Rams Are on the Clock

Michael SamuelSenior Analyst IApril 25, 2008

With the Dolphins coming to terms with Michigan behemoth 6'7 325 pound Left Tackle Jake Long, the Rams are now on the clock for tommorow's draft.  The Rams were 3-13 last year and were dessimated by injuries.  All-Pro and future Hall of Famer Orlando Pace was injured and this will be his 12th profesional season after being the number 1 overall pick in the 1997 NFL draft out of THE Ohio State University.  The Rams look to be set for now at Quarterback with Marc Bulger a former Pro-Bowler at Quarterback.  Steven Jackson at running back in 2006 was a dominant and versatile feature back who caught over 80 balls out of the backfield.  Every other position for the Rams could be one of need, thus they could do a multitude of things with the 2nd overall pick.

The Rams could take what experts say are the best player on the board in Louisiana State Defensive Tackle Glen Dorsey.  Dorsey would be very quick 3-technique tackle (Outside eye of the Offensive Guard) on a 4-3 team.  If the Rams though decide to play a 3-4, Dorsey just does not seem to fit in.  He is only a little bit over 300 pounds which is too small to play the Nose Tackle Spot.  If he were to play Defensive End in a 3-4 he would be very out of place, similar to Warren Sapp in 2005 on the Raiders.  The Rams also have a similar player with last year's first round pick with Adam Carricker.  If the Rams commit to the 4-3 they could pair the 2 inside similar to the Vikings with the Williams who have anchored the best run defense in the NFL for consecutive years. 

The Rams though last year had 4 sacks out of the Defensive End position.  To put that into perspective, Osi Umenyora had 6 in one game by himself.  Pass Rush is a very fundamental part of a championship team, think this year with the Giants.  Chris Long and Vernon Gholston are here.  Both players are very similar in that they are both 6'3 and between 265-275 pounds.  Gholston had an unreal combine, a  40 yard dash in the 4.65 ranges and 34 bench press reps.  This sounds a bit like Eagles 1995 first round pick, Mike Manula, an excellent combine but will this transfer to on field success,for Manula it did not.  Both Long and Gholston can play the Rush Linebacker spot in the 3-4  or could potentially play Defensive End.  They are a bit undersized to play a 3-4 End and it would not allow them to rush the Quarterback.  Chris Long has a motor that is always running which enables him to get up the field and make plays.  His genetic make up also helps, his dad Howie Long was a star DE on Raiders title teams.  If they want the Rush Linebacker, the pick is Chris Long who wowed scouts at his pro-day.

Overall the question of their draft is what type of Defense do the Rams want to play?  If it is a 4-3 the pick is Dorsey, if it is a 3-4 the pick should be Chris Long.  The 3-4 Defense provides a surprise element in that the 4th pass rusher is unknown.  The Giants though who anchored the best pass rush were a strict 4-3 team. This will all play out Saturday afternoon.