A day after the St. Louis Rams released Marc Bulger, general manager Billy Devaney said it’s far from certain that the team will take a quarterback with the first pick of the draft.
Smoke screens are typical this time of the year, but Devaney told the AP in a telephone interview Tuesday that the game plan hasn’t changed even though the move leaves them with three inexperienced quarterbacks on the roster. Devaney said several players remain under consideration for the No. 1 pick, and refused to tip his hand whether Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford was at the top of the list.
The Rams will attend pro workout days for two more quarterbacks, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Claussen, on Thursday and Friday, and remain impressed with Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
St. Louis has scheduled a second private workout with Bradford about a week before the draft, set for April 22-24.
“We haven’t come close to deciding,” the GM said.
So far, Devaney said there have been “zero” discussions with other teams interested in trading up for the pick, and didn’t anticipate any such conversations until perhaps just before the draft.
The Rams were among teams who gushed after Bradford’s workout a week ago. He’s the presumed front-runner for the top pick after convincing observers that season-ending shoulder surgery in October was a success, although Suh was considered to be No. 1 shortly after the season.
“A couple of weeks ago we were at Suh’s workout and we left and said ‘Oh my gosh, this guy’s really something!”’ Devaney said. “A week before that we watched Gerald McCoy and it was like ‘Oh my gosh, this guy’s really something!’
“It’s like a beauty contest, you can’t go wrong. One is more beautiful than the other.”
Releasing Bulger, their starter since 2003, leaves the Rams with veteran backup A.J. Feeley and two players coming off their rookie seasons. Feeley, who’ll be 33 in May, has 15 career starts in 10 seasons. Keith Null, who started the last four games after Bulger was sidelined with a fractured left shin bone and backup Kyle Boller was ineffective, had nine interceptions with three touchdown passes. Mike Reilly was a late-season pickup who has yet to make his NFL debut.
Devaney would not confirm a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Bulger, who was released on his 33rd birthday, had asked to be cut loose.
He said he’d be comfortable with either Feeley or Null running the show next season.
Though the general manager said he was “absolutely fried” mentally from wall-to-wall draft meetings in recent weeks, he was an enthusiastic participant in a meet-and-greet with fans later Tuesday night at a downtown restaurant. Devaney, who remembered being a draftnik before joining the NFL, said it was his idea to mingle.
“It’s unbelievable just how much interest there is in the draft, and I know what kind of passion these guys have,” Devaney said. “So I thought it would be cool just to meet with them and just talk draft stuff.
“I love doing it. I love talking about it anytime.”