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Draft Questions: How Long Can Torry Holt Be a #1 WR?

I'm kind of surprised to see wide receivers edging out so the other positions, like DE and DT, in the poll posted at right asking fans which position should the Rams go for in the draft.

With so many immediate needs on defense, I'm really surprised. This year's draft class and the Rams' 13th overall pick in the first round doesn't help matters. After a handful of surefire first rounders, the talent available between the middle of the 1st round and the next round (or even into the third round) is all around the same level.

The first round WRs, after Calvin Johnson, are comparable, and have enough upside to be good bets for NFL success. The Rams could conceivably pick Ted Ginn or Dwayne Jarrett and then look for solid defensive line help in the next rounds, a la Mississippi State's DT Antonio Johnson.

One argument for drafting a WR over a DT in the first round is the development time, i.e. it will take a couple seasons for a DT to adjust to the NFL. And there's also a level of weariness over recent history of defensive draft picks. However, wide receivers often take a season or two to develop, and the notorious three year rule still gets tossed around, with the clear exceptions of Fitzgerald and Bouldin.

Taking a WR in the first round also depends on another question, how much longer can Torry Holt play, and play as a #1 WR for the Rams? He's 31 and has been playing in the league for eight season now. How many more does he left? If health stays on his side, he could easily play another 3 to 4 seasons. So, maybe drafting a WR is a good idea, but an idea about a year ahead of its time.

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Speaking of the draft, the most recent mock draft at Football's Future has the Rams taking Okoye in the first round. Ted Ginn gets picked 19th in the same draft. In the second round, they have the Rams taking Oklahoma LB Rufus Alexander.

Definitely picks one could live with, but a legit debate is out there now about whether those are the picks to make.

I suspect the Scouting Combine next month could adjust draft boards pretty significantly. Stay tuned.