Shopping for an Guard is like shopping for a tractor. You balance expense with what you want to move. Guards regularly move mountainous defensive tackles, pick off blitzing linebackers. You want a man that can "Move da middle". You also have to shop for a bit of mean. Guards have to have a bit sociopathic mauler about them...
I submit Baltimore Ravens guard Chris Chester for your opinion. Chris is a five year vetran out of Oklahoma University. At 6'3", 315 lbs and 28 years old, he has the size, speed and that bit-o-mean you like to see. All-World Mean Man James Harrison once accused Chester of taking a cheap shot at him. Chester's answer to the charge was: Oops!. Yet a guard has to be clever. It's why they have the 4th highest wonderlic scores coming out of college. What Wonderlic doesn't test is a Guard's larceny ability. They are the pickpockets of the NFL. Among the most penalized offensive players, the best guards hide their chicanary. Chris Chester has the talent to start in the right system. He also won't command Mankin-like money.
Video and analysis after the jump.
In fairness to Chris, I don't see this as a cheap shot. He initially hit Harrison shoulder high, losing his footing as he drove Harrison back.
Cons: A leg infection cost him some time last year, but that is gone. Middle of the pack penalty yardage for offensive lineman. Does not have NFL ability to fill in at center if needed.
My Opinion: The Ravens will try to keep him, but will not go into their wallets to deeply. His skill set and size make him a decent fit for the Rams. If FA compensation is set at six years, he won't tender very high, nor cost an arm or leg. Definite improvement to the offense.