The Rams knew the departure of Orlando Pace created a big hole at tackle, and the Rams didn't let a golden opportunity slip by them. St. Louis selected Jason Smith of Baylor University with their No. 2 overall pick in the first round. Eventhough the 6'5" 309 pound lineman was converted from tight end, he has the skills necessary to take over for the Rams at left tackle. Filling the spot of Orlando Pace isn't an easy task because that is Marc Bulger's blind side.
In the second round the Rams selected James Laurinatis of Ohio State. He is tagged as one of the most productive linebackers in the history of Ohio State football. He started 39 of the 51 games he played in as a buckeye and recorded 375 tackles which includes 24.5 for loss of yards. He racked up 13 sacks and also forced four fumbles. In college he played middle linebacker which will allow the Rams to move Chris Draft and Will Witherspoon back to the outside linebacker positions.
While I was a little upset that the Rams didn't select Aaron Curry in the 1st round, I am happy that we drafted a top priority in selected a lineman. The second round pick of Laurinatis really excites me. I think this is a great pick for the Rams, and he should fit nicely into our defense. We needed to shore up our defense and we got a very talented playmaker that can play inside linebacker.
Day 2 of the draft saw the Rams select Bradley Fletcher of Iowa with the second pick of the 3rd round. Fletcher, 6'1 196 pounds, is slated to be either the nickel or dime back for the Rams defense. He only started 4 games previous to his senior year, but showed lots of promise in his performance against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.
Darrell Scott of Clemson was selected by the Rams in the 4th round. He has a 6'4" frame to go along with 312 pounds of run-stopping ability. The Rams are hoping that Scott can rotate with Adam Carriker and Clifton Ryan to give help to the Rams woes of run defense. Before suffering injuries in his senior year Scott tallied 161 tackles, 9 sacks, and 18.5 tackles for loss in three years of starting.
The Rams turned their attention to wide receiver taking Brooks Foster from North Carolina. Foster hauled in 97 receptions for 1237 yards during his college career including 6 touchdowns. He had a knee injury during his senior year, but had successful surgery after the season ended. The need is certainly there for Foster, as Torry Holt was released to create cap room, and Drew Bennett never panned out after signing a big contract before the 2007 season.
In the sixth round the Rams went quarterback as they selected Keith Null of West Texas A&M. Null 6'3" 220 pounds was mentored by coach Ryan Leaf as he served as a backup his first two seasons.(thats right former No. 2 pick overall bust Ryan Leaf).
Chris Ogbonnaya was the Rams' final choice of the 2009 NFL Draft. A product of Texas, whose name I have no idea how to pronounce, had 73 carries for 373 yards with 4 touchdowns in 2008. He coupled that with 46 receptions for 540 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Overall I feel pretty good about the picks the Rams made. With the new coaching staff in place I feel this team is heading in a positive direction.