2011 NFL Draft: The Case For The Rams Drafting Julio Jones

The St. Louis Rams need a wide receiver. The 2011 NFL draft is coming in mere weeks. So they are taking Julio Jones and being done with it, right?

Silly internet.

It’s somehow convinced you that the Rams should be doing something other than drafting Julio Jones in the upcoming 2011 NFL draft, huh? Perhaps it’s making you think that a top-tier running back is more in line with team needs? Or that some top-tier DB help might be the more prudent choice?

Cute. Incredibly stupid, but cute.

Because I just hopped on Google and looked at the WR’s that the Rams have under "contract" for the 2012 season and threw up in my mouth. A little.

Donnie Avery, Mr. Porcelain. Danny Amnedola, Dr. Scrappy White Guy. Mardy Gilyard… hmm. Yeah, Mardy Gilyard.

Everyone and their mother is pretty much in agreement that the NFL circa 2012 is a quarterback driven league, correct? In other words—if you don’t have a Top 10 QB, you aren’t going to be #winning games. At least not enough to get a division title or a Wild Card berth. 

The Rams took care of that issue when they took Sam Bradford in the 2011 draft. Dude was pretty much, and even this is probably an understatement, the ONLY reason the Rams will probably stay in St. Louis past the 2014 season. If we threw up a confidence poll right now, I think it’d be over 90% in Samuel Bradford and his ability to lead the Rams to championship heights.

So why the hell would we stick the guy with a murderer’s row of stiffs, not-good-enoughs, and non-factors?

Argument 1 -  WR’s are generally busts in the first round.

Charles Rogers and Matt Millen aren’t doing me any favors in this argument. But you know who is? Mike Williams. The old super-bust from Detroit keep hanging around, and last season he had a break-through with his old college coach in Seattle.

Why?

Because he was a big MFer. Julio Jones? 6-4 220 lbs. Another big MFer.

Donnie Avery and DeSean Jackson are tiny men in comparison. And while the Rams ‘Four Pillars’ crap submarined what could have been a stellar pick, both guys were a gamble three years ago simply because of their size.  We have no such concerns with Julio. He’s going to stick around in the NFL because big WR’s are always useful. Big receivers that can run sub 4.4 40’s with a broken foot are pretty rare.

Besides, are there any guarantees when a team picks 14th in a draft? When they pick one in a draft? You’ve got to attack need vs value in the middle of the draft and Julio Jones fills a huge gap for the Rams.

Argument 2  - Before Mark Clayton went down, the Rams WR corps was pretty good. They need help in other places first.

This particular point makes me almost literally go insane. It’s like we never had Torry Holt or Ike Bruce playing for this team. Rams fans… you’ve seen FIRSTHAND what top-flight receiving is. And while Danny Amendola is a good possession receiver and utility man… he’s not going to get you to the playoffs.

Until further notice, I think we can write off Donnie Avery and Mardy Gilyard. So that leaves us with Mark Clayton, who was traded to the Rams for less than nothing; Brandon Gibson, afraid of the first down marker; Laurent Robinson, exemplary fringe guy; and Danario Alexander, hoping against hope his knee survives eight turf games a year.

Maybe these guys are the bulk of a good NFL WR corps. Maybe they aren’t.

But if the Rams needed one catch on one play that wasn’t supposed to be caught, who from that group would you bet your wife on to make the play?

So in other words, the Rams really don’t have a top wide receiver, do they?

Argument 3 - Julio Jones wasn’t all that good at Alabama. He’s a wonder-workout.

Really?

78 for 1,133 and 7 TD’s isn’t that good?

Two words for you. Greg McElroy. Also, the fact that you have a defending Heisman Trophy winner in the backfield fighting for carries in a bruising SEC. Touches aren’t bountiful.

But Jones still managed a good pro line in 13 games. Actually, I think I’d take that exact line for the Rams in 2012.

Oh, and Nick Saban? His go-to-guy the past two years was one Julio Jones. They won the national championship two years ago and, sans a couple bad breaks in 2010, would have had another.

The Rams have holes all over the field.

No one is here to deny this. But in the NFL of 2012 and beyond, the quarterback and the wide receiver are the most important guys on the field when it comes to winning games. And to have an elite QB playing with a bunch of guys that may or may not be good enough to be on anyone else’s roster, a group after whom no GM is inquiring—you know, if you could do that now—is just stupid.

It is.

It’s stupid not to draft Julio Jones.

And about 10 minutes after this is posted, the Lions will channel the ghost of Matt Millen and go WR at 13.

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