After three days of meetings with staff and owner and a couple of days of thinking about the deal, former Miami Dolphin left tackle Jake Long has agreed to 4 year $36 million deal with the Rams. One of the reasons for the three day visit to St. Louis was to check on Long’s accumulating injuries. The 2008 No. 1 overall pick has become a less dominant blocker as his injuries accumulate. He was slowed by an ankle injury as a rookie and hurt his shoulder in 2010. In 2011, he battled back trouble, and then missed the final game with a torn right biceps. The GM of the Rams seemed not too concerned of the medical report when ask about Long’s injuries Les Snead was quoted saying,” What I’ll say is, health is not a problem.”
This bold move means 4 things for the St. Louis.
(1) The Rams do not believe that any of the tackles in this year’s draft were going to get to them at number 16. Luke Joeckel out of Texas A&M, Eric Fisher from Central Michigan, and Lane Johnson from Oklahoma all should be all gone by 16 possibly all could be gone by the 10th pick.
(2) I think that the Rams will not be trading up. I think they hold tight at 16 and 22 and pick the best available player on the board. I know they would love if one of the guards to fall to them at 16. Alabama’s Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper out of North Carolina.
(3) If the guards are gone there plenty of solid OL the Rams can get in the 2nd or 3rd round. That would mean that the 1st round picks will be used for playmakers for to help QB Sam Bradford. Since slot receiver Danny Amendola has signed with New England, the Rams could use probably the most explosive receiver in this year’s draft WR Tavon Austin out West Virginia. The diminutive Austin has elite speed. The scouting report courtesy of Walterfootball.com
* Elite speed
* Stretches the defense
* Threat to score on any reception
* Forces teams to keep a safety deep
* Quick release off of the line
* Reliable hands
* Dangerous as a ball-carrier
* Good vision as a runner
* Strong route-runner
The Rams 2nd first round pick can go either way as far as defense or more offense. QB Sam Bradford would vote for more offense. This guy has had less help then anyone over the past three years. Whether it has been a horrid offensive line or the lack of talent in the skilled positions, Bradford must have a sleeping bag in the Rams war room so he can make sure to get talent on the offensive side of the ball.
With the 22nd pick the mock draft on Walterfootball.com has the Rams picking LB Alec Ogletree out of Georgia.
Vinny Cerrato’s scouting report on Olgetree.
Strength: Good athlete. Slides well down LOS. Will wrap- can use his quickness to avoid goal reads of QBs in zone. Ogletree gets depth in pass coverage, fluid in drops into coverage. Has quickness shoot to gap will chase down runners from behind. Has speed to get sideline to sideline. Has some burst. Good break on ball. Good feet. Quick to read screen. Get in chase from OLB backside. Shows strength. Can cover TE. Very good in coverage. Can run.
Weakness: Not explosive taking on linemen and has trouble with big OL. Will get bounced around inside. No hand strike taking on. Will lunge and miss some tackles. Not good thru traffic-plays small inside. Some trouble tackling in space. Plays tall inside. Misses a lot of tackles. Doesn’t play strong. Doesn’t break down well in space. Missed 6 tackles vs. Fla. doesn’t bend knees to tackle-not a knock back tackler. Doesn’t take on a square. Will take some plays off. Likes to jump around blocks.
Summary: This kid plays a boy ss inside. He doesn’t take on well, jumps and he misses way too many tackles by not breaking drops. Does a good job in pass coverage. He must play OLB where he doesn’t have to be so physical. He will take play off. I’m not crazy about him. He’s very smart make the calls. If you want coverage LB very good value.
(4) The last thought is that by signing Jake Long and hopefully a healthy Jake Long is that allow you to fix your offensive line. With Jake Long manning the left tackle position , you can move Roger Saffold over to right tackle and gives Bradford some much needed protection that he has not had since he was been drafted.