Gordon: NFL Draft countdown, Day 2 Live

The Rams did not fill their need at safety Thursday night. So it stands to reason this position remains very high on the team's "to do" list for the rest of the draft.

SI.com's Don Banks has the Rams eying Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner at 44th overall. From what he hear out here, that is spot on. P-D reporter Jim Thomas notes that
Terrence Brooks is another potential early target.

Thomas  wrote:

Joyner actually could fill needs at both free safety and nickel back, because that’s what he played for the Seminoles. Some scouts view Joyner as a poor man’s Honey Badger, aka Tyrann Mathieu of Arizona.

Like Mathieu, Joyner is small for the free safety position at 5-8, 184. But he has good quickness, instincts, and was one of the leaders of the Florida State defense. Brooks, 5-11, 198, ran a 4.42 in the 40 and is a rangy free safety. He also was considered one of the defensive leaders for the BCS national champions.

At corner, Lindenwood University’s Pierre Desir could be in play as well as Nebraska’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste, and Utah’s Keith McGill.

The team is also looking to add another quarterback, more offensive line depth, running back depth, cornerback depth, linebacker depth, receiver depth . . . well, you get the idea.

We've already had one notable trade today elsewhere in the league. There are rumblings of more to come.


Here is what folks are writing as teams prepare for rounds 2 and 3 tonight:

































ABOUT LAST NIGHT


Here is what general manager
Les Snead and coach Jeff Fisher had to say about the state of their draft last night, as transcribed by the Rams staff:



(On what they think about their first picks)

Snead: “Grades? We made the picks. We’re jacked. We’d probably give ourselves an A.
 
(On if they were surprised DT Aaron Donald was available at No. 13)

Fisher: “We were.
Les’ guys did a great job with the research and we felt like there was a pretty good chance that he would disappear, and then a couple things happened. We were rubbing our lucky coin and he was there.
 
(On if  Donald was one of their top eight players)

Fisher: “Yes.”
 
(On if the Rams got better with the first round picks)

Fisher: “We’re a lot better now.
We all know what (OL) Greg (Robinson) is capable of doing. He’s an outstanding young man, and that workout last week was really, really impressive. We’ll plug him in where we feel he’s got the best chance to be successful right now. We don’t know exactly where that is, but he may start out inside before we move him back outside. You talk about an athlete. Powerful, quick, great quickness and strength. He’s got a chance to be a dominant player inside initially. Then of course, (DT) Aaron (Donald) is very, very productive; he’s an outstanding young man. He’s way ahead in hand use on the line of scrimmage. He does an outstanding job with his hands.
 
(On Robinson’s athleticism)

Snead: “Obviously the power is … a big man, that tall, that big, can bend.
That means he can get under defensive linemen’s pads, very quick first step to go reach people. And then a dancing bear, he’s a dancing bear, there’s no doubt about that.
 
(On if Robinson can play guard)

Fisher: “Yes.
He may initially have a little trouble blocking Aaron.
 
(On if they were interested in other offensive linemen besides Robinson)

Fisher: “There were and we actually made an effort just a few minutes ago to go back up to try to get (OL Zach) Martin but we were unsuccessful…after Donald.”
 
(On how they felt seeing T Taylor Lewan, T Zach Martin, LB C.J. Mosley and Donald still on the board when they were two picks away from making their selection at No. 13)

Snead: “They all went.
I had left and then I came back and said, ‘Mosley went right after Martin.’ When we got down to two, it was those three. Donald was No. 1 and it worked out for us.
 
(On possible trades with the second pick)

Snead: “When we got to two, I think there was a few calls.
Buffalo goes up to get (WR) Sammy (Watkins), they were probably the one team that was the most motivated. We felt like Greg is a piece of the puzzle that’s going to help us control the line of scrimmage because in our division, you have to be physical. All three of those teams have really good front sevens.
 
(On possible trades with the 13th pick)

Snead: “Really at that point a couple teams called but I think we were set on the pick.
We were jacked he was there, so it was really ‘Hey we’re not doing anything. We’re done.’”
 
(On how far they were willing to trade up for Martin)

Snead: “I think it was, if Martin went to Dallas (Cowboys), Baltimore (Ravens) were right behind Dallas.”
Fisher: “We were talking with Baltimore. It would’ve been pricey but worth it. It was a good pick for the Cowboys.
 
(On Robinson’s pass blocking)

Fisher: ���Their system is an explosive, exciting system.
He did more down blocking and run blocking, and turn protection than he did kicking at the tackle position. He’s very, very athletic and learns very well. (Offensive line Coach Paul Boudreau) ‘Bou’ will get him going quickly.
 
Snead: “On that note, he was redshirt in…what is he a redshirt sophomore? So, his redshirt freshman year he played out of three-point stance, more pro system, so he pass protected against some pretty good players like the LSU kids that came out a year before. So, he’s done it. He just went to this year where they ran the ball, what 90 times a game.
 
(On if there is a chance to try to move back up in the late half of the first round of the draft)

Fisher: “As soon as we get back upstairs.”
 
(On how Fisher and Snead’s ties to Auburn University helped them gauge Robinson’s character)

Fisher: “We got a lot of valuable information, but anytime you asked a question, everything was positive – it was always a positive response regarding his character and his football character and the way he was, the way he practiced, the way he is in the locker room.
He’s just an outstanding young man.
 
(On adding Donald to the already stout defensive line)

Snead: “Feed the beast.
Feed the beast.
 
Fisher: “We’re excited, very excited. We’ve got to get better and we did today.
 
(On Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams’ reaction when Donald was available at the 13th pick)

Snead: “I don’t think we can quote that. (laughs)”
 
(On what they would say to people who were hoping for a greater offensive impact with their first round picks opposed to a ‘meat and potatoes’ strategy)

Fisher: “We still have an opportunity to do so, to make some choices along those lines. We felt like we definitely address both sides of the ball up front. Now, there were some other options there had Donald not been there. We could’ve gone another direction, but I really felt like this was the best thing for this football team right now.
 
Snead: “It’s always interesting in the draft, and I know Jeff will tell you, football teams, you build from the inside-out. And I always say that’s when you’re building your foundation and at the end of the day, I agree, when you lay your foundation for your skyscraper, it’s probably the least exciting thing that you do but that’s the thing that holds that skyscraper up for a lot of years. I understand your question, but it was definitely a strategy that we’re going to get our foundation stronger and I think that’s going to help us.
 
(On if they want Donald to get bigger and if his body is capable of it)
Snead: “His game is not size. I think his game is speed, quickness, so I think getting bigger really doesn’t help him and one of the reasons we were fine with the pick is he’s short so he always has leverage and he’s just a strong kid. He had very high, I forget his bench reps, but it translates to the field. He knows how to use his hands, get low and take on a double team. He took on those two guys from Notre Dame, Zack Martin and Chris Watt, and hung in there when those two guys were pounding him. But I don’t think you’re going to ask him to gain weight. His game is to penetrate.
 
(On Donald’s run defense)
Snead: “In terms of tackles for loss, there might not be another human being in the country that’s had as many as him in his college career on the D-line. Again, he does that in a way where he penetrates and beats one-on-one blocks and gets in the backfield a lot.
 
(On what they thought the chances would be of Donald being available at No. 13 overall)
Snead: “That one, I think Donald, once he went to the Senior Bowl and really stood out and as the coaching staffs got involved with scouting. He’s a guy that scouts like, but with his size you have to bring it to your staff and say, ‘Hey, we like this player. Does he fit?’. So I think what happened is a lot of teams said, ‘Yeah, he fits’. – and a lot of coaching staffs that are going to actually use him on gameday to help you win games. I think that’s why you really started seeing him really rise. He went to the combine and he had a really, really good combine and you just kept seeing him rise a little bit.
 
(On if they called Robinson earlier today to confirm that they had the right phone number)
Fisher: “Yeah, you do that. It’s not uncommon for teams to try to reach potential prospects the day of the draft just to make sure that they’re there.
 
(On if they gave Robinson an indication they’d be drafting him)
Snead: “That was a process that – I don’t know which one of our area scouts – we do it by (alphabetical), so those guys during the course of the week make sure they know the current phone numbers. Kids like to change phone numbers these days. 

AARON DONALD SPEAKS


Here is the transcript of Robinson's teleconference, as transcribed by the Rams staff:

(On how long he has known that the Rams were interested in him)

“I got the opportunity to come out there and visit and talk to them.
You never know with the draft though. I talked to them, they liked the way I played the game. I’m just excited to be a Ram.

(On how he feels about lining up with DE Chris Long and the Rams defensive line)


“I’m real excited.
Best defensive line in the NFL, and I have an opportunity to be a part of that now. I’m real pumped up about that. I’m ready to get out there and play.

(On if the best defensive line just got better)


“I’m going to let my game speak for me.
It’s already a great defensive line, all I can do is go out there and play my part and we’re going to see.

(On if he had ever been to St. Louis before his pre-draft visit)


“That was the first time when I went out there to visit.”

(On how he sees his game fitting into the NFC West division)


“I’m a rounded football player.
I like to get out there and keep grinding, continuing learning to play ball, earn the respect from the veterans and coaches, and get out there and compete and do what I can do. But I’m a rounded football player and I’m ready.

(On if he has a chip on his shoulder because of his size)


“Not at all.
I never let that get to me because letting it get to me isn’t going to make me any taller and it isn’t going to make me any better. All I can do is worry about what I have to do and that’s football,  going out to compete and make a play. Never let it get to you. I just love to play the game of football and compete.

(On if he is in New York for the draft)

“I’m not in New York.
I’m at home with my family in Pittsburgh.

(On if he was invited to New York)

“I got invited
It’s just not who I am. I’m not the red carpet guy and the cameras. I just wanted to be around my family and who it all started with. They’ve all been here since day one, and just be with my family, back where it all started and that’s in Pittsburgh.

(On how many people he had with him)

“It was about six people.
We had a private room at The Savoy for dinner. Everybody is upstairs celebrating right now.

(On if he was surprised to be available at the 13th pick)


“Not at all.
I knew God would let everything work out for the best. I’m just thankful for the opportunity that they gave me. I thanked them a lot and I’m just ready to get out there and prove to them that the choice they made is a great choice. I’m just ready.

(On if he thought Tampa Bay Buccaneers would take him with the seventh pick)


“You never know.
I wasn’t going to…any team was going to take me. All I can do is just sit there and wait for my name to be called.

(On his pre-draft contact with the Rams)


“I talked to them at the Senior Bowl and at the combine, I talked to them.
I talked to (Defensive Line) Coach (Mike) Waufle and (Head) Coach (Jeff) Fisher and they showed interest, but like I said, you never know.

(On if he thinks his Senior Bowl performance helped boost his draft stock)

“It’s always good to show that you can play the game you love and to compete against some of the best in college football and have success.
Anything and everything can help you in the draft process and I think that helped me a lot.

(On how he accumulated 28 tackles for loss last season)


“It’s hard work, learning the game, watching non-stop film and going out there to compete and playing fast.
It started in the film room learning my opponent, breaking it down.

(On if he was surprised that the Rams took him)


“Not at all.
Like I said, I talked to the Rams. The draft is so crazy, so all I could do is sit there and wait. I wasn’t surprised, but believe me I was thankful, happy, excited. I’m just ready to get out there and work. I’m ready to get back to football.

(On what he does best on the football field)


“I’m a rounded football player.
I can rush the passer, I can stop the run. My job is to go in there, earn respect and show that I can play and try to play my roll. Whatever that is, I’m just ready.

(On where he keeps all his football awards)


“I had to make room, so I made room in my house.
I got a couple tables I put them on, so I had to make a little bit of space for them.

(On how he’s celebrating)


“Be with the family and just be thankful for the opportunity for that Coach Fisher gave me.
It’s just amazing that the dream came true how it did. I’m happy.

(On his excitement)

“I’m ready to go now.
I’m just ready to get back to football, be around those guys, learn from the veterans and coaches, and get to work.”                   


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