Dear Les, Jeff and the footballing Gods,
On the eve of one of the most important drafts in recent Rams history, I would like to make a tiny plea as a fan. As a fan who has lived through the tragic depths of the last decade. As a fan who has seen the franchise dip to such lows as 3-13, 2-14 (twice!) and, sadly, 1-15. As a fan who has seen the end of an incredible era drop the baton to the next generation, which is yet to pick it up again. As a fan who has seen our leading rusher’s career come to an ignominious end. As a fan who went through Drew Bennett. And, with the team seemingly on the cusp of something good (or, at the very least, a winning season…please!), I felt I should write to you as we finally approach this important day.
Rams Nation is generally satisfied with the work you have done here in St Louis. Not ecstatic, mind, but satisfied. You have made the team almost relevant again, and it no longer feels that following the Rams is as futile as betting on Donald Sterling to win Man of the Year. And, sure, it is not your fault that our NFC rivals have sped past us as their more successful rebuilding plans have shown fruition. We give thanks for finding us players such as Jake Long, Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Zac Stacy, Alec Ogletree, Greg Zeuerlein and Johnny Hekker, and we admire your valiant efforts last year to ensure that Tavon Austin would end up in blue-and-gold. We also love how you have developed Robert Quinn into a Pro Bowler. And, for now, we are willing to overlook Isaiah Pead, Brian Quick, Rok Watkins and Cortland Finnegan, for we are all aware of what a crap-shoot rebuilding can be. After all, you have to speculate to accumulate.
But this is your third draft. And we are in a golden position, armed with four picks among the first seventy-five, including, of course, the second pick as a result of your coup de grace with Washington two years ago (and thanks for that, by the way). It is a key draft, a final opportunity to assemble the missing pieces for this rebuild before, alas, maybe having to go back to square one. It is generally acknowledged that this is Sam Bradford’s make-or-break year and, if you do not get this right, the journey for a new signal-caller could set the franchise back by a few years, by which time key players like Chris Long and James Laurinaitis could be past their prime. The time is now.
So, I only ask this:
Get. It. Right.
I realize this is a tall order, but Santa Claus seems to make all dreams come true every year and, Mr Snead, you certainly look more like a go-getter than a fat man in a red suit. But, the truth is that you HAVE to get it right. And not just with the second, or the thirteenth pick, or whatever other first-round picks we might end up with, but with EVERY SINGLE PICK. We do not just need competent starters; we need potential Pro Bowlers, guys who will make significant contributions to the team all across the depth chart and push us to the edge of that greatness that we Rams fans deserve after all these years of shame. This is my heartfelt plea, my prayer to you as you survey all the prospects in front of you and decide which ones are the best placed to take this franchise further. Just get it right. It really is that simple.
Oh, and if you will permit me, just one more wish: please, please, please, PLEASE not Johnny Manziel.
Tags: St. Louis Rams