St. Louis Rams – Blog

Football World Comes to Missouri

Posted by nickwagoner on March 17, 2011 – 8:50 PM

COLUMBIA, Mo. -

- The NFL world converged on the campus of the University of Missouri on Thursday as the Tigers put on their pro day for scouts, coaches, personnel guys ane media alike. Mizzou holds a pro day or two every year but this one took on a decidedly different feel as the league turned its eyes to the heart of the Show me State to see what the local quarterback would do.

- A year ago, the Rams would have been among the teams sending a huge contingent here to take a look at Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. Of course that was last year, and the Rams did do extensive homeworks on that crop of signal callers before making the relatively easy decision to grab Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford with the first pick in the draft.

- Bradford’s record-setting rookie season effectively removed the Rams from the market for a signal caller, meaning their trip here on Thursday much less pressing. Sure, the Rams wanted to get another look at Missouri DE Aldon Smith, who also projects as a first round pick and could potentially be a consideration if he’s on the board when the Rams pick at 14.

- But for the most part, the Rams came here to turn over the final rocks on players they’ve already spent a lot of time scouting and vetting. All told, 19 players worked out here on Thursday, with a combination of draft-eligible Mizzou players and some smaller Missouri school prospects going through the workouts. That put the onus on Mizzou scouts to search for potential diamonds in the rough and pay attention to guys they might not yet have looked at.

- In fact, most of the scouting hay is in the barn and there’s not much left to do when it comes to the top guys for the Rams scouts. So now, they are looking at guys who weren’t invited to the combine and possible undrafted free agent types.

- For the record, Smith mostly stood by his NFL scouting combine workout, electing not to run the 40-yard dash again. He did the broad jump, vertical jump and position drills and by most accounts was solid if unspectacular. Perhaps the most impressive part of his day was his wing span, which checked in at 84 3/4.

- Of course, the story of the day was Gabbert and his long anticipated workout. After opting not to throw at the combine on the advice of agent Tom Condon, Gabbert had been building toward this day by working with quarterbacks coach Terry Shea in Arizona.

- Gabbert came prepared to show scouts he could work from under center, taking snaps and showing good footwork in his drops. He worked through a 49 throw script and by all accounts did well. It wasn’t quite the show Bradford put on last year in Norman but by my count, of the 49 throws he made, only five hit the turf. Three of those were drops by receivers (none of whom Gabbert had thrown to before) and two were errant passes.

- Among the NFL luminaries in attendance: Denver President John Elway and head coach John Fox, Minnesota HC Leslie Frazier, New York Jets HC Rex Ryan (who appeared to be more interested in Smith), Cincinnati HC Marvin Lewis, San Francisco HC Jim Harbaugh and television draft analysts Todd McShay and Mike Mayock. Former Ram Ricky Proehl was also in the house. He’s now on the staff in Carolina.

- Gabbert is expected to work out in Arizona and Carolina this weekend so those teams didn’t have quite the big contingent that others did. Denver, for instance had Elway, Fox, OC Mike McCoy, GM Brian Xanders and QB coach Adam Gase in attendance.

- According to McShay and Mayock, Gabbert did nothing to hurt his stock and perhaps might have done enough to solidify his stock as a top five pick. And make no mistake, he’s in play to be the first overall pick to the Panthers.

- Gabbert is a graduate of Parkway West High in St. Louis. Best of luck to the local kid.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 4 Comments »


4 Responses to “Football World Comes to Missouri”

  1. By Doug Ram Fan on Mar 20, 2011 | Reply

    Smith would be a very good choice, if either of top two wide outs aren’t available. But, I do think passing on Juston Houston would be a mistake. Still, I’d like to see the Ram’s look to trade to New England their 13th and 47th pick’s; for their 28th, 33rd and 60th pick’s. That, would hopefully allow the Rams to go get Justin Houston, John Baldwin and either Daniel Thomas, or Torrey Smih or Demarco Murray respectively. It, also would be great if Dontay Moch, was able to fall into their laps. But, one can only hope. This, would be great if any of these players could fall to them before the fourth round. In the fifth, I’d go after Jeff Maehl, or Mario Fannin or Brooks Reed or Chris Carter or even D’Aundre Reed or maybe Craig Marshall, or if really lucky Brandon Blair was stll available. Any, of these players would be quality picks that I see. Good Luck. Yes, I always do my homework..

  2. By Doug Ram Fan on Mar 20, 2011 | Reply

    This draft is relatively deep for players the Rams could use. But, everyone seems to think the biggest need is for a new wide out. I don’t really see it that way. The more urgent, maybe less popular need I believe lies in the Defensive areas. Such as, either the best Defensive end, or an animal linebacker whom the apposing offenses have to account for. The offense can get another quality receiver through trades or through free agency. This year is a very good year to look at many of the available free agents, just drulling over our Quarter Back and his ability to get the ball to an open receiver. Also, it would be very helpfull for our qreat to be quarterback to have a wiley, very experienced wideout to help bring up the level of experince for the very good wideouts on the roster now. They, did drop some balls last year. But, I saw some flashes and if the Rams could keep most of the existing receivers they have plus another anchor, such as an ex-Randy Moss, or Smith from either N.Y. or Carolina. Or, even one of the so called problem children from Cinncy. I
    do believe the Rams do have right chemistry to utilize any of these talented very successfull and experienced artists of their trade. They are gifted and with loads of talent that can only help the IQ of the rest of receiving corps of the Rams. This, would be more smart than chance. One, more excellent veteran such as these would be better than not.

  3. By Doug Ram Fan on Mar 20, 2011 | Reply

    I have been a very big fan of the Rams since the early 60′s and have seen many a good and not so good players come and go. Some of the best, were from drafts and/or trades. When they let Bettis go and got Faulk, I thought is was good. But, thought if they would have keeped both. Who knows how many Super Bowls could have been won. Or, if they would build a defensive line like some of the great lines in their past. But, now is not the past. So, they just need to model some of those great previous teams. I say, go get those monster defensive ends and scary’er than hell linebackers and get a couple more safeties that are diamonds in the rough. There are some small schools out there that have someone like that ie Lott.. Or, Deacon Jones, or Merlin Olsen, or even another Howie Long. Oh, I’m sorry they do have his son whom I do believe will only get better with some help inside and at the other side. Then, watch this guy explode, with a couple of years under his belt. He could use a very good vetern next to him via free agency. Someone who is great that their previous team doesn’t seem to believe in anymore. I see some of those on many teams. You realize, when you go after some of this excellent people (veterans) they will put it in another gear for you and play with intense purpose.. I.E. old LA Raiders.. This,team is hungry. You put some very good hungry vets in the right places, and this Ram team could get scary good again, quick..

  4. By Albert on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    I say we get Ingram from Alabama he could be the next Emmitt Smith just cant pass him up on that if he’s still there in the first round for us you have to get him. If not big mistake. Sorry i like Jackson but he been injured prone a beast but he’s getting old. There will be Plenty of DE in the 2nd round. With Donnie Avery and if you resign Mark Clayton we have the recievers we been missing all season long.. We dont need Randy Moss. Devaney you said it yourself to use the draft to make this team better. well Ingram will help this team out for the next 10 years. Just like i said Bradford would be Two years ago.When he was a Junior.

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