Schauf: Should the Rams pass on Ted Ginn?
Over the past week and a half or so, I’ve read in several places that the Rams would do well to get a receiver in the draft’s first round next weekend. The opinions came on the tail of Ted Ginn Jr.’s long-awaited pro day workout, which was attended by a pretty big contingent of the St. Louis coaching staff, including head man Scott Linehan. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ted Ginn Jr. go 13th to the Rams, but if there’s one thing the team is not in need of right now, it’s options in the passing game. Those who were writing about the Rams’ need at receiver gleefully pointed out that Torry Holt and especially Isaac Bruce aren’t getting any younger, as well as the fact that St. Louis lost third receiver Kevin Curtis via free agency last month. What the writers either neglected or forgot to mention, however, is that the team also used March to bring in Drew Bennett from Tennessee and tight end Randy McMichael from Miami.
At least at this point in their careers, you’d have to say Bennett is a better player (or at least more productive) than Curtis. After starting seven games in 2002 and eight in 2003, Bennett had his first full season as a starter in 2004 and exploded. He finished with 80 catches for 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns, compiling huge numbers after Billy Volek stepped into the lineup for an injured Steve McNair and outperforming his more-heralded teammate Derrick Mason. Bennett produced five 100-yard games that year, including a three-game stretch in December when he caught 28 passes for 517 yards and eight scores.
His next two seasons were far less productive. Bennett tallied just 1,475 yards over 2005 and 2006 combined, with four fewer touchdowns (seven) than he put up in 2004 alone. Injuries caused him to miss seven starts (six in 2005), and the Titans underwent a lot of offensive shuffling -- from Steve McNair and Billy Volek to Kerry Collins to, finally, Vince Young. None of those guys, of course, is a prolific passer.
Even though Bennett has really just the one good season on his résumé so far, though, his career receiving average is 2.2 yards better than Curtis’ (14.8 to 12.6), despite Curtis being known as a speed receiver. In addition, Curtis’ 12 touchdowns over the past three seasons are just one more than Bennett had in 2004 and six fewer than he had over the three-year span. Granted, Bennett was a starter during that time while Curtis spent most of his time behind Bruce and Holt, but Curtis also had the benefit of playing in a better, more pass-friendly offense (and he did get those nine starts because of injuries in 2005). Furthermore, despite having two more years of NFL service than Curtis does, Bennett is actually a month younger, as well as six inches taller and 20 pounds heavier.
The bottom line here is that, at the very least, the Rams lose nothing in the transition from Curtis to Bennett and might actually stand to gain. Bennett’s size gives the team an attractive red zone target that wasn’t necessarily around before (at least in that form). Although he’ll still be playing behind Holt and Bruce -- barring injury -- Bennett should be capable of at least approaching his numbers from the past two years in Tennessee: nearly 750 yards and 3-4 touchdowns.
As for McMichael, the choice by Linehan to bring in one of the league’s better receiving tight ends just a year after the Rams drafted two players at that position (Joe Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd) indicates to me that he considers it a need and plans to use McMichael plenty. McMichael hauled in at least 60 passes in each of the past three seasons and scored 12 touchdowns, despite being thrown to by luminaries such as Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon. He scored a career-high five touchdowns in 2005 when Linehan was Miami’s offensive coordinator, despite totaling his fewest receptions in the past three seasons and his lowest yardage production in the past four.
Meanwhile, St. Louis’ three tight ends in 2006 -- Klopfenstein, Byrd and Aaron Walker -- combined for 27 catches, 333 yards and two scores, pathetic numbers under a coach who had just worked with McMichael and previously helped Jermaine Wiggins put up good numbers in Minnesota. McMichael should be much better than that in 2007, even though he definitely sits in the second tier among fantasy tight ends at this point.
In the big picture, however, when you add McMichael and Bennett to an offense that already includes Holt, Bruce and Steven Jackson (who caught 90 passes himself last season), it’s easy to see Marc Bulger won’t be wanting for options when he drops back. (I should mention the team also lost receiver Shaun McDonald to free agency, but the impact will be negligible.)
As I said at the beginning, I still wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rams take Ted Ginn Jr. with their pick at 13. After all, the team ranked 27th in punt-return average and 26th in kick returns last season, and Ted Ginn Jr. would instantly upgrade both units. If St. Louis does make such a selection on Saturday, however, it will be a pick for value and not for offensive need.
Read more at www.profantasysports.com
Carolina Panthers: How Ted Ginn Jr. Can Become Cam Newton's Best Friend While Ted Ginn Jr. has been the epitome of a draft bust, one can hope that his career will be resurrected with Cam Newton throwing him passes.Â On paper, it's definitely a long shot. Ginn serves as a symbol of the Miami Dolphins' drafting ineptitude, as the team selected him with the ninth pick in the 2007 NFL draft. After playing for the franchise for just three seasons, the Dolphins decided to ...
Panthers' Ginn looks to capitalize on fresh start CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Ted Ginn Jr. has never liked being labeled a ''specialist.''
Panthers' Ted Ginn Jr. eager to prove he can still contribute as wide receiver in the NFL CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Ted Ginn Jr. has never liked being labeled a "specialist."
Ted Ginn tired of being 'bashed,' labeled a specialist Ted Ginn earned a reputation as a return specialist in his first six NFL seasons. Now, he wants to prove to the Carolina Panthers -- and the world -- that he still can play wide receiver.
Ginn wowing Newton, Panthers with speed Ted Ginn Jr. has never liked being labeled a "specialist" and is looking to take advantage of a "fresh start" with the Carolina Panthers and prove to critics he can still play wide receiver in the NFL and be more than just a returner.
Carolina's Ginn looks to capitalize on fresh start Ted Ginn Jr. has never liked the label of "specialist."
Ted Ginnâ€™s speed makes Ron Rivera go â€śwowâ€ť Everyone knows Ted Ginn is fast. But Panthers coach Ron Rivera didnâ€™t know just how fast until Ginn got on the practice field in Carolina. Rivera, whose team signed Ginn as a free agent receiver/return man in March, said he has gained a real appreciation for just how speedy Ginn is now that Organized Teamâ€¦
Video: Ted Ginn Jr. wants to be productive WR Adam Schefter discusses whether Ted Ginn Jr. can be a productive wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers.
Ginn could revive career in Carolina CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If there was a star of the Carolina Panthers' minicamp in Thursday afternoonâ€™s session, it was Ted Ginn Jr. On two different occasions, Ginn used his speed to get open and catch deep balls from Cam Newton. â€śThatâ€™s kind of part of the reason heâ€™s here coach Ron Rivera said. â€śObviously, with his speed, we know he can blow the top off the covers and heâ€™s showing. Heâ€™s going. I ...
LATEST NEWS CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) â€” Ted Ginn Jr. has never liked the label of "specialist." Now the six-year NFL veteran is looking to take advantage of a "fresh start" with the Carolina Panthers and prove to critics he can still play wide receiver in the NFL and be more than just a returner.