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Posted By Femi Fasoyinu On May 1 2009 @ 1:51 pm In St. Louis Rams | No Comments
After missing out on the top tackle in the NFL draft last year, the Rams stepped up on the clock at #2 overall and made amends, getting the #1 tackle prospect this year in Jason Smith from Baylor.
Smith, a tough, nasty, and physical lineman, was exactly who the Rams wanted to add to the o-line after the cutting of former Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace. He has big shoes to fill. But the Rams hope that if he can keep Marc Bulger upright and open lanes for RB Steven Jackson, they will be in a much better position offensively than in recent seasons past.
It was also speculated that QB Mark Sanchez would go in this spot. However, with so much money tied up in Bulger, it didn't seem to make sense. Improving what some considered was the worst o-line in the league was a priority. Adding Smith is another step to try and accomplish that.
So with the tackle secured, the Rams looked in round 2 for the future leader for the defense and were pleased to find LB James Laurinaitis from Ohio State sitting there.
Laurinaitis has size at 6'3 240 and work ethic to be very productive player for the Rams from day one. He is a hard worker, leader and excellent teammate. He should be a tackling machine under Steve Spagnuolo's new defense.
Aquiriing someone of his caliber also gives the Rams more options. Now they can move Will Witherspoon to his more natural OLB spot, enabling the defense to be more productive.
In the 3rd round, Brandley Flechter from Iowa. He is a big corner (6'2 200) and is a bit of a project. It will be interesting how he develops.
The 4th round saw the Rams select DT Dorrell Scott from Clemson. Another big player at 6'4″ 320, the memo for the draft was obviously to get big tough football players. Scott should be able to contribute early in the defensive line rotation and eat up some space for the Rams's linebackers.
Another intriguing player with size, WR Brandon Foster from North Carolina, was selected by the Rams in round 5. Much like Fletcher, his development will be mointored closely as the Rams need to find a WR opposite Donnie Avery.
QB of the future in round 6? The next Tom Brady? Who knows. But the Rams needed something behind Bulger with the selction of Kevin McNull (6'4 220lb) from West Texas A&M. McNull has a rocket arm and is definetely able to heave it. Should work on most other things a young QB should though, like reads, accuracy.
Finally to cap off their draft, the Rams selected RB Chris Ogbonnaya (6'1 225lb) in the 7th round from Texas. He is a bigger back who could be used as a runner in goal line situations.
Overall a very solid draft. Nothing flashy. Stuck to finding their needs and finding productive players who fit the new team mentality coach Spaguolo wants to create: tough, hard working players. With free agency and the draft now completed, mission accomplished.
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