Ok, before i begin this, let me say that i would love nothing more than to draft Matthews or Martin or some other tackle/guard in the 1st round. Grabbing either of those players would boost our line greatly, and they could play tackle if Long isn't ready at the start of the year, or make Barks move inside and they start at RT. I really would love that.....but i don't see it happening.
I know a lot of people want to draft a tackle early, or a guard early, or both early, or two of one of those early. And i understand why you want that. Grabbing someone like Matthews/Martin in the first, then grabbing a guard in the 2nd would make our line a beast...but as i said, i don't see it happening.
We all know Fisher has never drafted an offensive lineman in the first. And we know he didn't have to, because he already had tackles in place when he became HC of the Titans.
What some of you do know, and some don't, is that he has never drafted a guard before the 5th round. The closest he has come to drafting one before the 4th was Barret Jones, who i think most of us view as a center.
The earliest Fisher has ever drafted centers were in the 4th round(Leroy Harris 2007 and Barret Jones 2013), the rest were drafted later.
So now we all know his draft history as pertaining to the O-Line.
Now, Fisher IMO is sold on Long and Barksdale being the starters at tackle. Why wouldn't he be? Barks has done a surprisingly good job at RT. Long has his injury yes, but they believe he will be ready come game day, Even if he isn't, at most he would miss only a few games before retaining the starters job.
So first, why would we draft a tackle in the first round if they already have their planned starters? To ride the bench till one of them got injured? To start for Long till he returned a few games into the season and then either moving to the bench or moving inside? Possible.....but i doubt it, but lets take a closer look at that.
Draft a tackle in the 1st/2nd to play a few games at tackle and then move to guard. Makes sense. Except of course for Fishers history of drafting guards that early. Oh, but he is a OT you say? well if he is playing most of the year at guard, then he is not tackle, he is a guard with tackle experience.
Now a lot of the line will be determined on Saffold. Some think he is a good as gone, some think we have a good chance of keeping him. I'm on the fence, 50/50. I hope we do keep him, he is a really great guard.
So lets say Saffold does re-sign with the Rams. We have a pretty solid line except for LG. Given Fishers history, i see now way we draft one in the 1st round, or even a tackle in the 1st to play guard. Heck, i don't see it happening in the 2nd either. I don't see him drafting a true guard at all that early.
A tackle though might happen. Not in the 1st though, since he would be playing guard.
Now some want to draft a tackle in the 1st and move Long inside. That does not make sense to me. We gave him a huge contract to play tackle, he is a multi-pro bowler at tackle. Moving a pro bowl tackle inside and having a rookie start at LG makes no sense. The only argument for it is Longs injury history, which the Rams don't seem to concerned about, and besides a few bad plays, Long has done a great job at LT.
Now as for guard, we have a huge weak spot at LG as we all know, and possibly RG as well depending on Saffold. If Saffold leaves maybe we grab a Guard in FA? But i don't think we will grab one in the early rounds.
Fisher didn't even draft a guard early to replace the hall of fame guard Bruce Matthews.
I could see us drafting a Tackle in the 2nd-4th round range who we move to guard and swing outside when needed.
I could see us grabbing a guard later for depth and a tackle as well for depth. Because we all know, our depth on the O-line is pretty bad and some of the current depth will probably not be a Ram next season.
One last thing im going to point out about Fishers draft history.
I am going to list his most offensive heavy and defensive heavy draft from the 1st through the 4th.
Most offensive heavy-
1995 - 4 total - 01 QB, 1 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE *had three 3rd rounders that year
2005 - 5 total - 2 OT, 3 WR *had two 3rd's and three 4th rounders that year
2007 - 4 total - 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 C *had two 4th rounders that year
Most defensive heavy-
1999 - 4 total - 1 DT, 1 DE, 2 DB *had two 4th rounders that year
2000 - 4 total - 2 LB, 1 DE, 1 DB *had two 4th rounders that year
2002 - 6 total - 1 DT, 1 SS, 2 LB, 2 CB *had three 4th rounders that year, first 4 rounds all defense
2004 - 6 total - 3 DE, 1 DT, 2 CB *had three 2nd rounders, two 3rds and two 4ths.
From this it seems that at times Fisher might go heavy on the defense.
Basically what I am saying is that i do not see them grabbing tackle in the first, since they are committed to our current tackles, and do not see us drafting a guard in the first few rounds because he never has and instead taken them later.
The best i am hoping for is a tackle taken in the 2nd/3rd, who will be plugged in at guard but can move outside easily if needed, and later on another guard or two. Also another Tackle to be depth and coached up to be a possible future starter.
Also have to take into account free agency where we could grab a center, guard or tackle, whether for depth or to start.
But right now i see no way they grab a tackle in the first with our current starters, or a guard early, from past and recent drafts.
It's been a while sense he went super heavy on defense early so maybe this is the year?
But, who fucking knows, its the draft and its a crap shoot and none of us know what the hell they will do. Maybe he drafts a tackle and tackle/guard in the first and more in the 2nd or 3rd.
Just my two cents on the matter. All just my opinion, so don't flame me to much please...
p.s. the draft cant come soon enough