The potential hiring of ex Cowboy defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, has gotten the Ram fans wondering if they will switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. Many will be surprised to see the Rams do the switch to a 3-4 defense, as their defensive starters are obviously cut out to be playing in a 4-3 system. If the Rams were to change to a 3-4 defense, this will completely change the needs for the Rams going into the national draft. An inside linebacker to play next to James Laurinitus would be a major need as well as a big run stuffing nose tackle. It wouldn’t make much sense for the Rams to make the switch to a 3-4 defense, as they already have too many current holes in the team to be creating even more.
Two players will be analyzed weekly (one from defense and one from offense) based on their current form in college football.
This isn’t a mock draft. This is simply an analysis of high valued players that will enter the 2013 NFL draft, so that you guys are more knowledgeable of each high draft prospect come draft time.
Cordarrelle Patterson (6 foot 3, 205 pounds)
Wide Receiver (Tennessee)
The Rams wide receiving unit has improved immensely since the 2011 season. With Chris Givens constantly showing why he is a deep threat and Danny Amendola working his magic in the slot position, you get the feeling that the Rams are just one receiver short from having the complete wide receiving unit. Many have their doubts about Brian Quick, but people forget that he came from Appalachian State which is a very small school. The Rams knew he would be a working progress. Les Snead recently stated that Quick is very similar to star wideout, Vincent Jackson. Jackson also came from a small school and was drafted in the second round, not expecting to make an immediate impact. In their first season, Jackson had three receptions for 59 yards and no touchdowns, while Quick had 11 receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Rams aren’t going to give up on Brian Quick too early.
Cordarrelle Paterson is arguably the best wide receiver in this class. He has the height and speed to be an instant starter on any team. Patterson has only had one season playing in the SEC, so plenty of scouts are skeptical if he is able to transfer his talents to the NFL. Although Patterson is still a unpolished route runner, he still has the natural ability to duck and weave past a defense when he has the ball in his hand. The 6 foot 3 wide receiver finished second behind Justin Hunter with 46 catches for 778 yards and five touchdowns.
Draft range – mid first round/early second round
Alec Ogletree (6 foot 3, 235 pounds)
The Rams shouldn’t change to a 3-4 defense if Rob Ryan becomes the defensive coordinator, because it will only create more holes on the teams roster. The Rams’ defense are only a few positions away from being one of the most complete defenses in the NFL. Safety is obviously a position that the Rams will have to look at this offseason, as Craig Dahl can no longer be the answer (if he ever was) and strong safety Quintin Mikell may no longer be on the team, strictly to free up some cap space. The obvious need for the Rams defense is an outside linebacker. Jo-Lunn Dunbar had a fantastic 2012 season, but there is still a gaping hole at the strong side linebacker position that must be addressed this offseason from either the draft or the free agency.
Ogletree has a lean frame that may limit his positioning in the NFL. He has room to put on some weight, and would be ideal as a 4-3 outside linebacker or 3-4 inside linebacker. He played inside linebacker in a 3-4 system for Georgia, but don’t be surprised to see 4-3 defensive teams interested in drafting Ogletree as an outside linebacker. Ogletree is a converted safety who was a standout at Newnan High School. In his senior college season, he had 85 tackles, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and two blocked kicks on defense. This includes Ogletree missing the first four games of the 2012 season. Ogletree really improved his draft stock over the last two months. He many continue this trend leading up to the draft, impressing many scouts with his athletic ability at the combine. Right now Ogletree would be expected to be drafted around the 20’s, but dont be surprised if a team is willing to give him a chance in the top 12.
Draft range – early/late first round
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