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With two weeks until the draft, take nothing at face value

Tough-Richardson-softens-up-as-a-dad-KNQFQHS-x-large Getty Images

The 2012 NFL draft begins two weeks from tonight.  And so now is as good a time as any to remind anyone and everyone that the stuff that trickles out regarding players a team may or may not be targeting could all be part of a deliberate effort to fool other teams.

Case in point:  The Rams hold the sixth overall pick in the first round.  They have a running back who, while closer to the end of his career than the beginning, still has tread on the tires.  And yet coach Jeff Fisher is creating the impression that the Rams may take Richardson with said sixth pick.

I think he’s a very, very talented player,” Fisher said. “He doesn’t have a lot of wear-and-tear because it’s been a one-year deal for him [as a feature back].  But he’s got great explosion and quickness in the hole and change of direction with the jump cut, and power, and ball security.”

But what about Jackson, a first-round pick in 2004?

“One could make the case that it may be one of those positions that you could consider passing up because of Steven’s presence on roster,” Fisher said.  “I don’t think we can pass on any position at that pick because of our need.”

(So . . . the Rams will be drafting quarterback Ryan Tannehill if he’s on the board?)

Look, the team’s far greater need is at receiver.  And everyone knows it.  And it’s far more likely that Fisher hopes the Browns take Richardson (and not Justin Blackmon) at No. 4 or the Buccaneers take Richardson (and not Justin Blackmon) at No. 5, so that the Rams can then take Blackmon at No. 6.

And if both guys are gone, then Fisher can take a guy like cornerback Morris Claiborne at No. 6, who could be paired with Cortland Finnegan as part of a secondary that will be better suited to deal with the new pass-crazy NFL.

Either way, the Rams have too many needs at too many other positions to devote the sixth overall pick to a tailback who may not be dramatically better than players who can be obtained later in the draft, perhaps with one of the Rams’ two second-round picks.

Indeed, if Fisher were dead set on taking Richardson, Fisher wouldn’t be openly singing his praises.

Unless, of course, Fisher has taken pre-draft subterfuge to the next level, pretending to like a guy in the hopes that other teams will think he actually doesn’t, when in fact he actually does.

My brain hurts after that one.

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38 Responses to “With two weeks until the draft, take nothing at face value”
  1. skoobyfl says: Apr 12, 2012 9:57 AM

    No team lies this time of year, it’s all honest business dealings.

  2. phailing101 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    I still don’t understand why they didn’t trade with the Browns, take Blackmon, take their picks and be happy.

    Instead, they put their future in the hands of a few teams ahead of them.

  3. sj39 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    Thank God you are here to help us understand all the nuances of the NFL. Without you we would be lost.

  4. rpiotr01 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:09 AM

    Two weeks? There has been a year long conspiracy going on where GMs have been trying to convince one another that Andrew Luck will be anything better than Matt Ryan 2.0 in the NFL. And it’s worked.

  5. deadeye says: Apr 12, 2012 10:12 AM

    Tannehill is the big question mark now that Luck and RG3 are penciled in at #1 and #2. What are the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs saying about him? Whatever is said, it’s a lie.

  6. tennesseeoilers says: Apr 12, 2012 10:13 AM

    So the Colts and Redskins will both pass on Luck and RGIII?

    Go get ‘em, Titans!

  7. phailing101 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:14 AM

    What’s wrong with Matt Ryan 2.0?

  8. lasher1650 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:15 AM

    But please continue to read the PFT mock drafts . . .

  9. bearsrulepackdrool says: Apr 12, 2012 10:25 AM

    That’s why a mock draft is all but useless. NFL teams put up smoke screens and tell you one thing to throw off the other NFL teams. That’s why we wait on the draft.

  10. emoorm says: Apr 12, 2012 10:25 AM

    This is the best report I have ever read!

    Peyton Manning will not have any more injuries.

    The Tuna’s hair is natural.

    Us fan can lie too! :)

  11. t3kn3o says: Apr 12, 2012 10:30 AM

    I think the only thing that’s certain this year is Luck to the Colts and RG3 to the ‘skins.

  12. linvillegorge says: Apr 12, 2012 10:32 AM

    The Rams aren’t doing anything until they find a way to protect Bradford.

  13. baddegg says: Apr 12, 2012 10:41 AM

    phailing101 says:Apr 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    I still don’t understand why they didn’t trade with the Browns, take Blackmon, take their picks and be happy.

    Instead, they put their future in the hands of a few teams ahead of them.

    ————-

    According to Mike Holmgren, it’s because the Rams wanted to “screw” the Browns.

  14. smh35 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:43 AM

    I hate that the media thinks “smoke screens” are legit. You think that other teams are going to change their mind on who to draft because another teams coach thinks highly of him? Good joke.

  15. dccowboy says: Apr 12, 2012 10:44 AM

    At this point in the pre-draft frenzy you have to relay on the old adage

    Ques “How can you tell if an NFL person is lying?” Answer “Are their lips moving?”

    I don’t believe anything any GM,Coach,Scout says at this point. They are all engaged in ‘draft maneuvering’. I don’t believe any ‘rumors’ that come out about a player at this point either because, more often than not, thay are not true and are simply a tool being used by an agent or team to either elevate a player that they hope a team higher than they are drafts, leaving the real target more likely to be available or an agent is trying to improve his clients draft prospects by lowering another players draft prospect.

  16. nflsucker says: Apr 12, 2012 10:46 AM

    So when Rex says the Jets will win the Super Bowl this year, we should believe he’s bluffing?

  17. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Apr 12, 2012 10:51 AM

    The Vikings signed Chester Taylor as a free agent in 2006 and he rushed for over 1,200 yards. They had no need for a running back, but they drafted Adrian Peterson in 2007 because he was too good to pass up. I think the Rams would seriously consider Richardson if he’s there. You take the best player available.

  18. geo1113 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:52 AM

    Sheesh. It really doesn’t matter what Fisher hopes for. The Rams pick 6th and will choose among the players available to them. I mean seriously, Cleveland and Tampa Bay really don’t care who Fisher hopes to draft. They choose before the Rams.

  19. bozosforall says: Apr 12, 2012 10:54 AM

    rpiotr01 says:
    Apr 12, 2012 10:09 AM
    Two weeks? There has been a year long conspiracy going on where GMs have been trying to convince one another that Andrew Luck will be anything better than Matt Ryan 2.0 in the NFL. And it’s worked.

    __
    Can I borrow your crystal ball, recent lottery winner? Oh wait, you haven’t won the lottery despite the fact that you can see into the future? STHU, idiot.

  20. mianfr says: Apr 12, 2012 10:57 AM

    I think all of this Tannehill buzz is overdone, like the Blaine Gabbert buzz last year. GMs are just trying to rope other GMs into taking a useless but intriguing player so that Fletcher Cox (or Michael Floyd, or Melvin Ingram, or whoever) will be on the board later.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns take him with their second first rounder.

  21. wipackman1265 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:02 AM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says: Apr 12, 2012 10:51 AM

    they drafted Adrian Peterson in 2007 because he was too good to pass up. I think the Rams would seriously consider Richardson if he’s there. You take the best player available.

    Well Said Leave the depth Chart home

  22. daysend564 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:25 AM

    They are just trying to generate trade interest. If they mention a guy that another team covets, they get even more 1st round picks.

  23. 4evrnyt says: Apr 12, 2012 11:27 AM

    You try to make the case that the Rams #1 need is for WR but then you suggest that after Blackmon is gone they will go with the defense instead. So their #1 need at WR is only for one player?? How about the fact that some consider Floyd higher then Blackmon.

    Wouldn’t the smart thing to suggest be that if Blackmon is taken that they just take Floyd instead?

  24. orthomarine says: Apr 12, 2012 11:53 AM

    Weeden’s age is hurting him, but he beat the #1, #2, and #3 projected QB in the draft. As of right now, he is the only QB I feel who is ready to play.

    Tannehill is overblown and I think Griffin will be about as successful as Vick. Luck is for real, but we it will not been seen for a couple of years.

  25. 6ball says: Apr 12, 2012 11:58 AM

    .

    The only certainty of the draft is that the Patriots will trade one of their first round picks (27 or 31) to someone for their first rounder next year.

    .

  26. emperorzero says: Apr 12, 2012 12:00 PM

    I totally disagree with this article. If Trent Richardson is at six and he is the sixth best player in the draft, then you take him at six. You don’t pass on him because you already have Steven Jackson. What 90% of arm chair quarterbacks fail to realize is the draft is about the future – not just the upcmoing season. Jackson isn’t going to play forever (and maybe not that much longer). The Rams took a lot of crap for taking Jackson when they still had Marshall Faulk, who went on to play two more years. Botom line, in the first round, you take the best player available, no matter the position.

  27. blacknole08 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:15 PM

    Or maybe the Rams are trying to coax another team into trading up to #6. Richardson won’t make it past TB.

  28. andymc58 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:17 PM

    This sounds like that poison scene in the Princess Bride.

  29. ballboy48 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:19 PM

    Fisher screwed the Rams by not taking the Browns offer! Cleveland holds the cards now, and the Rams won’t get Richardson, Kalil, and maybe not even Blackmon!

    I still don’t know why you’d deal with a team in the same conference, that you could “potentially” face in the playoffs! I don’t care who your buddies are!

  30. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Apr 12, 2012 12:22 PM

    When RG3 is drafted by Indy, Shanny’s gonna have a coronary.

  31. rowdymon says: Apr 12, 2012 12:27 PM

    C’mon it’s obvious that the Rams want Blackmon and are talking up Richardson so the Browns don’t take Blackmon. Rams will get nervous and make a trade with the Browns in order to get Blackmon.

  32. cincystew says: Apr 12, 2012 12:36 PM

    Ironic coming from a website that solely exists (profits) bc of the BS rumors NFL management spews out.

  33. Deb says: Apr 12, 2012 12:42 PM

    As a diehard Bama fan, if our guys can’t go to the Steelers, I hope for them to go to other solid organizations and good-guy coaches. So neither the Browns nor Fisher would be my choice for Trent. But then I remember being thrilled when Mark Ingram was taken by Sean Payton and the Saints because he’d be in such “good hands.”

    Right. Never mind. Just let the chips fall where they may.

  34. purplepridehasadownside says: Apr 12, 2012 1:22 PM

    Don’t worry, pft faithful, there will be plenty to talk about after the Vikings totally screw up the draft…

    Wait for it.

  35. tombradysponytail says: Apr 12, 2012 1:35 PM

    sj39 says:Apr 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    Thank God you are here to help us understand all the nuances of the NFL. Without you we would be lost.

    ——-

    Is that some sort of backhanded slam against this website? IF you don’t Like the site, then dOn’t bother to give youR patronage to the sIte. I think this is an interesting clearinghOuse of Information and I’m eSpecially greatful to hAve the opportunity to have hearD the NFL—related opinions of the dedicated writers of this website. They Bring a fresh perspective to A sport that I spend a Great deal of time watching.

  36. geo1113 says: Apr 12, 2012 2:25 PM

    ballboy48 says:
    Apr 12, 2012 12:19 PM
    Fisher screwed the Rams by not taking the Browns offer! Cleveland holds the cards now, and the Rams won’t get Richardson, Kalil, and maybe not even Blackmon!
    ————————-

    All I ever heard from Holmgren is that he made an offer every bit as good as the Redskins whatever that means. And, of course, when the Rams made the trade, the only thing they knew for sure is that one of Kalil, Blackmon, Richardson, or Claiborne would be available. Knowing that, they made the trade. It’s silly to say the Browns hold the card when the Rams gave them the cards to play.

  37. lastyearsbaggage says: Apr 12, 2012 2:43 PM

    Why is it so hard to think Trent Richardson could be the pick here? He’s a better prospect at RB than Blackmon is at WR (Blackmon would not be the top WR in any of the last 3 drafts while TR would be the top RB), Steven Jackson is approaching 30 years old with no one else of value at that spot, and how often do you get a chance to draft a Trent Richardson? A RB of his caliber comes around once every 4 or 5 years. A Justin Blackmon is available every year.

  38. patpatriot7 says: Apr 12, 2012 5:16 PM

    6ball said:
    “The only certainty of the draft is that the Patriots will trade one of their first round picks to someone for their first rounder next year.”

    Bill Belichick is all about value and, in the past, that was probably true. However, with the new rookie cap, don’t be surprised if he makes both picks.

    Now if another team makes an offer he can’t resist, than he might be convinced to trade one of those picks – but the odds are not as great as they were in the past.

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