I have spent a lot of time evaluating our tackles, and I really think that, though its not a priority, and there are a lot of things that need to be addressed first, that we're going to have to replace our tackles with some first-rate studs if we are going to be successful.
While Pace was once great, and Barron is believed by many to have potential, I have noticed a distinct problem in their foot position prior to the snap that will hinder their ability to peform at a high level. In Pace's case, its a recently developed problem, and something that often occurs when tackles get older. In Barron's case, its a problem that he's always had and, given that at this point we know what we have and its unlikely that he'll improve, I think we have accept that what we have is mediocre tackles.
Essentially, both players tend to angle their inner foot (Pace's right; Barron's left) at an angle of greater than 30 degrees relative to their outer foot and the line of scrimmage. As any observer of interior lineman will tell you, this causes a distinct reduction in blocking leverage at the point of attack. Typically, this is a problem for young linemen who are below average performers, or aging linemen who are in the twilight of their careers.
By way of comparison, Jackie Slater, Anthony Munoz, Jonathan Ogden and Walter Jones all have a scrimmage-line angle quotient of 20 degrees or less (as did Pace during the GSOT era) according to a major NFL stats research company.
Given that the Rams have a long-time OL coach in Paul Boudreau, I think this problem is well known. I understand that Boudreau really wanted to trade up to get one of the top tackles in the draft, and would have taken OTs with the first two picks if he had his choice. You really have to take that type of opinion into account.
Now, of course, most will say that hte defense is a greater priority, but there is no way this team can succeed with poor OT play. So, after the front 7, is addressed, the interior line is fixed, and the Rams get some young depth at WR, it is clear that the OT situation will need to be addressed.