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Gordo's Tipsheet: QB intrigue builds as draft nears

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, May 6, 2014.

  1. RamBill

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    Tipsheet: QB intrigue builds as draft nears

    • By Jeff Gordon


    Pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney is the best athlete in the NFL Draft. Offensive tackles could dominate the top of this draft, as it was last year.

    Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan could go in the top five or six. A lot of experts believe the Rams will take Robinson second overall.

    But quarterbacks are a hot topic this week. Johnny Manziel is feeling the love this week. Teddy Bridgewater is not. And Blake Bortles stock is holding high.

    Here is what the experts have been writing:

    Peter King, ESPN.com: "I sense the Rams like Greg Robinson at two—over Sammy Watkins and Jake Matthews. A St. Louis contingent went to Auburn on Thursday to work out Robinson; no negatives surfaced. More mystery about 13. The Rams really like Johnny Manziel, and if he were there at 13 (which is unlikely), they would consider picking him. His workout for the Rams on Friday in Texas, with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer running the show, was impressive, as was the 80-minute post-workout session in the meeting room with Schottenheimer and coach Jeff Fisher, among others. One other piece of knowledge I got confirmed Sunday: Rams GM Les Snead recently went to Texas Tech and met at length with coach Kliff Kingsbury—Manziel’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at A&M in 2012—and came away thinking Manziel could adjust to life well as an NFL passer. Does that mean the Rams will take Manziel if he’s there at 13? I am still dubious. But I can tell you the Rams like him a lot."

    Todd McShay, ESPN.com: "If Clowney goes No. 1, I think this pick will come down to Robinson and Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. The Rams still lack a legitimate No. 1 target, but they also need to better protect QB Sam Bradford, and Robinson is dominant at the point of attack and has very good athleticism for his size. One bit of buzz to throw out there: Don't rule out Johnny Manziel landing in St. Louis. It sounds insane, and I don't think the Rams would take him at No. 2 and he won't likely be there at No. 13, but if they were to move down or back from either spot, it would be a possibility. Some people around the league think the Rams are capable of taking him even if they still believe that Bradford can be the guy for them."

    Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: "The St. Louis Rams like Johnny Manziel. That's the latest hot rumor this week, and the first of many draft rumors. The final few days before any draft are full of rampant speculation. Considering there are few picks in this draft that anyone can pinpoint who is going where, get ready for a lot of people using clues to figure out what will happen on Thursday. And the latest rumor is the Rams' interest in the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Even if it's just people putting two and two together, this is one that makes perfect sense. Because the Rams should be looking to take Manziel."

    Mike Huguenin, NFL.com: "Houston owns the No. 1 pick and, obviously, will set the tone for the draft. Thing is, St. Louis -- which owns two first-round picks, at Nos. 2 and 13 -- has a chance to shape the first round, as well. What the Rams do with the No. 2 pick -- keep it? trade it? -- will have a big impact on a lot of teams, and NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday a source told him the Rams held a very clandestine meeting with Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel at the NFL Scouting Combine in February and kicked everyone out of the room except for GM Les Snead, head coach Jeff Fisher and Manziel before beginning the meeting."

    Mike Florio, NBCSports.com: "Yes, the Rams have been doings plenty of homework regarding quarterback Johnny Manziel. Yes, rumors have circulated regarding a possible trade of Sam Bradford. Yes, the Rams privately insist they nevertheless remain committed to quarterback Sam Bradford. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Rams are doing extensive homework on numerous players, including Manziel. For multiple players, that work includes talking to coaches who worked with those players, even if those coaches at some point left for another job. For instance, the reported conversations with former Texas A&M assistant coach Kliff Kingsbury encompassed not only Manziel but also Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans and Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews."

    Mike Tanier, Sports on Earth: "The Rams will tell you they are 100 percent satisfied with Bradford, and they will keep telling you, over and over again. They start to sound like the wife who says 'everything's fine' after you came home at 4 a.m. smelling like the alley behind Poledance Boulevard. Bradford has run the gamut from disappointing to injured over four NFL seasons: anyone claiming to be fully convinced of his merits is either privy to secret wisdom, delusional or lying. The Rams organization does not exactly have a track record suggesting 'secret wisdom.' Bradford is expensive -- he will make over $33 million in the next two years -- but he can be released with only a moderate cap hit in 2015, and you don't live with perennial disappointment because the alternative is inconvenient and pricey. (Ask that disappointed spouse. Or her lawyer.) The Rams may not want to leap into the Johnny Manziel sweepstakes, but they possess the 13th and 44th picks in the draft, as well as the second pick. They can insert themselves into any Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo or Tom Savage discussion they want, and they can fill other needs with top-shelf prospects while doing it."

    Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: "I think a big problem with some teams is that they are scared to take a quarterback high in the first round for fear of failure. It's easier to handle it if a player at another position fails. But if it's a quarterback, the heat is on. In my mind, that's why teams pass. But it's a mistake. With the way the rookie contracts are now, it's easier to take a chance. Why not draft two, one in the first and one in the third or fourth? The idea that you can build a team and then find a quarterback who can manage it is far-fetched, even if Seattle won a Super Bowl that way. Take a chance."

    Jeff Chadiha, ESPN.com: "As fans and media fawned over more publicized quarterbacks, such as Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Bortles turned heads with his own accomplishments. He led UCF to a 34-31 win at Penn State by throwing for 288 yards and three scores. He engineered a dramatic 38-35 win on the road against Bridgewater and Louisville three games later, as the Knights overcame a 28-7 third-quarter deficit. By the time UCF finished the season with a 52-42 win over sixth-ranked Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl, the Knights were 12-1, champions of the newly formed American Athletic Conference and fully in awe of a quarterback who had blossomed right before their eyes.

    Brett Sobleski, USA Today: "Bridgewater is still a talented quarterback , but it appears teams are concerned by his slight frame, small hands and inaccuracy on deep passes. On film, though, he remains the most polished of the available prospects. After an initial binge on QBs, he figures to become highly sought after. One team may benefit: The New England Patriots, who pick 29th overall and could swing a trade with a team desperate for QB help. At the top of the second round, the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings could still be looking for their quarterback of the future, if they decide to pass on one with their Top 10 overall picks."


    Questions to ponder while wondering if Rams fans will ever stop yearning for former camp standout Thaddeus Lewis:

    What is going on with Tom Brady's hair?

    What is going on in Manziel's mind?

    Say, did Wes Welker do well at the Kentucky Derby or what?


    "He better get it right this time because he missed it on Christian (Ponder). If a guy is a fifth-year player and he looks like a fourth-year player, and he looks the same as a third-year player, he ain't getting no better. He's topped out. We went through so many different quarterbacks."

    Former defensive end Chris Doleman, calling out Vikings GM Rick Spielman.