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  1. #1
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    Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry has a strong contingent of fans in the Rams community, and itís no surprise why. Curry is arguably the best linebacker prospect in a long time, and really has few weaknesses. Rams fans are desperate to fill the hole the team has at middle linebacker, a position which hasnít truly been filled since London Fletcher was on the team seven years ago.

    The problem with selecting Aaron Curry in the first round, however, is that the Rams would do so at the expense of their offensive line, a team weakness for the better part of a decade. The Rams cut their most talented offensive blocker in Orlando Pace this spring; even as a declining player, Pace allowed fewer sacks than a number of other lineman on this unit.

    Paceís departure leaves a gaping hole at tackle. Alex Barron, who was drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft but has never played up to expectations, has slid over to the left side of the line to replace Pace. Some feel that Barronís best position is left tackle, where he started as a collegiate player at Florida State. Barron had a solid year in 2007 after replacing Pace in the starting line-up when Pace was lost for the year in the first week of the season.

    But even with that past experience, Barron remains an enigma as a full-time starter at left tackle. All weíve seen is how heíll do in spot-work filling in as a back-up. So the question becomes how is he going to mentally handle being ďthe guyĒ standing between Marc Bulger and the oppositionís best pass rusher? Barronís work ethic, attitude, and mental toughness remain questionable attributes after four years in the pros. Is it realistic to expect him to change or improve these areas this deep into his career?

    Barronís shift to the left side might lessen the impact felt by losing Pace, but it does nothing to improve an already shaky right side of the line. Simply put, the Rams do not have another starting-caliber tackle on their roster. Itís debatable if they even have a quality back-up. After Paceís departure, Rams GM Billy Devaney informed fans that theyíd give left guard Jacob Bell a shot at the right tackle job. Word from the Ramsí first minicamp is that Bell stayed at guard while swingman Adam Goldberg ran as the first team right tackle. Goldberg is a solid back-up and a versatile player, but this offense will have an uphill battle in 2009 if they have to depend on Barron and Goldberg guarding the edges of the line.

    So what do the Rams do to address this problem? They basically need an immediate starter at tackle, either to replace Goldberg at right tackle or to fill Paceís shoes and push Barron back to the right side. There are really only three options available to St. Louis in this situation: (1) sign a free agent who can compete to start, (2) trade for a starting-caliber tackle, or (3) draft a tackle who is capable of contributing immediately.

    Letís explore these options in more depth.

    Free Agent
    Simply put, NFL teams do not let quality tackles, especially blind side tackles, hit the market. The Carolina Panthers acted quickly to lock up Jordan Gross to a six-year deal with over $30 million guaranteed rather than risk him hitting the market. After Gross, the tackle talent dipped quite a bit. Next on the list was Dolphins right tackle Vernon Carey, who also got resigned by his club to a hefty deal. With Carey off the board, former Bengal Stacy Andrews was snatched up by the Eagles, receiving a six-year deal even though heíd just had major surgery a month before. Players like Khalif Barnes and Marvel Smith, two options that fans felt could be very strong pick-ups, received little meaningful attention from other NFL organizations before signing relatively small deals.

    With the rush of free agency behind us, whatís left on the market that the Rams could look for? Thatís a great question, so letís examine the remaining free agent tackles. Former Packer right tackle Mark Tauscher is arguably the best available of the group, though his former team doesnít believe heíll be ready to play before October. Former Eagles right tackle Jon Runyan had microfracture surgery in January so he wouldnít be ready for field work until late summer. Jonas Jennings was released by the ***** after missing 41 of 64 possible starts in San Francisco; it would be tough for any team to sign Jennings and depend on him as a starter. Kwame Harris was released by the tackle-desperate Oakland Raiders after being benched in 2008. Heís received virtually no attention since his release in February.

    I think itís safe to say that the current market options are slim to none when it comes to starting linemen; if they ever hit the market, they never last long because of how important they are to NFL franchises. The Rams could gamble and hope that someone is released after June 1st, but at that point, the player has missed some of the offseason program and will be playing catch-up. Furthermore, the quality of player that would be released in such a move is questionable to begin with. Ultimately, free agency does not appear to hold the answer to the Ramsí problem.

    Trade
    The mindset behind trading for a player is similar to that of free agency Ė the good ones really donít hit the market. If a team has a good starting caliber tackle on their team, theyíre not very inclined to give them up. How many starting offensive tackles have been traded recently? Iím not sure I can remember any significant trades regarding offensive tackles since the Rams themselves traded a second-round pick to the Saints for Kyle Turley in 2004. So already I think we can agree that the probability of making this work is limited.

    Even if the Rams wanted to trade for an offensive tackle, it takes two to tango. Who is the other team that is willing to part with one of the most important pieces of an effective offense? Itís easy to just throw out a trade as a possible option, but trying to narrow it down to teams that the Rams could realistically trade with is much harder.

    The only offensive tackle that comes to mind who might be available on the trade market is Buffalo Bills left tackle Jason Peters. The Bills and Peters are currently in contract talks regarding an extension after Peters somehow made the Pro Bowl despite allowing 11.5 sacks in 13 games last year. Despite that poor showing, Peters is believed to be seeking a deal that would make him the leagueís highest paid offensive tackle. You can bet that any team who trades for Peters is going to have to shell out a massive contract. Nevermind the compensation that would have to be sent to Buffalo to make such a deal work. Will the Rams want to do that? My gut says no.

    Other than Peters, who might be available that represents an upgrade over what we have? And what cost would be incurred in order to acquire that player? Looking around NFL rosters, I see few teams that have good enough tackle depth that they may be inclined to trade one of their players away. Even then, such a list, small as it is, would simply be made up through my own investigation into rosters, not because any of these teams have made it known these players are even available. Thus, I canít believe itís incredibly realistic for the Rams to pursue this route.

    Draft
    Weíre left with the final option, the NFL Draft. This appears to be the most likely option of the three when it comes to the Rams finding a player who could come in on Day One and compete if not win a starting job on the offensive line. Such a scenario is not unusual, especially if you devote a high pick to the position.

    The Rams have a chance to draft one of the classí elite tackles this year with their first pick. Either Baylorís Jason Smith or Virginiaís Eugene Monroe or both will be on the board when the Rams make their pick. But again, for the purpose of this scenario, weíre assuming that the Rams select Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry with that selection. So the Rams will need to start looking for a tackle starting with their second round pick.

    Based on my own predictions as well as numerous rankings from across the internet, Iím going to conclude that Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe, Andre Smith, Michael Oher, and Eben Britton are off the board by the time the Ramsí second round pick rolls around. Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe will not escape the top ten, as I see it. I think Andre Smith and Michael Oher will both be gone within the top twenty picks. If Britton makes it out of the top twenty selections, heís a possible candidate to go to Detroit, Philadelphia, Minnesota, New England, New York, or Pittsburgh. I think itís unlikely he makes it through this gauntlet, so letís assume he is off the board as well.

    Could the Rams then trade up and get back into the first round to get an offensive lineman? They could, sure. But should they? The Rams have holes across the entire team. They need depth at quarterback and running back, they could use more talent and a potential starter at wide receiver. They need help at tackle but also at defensive end and defensive tackle. They need a middle linebacker and perhaps a strong side linebacker as well. They need a cornerback who could potentially challenge for a starting job. They could certainly use depth at safety, as well as a potential starter if Atogwe canít be signed long-term. The Rams wonít be able to fill all of these needs in one offseason, but filling as many as they can would be great. Trading away a pick(s) to move back into the first round isnít exactly an ideal solution for a team with as many needs as the Rams.

    That leaves Connecticutís William Beatty, South Carolinaís Jamon Meredith, and Oklahomaís Phil Loadholt as second round possibilities for the Rams. Out of the three, Beatty represents the best value; itís unlikely to me that either Loadholt or Meredith will be great value when the Rams pick in the second round. So letís start with Beatty and work our way down.

    William Beatty is a bit of an enigma. He had very good showings at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine and really emerged as a senior at UConn, but was pretty inconsistent and mediocre prior to that. Thereís a lot to like about Beatty as a second round tackle prospect. He has great athleticism, which he showed off at the scouting combine. He has some of the longest arms of any tackle prospect in this class, and his size is right up there with the top prospects. He definitely has left tackle potential at the next level because of his footwork and ability to slide and mirror.

    However, there are a couple of red flags regarding Beatty that might put off the Rams in the second round. Beatty does not have a strong rťsumť of collegiate achievement to build off of. His only outstanding year was as a senior after he struggled in 2007 and spent limited time at the position in the two years prior. Furthemore, Beattyís work ethic, attitude, and intangibles are not among his strongest attributes. Whereas Jason Smith talks about his desire to physically assault his opponents on the field, William Beatty is known instead for his lack of aggression. In fact, Pro Football Weeklyís Nolan Nawrocki goes so far as to call Beatty a ďcake-eating chardonnay drinker who does not want to get his fingernails dirty.Ē Harsh, but itís far from the only evaluation that questions Beatty work ethic, attitude, and awareness. For instance, NFL Draft Scout questions whether Beatty is a one-year wonder or a player about to emerge. According to their in-depth scouting report, he was prone to penalties and had problems anticipating the snap count... sound like anyone we know?

    If the Rams go Curry in the first round, I think Beatty is probably the top option they can realistically hope for when it comes to tackles available in the second round. But with the Ramsí high emphasis on intangibles and finding guys who love the game and work tirelessly at their craft, Iím not sure Beatty fits their player profile.

    Next on our list is Phil Loadholt. Starting 27 games for the Sooners at left tackle, Loadholt is a massive man. At nearly 6í8Ē and 332 pounds, Loadholt will struggle to find opposition that matches him in size and power. Despite benching only 24 reps at the combine, Loadholt plays with a lot of power and could be a bulldozer in a power running game. The problem with Loadholt is that, if you didnít feel he was a right tackle after watching him in college, he made sure he convinced you at the Senior Bowl where he struggled on the left side. Additionally, Loadholt has off the field baggage, including a 2008 arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and transporting an open container. He also was charged with disorderly conduct while at Garden City Community College. I think we can clearly conclude that he does not fit the character profile that Devaney and company are looking for.

    That leaves Jamon Meredith, whose 3.74 GPA makes him one of the smartest linemen in the SEC. He has 38 starts under his belt for the Gamecocks, including eight at right guard, eleven at right tackle, and 19 at left tackle. During that time heís given up seven sacks, but is considered a quality pass blocker due to his athleticism and the kind of long arms teams like to see in their tackles. One thing you consistently see in evaluations of Meredith is that he has great knee bend. Another thing you consistently see though is criticism about his hand punch and ability as a run blocker. He is simply not a power player and may not work well outside of a zone blocking system, which the Rams are not planning to run. Heís weak against the bull rush as a tackle and can be caught out of position if he retreats too far, which he does more than he should because of his inadequate hand punch. Sporting News does not even list Meredith as a tackle prospect; NFL Draft Scout projects him to the right side.

    Where does that leave St. Louis at that point? Some fans in favor of Curry believe that the top tackle prospects like Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe have too many questions about them to be considered. But as you can see, the questions only continue to grow as you look towards prospects in the next round and beyond. Thatís not to say they canít or wonít develop into quality players, but the further down in the draft you go, the more questions and concerns these prospects tend to carry with them. And thatís true even with the occasional exception to the rule.

    Besides, weíve stipulated that the Rams are likely looking for immediate help at the position. Even if youíre a fan thatís confident in Alex Barronís ability to become a franchise left tackle, the Rams still need someone who can immediately push if not supplant Adam Goldberg on the right side. Last year, after a run of eight offensive tackles in the first round, none were drafted in the second and only three went in the third. None of those three third-round players started a single game for their team at the tackle position. In fact, of the fourteen tackles drafted outside the first round last year, only one started a game for his team. That was Anthony Collins of Cincinnati, who filled in at left tackle for Levi Jones for the final six games of the year. He was not a Day One starter for his team.

    Go back to 2007. Nineteen offensive tackles were taken outside of the first round. Only one made any starting contributions as a rookie, and that was second-rounder Tony Ugoh, who started from Day One in the Coltsí zone blocking scheme. Third round pick Ryan Harris is currently a starting right tackle for Denver, but did not start as a rookie. Tackle prospect Marshall Yanda started as a rookie, but at guard. Fellow third rounder Mario Henderson started some games at left tackle last season, but had no starts as a rookie and has since been replaced on the left side.

    So while the Rams could wait even further and look into the mid or late rounds to try and find a player to challenge Goldberg if not replace Barron as this teamís left tackle, I think the odds suggest that player is probably not going to come out of the mid to late rounds. A few do, but those players are rather few and far between. Nearly 80% of the leagueís starting left tackles were drafted by their teams in the first or second round. If you include third rounders, that percentage moves up to 87%. And most of those players drafted outside the first two rounds are average players. For every David Diehl, thereís a Mike Gandy. For every Jason Peters or Donald Penn, thereís a Mario Henderson, John St. Clair, Jared Gaither, and Max Starks.

    Sure, St. Louis could hope to hit on a mid to late round guy. But the odds are not in their favor, and the Rams would essentially be playing the lottery with Marc Bulger and Steven Jacksonís health by putting this significant of a need off until this late.


    With all of this said, the question I have for Aaron Curry advocates is where do the Rams address their need at offensive tackle? If they pass on the draftís best prospects at that position in the first round, do they come back and take a tackle in the second round? Do they take Beatty despite his questionable work ethic, physicality, and awareness? Do they take Loadholt despite him not fitting into Devaneyís four pillars? Do they take Meredith despite his marginal hand punch and questionable fit in a power running game? Do they look for an immediate contributor in the mid rounds, even though no tackle taken outside the first two rounds in the last two drafts has started for their team at the tackle position as a rookie?

    What is the answer, Curry fans? Iím looking forward to your responses!


  2. #2
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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    The answer is go with Eugene Monroe

  3. #3
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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    If it was a "if the Rams take Crabtree scenario" I'd be all over this for resolution...but it's not

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Umm... well.... umm...

    It is always a challenge to argue with Nick, kinda like fighting a land war in Asia. But I'll start by stating this belief/hope. I believe that Alex Barron can come in a be a good to average left tackle in the NFL. Now I will stop right there, Nick do you take a RIGHT tackle at number two overall?

    Ok just kidding at stopping, I'll ask one more question. Do you think that either Bell or Greco would be worse at playing RT than Beatty, Loadholt, or Meredith?
    Last edited by C-Mob 71; -04-08-2009 at 11:50 PM.

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    All players have questions. And the Rams have too many needs to pigeon hole positions to rounds. What you do is draft "BPA for Need".

    First, list all of the positions on the team ranked by need. Then, rank all the players available in the draft (or your top 200, etc). Now, take the two lists and merge them.

    If the FO ranks Curry as the BPA for need at pick #2, you take him. If they rank one of the OT's as BPA for need, you take one of them. Then, when it is time for the pick in round #2, you take the next BPA for need again. And round #3, etc.

    An OT or Curry is not going to make us win the SB next year. Getting the BPA for need in as many rounds as possible does nothing but improve the team.

    I am a Curry fan and would be a little sad if we don't get him. But I believe in our front office and expect that they will get the best players they can and try to make us better one draft at a time. 2010 SB? Prolly not. 2011? May be...
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    I really like Beatty and Britton but we would probably have to trade up to get them. Jason Smith really isn't impressive for a top 5 prospect and I would but happy if we get Monroe, but we need skill from either Curry or Crabtree.

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    eh, I'm bored....


    Lydon Murtha...



    I like to gamble...where are all the Curry lovers at?

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Honestly I just don't get you all...a few weeks ago everyone wanted to draft Andre Smith. Since then it has went from Monroe to Smith, to Curry, and not to long ago half of the board was considering Crabtree and having delusions of having us recreate the days of the greatest show on turf.

    Just like thoey said, nothing but short of an act of the most high is going to get us to the Super Bowl next year so the answer is simple, you draft the best available player in EACH AND EVER ROUND! Take a page out of the books of the consistantly good drafting teams ex. Patriots & scout well, do your homework, and bring in guys that can possibly play for your team. Not long shots who you know are a wing & a prayer.

    This crap is ridiculous just bring on the stupid draft already & let's hope that our pick is not a bust!

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Man of God, Just what exactly I was about to post

    I think most of rams nation accepts no superbowl this year. one draft wont fix this team. Get us the best we can in the next 2 drafts.

    We signed boller to a 1 year deal. Why? Insurance, to see if bulger does make it this year. If not we give Boller a try and if he aint the answer, off he goes, no ties.


    Spags will probably have these 2 years to build before expectations rise in year 3.

    Hence Curry might be the man, depends on how high they really rate him.
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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?
    The same way they will address their need @ MLB if they select Smith/Monroe............later in the draft.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Another question for the Curry contingient. Barron is in his contract year and if the Rams take Curry they pass on a starting OT in this draft. Then, Barron signs with someone else. If everything stays the same after the above scenario that would leave Goldberg as the only starting OT on the squad. Does that scare you more than the lack of a LB? It does me and it's a scenario that could very well happen.

    Don't get me wrong, as a defensive guy myself the tought of taking Curry is mouth watering. However, the glaring need at OT is just that. Glaring. It's like you are very thirsty and need water but someone is offering you a free beer. Now remember, you are parched thirsty and a beer only dehydrates you more but you oh so much would love that beer but the water would benefit you more in the long run.

  12. #12
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    I appreciate the responses that have come in, but so far no one has really answered the question being posed. HUb came the closest to actually answering how the Rams address their need at OT, but even he spoke vaguely without any specifics about his solution. It's the specifics I'm searching for.

    If you're going to argue that the Rams should take Curry for whatever reason (BPA, position of need, safest pick, etc), that's fine. What I'm looking for are some specifics regarding how the Rams then turn around and address their need at offensive tackle if they take Curry in the first round.

    Do the Rams address OT by signing a free agent? If so, who and when? I've outlined the concerns regarding looking for the solution in free agency. How do Curry advocates plan to overcome or bypass those concerns?

    Do the Rams address OT by making a trade? If so, who and what would possible terms of that trade be? Is that player known to be available or are you being completely speculative? If the latter is the case, how realistic of a possibility is a trade in addressing the Rams' situation?

    Do the Rams find their answer in the draft? If so, who and what round? Obviously it's not in the first round if we're taking Curry. Do you propose sacrificing current or future picks to trade back into the first round? If so, who do you trade with and what are the parameters?

    If you don't trade back into the first round, who do you select as the Rams GM at tackle? Do you select one of the second round options I've listed despite their questions? Do you wait until the third round or later to find a tackle, even though tackles drafted in those rounds the last two years have struggled to contribute immediately for their teams? How to you justify taking a tackle in the mid rounds, knowing that an immediate starting contribution from such a player is very unlikely given recent history?

    This is the problem I have with the Curry argument. There does not seem to be many specifics on how the Rams address arguably their most glaring need at offensive tackle.

    Many people who advocate for Curry respond by making the BPA argument. Some argue against Smith or Monroe because they don't feel they're worthy enough. If those are the cases you want to make for the first round pick, that's fine. But it doesn't address the question at OT.

    Saying "We'll do it later," doesn't really offer a solution to this specific inquiry; it's simply a broad statement that sounds like an answer but rings rather hollow without the specific examples or options that explain how we're going to do it later, which is the point of this topic.

    I hope I've clarified what I'm looking for from the Curry contingent here.
    Last edited by Nick; -04-09-2009 at 12:15 PM.

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    If the Rams take Curry, here are the options I see:

    1. Hope and pray that William Beatty is still there at pick #35
    The problem with this is that there is a very good chance he won't be. The Rams would have to sweat it out as the top OTs (Monroe, J.Smith, A.Smith, Oher, Britton) are selected, and then hope for the best. Not a great option, standing alone, when there is such a clear need at a crucial spot like OT.

    2. Trade up into the late 1st Round to get Britton or Beatty
    The problem with this is that it is, in essence, a desperation scenario. This could result in having to overpay, and thereby diminish the team's ability to address other needs.

    3. Take A RT In Round 2
    There's a pretty good chance that Phil Loadholt, who projects as a very solid RT prospect, will be there at pick #35. Gerald Cadogan will likely still be there in Round 3. The problem is that this would, at best, be a short term solution. Alex Barron would be the LT for the 2009. If he plays well, he could be very pricey to retain for the future. If he continues his mediocre play, the Rams will likely be looking for an OT again on Day 1 of the 2010 draft.

    Given these options, I prefer to go with the safe bet at OT (I have Monroe rated slightly above J.Smith, but would be happy with either), and address the defense in Round 2. As there likely will not be a MLB worthy of a Round 2 pick (unless Sintim or Laurinaitis drops) at pick #35, my choice is Ron Brace. A big, strong, lineman-occupying NT can make a very average MLB look good, and a good MLB into a Pro Bowl player.

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I appreciate the responses that have come in, but so far no one has really answered the question being posed. HUb came the closest to actually answering how the Rams address their need at OT, but even he spoke vaguely without any specifics about his solution. It's the specifics I'm searching for.

    If you're going to argue that the Rams should take Curry for whatever reason (BPA, position of need, safest pick, etc), that's fine. What I'm looking for are some specifics regarding how the Rams then turn around and address their need at offensive tackle if they take Curry in the first round.

    Do the Rams address OT by signing a free agent? If so, who and when? I've outlined the concerns regarding looking for the solution in free agency. How do Curry advocates plan to overcome or bypass those concerns?

    Do the Rams address OT by making a trade? If so, who and what would possible terms of that trade be? Is that player known to be available or are you being completely speculative? If the latter is the case, how realistic of a possibility is a trade in addressing the Rams' situation?

    Do the Rams find their answer in the draft? If so, who and what round? Obviously it's not in the first round if we're taking Curry. Do you propose sacrificing current or future picks to trade back into the first round? If so, who do you trade with and what are the parameters?

    If you don't trade back into the first round, who do you select as the Rams GM at tackle? Do you select one of the second round options I've listed despite their questions? Do you wait until the third round or later to find a tackle, even though tackles drafted in those rounds the last two years have struggled to contribute immediately for their teams? How to you justify taking a tackle in the mid rounds, knowing that an immediate starting contribution from such a player is very unlikely given recent history?

    This is the problem I have with the Curry argument. There does not seem to be many specifics on how the Rams address arguably their most glaring need at offensive tackle.

    Many people who advocate for Curry respond by making the BPA argument. Some argue against Smith or Monroe because they don't feel they're worthy enough. If those are the cases you want to make for the first round pick, that's fine. But it doesn't address the question at OT.

    Saying "We'll do it later," doesn't really offer a solution to this specific inquiry; it's simply a broad statement that sounds like an answer but rings rather hollow without the specific examples or options that explain how we're going to do it later, which is the point of this topic.

    I hope I've clarified what I'm looking for from the Curry contingent here.
    Well I thought I was a pretty specific, Barron at LT and either a 2nd round tackle like Loadholt or Beatty, or someone already on the team like Greco (who was a tackle in college i think) or Bell (who is certainly light enough to play on the edge) to play RT. I don't believe you draft a RT in the top five, and I think Barron is our LT next year.

    One more thing, if Barron finally does click, why are people saying it will be bad because we will have to pay him? I mean if he earns it I will be thrilled to have him sign a big contract, if he doesn't, well that will probably mean we're picking in the top fifteen again.

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    Re: Curry Fans, how do the Rams address their need @ OT?

    Do the Rams find their answer in the draft? If so, who and what round?
    I have no idea. But then again I'm a CPA, not a GM. I would assume the GM (who isn't a CPA, btw, thank goodness) would have a grasp on finding an OT in a round other than 1, if Curry is to be the pick. Now, if it's my opinion you're looking for, I think there's a fair chance Beatty is available at 35. He could start at RT and take over at LT if/when Barron leaves. If not Beatty, there are several choices in round 2 or even round 3. Kropog, Merideth, Tupou, Cadogan......any of them can work in with Goldberg this year, and take over next year. Then if Barron bolts, look for an OT next year as well in FA and/or draft.

    But HUb, you'd be comfortable with some non-1st rounder protecting our two greatest assets (Bulger/Jackson)?

    Sure, why not? Once they get on the field, draft position is irrelevant. Look at Flozelle Adams, Marcus McNeill, Matt Light, Michael Roos, Marvel Smith, Chad Clifton, Jon Runyan.....all non-1st rounders that have been Pro Bowl tackles this decade.



    I'll now ask the same question: For the Smith/Monroe contingency, what is the Rams to do with the MLB position?

    Don't bother answering, because the answer is the same........they'll get by with a mid-rounder this year, and look to the future.

    Bottomline: the Rams can only fix one position at a time with 1st rounders, so some position will have to get by with 2nd-7th round picks if the draft is to be the answer. So for me, knowing that the 1st round will not fix every problem, I want to get the most bang for the buck. IMO, that "bang" is Curry. However, that's just the opinion of a CPA, not a GM. If DeSpags feels Smith/Monroe is the way to go, then great, I'm all for it.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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