First Round Draft Review: How'd the Rams Do?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

No trades. No surprises. It wasn't sexy, but was it smart?

If NFL history has taught anyone anything, it's that you build your football team through your lines. The Patriots were 18-1 in 2007 because the Giants defensive line completely harassed Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Likewise, the Denver Broncos were able to set records on offense this year because they protected Peyton Manning.

You win on the line and you win the game, and if it's any indication, the Rams are going all in exactly for that.

They eschewed exciting picks like Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack in favor of drafting Greg Robinson. Pundits gave above average grades, which makes total sense since they've been picking that exact pick for months. It isn't sexy, so it doesn't sell. That's okay, because Robinson is a monster.

Sure, his pass protection is unrefined. That's putting it nicely, but it's totally warranted considering Auburn doesn't really pass the ball. What you should think about, is the fact that over four years, Robinson was able to put that experience opening up holes to good use - he's a dominant run blocker.

I'm not saying he's going to take four years to get to that level as a pass protector, but with Paul Boudreau coaching and veterans Jake Long and Scott Wells next to him, he could end up learning quickly.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams just threw down a windmill-360-eyes-closed slam dunk. Adding Aaron Donald gives the Rams the best defensive line in football. Period. Whereas phenom Robert Quinn is counterbalanced by Chris Long, Brockers is now paired with Aaron Donald, and that should scare everyone.

The Rams needed an interior push, and they found it. Donald is a 285 heat-seeking-missile with shocking quickness for someone his size. He's not the biggest lineman you've ever seen, but he doesn't lack in strength.

The words 'scheme-fit' have been thrown around before - but it applies here wonderfully. Donald isn't the guy who is going to engage two offensive lineman, and he doesn't need to with the Rams. His hand technique, speed and power were added to the Rams for one purpose - sacks.

Likewise, on offense, the Rams had the most success when they ran the ball again and again. With Greg Robinson, they've found the best player that allows them to do that. The Rams know exactly how they want to play and they found the best players to do it.

In the end, the Rams went for their best strengths on both sides of the ball - beefing up their premier offensive weapon (not Bradford, but Zac Stacy) and the defensive line that drew Fearsome Foursome references even before the Rams drafted Aaron Donald. It's a great haul and an exciting start to the draft for Rams fans.o

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