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DEs or DBs, draft talk for a gloomy day

I've wondered why Dustin Fry, who got some notable praise in the preseason, hasn't been activated from the practice squad in the wake of the o-line's injury epidemic, especially with McCollum pulled into a starting role at guard. Apparently, we're not alone. Someone asked that question of the PD's Jim Thomas in a chat yesterday, and the team hasn't given the press anymore insight into that decision than they've given fans. The beat writer goes on to speculate that the team must not feel that he's ready, which I would assume means ready to play a position other than center, a pretty reasonable assumption. I suspect once Romberg's status is a little clearer today that Fry might have to be activated.  

We've been talking a bit about the draft - what else is there to discuss when you're 0-6 - and it's a subject worth coming back to as the season drags on. There's a legitimate debate about draft priorities next season, and 10 games remain to help settle it. A pass rushing DE and a left tackle sit atop most fans' wish lists, and rightfully so.

SI has an interesting look at college prospects on the rise and decline after last Saturday's upset-fest. Couple of players of interest to the Rams on that list, both sides of the list, I should say. Last week, I mentioned Miami's DE, Calais Campbell as a Mario Williams-type intriguing possibility for the Rams. Well, he's on the "sliders" list this week, again. Here's writer Tony Pauline's take on Campbell's less than stellar season.

Though he was doubled by Georgia Tech for most of the game on Saturday, Campbell was basically a non-factor and tallied just five tackles, registering no sacks or tackles for loss. Coming into the season with high grades, it is definitely fair to say Campbell has not had the impact people expected this year.

One of the criticisms pointed out in the last post mentioning Campbell was that he's basically been able to slide by in college on his athleticism alone and needed to develop the true playmaking ability of an elite pass rushing DE. It seems that's not happening, and teams are figuring out how to put that ability in check. That Campbell hasn't responded to opponents' tactics doesn't speak well of him, and means he might need a whole lot of coaching in the NFL.

On the positive side of the list are two defensive backs, Kansas CB Aqib Talib and San Jose State CB Dwight Lowery. Talib's description as a "shutdown" corner intrigues me, but maybe that's just having watched Lenny Walls get playing time this season. Corner back isn't the Rams most desperate position; Tye Hill's young and talented and Brown's a solid veteran. They're good, not great, and depth has been the biggest issue. Still, I'm starting to come around to the idea of building a top notch backfield as the foundation of a good defense; although, in the Rams case, a beast at safety represents a greater need. Of course, without a solid presence on the ends, you can make the case that none of the other defensive units matter, and the Rams will need the next big thing to groom for Little's spot as he gets longer in the tooth.

Remember that we won't know about underclassmen declaring for the draft until January, which will make a huge difference in the talent we're talking about drafting.