As it turns out, Jeff Fisher and co. do a pretty good job about blooming late round and busted offensive line prospects. This post is not going to be a " Dump Smith" post, although his contract does need to be re-done. This post is going to explain, with the addition of a left guard,why the St. Louis Rams will have a very good offensive line this upcoming season.
In 2010 the rams o-line did significantly well when it comes to giving Sam Bradford time and Steven Jackson room to run, but still ranked in the bottom 10 of all offensive line. A huge part of the reason was because Bradford was sacked a large amount of times. The offense did decent and looked like the head of the NFC West heading into the 2011 season. the addition of Harvey Dahl seemed as though are line was almost complete.
2011 comes along and Smith looks like his head is going to fall off and skips most of the season, doing horrible any time he did play. Saffold decides to play sub par and also catches the injury bug that has riddled this team like no other. By the end of the season only Dahl is still on the line but in the wrong position. Something to add to this disastrous line was that a sophomore quarterback was now making protection calls learned during a lockout season.
With 2012 on its way, the Offensive line looks like there might as well be ghosts playing at 4 positions across the line. The addition of Scott Wells looks very promising, adding a pro bowl caliber veteran who made a quarterback named Rodgers get upset. Wells can now make protection calls, and do them very well. Dahl can move back to right guard and with Saffold and Smith healthy at their respective positions, their is no player on the roster to play left guard.
DeCastro is said to be one of the best left guards coming out of the draft since I don't know when. He is a prospect said to come out of the draft ready to contribute as a starter. He can only get better. The Rams are in a tough position with the #6 overall choice. Pick whoever falls out of the top 6 or trade down to the bottom 20 for more picks next year. Ideally a trade down to #8 would be great but who knows if that will happen.
The Rams currently have two of the top 10 offensive interior linemen in Wells and Dahl. Schotty's offense should replicate a type of west coast offense knowing fisher is going to have his breath down Shotty's neck. Saffold and Smith should be able to replicate their 2010 seasons while Fisher and co. attempt to find tackles in the deep end of the draft classes for the next couple of drafts.
With DeCastro added to the interior, i believe Jackson replicates his best season. And please spare me the need to take Blackmon. In 2010, The Rams record showed a decent chance at 7-9. Top four leaders in receiving were Danny Amendola with 85 reception and 689 yards, Brandon Gibson with 53 rec and 620 yards, Daniel Fells with 41 rec and 391 yards, and Steven Jackson with 46 rec and 383. Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton were the Starting two that year and both ending up on IR before doing anything past week 4. This year our top recievers are Steve Smith and Brandon Gibson. Amendola seems destined to put a rams uniform back on and Salas is his clone. Pettis shows promise, even though he won't play till after week 2, and Kendricks has to be an upgrade to Fells.
All in all, what I'm trying to say is picking the sure thing at guard, that could give the Rams offense 3 of the best interior lineman in the league, is better then picking a short, average speed wide receiver in Blackmon.
On second thought, Blackmon has outside speed, "sure hands" (which is debatable), and an ability to get yards after the catch . Greg Salas has sure hands, and an ability to get yards after the catch. Salas ran the 40 time in 4.53 seconds, Blackmon ran the 40 time in 4.46. Not that much of a difference. And no I'm not saying that Salas is better than Blackmon, I'm saying their strangely similar and Salas was a mid 3rd round pick.