Fletcher Cox over Justin Blackmon for the St. Louis Rams in the NFL Draft

By Anthony Blake

When a team goes 2-14 as the St. Louis Rams did a season ago, there aren’t many areas where the club doesn’t need to improve. One place of relative strength however has been the defensive line where the team has Chris Long on one side boasting 13 sacks from 2011 and now second-year player Robert Quinn on the other who will be expected to blossom in year two.

At defensive tackle though, this team still has some work to do and according to the NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, that work could begin on draft day. LaCanfora has reported that if the first five picks go according to plan with Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Trent Richardson, and Morris Claiborne coming off of the board in succession, the Rams may be inclined to select Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox over Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon with the sixth overall selection.

Receiver is thought to be the Rams’ primary need area this offseason, but with two picks early on in round two, the team may feel that they are in better position to land a playmaker then rather than in the early going. Too many receivers have gone early in the draft and been underwhelming or flat-out busts and the team would prefer to go with a safe bet like Cox.

With the youth already on the ends for the Rams’ defensive front, adding Cox would give the defense a great nucleus to build around for years to come. His stat line from 2011 speaks for itself with 56 tackles including 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. As a one-gap penetrater, Cox is second to none in this year’s class and when paired inside with the recently signed Trevor Laws, his addition could give the Rams one of the scariest defensive front fours in all of football.

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