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King marks returns of bodies to the NetherlandsDownton Abbey Portrait SessioniParty: ‘Seussical’ makes its Muny debutCards lose to Tampa Bay 7 2Two Spider Men visit St. Louis Children’s HospitalA salute to veteransAt long last, the finish line is in sight for this marathon otherwise known as the NFL draft. Tonight the smoke clears and rumor becomes reality.Locally, a lot of the smokescreen cleared up Wednesday night at Rams Park. The Rams held their annual pre draft event for season ticket holders, and about 2,000 fans jammed their way into the team’s indoor practice facility to hear coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead.During the course of the evening, Fisher got up on stage and told the crowd: “Sam’s our guy.”Yes, we’ve heard that before. But here’s the difference: Quarterback Sam Bradford was standing right next to Fisher when he made that statement, and there was a huge photo of Sam behind them on a video screen.The crowd responded with a standing ovation, and even the normally stoic Bradford couldn’t help but smile. Those in attendance were given an update on Bradford’s rehab, and Bradford appeared to be bigger and stronger in the upper body.So that settles that. So much for Bradford getting traded. So much for those rumors involving the Rams drafting quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A You don’t bring Bradford up on stage, and say what Fisher said, if either of the above were going to happen.Bradford, by the way, was informed about the Manziel smokescreen by the Rams before the fact, according to league sources.DRAFT DAY CHAT: JEFF GORDON AT 5 PMWednesday’s developments don’t mean that the Rams won’t strongly consider drafting a quarterback at some point in the draft that has been the plan all along. It’s just not going to happen in the first round. (And probably not the second.)Otherwise, Wednesday was a relatively quiet day at Rams Park. The day was spent going over possibilities, fine tuning the draft board and finalizing the “game plan” for tonight, Friday and Saturday.”Right now we’ve got the scouts in,” general manager Les Snead said during the Rams’ pre draft news conference earlier in the week. “We’ve been meeting with those guys somewhat individually.”They’ve smelled the guys and felt the guys (in a figurative sense) more than anybody else in the building. We kind of get their thoughts. We’re meeting again with the coaching staff, talking scheme fits.”And of course there were texts and phone calls throughout the day to other NFL teams. Ideally, the Rams’ would like to trade down a few spots from No. 2 overall and pick up an extra second round pick and more.There were conversations with several teams by the Rams on Wednesday, but nothing earth shattering. Or as Snead would put it, the flirting continued. Whether the flirting turns into a prom date depends on Houston, which has the No. 1 overall pick.If Houston takes South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, as widely expected, even the flirting should stop. There just doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming demand for any of the top quarterbacks Manziel included at the top of this draft.Even with plenty of quarterback needy teams in the top 10, it has been difficult to drum up interest in having someone trade up to the No. 2 spot for a QB try as the Rams might by, uh, encouraging the Manziel rumors.But if Houston does the unexpected and doesn’t take Clowney, the Rams will be in a good spot. They can either take Clowney and they like him very much and add another menacing force to their already potent pass rush, or they can trade down for extra picks to somebody who wants Clowney. (Namely Atlanta.)”What’s Houston gonna do?” Snead said. “I think that’s why we’ve always said this stuff may really come down to (the Texans) make the pick, and you’ve got 10 minutes.”Teams are allowed 10 minutes to make their selection in the first round.Obviously, one phone call can change everything, but it still seems most likely that the Rams get “stuck” at No. 2 and make their pick. This year in particular, it’s not a bad place to get stuck.It’s said to be a “six or seven player draft,” meaning that six or seven elite players are clearly above the rest. While acknowledging that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, most scouts, veteran agents, and team officials contacted by the Post Dispatch include Clowney, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and offensive tackles Greg Robinson (Auburn), Jake Matthews (Texas A and Taylor Lewan (Michigan) in that group.That’s six players. If you add a seventh, it’s Texas A wide receiver Mike Evans.Mack is an intriguing prospect because of his edge rush skills, but it’s questionable if he’s a scheme fit in the 4 3 base defense of coordinator Gregg Williams.There’s no doubt Watkins and Evans (to a slightly lesser degree) have the potential to be No. 1 wide receivers, and very good ones at that. But it appears doubtful the Rams will take a wide receiver at No. 2 after investing so heavily in the position over the past two seasons.That brings it down to the offensive tackles, with Lewan probably not being in play at No. 2. So then it becomes a matter of taking the more polished and game ready Matthews, or the raw but extremely athletic Robinson. wholesale mlb jerseys china

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