Monday, September 6, 2010

Rams Future WR Watch: WEEK 1

AJ Green may be the best, but is currently benched due to NCAA investigation
Everyone knows that when drafting a franchise QB number one overall (Sam Bradford), the first step is to protect him (Roger Saffold-2nd round 2010, Jason Brown- Free Agency 2009, Jason Smith- 1st round 2009); and the second step is to surround him with reliable targets.

I think Mark Clayton was a good start. He is a very talented receiver, who has been under-performing due to external circumstances (Kyle Boller, Steve McNair injury, and his 2009 divorce with his wife). The one season everything was going right for Clayton (2006), he had a good relationship with his family at home, and a good quarterback, which resulted in 900+ yards receiving. Not that I'm saying nothing is his fault, but when he has been in the right situation, he has been an effective receiver.

But even if Clayton has a big year, his past indicates that the Rams can't count on him to put up big numbers year-in and year-out. Danny Amendola has been a pleasant surprise, but he will never be anything more than a slot receiver. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he is great in the slot, but a slot receiver can not be a big, sure target for the quarterback. And Donnie Avery, Laurent Robinson, and Keenan Burton have been haunted by injuries.

So therefor, I think many Rams fans are looking at the 2011 draft as the draft where we find Bradford a primary target; a prototypical sized receiver that can rack up receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

The 2011 draft should be loaded with receivers in the first round. The four main receivers that fans are watching this collegiate season: Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd- 6'3" 227 lbs. JR age:20; Georgia WR AJ Green- 6'4" 212 lbs. JR age:22; Alabama WR Julio Jones- 6'4" 220 lbs. age:21; Pittsburgh WR Jonathan Baldwin- 6'5" 230 lbs. JR age:21

I will follow the progress of these receivers, week-by-week. Starting with this past weekend:

MICHAEL FLOYD- NOTRE DAME 6'3" 227 lbs: Week 1 VS. Purdue- 5 receptions 82 yards 0 TD

AJ GREEN- GEORGIA 6'4" 212 lbs: Did not play, under investigation by NCAA for illegal contact with an agent.

JULIO JONES- ALABAMA 6'4" 220 lbs: Week 1 VS. San Jose St.- 6 receptions 93 yards 1 TD

JONATHAN BALDWIN- PITTSBURGH 6'5" 230 lbs: Week 1 @ Utah- 4 receptions 71 yards 1 TD

It look like Jones is off to the best start. Jones was plagued in 2009 by a lot of drops, he will be looking to improve his focus. A young receiver does NOT want to get labeled by scouts as a guy who drops balls. Green needs to get on the field, he is very likely the best of the bunch, but not playing will really hurt his stock. Floyd and Baldwin both has decent starts to their seasons. Floyd will look to stay healthy all year, after being plagued by injuries during his college career. It should be a tight race.
Floyd has the talent to be the best, but has been plagued by injuries.


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