Heading into the home stretch of the countdown (I feel like Casey Kasem) or the St. Louis Rams ten biggest draft busts. Depressed yet? Don't be; think of it as a lesson told in ten parts, without the obnoxious slide shows some of those content farms would make you suffer through. The #4 St. Louis Rams draft bust is none other than defensive tackle Adam Carriker.
Zygmunt et al, the old regime, Col. Gaddafi of NFL front offices, made the Carriker pick with the Rams' first round pick in 2007, the 13th overall pick. Carriker slotted right in, starting all 16 games as a rookie with mostly blah results. Carriker was strong enough to play the run at the dreaded "good enough" level, but he looked lost as a pass rusher. So what's the big deal? Well, first round three-technique tackles are supposed to be pass rushers. Besides, it's not like Carriker's run defense was good enough to prevent the Rams from being one of the league's worst teams against the run, though he had help with the decaying lineup around him.
Through his two seasons, the Nebraska product has a whopping two sacks. Two sacks. He lost his starting job during training camp in 2009, replaced by Gary Gibson, before an injury shut him down for the entire 2009 season. Last year, the Rams traded him to Washington, where he was re-cast as a 3-4 DE, probably a more natural position for him in the first place. Here's our postmortem on Carriker at the time of the trade last year. Here's some more crazy dowload on Carriker: John Clayton called him a beast after watching him in camp in 2007, his rookie year, noting that he'd never seen anyone make the switch inside so easily...whoops.
Anyway, some may wonder why Carriker over Damione Lewis or Ryan Pickett. Well, those guys didn't have a great stint with the Rams, but it was a better run than Carriker's.
Another word of caution: the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft is filled with defensive line prospects. Beware the tweeners and the hype.
Oh, and some of the players the Rams could have had instead of Carriker include: Darrelle Revis, Joe Staley, Dwayne Bowe...etc.
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