Rams add Mike Evans. #KRM
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.”
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?
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.)
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.
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