Position by Position: Fold, Push, or Play'em

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In the first installment of FPP, I take a look at the left tackle position. This series will breakdown the entire Ram's roster and offer analysis and opinion of what the organization should do to make the team better.

Left Tackle

The current roster, which may change by the time you read this consists of:

Jake Long, Roger Saffold, Mike Person, and in a pinch, Joe Barksdale.

Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III made spectacularly quick recoveries from their knee injuries. While Jake Long has had the same level of medical care, and has maintained a regimen to play football again, the reality of Long playing on opening day, or even by mid-season is bleak. A hulking offensive lineman isn't going to be able to recover nearly as quickly as a skill position player. With that in mind, the Rams have to address the left tackle position a little more aggressively than they would like.

Roger Saffold will most likely be retained by the Rams, and perform well until Long is cleared to play. With Joe Barksdale's serviceable play at right tackle, the Rams offensive line lacks good depth at the position. The cheapest way to add depth considering the Ram's unhealthy salary cap situation is through the NFL draft. While a first round selection of a tackle may be like garlic is to a vampire for head coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams may be pressed to go that route unless Les Snead can garner a net gain by trading the enticing number two pick. Going into the season with only one good tackle would not be smart for the Rams.

In this complicated case, the verdict is FOLD. The Rams cannot ignore the need for depth, and a possible replacement for Jake Long if he doesn't come back from the knee injury. Insofar as the draft is concerned, the Rams either have to go big and pick a tackle in the first round, or wait and hope that a prospect is available who fits the mold. Either way is a roll of the dice, but few could argue that going with an early selection of Texas A&M's Jake Matthews is the worse bet. Going with Matthews would make the interior line much more solid, with Joe Barksdale moving back to guard. The Rams could also try to trade down just a few spots and snag Greg Robinson of Auburn.

Stay tuned for more FPP in the coming weeks. GO RAMS!

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