St. Louis Rams 2013 NFL Draft Preview: Taylor Lewan And Eric Reid


November 12, 2011; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers safety Eric Reid (1) prior to kickoff of a game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Western Kentucky 42-9. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

There were three aspects of week six that were really bothering. First of all, the Rams were beaten by not only their direct opponent, but also beaten by their own miscues. Second of all, the Washington Redskins beat a strong Minnesota Vikings. Why does this matter? Because the Rams have the Redskins 2013-2014 first round draft picks. Each win the Redskins collect, will essentially lessen the value of the Rams draft pick. Finally, every Rams fan that watched the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III dominate a strong Vikings defense, couldn’t help but wonder, “What If?”. The comparison with Bradford will linger for decades. Is this the right duo to be comparing? Of course not. The Rams had way too many holes to fill to be solely concentrating on one position. The correct comparison should be; RGIII Vs Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Isaiah Pead and 2013 – 2014 first round draft picks. Ram fans – think of it like this, ‘It’s a down payment for today, for years of investment’. Which means, while the cost of the Rams giving up RGIII is physically visible, the return for two or more college studs that fill obvious needs for the Rams, will eventually be a better investment.

For this weeks review it was tempting to put in a special team’s player, but that will be ignored for now. The Rams have the luxury of picking up two first round draft picks in 2013 and 2014 thanks to RGIII. This is why the Ramblin Fan Draft Preview, will analyze one player from both offense and defense.

Position needs: OT, OLB, WR, OG, SS/FS, TE

Taylor Lewan (6 foot 8, 310 pounds)
Offensive Tackle (University of Michigan)
When you have Wayne Hunter and Barry Richardson as your starting offensive tackles, you know your team is screaming for help at the tackle positions. There have been two certain plays that have been constant reminders that the Rams need help at the offensive line. The first play was against the Seattle Seahawks, when their 320 pound defensive linemen drilled Sam Bradford to the ground causing him to land on his once injured shoulder. The second was very similar and happened against the Miami Dolphins two days ago. Their defensive linemen came crashing down on Bradfords shoulder once again. If this becomes a routine, don’t be surprised if Bradford turns into David Carr 2.0. Any quarterback that has had the protection Bradford has received in recent years, would never be able to show their full potential.

When you look at Taylor Lewan’s stats, the numbers you first realize, is his height of 6 foot 8. He is a giant, who is surprisingly athletic with nimble feet. Lewan has the potential to be the best tackle in next year’s draft. Lewan is relentless. He never gives up on plays and has a massive motor. Go and watch Michigan Vs Alabama from this year and notice how he shuts down everything Alabama throws at him. This move will help Rams’ offensive line in more than one way. Firstly, the blindside will be better protected, preventing Bradford from getting killed. Secondly, Roger Saffold will move to his preferable right tackle position. When the offensive line is healthy, look for for a much improved performance by Sam Bradford.

Eric Reid (6 foot 2, 210 pounds)
Safety (Louisiana State University)
The Rams’ secondary is almost complete. Cortland Finnegan is a beast on the outside and is very disruptive in the nickel formation. Janoris Jenkins is a young talent, who has formed into a fantastic playmaker. Notable mentions to Bradley Fletcher and Trumaine Johnson, who have played an important role in the Rams secondary thus far. None of the players mentioned though, are safeties. The truth is, Craig Dahl isn’t the answer for the safety position and Quintin Mikell is turning 33 next season. The Rams need a new look and Eric Reid will help change Rams’ issues at safety.

In 2011, Reid ranked equal first for LSU with 76 tackles. Reid also recorded three pass deflections, two interceptions, two tackles for loss and two force fumbles. Reid has been flying under the radar this year, mostly due to the fact that LSU have so many playmakers on their defence, that Reid doesn’t get the spotlight that he deserves. This year Reid hasn’t disappointed. It is now halfway through the college season and he has totalled 39 tackles, three pass deflections and one interception. Reid is the perfect size for a safety and has fantastic coverage and tackling skills to go with it. Even though Rams can use an upgrade at either safety position, Reid will make his presence felt most at free safety.

Follow the links to previous Ramblin Fan Draft Previews:
Week 1
Week 2