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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    The one person who holds the key to the Rams' draft...

    It's not who you might expect.

    The person who holds the key to who the Rams will draft with the #2 pick is...

    Alex Barron.

    Not that he has any vote, but rather, those who do will likely make their decision, in large part, based upon their opinion of Barron.

    If they see Alex Barron as a long-term starter (i.e. someone who would be a priority to re-sign when his contract runs out) at LT, then taking J.Smith or Monroe in Round 1 to play RT would make little sense. They'd be better off finding a RT in Round 2 or 3.

    I doubt that is how they view him.

    If they see Barron as a mere stop-gap who they'll milk for one year at RT and, absent a major improvement, will let go at the end of his rookie contract, then it would make no sense NOT to take J.Smith or Monroe in Round 1. In fact, under those circumstances, they might even think of taking another OT later in the draft for the future.

    Again, I don't think their view is that extreme.

    The Rams almost certainly view Barron as a player who falls between these extremes. The question is... where in the spectrum do they see him? I think that, more than any other issue, will impact their choice at pick #2.

    In my opinion, Barron is a serviceable starting NFL RT. If you could reduce his false start penalties, you might even call him above average at that position. He could also probably fill the role of LT for a year without being a significant liability.

    That said, I think it is unlikely he'll be a Ram after his rookie deal ends. Its a Catch-22. If he plays well, he'll demand elite OT money - but won't deserve it. If he does not play wel, he'll have to be replaced.

    Thus, the bottom line is... the Rams need to find a long-term LT solution. In my opinion, you pretty much have to do that in the first round (unless you are very lucky to find a gem later in the draft). Consequently, the Rams will have to either take an OT this year, or try to buy a year with a Barron and a later pick, leaving OT as a likely target for the first round of the 2010 draft.

    At this point, I'm thinking it will be Barron and Monroe in 2009, and Monroe and someone else in 2010.

  2. #2
    RockinRam's Avatar
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    Re: The one person who holds the key to the Rams' draft...

    Agreed. But that is the whole problem, and Alex Barron is the main reason for it. Monroe is a true LT, with solid pass blocking skills, and decent run blocking skills, which makes him more suited to be on the left side. Now, Barron hasn't really shown that he can handle the right side, and from what I can remember, he was drafted to eventually take over the left side when Pace leaves. I think Barron is more suited for the left side than the right side. So that leaves us with two LTs, and no starting RT, unless we count in Bell and Goldberg, which I'm not.

    Or, we keep Barron at LT, and draft a RT later like Loadholt, but then if Barron leaves next year, we will still have a big void at LT. If Barron plays well next year, and demands a big contract from what you've stated, which is most likely, than I wouldn't want to keep him anyways.

    We could draft a LT AND a RT in this draft, but that takes a lot of emphasis off our defense, and after the third round, the players drafted will be pretty much depth players, which we are not looking for. Plus, that makes Barron a back-up, rotational player, which would be a waste of a first round draft pick, but his production hasn't been consistent, nor backing his first round credentials.

    It's a pretty complicated matter.

  3. #3
    Shan the Ram Man's Avatar
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    Re: The one person who holds the key to the Rams' draft...

    Draft the OT !
    Let the drafted OT (E. Monroe or J. Smith) play RT for first year and learn the NFL way. Then move next year to LT depending on Barron.
    If Rams think Barron is in there future sign him now to a long term contract. Longer the Rams wait the more it will cost to resign him.
    It is easier to find a RT than a LT. The Rams have the low pick now maybe not next year. They might be able to get the top MLB with the 10th pick(persay) next year. Don't pass up the OT.

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