Throwback Thursday - The Los Angeles Rams Are On The Clock
For NFL fans the annual draft of collegiant talent is something very much like Christmas.
Though every draft has it's fair amount of suspense, no draft in recent history has had quite this much drama. Indeed this year's draft has featured it's own version of "the ultimate question". When the Los Angeles Rams traded for the first pick in this years draft it was more than obvious to almost everyone that they would be selecting a quarterback with the selection. For over a decade the Rams have had trouble securing a high level player at the position and the acquisition of this years top pick provides the first true opportunity to acquire the type of player the team has desperately needed.
This years draft class is considered to be thin at the QB position yet two players have risen to the top of the heap, University of California's Jared Goff and University of South Dakota's Carson Wentz. Goff put up huge numbers at Cal, while Wentz showed freakish athletic ability against what is considered lower level competition.
Here's the breakdown:
Tall with an athletic, proportional build that is made for the NFL position. Played in a pro-style attack with plenty of snaps under center. Asked to make NFL throws and showed he could do it. Stands tall in the pocket and delivers with a relatively high release point. Keeps ball high and tight in the pocket and can uncork it quickly with tight, sharp release and little wasted motion. Throws catchable ball with tight spiral. Naturally accurate passer. Sees lurking linebackers underneath and throws receivers open to safest spot in the passing window. Able to change arm slots and still throw a strike. Has plus deep ball accuracy and touch. Calm in pocket and has no problems sitting in and taking a hit to complete a pass. Excelled in structured passing attack that required him to read the entire field. Has athleticism to escape pressure and hurt defenses with his legs. Already able to feel pressure on the edges and slide around in pocket without dropping his eyes. Adept in play-action game at selling fakes and quickly finding safeties to help determine where to go with the ball. Intelligent with long list of academic achievements. Should be able to process and handle an NFL playbook quickly. Can play pitch and catch all day long against zone coverage. - NFL.com
Quality arm. Makes all the throws and can sling the deep out with velocity and accuracy. Clean release and snaps throws off with flick of the wrist. Drives hips through his release for extra heat. Pocket mobility and poise showed improvement from 2014 to 2015. Maintains proper footwork and readiness to throw as he slides inside the pocket. Speeds up internal clock when he feels pressure or recognizes blitz. Pocket climber. Able to run out of trouble rather than into it. Looks the part of a confident, first round quarterback when working from a clean pocket. Sells his play fakes with purpose and draws linebackers forward. Has learned to expedite his throws from off-balance angles due to pocket pressure. Will throw receivers open in tight quarters. Has excellent trajectory and pillowy soft touch on touch throws down the field that give receivers a chance to make plays. Showed substantial growth with his willingness to attack intermediate areas of the field and did so with accuracy and relative success. Completed an impressive 43.8 percent of his deep throws. Competes on third and long seeking out first downs over check downs. - NFL.com
If I were pulling the trigger it would be Wentz. I love a mobile QB who can make plays with his arm and legs. I also think that he has that special something ... can't put my finger on it. Something in my gut says he's going to be special.
However, Goff may be the right choice if you want a guy to stand in there and deliver passes. Nothing wrong with that if that's the kind of offense you want to run. Marino and Manning did wonders doing that. Never were a threat to take off and run. I like the other dimension though.
Blasts From The Past: Former LA Rams First Round Picks
Eric Dickerson, a two-time All-America choice at Southern Methodist, was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. An immediate success, he established rookie records for most rushing attempts (390), most rushing yards gained (1,808) and most touchdowns rushing (18). His efforts earned him All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors.
In his second season, Dickerson continued his onslaught of the NFL record book. Twelve times during that season he gained more than 100 yards rushing, breaking the record of 100-yard games in a season held by O. J. Simpson. His 2,105 total yards rushing in 1984 shattered Simpson’s 1973 record of 2,003 yards rushing in a single season.
A workhorse runner with the Rams, Dickerson gained more than 1,000 yards each of his first four seasons with the team. In three of those seasons he gained more than 1,800 yards. Although he rushed for 1,234 yards in 1985, he missed the Pro Bowl for the first time in his short NFL career. He did, however, go on to rush for a playoff record 248 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in post-season play. - Pro Football Hall of Fame
Jack Youngblood, a 6-4, 247-pound All-America from the University of Florida, excelled for 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams from 1971 to 1984. As the 20th player selected in the first round of the 1971 draft, Youngblood made his presence felt almost immediately.
He did so well as a backup to superstar Deacon Jones at left defensive end as a rookie that the Rams traded Jones before the 1972 season. Youngblood divided his playing time with Fred Dryer that year and then took over as the starting left defensive end in his third campaign in 1973. He played with distinction at that position the rest of his 202-game career.
Youngblood, who was born January 26, 1950, in Jacksonville, Florida, was rugged, determined, a dominant defender and the Rams’ perennial quarterback sack leader. He played in a Rams’ record 201 consecutive games and only missed one game in 14 seasons, that one miss coming in his final year in 1984.
The Rams’ defensive captain, he was a three-time winner of the Dan Reeves Award given to that team’s most valuable player each season. Youngblood was All-Pro in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, and 1979 and All-NFC seven times. He played in seven straight Pro Bowls following each season from 1973 to 1979.
During his tenure, the Rams played in five NFC championship games and they advanced to Super Bowl XIV following the 1979 season. In a first-round playoff game that year, Youngblood suffered a fractured left fibula. However, he was fitted with a plastic brace and he played every defensive down in both the NFC title game and Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers. - Pro Football Hall of Fame