EARTH CITY, Mo. -- In my previous nine years covering the St. Louis Rams, I hosted a chat with fans every Tuesday. I didn't have many rules on what questions I'd take and tried my best to answer anything and everything.
On the rare occasions when the Rams were competitive, I'd have one rule that I stuck hard and fast to: no talking about the NFL draft so long as the Rams were still in the mix for the postseason.
Obviously, in many years that meant discussing the draft as early as late October. It was all most fans had to look forward to in the leanest of years. But in 2006 or 2010 or 2012, when the Rams remained in the mix, all draft questions were off-limits. The simple reasoning behind the policy was that fans should enjoy the rare occasion the team offered to actually discuss the current season.
That's all a long way of saying that I'm going to throw that rule out in this corner of cyberspace. First, it seems the Rams are headed in a direction where the competitive years are going to outnumber the lean ones. Second, the Rams own an additional first-round pick courtesy of Washington, and based off the interest this past year, I'm certain Rams fans are excited about again having two picks in the first round. Third, let's face it -- everyone loves the draft.
With that, I'm unveiling our weekly look at how the Redskins are faring and, as a bonus, we'll tie in how our resident draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay see next year's class. Sometimes we'll put Redskins watch as the lead Ram-bling, sometimes it will stand alone, but once a week, we'll provide an update on how Washington is faring and where the Rams would pick if the season ended that day.
For fans who root for the Rams first and for whoever is playing Washington second, things are off to a good start in 2013. Green Bay shredded Washington on Sunday, dropping the Redskins to 0-2 on the season with a home game against Detroit coming this week. At this point, the Redskins are one of eight 0-2 teams in the league.
Washington reporter John Keim offered a comparison to this year's 0-2 start against last year's 3-6. As Keim points out, there were signs of hope even then for Washington because of the offense and quarterback Robert Griffin III, but those signs haven't been so obvious in the first two weeks this season. If the Redskins don't find a way to turn it around this time, the pick the Rams gain could be a prime choice.
It's too soon to peg what positions the Rams might target in the next draft, but here are a few players in Kiper's and McShay's top seven (both lists are Insider) who might be of interest to the Rams.
Kiper: South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (can you even imagine that D-line?), Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr.
McShay: Clowney, Barr, Matthews, Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.
A quick roundup of our Rams' posts from yesterday. ... In Upon Further Review, we looked back at four important issues for the Rams coming out of Sunday's loss to Atlanta. ... From there, we hit the weekly rookie review, with snap counts and production for the rookie class. ... Then we looked at the Rams' early knack for mounting second-half comebacks. ... And offered a quick injury update on safety Matt Daniels' season-ending ankle fracture and right tackle Rodger Saffold's knee ailment. ... Finally, we recapped Rams coach Jeff Fisher's opinion that the Rams' penalty issues were mostly errors in judgment by the officials rather than Rams mistakes.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz dived into a number of issues surrounding the Rams, including field-position problems, conservative offensive approach and much more in his daily bytes. He also offered his commentary on the Rams' loss to Atlanta in his morning video hit.
Miklasz's teammate Bryan Burwell did his video version of Upon Further Review, with thoughts on the Rams being unable to hang their hats on a second-half comeback falling short. Burwell proclaims the days of the moral victory dead in St. Louis.
Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Strauss further explores the possibility of the Rams going to a hurry-up, no-huddle offense earlier in games.