2014 NFL Draft: Jadeveon Clowney Would Give St. Louis Rams Best Pass Rush in NFL History
There is plenty of speculation circulating currently as to just what the St. Louis Rams plan to do with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Sure the team would prefer to trade down and set itself up for future drafts by extension, but perhaps another idea is more appealing.
In today’s NFL where rushing the pass is paramount defensively, there are far worse things to have an excess of than outstanding pass rushers. There’s no denying that the Rams already have a ridiculously good pass rush with 53 sacks this past season to rank No. 3 in the NFL after a 2012 campaign that saw them record 52 to tie for tops in the league. Though it may seem like overkill on the surface given those aforementioned statistics, could the Rams potentially add Jadeveon Clowney to create the greatest pass rush the league has ever seen with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft this year?
Plenty of debate will be held regarding this idea, but there’s no doubt the idea of switching to a defensive front featuring Robert Quinn – the NFL’s second-leading sacker with 19 in 2013 – Michael Brockers, possibly Clowney on the inside as a tackle on passing downs and Chris Long on the other end would be scary for opposing offensive lines. Either Long or Clowney could kick inside on obvious passing downs to only amp up the potential pressure the defensive line can create. Long has the size to do just fine inside while Clowney actually lined up inside on many occasions during his collegiate career at South Carolina.
Adding Clowney to a rotation that already features some impressive depth with Eugene Sims and Jermelle Cudjo would potentially allow the team to release Kendall Langford and save some serious cap room. It seems like a win-win for the general manager/head coach combo of Les Snead and Jeff Fisher as they attempt to build a winning organization from the trenches out. An even stouter front line would help to further mask any deficiencies the team still has in the secondary by not giving opposing quarterbacks time to breathe let alone deliver an accurate pass.
Though trading down is likely to be top priority for GM Snead as the months whittle down to weeks and then down to days leading up to the draft, the idea of adding Clowney has to have some serious appeal for a team already loaded with pass rushers. Keeping fresh bodies on the field at all times would allow the Rams to be even more effective in getting after opposing quarterbacks, and that has to be a scary thought for the other teams in the NFC West.
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