds like blog post worth writing and Pryor is a great candidate.

          • mgbode

            I look forward to reading your analysis on that very topic. Definitely could bring up some lively debate.

          • I’m thinking a Brady Quinn pool for the prospect who has will have the biggest sad on draft day (or Geno Smith) and a Rolondo McClain (or Jason Smith) pool for the prospect most unlikely to meet expectations.

            Yes this has potential…

          • mgbode

            this is a Browns-centric site, you can pick from the many, many failed Browns picks on both. I would vote for Brady Quinn on one-side and Gerard Warren on the other (he had a decent career, but man did he fail to meet any kind of expectations especially with us). Figured the 2nd guy had to be a top10 pick who busted, right?

          • bupalos

            The only thing powering your burgeoning Bridgewater insanity is the fact that you’ve fallen in love with measurements. I almost expected your to list Borcas arm length in the intro here. I have to assume this infatuation has to do with your tech/it backgrounding and probable neglect of the higher arts.

            Think of your top 10 NFL QB’s and their measurements. Then reassess your Bridgewater hatred. Or just wait 3 years.

          • jpftribe

            Epic comment Bup, true laugh out loud moment.

            Chris Johnson in an orange helmet?

          • ok i give up.
            small hands on QBs dont matter; (nor apparently do long arms or vertical leap//catch radius for WRs).
            slow 40 doesnt matter;
            wheee!! let’s throw fluttery out routes at my pro day.. IT DONT MATTER (and anyone who points out the weak perf at pro day is obv. a hater).

            fuck it, i’m convinced. let’s take teddy bridgewater at 4. yay! tavon austin and kendall wright will be really good (even though they’re not now and/or if we wait three years maybe everyone will forget how wrong we were)!! and seriously i dont know why those dumb ol football teams waste their money measuring this shit or having combines or pro days. i mean check out these two maroons and their burgeoning insanities:

            1. “Big hands are anatomically the best thing for hurling a football, no question about it, in inclement weather,” said Dimitroff, previously the New England Patriots’ director of college scouting before taking over the Falcons.”

            2. Former NFL executive Gil Brandt said that throughout history, the list of small-handed NFL quarterback stars is short—and may consist only of Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin.

          • bupalos

            Gracious but you are salty these days.

            No one is saying what you are acting like they are saying. All’s what i am saying is a qb’s game-brain and vision are about a billion and a half times more important than his or her hands being 9.2% smaller than Ryan Leaf’s.

            Tom Brady is a carny-handed tree sloth. Drew Brees is a 9 year old girl. Let’s just wait and see on Mr. Teddy. Who I’ve already said I don’t want a 4, but who I’d bet will bet the best of these “1st round” quarterbacks.

          • i’m more reacting a steady drumbeat of pro days dont matter and measurables dont matter and you drew short straw for targeting. the fact is that there is a correlation. the goal of high draft picking is to weigh all the factors and select the guy with highest ceiling and least risk. the only recent small-handed qb i can think of who has had some success is colin kaepernick who is much bigger and much faster than bridgewater while his passing remains meh. bridgewater’s strength is accurate passing under pressure. will he be able to replicate it in cold weather against NFL pressure? maybe. but there’s more than enough doubt created (in part by his small hands, in part by his thin frame, in part by his slow-ish 40, in part by his poor pro-day) that to ignore all this and plunge forward with i want him at four (or to select him #1 overall as many have).. it makes me wonder how the bias toward bridgewater got created, that’s all.

            but yes, that did read salty the day after and i do apologize. (did so as well to zara via email.)

          • bupalos

            I get ya. But the bias for Bridgewater didn’t come from nowhere, it came from watching him perform in actual games where he simply and rather emphatically looked like the best and most pro-style QB in the class. He is really good at anticipating rushers and moving in the pocket while keeping his focus downfield, finding the right matchup, and delivering under pressure. His ball isn’t always pretty (though often it is) but whatever his shortcomings he’s got good wiring.

            Good enough to overcome the kinds of things that combine tossing exposes? I think likely yes, but I’m not saying these are invalid questions. I’m not saying that stuff is valueless, just that it gets a little inflated this time of year. There is no way Bridgewater should be “off” anyone’s board.

          • CLEVTA

            I wouldnt want to turn this into a Teddy handsize discussion but just some points of clarification. Teddy’s hands came in at 9 1/4. The exact same size as Jimmy G. I don’t understand wanting Jimmy at 26 but dismissing Teddy using hand size as a big issue. Fwiw other good NFL QBs with small hands:
            Vick 8 1/2
            Culpepper 9 1/2
            RGIII 9 1/2
            Tannehill 9
            Kapernick 9 1/8

            I think this day and age gloves neutralize some of the inclement weather issue for QBs anyway. Teddy proved as much. I saw him go into a cold, rainy Cincinnati stadium on a December Thursday night and perform well (23/37, 255, 3 td, 1 int) and in a literal monsoon 2 yrs ago in S Mississippi he only attempted 13 throws but did complete 9. Fwiw the opposing QB went 2/8. And I remember this game vivdly since I wagered on S Miss getting a bunch of points in a puddle-filled field. http://espn.go.com /ncf/recap?id=322732572. My only point is if people don’t like Teddy that’s fine but I don’t think hand size should be front and center as to why

          • actovegin1armstrong

            “burgeoning Bridgewater insanity”
            You know I love you Bupa!

          • Matt Borcas

            For the record I have prodigious arm length.

          • jpftribe

            Not ashamed to say I just had to google prodigious. Must be my IT background.

    • Matt Borcas

      Don’t really see how this nominal distinction changes the fact that Tavon wasn’t worth the 8th overall pick, let alone all the picks it took for the Rams to move up from 16 to 8. My point was that WR would be much less of a need for the Rams if they drafted, say, Patterson at 16 instead of foolishly moving up for Tavon, who’s listed as a WR.

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