1. I dislike Sam Bradford
I have not liked Bradford from day 1. We passed up a once in a generation talent at defensive tackle to draft a quarterback who had not played the previous year. Now we draft a offensive tackle at No. 2 so we can protect an injury-prone quarterback who has done next to nothing for us and we draft a defensive tackle, our second in as many years. If I could go back in time, I would change the 2010 draft.
Then by luck of the draw both the quarterbacks I like fall to us at 13 (Blake Bortles can’t be good because his name is Blake Bortles; that’s not a quarterback’s name). We have our choice of Bridgewater or Manziel. At 13 we could have sat one of them for two years. If Bradford turns out to be good, trade whoever we pick. Tell me that wouldn’t be worth more than 4-3 defensive tackle. The Rams don’t do it because they’re married to Bradford’s massive contract.
For the record, I thought the Rams should have taken a quarterback at No. 2. They can get the best defensive tackle and the second best quarterback and they don’t do it.
2. Because it’s one of two positions we don’t need
All four of your defensive lineman don’t need to be great; one of them can be a scrub. Holes the Rams could have filled would be wide receiver, any one in the defensive backfield, linebacker and interior offensive line (first round guards are almost always pro bowlers). Going into the draft it was understood that the Rams were not going to draft Clowney at 2, had he fallen to the Sheep, because of the presence of Chris Long and Robert Quinn.
So then we draft a tackle. While bigger than Clowney or Khalil Mack, he’s not the physical freak of either one of those guys. Why not draft Mack at No. 2 then and wait for a tackle at 13. Do we really know that Robinson is going to be a much better player than Zack Martin from Notre Dame? Even if he is, would it make a tangible difference to the product the Rams put out on the field?
Let me back up, seriously none of the defensive backs were good enough at 13? Only one had been taken. Defensive back has been a gaping hole since Aeneas Williams retired.
3. The Rams need better intel about what other teams are doing
If the selection of Donald was predicated on “well none of the wide receivers we like are available let’s pick the best player available,” they should have bit the bullet and drafted Sammy Watkins at No. 2 and then taken an offensive tackle at 13. I don’t think Watkins is a stud on the level of an A.J. Green or a Calvin Johnson but at least he was the consensus best receiver and I think receiver helps the offense more than OT. People were still capitulating about whether Robinson was better than Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan.
Had the Rams picked Watkins, it stands to reason, based on the needs of other teams that picked ahead of 13, that one of those guys might have been available at 13. The Giants might have picked one but I still think that’s worth the gamble. As the Rams learned with Jason Smith, taking an offensive tackle high in the draft does not guarantee success.