Jeff Fisher must have seen some video from the St. Louis Rams disastrous 2011 season. That would have included a separate highlight reel of the Rams quarterbacks being abused behind a shaky offensive line. Fisher noted an emphasis on protecting the quarterback in his remarks at Tuesday's press conference, and it's hard not to consider those remarks in the context of what the Rams will do in the 2012 NFL Draft.
"It's a team that's going to run the football and protect the quarterback and play good defense and get the ball back," Fisher said on Tuesday.
Injuries forced the Rams to use a variety of offensive linemen. They lost both of their starting tackles, Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith, neither of whom were playing well before injuries put them on IR. They need a tackle, and with the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, they have a chance to draft USC's Matt Kalil, considered the best OT prospect to come along since Jake Long in 2008.
Their second spot in the draft also figures to be prime real estate for teams looking to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Trading down offers the Rams the chance to pick up even more draft picks, something they could really use based on the holes throughout the roster. It would also take them out of the running for Matt Kalil.
Wherever they end up in the first round, if they trade down, there's likely to be a tackle prospect for the taking. Iowa's Riley Reiff is probably the second best, and a possible top ten player. Mike Adams of Ohio State could jump into the top 15 with a big week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl next week. Stanford's Jonathan Martin and Zebrie Sanders look like late first rounders.
Fisher's comment was really nothing more than a restatement of his basic principles for running an offense. Something else worth noting is that the Oilers/Titans never drafted an offensive lineman in the first round during Fisher's time there.
Looking back at the Titans' draft results while Fisher was there, they had a solid track record for finding good offensive linemen in the middle and late rounds of the draft. They drafted LT Michael Roos in the second round of the 2005 draft and David Stewart in the fourth round in 2006.