The trade talks were fast and furious, but ultimately nobody took the bait. Devaney tried right up to the end to swing a trade.
All the excitement of trade possibilities, makes this pick a little anticlimactic. However, this is a good move for the Rams. They took the best OT in the draft, and one of the better players in the draft (a draft lacking star power at the top) with their pick. Smith fits the character mode of the team's new direction. This is a guy that will work his tail off to justify this pick, and I think his weaknesses heading into the league can be corrected with good coaching, something the Rams seem to have now, finally.
The Rams now have a good, young core for their offensive line. Signing C Jason Brown this offseason, and, now, they've added a young OT. No starter on this line is over 30; in fact, LG Jacob Bell is the most senior member of the line at 28 years young. Steven Jackson should be happy.
Now, does Barron stay on the left side and Smith to the right? That makes both OTs switching positions. Hmm.... Does Barron stay beyond '09?
He's also a rodeo man...only in Texas! What about the other possibilities? Monroe may really have been a push, but Smith should be one of the young locker room leaders Spagnuolo is looking for. Curry's a great kid, but too much of a question mark at #2. Sanchez, well, that might have been nice, but would have tied up LOTS of money at QB for a team with LOTS of needs...and burned the bridge with Bulger too.
To those of you disappointed by no trade happening... Don't worry. I suspect Devaney will swing a trade to pick up extra picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
We've still got the open thread going for the rest of the draft down below. Let's talk Rams/Jason Smith/trades that coulda been here.
[Note by VanRam, 04/25/09 4:37 PM EDT ] Devaney said on STL radio, ESPN 101, that they were never close to a trade. Probably shouldn't be all that surprised.
Here's Sando on the Smith pick:
The Rams had it backwards when they poured money into quarterback Marc Bulger and running back Steven Jackson without arming either player with a strong offensive line. Smith will have a hard time providing what Pace gave the Rams for all those years. But he'll probably start on the Rams' line this season and for years to come. That's a start.
[Note by VanRam, 04/25/09 4:55 PM EDT ]
Another point, the word "safe" is being used with a slightly negative connotation to describe the Rams pick of Jason Smith. I disagree. Yes, a trade down would have been better, but were you prepared to see Adam Goldberg starting at RT this season? What's the point of having a new QB if you don't have the tackles to protect him? Bulger would have started in 2009 had the Rams taken Sanchez, but the Rams would have completely thrown away their $$ on Bulger, since he would have been on his back most of the time, and another season like the last two would have made trading him impossible. As it stands, they can get a QB next year, start him or hang on to Bugler, if he can get back to shape (and there's reason to think he can with a better line) and let the new, rookie QB do his internship.
What do you think about the "safe" pick?