Apparently news of the lockout being “lifted” yesterday hasn’t affected what’s been going on at Rams Park this morning.Â A few local journalist have been spotted there but no players have been seen trying to enter the building.
Today, Rams GM Billy Devaney was a guest caller on 101Sports’ “Zach and the Coach.”Â Â When asked if anything was different today and his response was,
No difference.Â AllÂ I know is we’ve been holed up in the draft room since 7:30 this morning.Â I couldn’tÂ Â tell you a damn thing that’s been going on in this building.Â
Good to see that he’s focusing on what’s sure to take place – the draft.
Speaking of the draft, it sounds like Devaney is having ball coming up with different senarios of what might play out come Thursday night.Â They could stay at 14, move up orÂ move down.Â There are many possibilities to plan for.Â He says, “It’s been a blast.”Â
No one will know for sure until Thursday night but it looks like they’re open to most things at this point.Â They have their draft board and they have a pool of players that they’d be “absolutely thrilled to get at 14.”Â He didn’t say exactly how many are in the “pool” of players though.Â I would venture to guess, Julio Jones, Corey Liuget, andÂ Robert QuinnÂ made that cut.
In what circumstances would he consider moving up or down?Â Well, as he put it, if “nuclear winter” hits and 4 of your top 5 guys went quick then they’d be making call to see what it would take to move up, even if it’sÂ 1 or 2 spots, to get their guy under the right conditions, of course.Â Or you take that gamble and hope that your guy is still there at 14.
On the otherhand, if the picks get to 12 and 13 and you still have 4 of those guys on your list then you can think it might be worth trying to trade down and get an extra pick.Â
We feel confident that one of our guys is gonna be there so in this case we think the way the draft unfolds is really going to dictate our philosophy whether we just stand pat or whether we have to be aggressive going up or down.
How are they going to handle the unpredictability?Â Devaney and Spags have had a draft “heart-to-heart” and came up with a game plan:Â
You’ve got to come up with a philosophical approach before the draft and say, “Ok, we’re going in and let just say this we are not giving up next year’s 1, we’re notÂ goingÂ to do it.Â We don’t want to give up next year’s 2 unless somebody blows our doors away.Â When we get to rounds 3 or 4, you know we’ll talk about it.Â Weâ€™ve come up with that game plan and weâ€™ll try and stick to it as much as we can.
So now we know what he meant when he said he wouldn’t trade next year’s 1st rounder to trade up in this year’s draft.Â This makes more sense now that it’s in the context of the conversation.
Now that we’re in football labor purgatory, what happens to a playerÂ when heÂ comes in and wants to work out?Â All Devaney said was there are guidelines that each team has and that they would deal with whatever happens, when it happens.Â Â
With no free agency, as of right now, howÂ does this impact the Rams strategy?Â Devaney says it won’t make much of a difference.Â They are going to let their draft board dictate and take the best player available.
We’ve got to just approach this that whatever we think at the time is going to make our team better on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, that they are the players that weâ€™re going to take.
Last week Steven Jackson came out and said he’s still “young and jubilant” so the Rams should focus on taking care of other teams needs and not worry about finding him a back up.Â Devaney being ever so PCÂ says,
I love Steven Jackson.Â I love his approach, I love his attitude.Â Again, weâ€™ll do whatever our board dictates.Â If itâ€™s a running back in whatever round weâ€™re talking about.Â If thatâ€™s the best available player at that point where we have graded, whether itâ€™s a receiver, whether itâ€™s a guard, thatâ€™s going to drive our draft.Â But I know this, I feel, I love the fact that Steven Jackson is the number 1 RB on our team, thatâ€™s for sure.
I find it funny that Billy Devaney can talk so much but not reallyÂ ”say” anything.Â He should definitely consider a career in politics if the whole NFL GM thing doesn’t work out.
Devaney says he hasn’t gotten any phones call from agents since last night and that his sole focus isÂ on the collegeÂ draft which is about to takeÂ place inÂ about 48 hours.Â But if free agency starts, in whatever form it may be, they’d be ready.Â No ones’s sure what the rules areÂ yet.Â One thingsÂ for certain, “It would be a frenzy.”Â Â
Looking forward the Rams have many positions that need to be address during the draft.Â They could use a WR, DT, DE, S, and the list goes on. Â Except for one, the position of QB.Â Thank you, Sam Bradford!Â Devaney continues:
Especially in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd/4th rounds where that board is going to dictate where we go.Â So, itâ€™s impossible for me to say, here are the positions.Â Hell, we might even come away with multiple guys at the same position if thatâ€™s the way the board goes.Â So, itâ€™s impossible to say.Â Iâ€™m hoping to come away with 2 CBâ€™s or 2 LBâ€™s or whatever.Â There are too many things that can happen at this point.
The moral of this story?Â ‘Our board will dictateÂ our draft board.Â Trust the draft board.’ Â The fans will just have to have blind faith that the scouts, coaches, and Billy Devaney have done their homework.Â Â Personally, I’m hoping by some miracle Julio Jones is still there at 14.Â
Who do you want the Rams to take in the 1st round?