The St. Louis Rams drafted Todd Gurley tenth overall on Thursday night, making him the first running back taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2012.
If the Rams could have taken him even higher, they would have. So, too, might have Charles Davis.
“You guys know I was crazy about Gurley,” the NFL Network analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I thought that early in the draft when you get closer to that pick, I’m sitting with my partner, Daniel Jeremiah, and I’m saying, ‘Are we still thinking offensive tackle here?’ And he said, ‘You know you want to say it.’ I said, ‘Gurley!’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I think there’s a good possibility of that.’ And so I went with it and sure enough it came true.
“I talked with some Rams people later,” Davis continued. “Gurley was the No. 1 player on their board. So this is a big-time move. Now, starting today, they got to go get some people that can block for him – because right now Rodger Saffold is the only returning starter on the offensive line. So they better go get someone to play, to do that. Because I think this year has to be a strong push toward the playoffs.
“Otherwise, in St. Louis – and you know there’s unrest anyway about the team moving – you have a lot of issues going on. Fan apathy would kick in a little bit more. The confidence in Jeff Fisher, who’s always maintained confidence despite a record that doesn’t always say, ‘Hey, he’s the guy,’ (would wane). Well, he’s well-respected. I respect the heck out of him. But I think he needs a big run this year in order to continue to justify that for people so they can kind of relax a little bit.
“Because right now they’re like, ‘We like him. Great coach. We keep hearing that. But we’re 8-8, 7-9. What’s the deal?’ They got to get over that hump.”
While Thursday was a great night for Gurley, the same cannot be said for La’el Collins. The LSU offensive lineman, although not a suspect, is meeting with Baton Rouge police regarding the shooting death of Brittany Mills, who is believed to be Collins’ ex-girlfriend. Mills, 29, was pregnant at the time of her death.
Collins is not slated to meet with police until after the draft, which is why his agent, Deryk Gilmore, requested to pull Collins from the NFL Draft to the supplemental draft. The NFL denied that request.
Collins was a projected first-round pick.
“What I’m hearing is that he’s not going to be able to get out of the regular draft,” Davis said. “He’s going to have to go through it, and whatever happens, happens. It’s too late in the process to make that move to get him to the supplemental draft. I think the NFL is (opening) a real can of worms if they make that move because then you’ll start having guys petitioning. Let’s say Shane Ray’s situation was more serious than a citation on (the) Monday of the draft. If you allow La’el Collins out now, guess what happens then? Shane Ray’s people are like, ‘Whoa, you got to get out. Supplemental, okay? So we don’t have this issue here. Clear it up, come back, somebody comes and gets you and then off you go.’
“Remember, Bernie Kosar was a supplemental draft guy,” Davis continued. “Josh Gordon was a supplemental draft guy. So you have plenty of great players out of that, but I just think the league doesn’t want to deal with it. What I’ve heard about Collins’ situation is that he’s going to have to answer a bunch of questions there. There’s a lot of stuff they’re going to have to grind through. It’s not cut and dry. I think more details will emerge that I’m not at liberty to speak about right now that are going to make this a little more of a process for him. And unfortunately, because of that, I think it’s going to be very, very difficult to see him come off the board probably before (Saturday), which is rounds 4 through 7.”