I think that through my comments regarding the 2012 draft I have made my passion for Ray Ray Armstrong and Cliff Harris known but I have just recently come up with a draft strategy for this draft (excluding Cliff Harris because while he is still a huge man crush of mine he is extremely unlikely to be drafted by the Rams) that, while surely extremely dumb to most of you and unlikely for numerous reasons, would make me extremely happy.
I think that in the first and second I would be extremely excited if the Rams took Ray Ray Armstrong and then Mark Barron. Before you jump straight down to the comment box and call be retarded, I implore you to read this and then do so.
The reason that I can see this working so well is that Barron plays more in the box and has been a consistent play maker for Nick Saban for some time while Ray Ray has the necessary size, speed, and intangibles to play the center field similarly to the way Sean Taylor used to
I am not completely ignorant of the burning needs that this organization has including most importantly DT and OLB and that Spags doesn't put much weight on safeties in his system but I have my reasons...
First, If we can at least address our need for a DT in this FA (Cofield, 27) we would be considerably more stable at that position which led me to think about whether our defense could have success without a star/above average linebacker beside Laurinaitis and I think it is certainly possible.
The way I see it, having two star safeties behind Laurinaitis would allow him to make plays with much more confidence than even having a solid safety and linebacker beside him. I truly believe that while Spags' system doesn't rely on a star safety, it is nearly impossible to create a consistent playoff contender without one with numerous examples including the Ravens(Reed), Steelers (Polamalu), Colts (Sanders) just to name a few. While it may not be necessary, I remember watching how Sean Taylor influenced games and how the safeties above still do and I wonder how adding a duo that could potentially contribute at that level would impact our defense.
I also would like to say that I feel these two players would compliment each other well on a team. I feel Barron could play more in the box and help out Laurinaitis with running plays while Armstrong could play deep center in order to pick off errant passes and also to lay the big hit on anyone attempting to break away. Both have good ball skills, were impact players from day one at their respective colleges, and are seen as team leaders. While this draft strategy could be seen as completely unorthodox, looking ahead at this draft I see a very impressive safety class especially in comparison to the 2011 class.
I don't underestimate OLB and I can willingly admit that I may overestimate the safety position at this point but if those two fell to us in the first and second rounds of the 2012 draft and we took them, I would likely explode with excitement.
Many mocks don't have Barron even included in the second round and Ray Ray is expected to fall to the later portion of the first (given, almost a year pre-draft) and if this were to happen I think we have to snap them up.
The biggest issue with this idea in my opinion is that I believe Barron will go in the first and Armstrong will go early first, if that happens then this whole plan goes down the drain and can be ignored completely. Reasons this may not happen include a deep pool of talent ahead of Armstrong in the 2012 draft causing him to fall, with attitude problems facilitating a drop to the early 20s and that Barron won't show many people anything they haven't already seen from him and hopefully he will fall to the the back of a lot of teams minds.
Two big arguments I can see being presented are that a)we just took two safeties in this draft and b) that safeties are rather injury prone but my argument is that a) the potential production of the compared safeties is not even close and b) the chances of smaller safeties getting injured is higher but both of these guys are pretty big guys that I feel could handle the physicality of the NFL as well as many OLBs.
In my head I picture our pass rush going crazy on opposing quarterbacks with a solid interior line to hinder consistent medium runs while Laurinaitis mans the middle of the defense, calling the shots and making key plays consistently. At the OLB, there are solid athletes that don't get pushed around and make the plays that they are expected to make. On the outside, Fletcher and Murphy are pressing receivers (my dislike for Bartell is well documented) forcing them to take longer to get into their routes while the line forces bad throws which Barron, Armstrong, and Laurinaitis are waiting to jump on and run back. All players on the defense are solid tacklers but the fear of Quinn and Long hitting the quarterback is in the back of his mind while the concern of Laurinaitis, Barron, and Armstrong making a play on a halfhearted throw is there to make him second guess such a thing. Running the ball becomes less of an option as the OLB are there to absorb blocks and provide push while Laurinatis, Barron, and Armstrong are cutting through to make the big hits on an unsuspecting running back. I have just fallen in love with this idea tonight and had to get it out there.
Excuses for poor writing
1.Written off the top of my head with limited editing
2.Its 3 am
Thank you for your time and any comments would be appreciated