It turns out that the Rams kept the 33rd pick after all, and with it they bolstered their up and coming offensive line. This certainly spells out that Alex Barron isn't going to be on the team much longer, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's gone by this weekend for a mid to late round pick.
Saffold was thought to be a mid 1st to 2nd round pick, so while somewhat surprising (Sergio Kindle? Golden Tate?) he wasn't that much of a reach. National Football Post had him ranked as the fourth best tackle in the draft, stating that:
Saffold is a good athlete in the run game who has the ability to reach defenders at the second level and break down in space.
This fits in well with the (obvious) projection that he'll fit in the right side. They have doubts about his ability to control speed rushers, but has long arms and is strong enough that he should be able to improve with quality coaching.
Mocking the draft has a better outlook on him, but they still have their doubts about his pass blocking ability. Overall, with some good NFL coaching, this looks to be a solid pick. He seems to have his head in the game and is always competing, which is a welcome change to the off-in-space mentality that Alex Barron brought to the line.
Update: Also, take a look at CoachConner's scouting report post. There are a few differences, but most reports seem to jive together. NFL.com believes he can be a starter, citing that as the main reason to why the Rams didn't trade down.
[Note by VanRam, 04/23/10 7:32 PM EDT ] Obviously, this means Jason Smith is moving to LT starting this season.
How do you feel about this selection?
Good pick. Much better then Barron. (210 votes)
O.K. I think better options were available, but I can live with it. (205 votes)
No, this is not the direction the Rams should have gone in. (34 votes)
449 total votes