The news this morning that the St. Louis Rams will host a pre-draft visit from Lehigh OG Will Rackley got me thinking. Rackley is projected as a third round pick. Of course, players in those rounds can have vastly different grades among teams (see Fletcher, Bradley). St. Louis has a third round offensive guard on its roster currently: John Greco.
Greco was a third round pick out of Toledo back in 2008. For the most part, that's consistent with the grade pundits were giving him in the lead up to the draft. Like Rackley, Greco played offensive tackle in college, against non-BCS competition, a question mark for both players prior to the start of the NFL careers.
Like Rackley, Greco's footwork and speed did not translate to life on the outside in the NFL. Rackley has the wingspan that Greco lacks; however, both graded out well with the use of their hands as draft prospects. Those are not particularly uncommon traits that get college tackles moved to professional interior linemen.
Rackley and Greco have clear distinctions in their style of play. Rackley is more like Jacob Bell in his ability to pull, and pass blocking might be his strength as scouts like his ability to stay locked on a defender. Greco's strength is drive blocking, mauling.
The point of this post wasn't to compare Greco and Rackley. It's mostly me coming back to question of why the Rams aren't thinking of Greco as a starter? In spot duty last season, he played well. The guys at Pro Football Focus graded him out well and argue that he should be a started in 2011. And just maybe Greco will. Depth at the position is as much the Rams' need right now as a starter, and Rackley is a guy who probably needs some seasoning before starting in the NFL. They could be planning as much for life without Jacob Bell sometime after this season.