2010 NFL Draft: St. Louis Rams Select Rodger Saffold with the 33rd Pick

David LeonCorrespondent IApril 23, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Offensive lineman Roger Saffold of Indiana runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

As it turns out, ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay was quite correct.  The Rams did stay put, and they did select Indiana offensive tackle Rodger Saffold.

Saffold stand 6'5" and weighs in at 316 pounds.  He was a four-year starter at Indiana,  he was voted a captain of the team, and is rated as an excellent character guy.  

Mike Mayock of NFL Films praised Saffold for his excellent versatility.  He believes Saffold can play any one of four positions along the offensive line—anything but the center position.

The selection ends speculation that the Rams might acquire a ransom for the 33rd pick.  Earlier in the day, Devaney told ESPN he would be quite surprised if they stayed put and used the 33rd pick.  

But according to Jason La Canfora, NFL Insider on the NFL Network, the key to this decision was Saffold's rising stock.

According to La Canfora, most bids for the No. 33 pick involved teams attempting to rise up and draft Saffold.  The Vikings, Bucs, and Raiders were all set to take Saffold at the top of the second round.  Devaney decided selecting Saffold fulfilled the Rams' needs, rather than a trade.

Another key to the selection is the status of 2005 first-round choice Alex Barron, the Rams' left tackle last season.  Mayock reported that Barron has fallen out favor with nearly everyone in the organization.  Earlier in the offseason, Devaney attempted to dangle him as trade bait. 

At this point, Mike Mayock predicts the Rams' 2010 offensive line will look as follows:

1. Rodger Saffold: Right tackle
2. Adam Goldberg: Right guard
3. Jason Brown: Center
4. Jacob Bell: Left guard
5. Jason Smith: Left tackle

The Rams' offensive line has the dubious distinction of being the only line to allow 40+ sacks a year—and every year for the past nine seasons.  Obviously, the administration felt an upgrade was in order.  
Hopefully, there will be more.
Clearly, having just invested the absolute No. 1 pick in him, the Rams regard Sam Bradford's health as the paramount concern.  I can't say I blame them.  I am currently breathing a sigh of relief.  We are that much closer to keeping young Sam healthy.