Risk is an inherent part of the NFL Draft. Attempting to project a given player from one level of competition to the next is obviously a crap shoot and intrinsically complicated. For the St. Louis Rams, General Manager Les Snead, and Head Coach Jeff Fisher that risk is something they appear to thrive on. Their 2012 draft class paints that picture quite clearly and one can only hope that they are able to duplicate that risk-taking success in 2013.
Last spring’s gamble on cornerback Janoris Jenkins was clearly the most notable player risk that the Rams took in the draft, but the team also took several chances prior to the selection itself. By trading the second overall pick to the Washington Redskins, the Rams dealt away the opportunity to restart as a franchise with Robert Griffin III and see an infusion of energy into the fan base.
While early in the year some were second guessing that decision with RG3’s success and Sam Bradford’s struggles, the Rams have to like their position currently. Even though Griffin III has been a hit in Washington, there is no telling what might have happened to him behind the sieve that is the Rams offensive line. The fact that the Rams will be reaping the benefits of that year in the upcoming draft and the draft after that says all you need to know about who won that deal.
As for this year’s potential rolls of the dice, most realize that the Rams need help along the offensive line. What may not be as apparent however is that during his time in coaching, Fisher’s teams have NEVER taken an offensive lineman in round one. While that might not be a comforting fact to Bradford, it shouldn’t worry the Rams too much. There’s no doubt that Fisher will find a player worthy of at least one of the team’s first round selections and perhaps trade back with the other to accumulate more picks.
Trends are made to be broken and Fisher’s track record of not selecting an offensive lineman in round one could very well go the way of the dodo this offseason. Just don’t be surprised if the Rams take a chance on a player labeled as “undraftable” by the so-called experts and hit another homerun as a result.
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