Name the starting wide receivers for the New England Patriots. Come on, come on, quickly now...
You probably said, "Wes Welker... uhhhh..."
And with that, I present to the jury Exhibit A in "Why the Rams shouldn't reach for a WR in this draft." Wes Welker is an undrafted free agent. He is a 5'9" slot receiver. He's not a 6'4", physically imposing receiver that runs a sub 4.4 in the 40.
Welker led the Patriots with 122 receptions, and like I said, most of those were made on short, underneath, intermediate passes.
The Rams have a receiver on their roster like that. His name is Danny Amendola. He led the Rams in receptions two seasons ago, and would have led them in receptions last year if his elbow hadn't bent 60 degrees in the wrong direction.
After Welker, the Patriots' two leading receivers were Rob Gronkowski (90 catches, 17 touchdowns) and Aaron Hernandez (79 catches, seven touchdowns). Both of those guys are tight ends!
So once again, the Patriots' passing game, one of the best in the NFL, isn't built on a bunch of high-priced wide receivers. They prove that there is another way to approach the passing game in today's NFL.
I don't hear Tom Brady complaining.
The Rams have the first pick in the second round, and as I said yesterday, the Rams should use that pick on Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford). Fleener is 6'6", he is strong, and he ran a 4.45 in his 40 at the Stanford Pro Day. Fleener played in Stanford's complex offense, and he is a great receiver with extensive knowledge or route running .
Fleener is seen as a "receiving tight end" who needs to work on his blocking, but isn't that what the Rams need? Lance Kendricks, the Rams' second-round pick last year, is a great run blocking tight end, and he is a terrific athlete. I think Kendricks could be a great tight end in the NFL, but that shouldn't stop the Rams from drafting Fleener.
The Rams hold the Nos. 33, 39 and 45 picks in the second round. Bottom line, they have to use at least one of these picks to secure a weapon for Sam Bradford. If the Rams have a wide receiver (Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle, Alshon Jefferey) rated much, much higher than Fleener, then they should take him.
If they have Fleener rated higher, then they should take the Stanford tight end with the No. 33 pick, because there are going to be several good receivers available at No. 39. If the Rams could land Fleener with the No. 33 pick, and then team him up with, say, Alshon Jefferey at No. 39, the Rams would have really upgraded the passing game.
With the No. 45 pick, the Rams could address their needs at guard, running back, corner or outside linebacker. If Janoris Jenkins (CB, North Alabama) is there, will the Rams pull the trigger? He has a lot of baggage, but he is a supreme talent.
This is the moral of the story: The Rams turned the No. 2 overall pick into Michael Brockers (the No. 14 pick last night), plus two more first-rounders, plus two more second-rounders. That is quite a haul.
Now the Rams just need to make these picks count. Fleener would be another nice addition.