St. Louis Rams: Would This Pick at #16 Surprise You?

Harry How

"Defense! Defense!" The real men shout. "What about the offense?", I reply. "Offense is for nancy-boys, who breast feed and wet their beds until they turned sixteen. Defense is what puts the Gorilla "ug!", in football, and makes scratching your privates acceptable in mixed company..."

So today I'm thinking defense... Not that I'd be swayed by ape-like people like DC, I mean Brandon, but I've decided to take a peek at the other side's argument. Many contend the Rams defense is unfinished, and they have a point. Glaring needs at safety and outside linebacker pop into my mind quite often. So if the article I wrote the other day - on how little we really know how Jeff Fisher and Les Snead think - is true, why not take a stab at defense?

(Clears throat, and wipes away Cheeto dust from podium; taps microphone: "Test, test... la, la, la... The Hills are alive, with the sound of... Whoops!)

"I'm here today to explain why taking an outside linebacker with the Rams' #16 pick makes sense. (Pauses to throw cell phone at Van Bibber and McAtee, who are playing Angry Birds on their iPhones.) Pay attention!"

Joe and Ryan watch my phone sail sail thirty feet to their right.

"Is this going to take very long?" Ryan says as he cleans his glasses.

"Aren't you wearing contact lenses?" I ask.

"What's your point?"

"Yeah, get on with it. I have a 2022 Mock Draft that I need to finish," Joe says as he tosses little Angry Birds at a digital edifice, making it crash to the ground. "HA! Take that!"

"Er, uh... OK, so I was saying the Rams need to draft a long snapper... No wait, that's for next week. Outside linebacker!" I exclaim, and rifle through my bar napkin-notes.

"Which outside linebacker?" Ryan mumbles.

"Right... No, left... The weak-strong one who rushes the guy trying to pass the ball..."

Ryan and Joe roll their eyes. Sensing my audience could bolt for the door at any moment, I scream, "Dion Jordan!"

At this point, I'm pretty sure Joe threw up a bit in his mouth. Ryan stood, putting on his "I'm an NFL Writing God" hat. He'd designed this hat himself, the bill curving upward at the edge of the brow. He claimed his new hat would be a huge seller in the "guys with small hands" market, since the curved bill would enable use of all of his tiny digits. Shifting the hat askew to the right, he hit his iPod. He began to strut from the room to the wistful beat of Richard Marks... Joe shrugged as he held his mouth closed. He ran from the room, and I'm not all that sure his pending up-chuck didn't have more to do with hearing "Hold onto the night", than it did my draft pick?

From the stage, I looked out at my remaining audience. All three of them remained attentive in the back row of the auditorium, or so I thought. Two of them got up to leave. As they exited, the outside light cast their silhouettes. One of the men had rather odd, wavy hair, the other a bushy mustache. Both were laughing as they left. I smiled at the one remaining person, who began to slowly clap as she walked down the center isle.

"You know how to clear a room better than my Grandma after she eats beans." Derinda Platt smiled as she took a seat in front of the stage. "Those two are going to give me hell, you know that right?"

"Who? Ryan and Joe?" I waved off her worries. "They love me... OK, they like... Damn! I'm fired, aren't I?"

"I ain't talkin' about that Van Bibbler and McAtish, you idiot! I brought Jeff Fisher and Les Snead with me. I told them we were coming to hear that Mike Maysmock guy talk about the draft..."

I fought the urge to groan. "So they don't like Dion Jordan, or is it me?" My shoulders slumped when she pointed at me.

"So lemme' hear it. Why's this Jorskin guy all that great?" She leaned back in her chair.

"His last name is Jordan, like the river..." Seeing my example didn't register, I searched my mind for something she could relate too. "The shoes! You know, "Air Jordans?"

She glanced down at her three inch heels, then shook her head.

"Dion Jordan played for the University of Oregon. He's 6' 6", 240 lbs, and has serious speed and athleticism."

She shot forward in her seat, "The Rams ain't draftin' anyone who doesn't believe in God!"

"What?... I said "athleticism", not atheism". Seeing she wasn't all that sure there was a difference, I continued. "He's a great athlete, OK?"

"Oh, well that's different, " she leaned back in her seat.

"I think the Rams should take a serious look at this kid. He's so talented, that his former coaches used him at corner back in certain situations. There is a real need for additional pass rushing talent off the edge, especially on Robert Quinn's side."

"You think they need a outside linebacker more than a offensive tackle?" She tilted her head to one side.

"Not really, but if you take the conventional wisdom out there, the best first round offensive linemen will be long gone by the time the Rams pick at #16 or #22."

The door to the auditorium flew open. Les Snead and Jeff Fisher came running down the isle and grabbed Derinda, trying to wrench her from her seat.

"Let go of me, damn it!" Derinda held onto the theater seat as Fisher and Snead each pulled on her legs. Looking up at me, she screamed, "Don't just stand there!"

I'd taken a coin from my pocket, and was on best of ten as I flipped it; trying to decide if I should come to the aide of my friend. "Give me a minute."

"You can't possibly be listening to Doug?" Fisher groaned as he pulled on her foot. Derinda's shoe came off, and Jeff's grip slipped, causing him fall backward.

When Les began to laugh, Derinda used her free foot to kick out, sending him flying onto the floor. "It's my damn draft pick! I can do what I want with it, and I'm taking this Dijon guy!"

"His name is Dion..." I offered from the stage as I continued to flip my coin.

"Shut Up!," all three of my guests shouted in unison.

Seeing my work here as done, I smiled as I left the stage, flipping my coin in the air. I wasn't trying to decide whether to help anymore. I was trying to decide who'd win the battle I'd left behind. The coin came up tails... "Derinda it is.."

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