There really wasn’t much mystery to the St. Louis Rams’ selection at No. 2 overall in Round 1. Pundits and so-called “experts” had projected offensive tackle Greg Robinson to the team for the past month or so leading up to draft day, but until it became official, it was hard to believe that the team would go with the consensus. He could very well end up very a terrific football player down the line, but it’s hard not to have a giant but in the back of your mind when assessing this pick.
The selection of Robinson isn’t a bad one per se, but it also doesn’t really do much to improve the squad for the upcoming season. Many compare Robinson’s upside to that of former Rams great Orlando Pace, and there’s no question the team would be thrilled with a player of that magnitude. What makes this pick less than ideal is the urgency that this regime in St. Louis has to feel heading into 2014 to win now.
This is year three under the Jeff Fisher and Les Snead era. The draft picks have been piled up and added at a furious pace, but the record has still just meandered around the .500 mark. Taking a tackle never really moves the needle in terms of excitement for a fanbase, but even more than that for the Rams, it doesn’t seem to address a huge need on the roster. Even though Jake Long’s knee is in question heading into the 2014 season, it’s hard to believe a rookie who really is still somewhat unrefined in terms of pass blocking can protect Sam Bradford’s blind side in year one.
If the team was going to take a tackle this high, it’s still somewhat shocking that coach Fisher strayed from his allegiance to the family tree and didn’t take the safer Jake Matthews, who has solid starter for a decade written all over him. This is the first time ever that a team coached by Fisher has chosen a lineman in the draft’s first round, so it’s going to be interesting to see how this selection pans out.
With Khalil Mack staring them in the face and an obvious need at outside linebacker even with Alec Ogletree in the fold, it’s somewhat surprising that a defense which allowed the highest completion percentage in NFL last year at 68 percent didn’t try to improve. There’s no question the Rams still have work to do with their other first-round pick along with the other six rounds in this draft. Hopefully the bulk of those choices are spent improving a defense that really was hit or miss on many occasions a year ago.