Draft Questions: Should The Rams Draft A Left Tackle In The First Round?

Could the Rams draft a left tackle in the first round? - Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The St. Louis Rams have offensive line issues. But could drafting a left tackle in the first round, while the team has Rodger Saffold be a good move?

The St. Louis Rams offense needs help. Anybody that can catch the ball or block for Sam Bradford is welcome. Last season, Bradford flashed what he could become with solid weapons, and Jeff Fisher and Les Snead have expressed their desire for Bradford to inherit more weapons, so that he can succeed.

But what use are weapons, when the operator of those weapons is always on his back? Yes, even the great Torry Holt feels the same.

Which positions on the offensive line need the most help? Right tackle and left guard, mainly because former starting right tackle Barry Richardson, and former starting guard/center Robert Turner are free agents, and partly because they were average at best last season.

There have been talks about the Rams selecting a guard in the first round ever since mock draft season began. But if a 1st round caliber left tackle like Lane Johnson is available, can you justify drafting a guard, or a right tackle-only player like D.J Fluker (who most likely will struggle with pass rushers?), over a potentially good left tackle?

The Rams do have Rodger Saffold on their team, and he's been playing at an above average level when he's healthy. He's missed 6 games last season, and in 2011 he missed 7 games. This season Saffold will be in a contract year, and that is usually when players play their hearts out and earn that big deal. But regardless of that, it would make sense for this regime to move in a new direction.

One of the biggest reasons for the move could be money, an above average right tackle would make less than an above average left tackle. Also, it's easier replacing an RT, than it is an LT. Also, remember Saffold wasn't drafted by this regime. Saffold was penciled in to play RT, before he beat out Jason Smith.

If the Rams draft Lane Johnson (probably the only left tackle they could draft in 1st), you would have Harvey Dahl manning Right guard or left guard depending on the draft, Scott Wells at center, and Rodger Saffold at RT. As long as that line is healthy, Sam Bradford would have enough protection, to pass the ball efficiently. But who would he be passing the ball to? That's an article for another day...

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