While Ramsgab may be endorsing Aaron Curry (who I believe is the better pick), I think it would still be appropriate if we took a look at the other player who is being considered (or one of the other players) as the Rams 1st pick (2nd Overall).
Eugene Monroe is widely regarded as the best OT in the draft. While Jason Smith may be more promising, there is no doubt that Eugene Monroe is more polished and “ready” (Of course, they thought Charles Rogers, Vernon Davis, and Dewayne Robertson were the next big thing and look how they turned out).
While Monroe has had some knee issues (which has led to some teams “red-flagging” him, or questioning his durability), this does not appear to be the case for the Rams, as SI.com’s Peter King said:
“Unless they’re higher on Michael Oher than we know, the Rams probably haven’t red flagged Eugene Monroe for his reported “knee issues.” By cutting Orlando Pace, St. Louis appears to be banking on Monroe or Jason Smith. Monroe seems sure to be the No. 2 overall pick if the Lions tab Smith first.”
Conventional wisdom would agree with him, unless the Rams are putting up a massive smokescreen (Remember when Scotty L. said Jay Cutler might be the man they pick for their first pick?) it would appear that they are going to draft whatever tackle the Lions don’t pick. It’s quite simple really; the Rams need a LT and Eugene Monroe is available. However, as we know, this isn’t always what happens.
CBS Sports has a large list of his accomplishments and history on their website, and drawing from it can find some interesting knowledge about what the Rams may do. For instance, when it comes to character, they say that he’s a good teammate, he’s responsible, and he’s mature:
“He is the type that you know will take care of business when the coaches put a daunting task in front of him.”
That is especially good to know considering that coming in as a rookie to fill Orlando Pace’s shoes isn’t exactly easy. They stated that he is a hard worker in the gym, on the practice field, and that even though he was injured, they still felt that he was far superior to Branden Albert (Chiefs picked him last year in the first round, they said he was going to be a very good player).
Out of all the Offensive Tackles who played last year, Monroe had the highest grading for blocking consistency. He’s only allowed 2 sacks in over 1,200 plays, and in 2008 won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy given to the best blocked in the ACC. There is no doubt he could come in and make an immediate impact as a blocker, which would help Steven Jackson rack up big numbers.
“Monroe is blessed with excellent athleticism and agility, along with the quick feet to mirror speedy edge rushers. Monroe is a solid run blocker, plays on his feet with very good balance and has excellent body control. He has the strength to gain position when working in-line and creates and widens rush lanes. He is capable of staying on his feet and sustaining blocks. He competes until the whistle and plays with good aggression.”
I believe that last quote explains itself, and that’s why he should be drafted. You have be able to block to run the ball, even if you’re running-back is a 235lb. beast named Steven Jackson.