(News 4 Sports) -- The NFL draft has finally arrived; thank goodness! As much as I enjoy watching where college stars go, and where some stars fall, I cannot stand the pre-draft overall kill coverage.
I have a lot of respect for scouts, general managers, and head coaches because they put in CRAZY hours leading up to the draft, but when draft day comes I'm glad because it'll all be over soon.
Now, regarding the Rams’ draft… Every year is important, but the 2012 draft for St. Louis might be the most crucial one in a while. Why? It's simple. This is a new era in St. Louis Rams football, and selecting the wrong players isn’t what this thoroughly struggling franchise needs right off the bat.
So who should the Rams select with their first pick? I have two thoughts on this… First, it seems to me that Justin Blackmon, if still available, has to be the guy. The Rams have been lacking a true number one wide receiver for a while now, and Blackmon can become that type of player. If the Rams pass up on Blackmon and go with Offensive Tackle Matt Kalil (if he slips that far), or LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, I’ll initially be disappointed. If that happens, you have to say to yourself, ‘what was the point of drafting Sam Bradford then?’ The Rams sank over $70 million into this guy ($50 million guaranteed) and they’re not surrounding him with any legit talent. Bradford could be a great NFL quarterback and we wouldn’t know it because there aren’t any playmakers around him. If Blackmon is there, grab him.
My other thought about St. Louis’ first pick… As great as Steven Jackson has played in his career he is not the future back for this team. Jackson will turn 29 in late July and the Rams need to start thinking about their future backfield; long term, Jackson is NOT part of their plans, or at least he shouldn’t be in the conversation.
If Justin Blackmon is off the board, the Rams’ choice should be Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Will it upset, bother, or rub Jackson the wrong way? Yeah it probably will, but so what, deal with it. Jackson replaced Marshall Faulk, and if the Rams pick Trent Richardson, someone will eventually replace him too. Richardson is a workhorse, who is a tough runner, (just like Jackson) and needs to be picked up by the Rams if Blackmon is already off the board.
As much as we talk about the draft, dissect it, and worry over who’s going where, I consider the draft a ‘calculated crap shoot.’ No one, not the best in the business, knows for sure how these All-Americans and stars are going to pan out once they step on to a NFL field. And that’s what makes the draft so exciting and mind boggling at the same time.