With less than 48 hours remaining until the 2014 NFL Draft, which is sure to be jam-packed with starters and difference-makers in the early rounds, the Rams are putting the final touches on their preparation. A total of 256 players will go off the board in the next few days, and St. Louis is already guaranteed to end up with 12 of them.
“We’ve got the scouts in,” general manager Les Snead said at yesterday’s presser. “We’ve been meeting with those guys somewhat individually. They’ve smelled the guys and felt the guys more than anybody else in the building, kind of get their thoughts. Meeting again with the coaching staff, talking scheme fits. You’re just kind of fine-tuning the board, going through scenarios and coming up with a game plan. Coach ‘Fish’ knows a lot about game plans during the week. I don’t know exactly where we’re at, whether it’s Thursday night, Wednesday night or Friday, but we’re somewhere toward the end of the week getting ready to play football. “
The biggest hot topic tied to the Rams over the last several days has been the possibility of moving starting quarterback Sam Bradford. Jeff Fisher, however, was quick to dismiss such rumors.
“With respect to Sam, he’s our starter,” Fisher said. “As you guys know, that was the reason I took this job was for our owner and because of Sam, our quarterback. We have all the confidence in the world that he’ll be back. But, we also have the responsibility to continue to upgrade this roster as it would suggest. If the right guy is there to help in a back-up role to Sam, then we’ll make sure we’ve done our due diligence.”
No draft-related gathering would be complete, either, without a nod to a certain Texas A&M sensation. Fisher confirmed that Johnny Manziel was one of roughly 12 quarterbacks to have worked out for the Rams in recent weeks, while praising the uniqueness of the former Heisman Trophy winner.
“I think his production and his competitiveness, and everything speaks for itself,” Fisher said. “I mean he was an outstanding college football player, as it was reflected the year before last with the rewards that he received. He can make all the plays, throw the football, and he’s a great teammate. He’s been a very productive player and great for their program.” The clock is ticking down. Will Houston pull the trigger on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or trade down? How many quarterbacks will go in the first round? Will this class of players prompt more than the 22 trades that went down in 2011?
The answers arrive Thursday, as the NFL’s biggest offseason extravaganza takes center stage.