One of the few highlight for the St. Louis Rams to come out of their loss to the Chicago Bears this weekend was Chris Long's sack of Bears' QB Jay Cutler. That sack was Long's fourth of the season, and with that the second overall pick from the 2008 draft has now matched his rookie season sack total. If you can cut through all the things that infuriate you about the Rams, it does genuniely seem as though Chris Long is improving.
I bring up Long because I came across a pretty interesting stat from Peter King this morning (yeah, I know).
In the past two NFL drafts, teams have used 20 picks in the first two rounds trying to find, at least in part, players to bring the heat on the quarterback. Early results -- which can be dangerous because of the adjustment from college to the pros -- say the crop has been an immense failure.
Immediately Chris Long came to mind. Long leads that group of 20 with his 8 career sacks, but Washington's Brian Orakpo is climbing up the leader board with the seven sacks he's collected this year, his rookie season. King's statement doesn't give you the full picture as some of those guys are playing well, Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews for example. However, his point - that these guys were drafted to disrupt QBs - can't be ignored.
The five quarterbacks taken in the first round of the last two drafts: all are starting.