NFL Combine: Rams’ decisions multi-layered
The Rams have a huge decision to make. Quarterback or defensive tackle? And if it’s D-tackle, another huge decision remains.
OU’s Gerald McCoy or Nebraska’s Ndamokung Suh?
“Oh man,” said Rams general manager Billy Devaney. “We’re hoping somehow they separate themselves. Right now, there isn’t any. They’re great players, great character guys, love playing football.”
No defensive tackle has gone No. 1 overall since Ohio State’s Dan Wilkinson in 1994 (Bengals). The trend seems to be that you can’t first-pick money to a middle-of-the-field player.
But Devaney said that won’t scare off the Rams “when you get unique players you deem difference-makers. We think those two kids are difference-makers. Doesn’t bother us. It depends on the individual. If those two kids came out five years ago, we’d be talking about them.”
Devaney did say a first-pick defensive tackle almost has to be a smash hit like a first-pick quarterback. But he touts Suh and McCoy as smash hits. “When you get a defensive tackle, you better grab on and hold on early if you get a three-down player that can play the run and rush the passer.”
The Rams drafted tailback Stephen Jackson in the 2004 first round and have gone for four linemen in the first round since: Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith No. 2 in 2009, Virginia defensive end Chris Long No. 2 in 2008, Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker No. 13 in 2007, Clemson cornerback Tye Hill No. 15 in 2006 and Florida State offensive tackle Alex Barron No. 19 in 2005.
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