Todd McShay, a draft analyst with ESPN, has the St. Louis Rams selecting offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Rams have several needs on both sides of the ball, but McShay thinks the Rams would be best served by spending this pick on extra protection for quarterback Sam Bradford.
Here is what McShay had to say:
"The Rams need to better protect the investment they made in 2010 No. 1 overall pick QB Sam Bradford, and current LOT Jason Smith has not lived up to expectations as the No. 2 overall pick in 2009. Given Kalil's size and athleticism, he is ready to step in right now and take over at left tackle."
Now please understand, I agree with McShay. The Rams do need to protect Sam Bradford. So picking Kalil No. 2 overall might be a good idea. I'm even in favor of doing something, anything really, that would replace Jason Smith on the Rams' offensive line.
However, McShay says that "current LOT (left offensive tackle) Jason Smith has not lived up to expectations as the No. 2 overall pick in 2009."
Hey Todd, Smith plays ROT (right offensive tackle) for the Rams, not LOT. He has been the starting ROT since his first game in a Rams uniform. As I've said many times, spending the No. 2 overall pick on a ROT, like the Rams did with Smith, is just stupid.
That's why current Rams general manager Billey Devaney has to be the first person Rams owner Stan Kroenke fires, but that is a topic for another debate.
Should the Rams spend the No. 2 overall pick on Kalil? Should they draft Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon? Or should they trade back, knowing several teams are going to be looking to trade up for the chance to draft Baylor QB Robert Griffin III?
If the Rams draft Kalil, a franchise LOT, what do they do with the incumbent starter at LOT, Roger Saffold? Do they move him to ROT? If the Rams do that, then what becomes of Jason Smith, the current starter at ROT?
I'm all in favor of making Jason Smith a starting guard because he is a mauler and a good run blocker. He's just not quick enough to pass protect, and that has gotten Sam Bradford killed.
If I have a vote (and I don't), I would vote for trading back.
Kalil might still be there with the fourth or fifth pick, and if he's not, then the Rams can just take Blackmon, a player who would be a starting wide receiver from day one in a Rams uniform.
Either way, they would gain a few extra picks by virtue of trading back.
Sam Bradford, if he has a vote (and I bet he does), is probably telling somebody "get me some protection."
Either way, the Rams can't go wrong, unless Kalil turns out to be Jason Smith 2.0.
Thanks for reading.