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Thread: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

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    With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    I've been on the fence for a while on the issue of whether the Rams should try to upgrade the LT spot, or stick with Rodger Saffold.

    Now, with two of the top OT prospects, Jake Matthews (Texas A&M) and Taylor Lewan (Michigan) staying in school, I am now firmly in the "stick with Saffold at LT" camp.

    Here's some historical perspective to back my position. In the last three drafts, here is a list of all the OTs selected in the second half of the first round:

    Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay)
    James Carpenter (Seattle)
    Gabe Carimi (Chicago)
    Derek Sherrod (Green Bay)
    Riley Reiff (Detroit)

    Are any of these players clearly better than Saffold? I'd say no. In fact, some are not even LTs.

    In this year's draft, I think there is now only one LT prospect who projects as an "A List" player, and that's Luke Joekel. Well... forget about him... he'll be gone in the first 10, if not the first 5, selections.

    After that, the best prospect is probably Eric Fisher. While he may prove to be an excellent player, his track record at Central Michigan hardly gives us enough information to conclude that he'd be better than Saffold.

    The Rams should definitely look at the RT position, but that is something that could be addressed in the second round. I'm hopeful that Alabama's D.J. Fluker will be there, though with the shortage of OTs and his stellar performance in the BCS Championship game, he could push into the late first round. If he does, others, such as Dallas Thomas of Tennessee, Oday Aboushi of Virginia, and Kyle Long of Oregon are all possibilities. A wild card in the equation could be Chris Faulk of LSU who, after sitting out the 2012 season with a knee injury, has just declared. He was considered a first round prospect before his injury.

    If Saffold can stay healthy and play to his potential, the Rams should be fairly well set at the LT spot. If not, the Rams can revisit the issue in the 2014 draft, when they'll have two picks again, and potentially a shot at Matthews, Lewan or some other LT who rises to the first round.


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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    If we weren't going to get Joekel, i didn't and still don't want to draft a new LT. Only wanted Joekel cause he is an absolute beast and one of the best OT prospects of the last decade. I am fine with Saffold being our starter, i just hope he can remain healthy, that is my biggest concern.

    I am also in the boat of getting Fluker in the 2nd. I wouldnt mind Warmack in the 1st, but RT is a much bigger need then OG IMO. If Barrett Jones is still around when we pick in the 2nd round, i wouldn't mind taking him either, as he has played great at LT, OG and C and i think he could be our starting RT and move to LT if Saffold injured.


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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    I tend to agree. There should be some very solid Day Two right tackle prospects for the Rams to consider. I wouldn't necessarily sleep on Eric Fisher as a first round option, but I agree that level of competition makes you wonder. At this point, if the Rams go OL in the first, I would prefer it be Warmack.
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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    try to steal matt khalil? eh? eh?.......no? k....

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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    Yeah take Warmack and take a tackle later.
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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    Boudreau doesn't need a 1st round OT talent to get things rolling for next year. A second or third round RT should suffice to push Wayne Hunter for the spot. Question is, do the rams try to resign Richardson. I think for the money, they don't...

    I agree that Saffold is fine... and he clearly bought into Fisher. As for health, he got stranded on the left when LG became a turnstile and i think that contributed to him playing more recklessly. I think if LG can solidify, he'll have better luck.

    I wouldn't have said this a month ago, but upon reflection, picking up a top tier guard will help the OT shortage. I'm now okay with it if the Rams pick up a stellar G, and wait a couple rounds for a T.

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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    I think that Saffold does an OK when healthy..but he will never be a top 10 LT in league.

    Couple that with his lack of ability to stay healthy, at very least we will have to add depth at LT and assume he isn't playing a full season.

    We have Saffold for cheap for only 1 more year. That will probably get his best play, but also it seems like it could be a potential problem for salary cap next season. Fisher already said he is not moving him to guard and likes him at LT. $655,000 is his base for the upcoming season.

    I think the problem will be if we draft a Right Tackle in Round 1 this year and pay him, Saffold (being a left tackle) will not take less to stay home.

    I agree that a Right Tackle will really help us, and heck a big Tight End would really help too....


    So, to get back on the topic of the post.

    Yes, Saffold is probably our best choice for THIS SEASON at LT -- but that is coupled with the fact that we get a legit RT and depth in the draft and free agency because of his injury history at such a young age

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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    Keep Saffold at LT. He should get even better if he can stay healthy. Chance Warmack looks as if he could be a huge upgrade in his first year. Hopefully he'll fall to us. You know Steven Jackson will be smiling big time if Chance ends up wearing horns.

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    Re: With Matthews and Lewan staying in school, Rams should stick with Saffold

    Now that we know Lewan is staying in school, I agree we need to stay with Saffold at LT. Our chances of landing Warmack look slim in all the mocks I've seen thus far. Certainly, Monday's game affirmed his value. The Combine next month will tell us much more about prospects of all the O-Linemen. I've felt all along that RT was a more pressing need than LG. It would be great to have DJ Fluker there in round 2, but we are perhaps too far into the round for him to be there. With Les Snead I don't rule out the chance of trades to improve our draft slot. I'm still interested in Ricky Wagner from Wisconsin at RT, although he played LT in school. I don't think he played very well in the Rose Bowl, but he's got the Wisconsin pedigree that seems to play well in the NFL. I think he's likely to be there in round 2 when we draft.

    Back to your point, yes Saffold will be our best bet at LT. Go Rams!
    Last edited by mde8352gorams; -01-11-2013 at 05:27 PM.

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