With Robbins on board, are the Rams less likely to draft a DT first overall?

Does the addition of DT Fred Robbins automatically rule out the St. Louis Rams using their first overall pick on either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy. In a word, no. However, adding Robbins to the mix at DT does improve the Rams rotation at that position.

The Rams now have Adam Carriker, Clifton Ryan, Fred Robbins and Darrell Scott as their top four defensive tackles. Much of the DT's success depends on how Carriker plays this season, whether or not he can get that "Spagnuolo" bounce. Carriker's been a disappointment in the pass rushing department, the thing that got him drafted with the 14th pick in 2007. He was being made to compete for his starting job in the early days of the Spagnuolo regime last year, but then was forced out with an injury. Carriker's a better run defender than he gets credit for, but he suffered playing in front of a group of Rams linebackers that lacked a true presence in the middle. Still, like I said before, run defense doesn't get a 4-3 DT drafted early in the first round. He's got to improve. Ryan's a solid starter. Scott improved with more playing time during the season. Robbins and Scott are similar players, giving the Rams a couple of DTs that they don't necessarily have to use on every down, just situationally.

Robbins will be 33 when the season starts, and like everyone else on the Giants defense, he didn't perform as well as he had in previous seasons. He also underwent micro-fracture knee surgery during the 2009 offseason. Robbins still managed to play in all but one game last season. If he's healthy and Scott takes the next step, it helps the run defense. Now they need to add a WLB to really upgrade the team's work against the run. 

Bottom line on Robbins: he's a better player (or at least has proven he can be) to have in the rotation than some of the depth we're used to having. Lack of depth has been killing the Rams in recent seasons, and Robbins at the very least bolsters their depth at a position where it's been seriously lacking in recent years.

So, does this preclude the Rams from drafting Suh or McCoy? Of course not,  only a fool wouldn't still seriously consider them, especially if they're trying to maintain as much negotiating leverage as possible with the potential first overall picks. It's not like having one of those guys on the roster would hurt the defense. 

Robbins also qualifies as some of that experience Spagnuolo wanted to get around the younger players this season.

Does it make it less likely that the Rams will draft Suh or McCoy? Maybe. Depending on how confident the Rams are about what they can get out of Carriker and Robbins ability to get something back as a rotational player, they could very well go into the draft confident about their top four defensive tackles. That would make finding a defensive end to play opposite Chris Long a bigger priority, something I'm not so sure isn't already more of a priority. That 33rd pick might very well be a place to grab talent at DE given how deep this draft is with defensive line talent. 

Robbins or not, I still tend to think it's far more likely for the Rams to draft a QB with their first overall pick in the draft, unless they get a reasonable trade offer.

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