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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Here's My Question About Jake Long (Can ANYONE Answer This?)

    Here's my big question about Jake Long:

    If the Rams draft him, and Orlando Pace returns to health, would Pace, Long and Alex Barron all have a role on the starting O line?

    Let's presume that Pace (who is reportedly making strides towards returning to full strength) retains his LT spot. Can Alex Barron play OG? Can Jake Long play OG?

    In my mind, if the answer is not an emphatic "yes," then it would be a waste to take Long, as the Rams need a guy who can improve the team immediately. Put another way, they don't have the luxury of using the #2 pick to draft a guy who, in the short run, will do little more than provide depth.


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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Here's My Question About Jake Long (Can ANYONE Answer This?)

    As you ponder my question, let me add a "what if"?

    What if the Rams were to draft Jake Long, and then offer their second round pick and Alex Barron to acquire a mid-to-late first round selection?

    Just a thought.

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    Re: Here's My Question About Jake Long (Can ANYONE Answer This?)

    If the Rams draft him, and Orlando Pace returns to health, would Pace, Long and Alex Barron all have a role on the starting O line?
    The answer is NO. Assuming Pace is full steam ahead, Long plays RT, and Barron rides pine.

    Would it suck having a former 1st rounder on the bench? Yes, but what ya gonna do. Long is better right now, than Barron. He starts, and Barron is 2nd string to both Pace and Long.
    "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: Here's My Question About Jake Long (Can ANYONE Answer This?)

    We also have to add that Pace has played what? 8 games in the last 2 seasons? If i was a betting man i would say pace goes down next season (hope I'm wrong). I really like your idea of trading Barron though.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Here's My Question About Jake Long (Can ANYONE Answer This?)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    If the Rams draft him, and Orlando Pace returns to health, would Pace, Long and Alex Barron all have a role on the starting O line?
    I certainly think they could try to get them all on the field. The best thing for Alex Barron right now might be having someone pushing him for that job. If he can hold it down, then you can try moving Jake Long inside at guard. He's a big guy with dominant run blocking skills and good upper-body strength. Working inside at guard, which I believe is what Jonathan Ogden did as a rookie before moving outside to tackle, could help Jake acclimate himself to the pro game while improving his technique for the future.

    FWIW, Barron and Long are essentially the exact same size (assuming Barron's listed measurements are close). Except Long is all muscle, anyone who saw his weigh-in can attest to that. People worry about having a former first round pick in Barron riding the bench, but what if he does? Then we have a third tackle who has a lot of starting experience who can come in and play when needed.

    It's not as Barron is breaking the bank in salary. His '08 paycheck is $925,000.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    What if the Rams were to draft Jake Long, and then offer their second round pick and Alex Barron to acquire a mid-to-late first round selection?
    Should work. Their pick in the second round is 33, so you wouldn't need Barron's value to cover much ground to get back into the late first round. You'd probably be valuing him as a late second or third round pick, which IMO is probably fair.

    The real question you'd have to ask yourself is whether or not you're better off with the depth Barron would provide than you are with that additional first round pick. I'm intrigued by the idea of the Rams trading back into the first round to grab a defensive end or receiver, but trading Barron means we'd still be looking for that third tackle, and we saw last year how badly we missed having that third tackle. Unless of course we sign someone in free agency.

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    Re: Here's My Question About Jake Long (Can ANYONE Answer This?)

    My answer to the original question would be pretty much the same as Nick's, so I'll not bother.

    On the question of trading Barron, I'd prefer *not* to trade our second round pick. Its high enough that you're basically getting another first rounder anyway. I'd much rather see us trade Barron and whatever else to get another pick in the second round. The draft is deep on the offensive line and defensive line. Going this route, we would be able to get a tackle (J. Long), a pretty good defensive end (someone like a Calais...whose stock seems to be dropping), and one of the better interior offensive linemen or a wide receiver. All three players would be able to get time that way.

    This draft is deep in a lot of things we need. I really, really want to see us get another second round pick. I also think its more realistic than getting another first round pick. Plus, given our cap situation it makes more sense than getting another highly paid first rounder.

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