Rams General Manager Les Snead stood inside Ladd-Peebles Stadium late Tuesday afternoon, after the first Senior Bowl practice he would see this week.
A North team that features quarterbacks Cody Kessler of USC, Kevin Hogan of Stanford, Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Jeff Driskel of Louisiana Tech had just gone through its first workout under Dallas Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett and his staff.
“First day, it’s kid in a candy store,” Snead said of evaluating players. “You want to see everybody.”
There were plenty of eyes.
Snead said “pretty much the entire scouting department” was on hand to evaluate players who are practicing for Saturday’s game and preparing for the NFL draft. The Rams have the 15th pick in the draft, scheduled April 28-30 in Chicago.
Despite light rain during the North team workout, Snead said the quarterbacks “spun the ball” and demonstrated the skills that made them successful during their college careers.
Kessler and UCLA receiver Jordan Payton combined on a long touchdown pass play during one-on-one drills.
“They gave him a double-move, pump-and-go,” Kessler said. “I told him I’d put it up there . . . that USC-UCLA thing.”
Earlier Tuesday, the South team practiced at a high school about 30 minutes from the stadium. Alabama Coach Nick Saban stopped by to watch the team that features several of his former players and is being coached by the Jacksonville Jaguars staff.
Rams Coach Jeff Fisher will not be at Senior Bowl workouts, Snead said. But scouts and many assistant coaches are on hand. Individual scouts are assigned positions to evaluate at practice and on video. Area scouts additionally evaluate players from their regions. Scouts also conduct player interviews.
The contingent will meet nightly to review and plan for the next day.
“You try and divide it so the area scout finally gets to sit down and see the personality of the player and maybe ask a few questions they’ve been dying to ask,” Snead said.
The Rams remain in the process of working out the logistics of their move from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
A decision regarding the location of their temporary training facility could be made in “the next seven to 21 days,” Snead said. The Oxnard facility where the Dallas Cowboys have trained during summer is among the possibilities. The Rams held two days of joint practices with the Cowboys in Oxnard last August.
“We’ve got some guys right now that are vetting, narrowing down the sites to try and figure out what best fits the transition,” Snead said.
Asked where the Rams would conduct their draft, Snead said, “We will be in Los Angeles. We’re the L.A. Rams.”
Players started the day by going through the annual weigh-in that is held in a cavernous convention center ballroom. Hundreds of scouts filled the seating in front of the stage and in 13 rows of bleachers.
Tennessee Titans scout Dale Thompson, a former USC tight end, read the name of each player who appeared on stage in compression shorts or underwear to be measured for height and weight. After each player’s turn on stage, a large graphic appeared on a screen with the player’s photo, height, weight, hand size and wingspan.
“Everybody goes through it,” UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn said, laughing. “You’ve got to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Miller in the mix
Braxton Miller moved from quarterback to receiver at Ohio State after he was sidelined because of injuries and then supplanted by J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones.
Miller is among the most intriguing prospects at the Senior Bowl.
Asked if he considered himself an X factor among the receivers, he said, “I can be. Some of the guys, they mainly played receiver their whole life. I can come back there and still throw the ball if I want to. So it’s whatever the team needs.”
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