the k weighs in on draft dodging...

  Since I'm stationed in Germany, I don't get a lot of traditional media output on the Rams #2 pick.  I have to go off of this site, some other random places I get to, and whatever comes on AFN Sports.  

  So now, with just days to go, here's where this Soldier stands...

  I watched a ESPN special on the draft with Wingo, Schlereth, & Marcellus Wiley (ugh, I hate Cowgirls).  They spent a decent amount of time talking about the Rams & even interviewed Linehan through a 5 minute or so phone call.  Carriker ended up being the pistol in the drawer for the duration of the discussion.
  Schlereth (I think) mentioned that Carriker has buffed up to about 315 pounds and, seeing as no DE comes to mind over 300, that suggests that either he or the Rams staff or both are pushing him to be a full-time DT.  I think that's great.  He's a beast and his interior presence can stuff the middle to stop power runners (think Marion Barber, et al) and draw focus to free up Little and the other DE to pile up sacks.
  This underlies the truth about this draft and the ultimate three-way decision the Rams have to make: Dorsey as DT (and continue to bounce Carriker inside and out), Chris Long as RE (and keep Carriker inside), or trade down.  The reason I don't mention Gholston here is that he doesn't seem to be garnering the kind of attention a #2 pick does.  He gets it here at TST, but not outside, it would seem.  So here is how I approach our option in declining desirability to me:

  3.) Dorsey
    First off, Dorsey is a hoss.  I have no doubts he will be a great DT; but I could say the same for Carriker who already has a year's experience better.  When it comes down to it, I'm not optimmistic about putting Carriker at DE full-time.  
    Top tier tackles have been handling power DEs and suffering against more agile ones (think Freeney, Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware (no he's not a LB.)).  That suggests to me you need athletes on the outside and beasts inside.  Could Carriker and Dorsey be the best DT tandem in the NFL?  Probably.  Does that significantly upgrade our pass rush and strengthen the long-term health of our line overall?  Probably not.

  2.) Chris Long
    I think Howie Jr. is the best fit for the #2 pick for us.  He injects youth at DE, along with power and speed.  Plus it's hard to question the intangibles of Howie Long's son.  I think he and Dorsey will both be successful in the NFL, but it comes down to position.  What position is most important to us now and in the near future?  I've got to go with d-end.

  1.) Trade down
    I'm still optimistic that some good salesmanship will find someone who is desperate for Dorsey, Long, or even McFadden or Matt Ryan.  That desperation could get us a great player and some draft compensation that can fill all of our needs in a single day's work.  I can feel it coming.  A trade down to lower single digits, pick up Gholston and get a phenomenal defensive talent and maybe more in the process.  It's got to happen.  Please.  I'm begging.

  Honestly, I think the biggest thing the Rams can do for the rest of this off-season is get younger and bolster those areas most susceptible to injury devastation.  We've put some depth on the O-line.  I'm praying lightning doesn't strike twice and we can keep Orlando and enough of his linemates around to give Bulger & Jackson enough protection to catapult our offense back to the upper echelon of the NFL.  For me, we have to add some youth to take the heat off of Leonard now and next year we can look at safeties, WRs, and maybe another LB.

  I'm hoping that May 1, I can wake up every morning with a smile knowing the Rams are back in the hunt and that come November, we'll be playing for a playoff spot, not draft position.