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Rams to go Long?

So now it's Chris Long.

Opinions still seem to be split, but the news that the Rams lean toward Chris Long with their first round pick over Dorsey is a change from what we've been hearing the last two days. Recall there was an "80% chance" they'd draft Dorsey according to informed speculation in a blog post from Bernie Miklasz.

The Rams need at DE is apparently driving the decision at this point. I realize the Rams could use another solid player at DT, but they need, in my opinion, a DE slightly more. Grabbing a DE of Long's caliber (Gholston is apparently out at #2, saddening me...) gives them a future Pro Bowler to replace Leonard Little, and they should be able to grab a solid DT in the later rounds, where there's still a decent chance those DTs will still develop into solid NFL talent. I'd look for a true blue NT if that's the case, someone who can be used in the 4-3 as well as play the nose in the 3-4 packages too.

Trade-wise, the PD report does confirm that the Saints dangled OT Jamaal Brown and a swap of first round picks. The Rams hesitated because of Brown's injury troubles last season and sagging play. That trade's hard not to like, but I think the Rams can do just as well for themselves without it, grabbing a prospect for the o-line in the second round. Other trade talk included some not-close chatter with the Jets and all quiet on the Atlanta trade front. Thomas reports in the PD that the Rams did at least kick the tires on Lito Sheppard, something I suspect they backed away from once Fakhir Brown won his appeal. Not that Brown's better than Sheppard, but the Rams need the draft picks more. Unless they wanted a tight end...

None of this, of course, means a trade won't happen. Keep your eyes peeled for what Atlanta wants to do. According to ESPN's John Clayton, the Falcons are torn between drafting Dorsey and a potential franchise QB in Matt Ryan. Clayton says the Rams will attempt to dangle Dorsey, but the marketing and football value of a franchise QB might help them resist. another interesting tidbit in the Clayton article is the fate of Cal WR DeSean Jackson, who you'll recall Rams head coach Scott Linehan expressing interest in. Jackson could go in the first round, but his size (169 lbs) has teams like Tampa Bay hesitant to grab him. If they don't, the speedy WR could fall out of the first round, and be a potential pick for the Rams at #33. Without a doubt his speed would give the Rams receiving corps a different kind of weapon. If he could add 15 lbs...

I'll be here throughout the day, reacting, analyzing, etc. so be sure to check back and chime in with your draft thoughts.