Coaching changes force adjustments in draft

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams faced the greatest adjustment in draft preparations among NFC West teams with new head coaches. They were the final NFC West team to settle on a new head coach. Their scouts spent the full 2008 college season looking for players to fit another coaching staff.

The Seahawks faced the smallest adjustment among NFC West teams with new coaches. Having Jim Mora on staff as assistant last season allowed Seattle to think ahead in terms of its preferred personnel once Mike Holmgren stepped down. The 49ers, meanwhile, were optimistic Mike Singletary would earn the full-time job.

The Rams had less of an idea who might succeed Jim Haslett. General manager Billy Devaney touched on that subject when speaking with reporters in St. Louis during a pre-draft media session Monday:

"Position specifics have been changed a little bit, but again the scouts have done a great job adjusting on the fly. Remember, they were out in August, September and October looking at players and evaluating players geared for a certain scheme and different coaches.

"So, they've had to, kind of in their mind when we came in for these meetings, go back and when we got into the meetings and started talking about these players, we had to kind of preface by saying, 'Not all the time, but in certain cases. You know what, I liked this guy a couple months ago, but for what we're talking about right now, this guy's going to play, we acknowledge that, but he's not exactly what we're looking for.'

"So, it's been a little bit of an adjustment, but again, I think the scouts have done a tremendous job of adjusting it on the fly."

Left tackle is one position that might transcend coaching staffs more than some others. The Rams need one. The primary question I have is whether the Rams value Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe enough to draft one of them at No. 2 overall.