Rams' Needs: Offensive Line
Rams' Needs: Offensive Line
Thursday, Apr. 14 2005
Kyle Turley is unhappy (with coach Mike Martz), unhealthy
(bad back), and underweight. For all of those reasons, he is expected to be
salary-cap casualty on June 2. And that leaves the club seeking answers at
right tackle on the offensive line.
Grant Williams and Blaine Saipaia filled in for Turley
last season. But Williams struggled with injuries and pass rushers. Saipaia was
competitive, but may be better suited for guard. Scott Tercero also
could be in the mix at right tackle, but like Saipaia, his best position might
So it makes all the sense in the world for the Rams to pick an offensive tackle
early in the draft. The Rams haven't taken an offensive lineman in the first
round since trading up to No. 1 overall with the New York Jets to select
Orlando Pace, in 1997. Since then, the Rams have selected only one
offensive lineman on the first day - John St. Clair (now with Miami)
in the third round
This could be the year that trend changes. Offensive tackles Jammal
Brown of Oklahoma and Khalif Barnes of Washington could be
available when the Rams select at No. 19 overall on April 23. Barnes is more
athletic; Brown is a more physical and aggressive player - something Martz
values in linemen.
Even if the Rams pass on an offensive tackle in the first round, there are
plenty of solid prospects to be had in second and third rounds.
With free agents Chris Dishman (knee) and Tom Nutten
(toe) recovering from surgery in the offseason, the Rams also have no clearcut
starter at left guard. So it wouldn't be earth- shattering to see the Rams
select a tackle and an interior lineman (guard or center) in the draft.
- Jim Thomas
2005 Draft: Offensive Line
Name .. Ht. .. Wt. .. College
Alex Barron .. T .. 6-8 .. 318 .. Florida State
Jammal Brown .. T .. 6-6 .. 316 .. Oklahoma
Khalif Barnes .. T .. 6-6 .. 305 .. Washington
Chris Spencer .. C/G .. 6-3 .. 309 .. Mississippi
Elton Brown .. G .. 6-5 .. 329 .. Virginia
Don't overlook: David Baas (C/G), Michigan; Chris Colmer (T), North Carolina State; Marcus Johnson (G), Mississippi; Michael Roos (T), Eastern Washington; Adam Terry (T), Syracuse.
Sleeper: Richie Incognito (T), Nebraska. Has first-round talent, but discipline problems, particularly a propensity for fights, caused him to wash out at Nebraska and Oregon last season.
Local line: G Dan Connolly (Southeast Missouri State/Marquette High) and C Duke Preston (Illinois) look like second-day picks (rounds 4-7); OG Dan Bieg (Southeast Missouri/CBC) projects as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.
Fun fact: Michael Roos grew up in Estonia, a former republic of the Soviet Union. At age 10, he moved to Vancouver, Wash.
Quotable: "One of my biggest strengths, I think, is I'm athletic and I have good feet. I play to the whistle. I'm very aggressive and nasty when it comes to playing football." - Jammal Brown.
One year ago: Iowa T Robert Gallery was taken No. 2 overall by Oakland, but only two other offensive linemen went in the first round.
Outlook: The only sure first-rounders are the three "Bs" - tackles Barron, Brown and Barnes. But there is good value in the early and middle rounds, particularly at the tackle position.
Re: Rams' Needs: Offensive Line
Lets hope brown is there when we pick