Jeff Fisher's First Challenge in St. Louis: Don't Botch the NFL Draft, Which the Rams Have Done For the Last Decade

Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins Friday, and he was widely praised for making a wise decision, since the Rams play in a horrible division, have a franchise QB and franchise RB, and have the 2nd pick in the 2012 draft. If not for major injuries on the offensive line, the Rams probably would have been a 5-6 win team, which means don’t be shocked if they make a leap back to around .500 in 2012.

I should put an asterisk besides “back to around .500” with this caveat: If they draft wisely. That’s not something they’ve done in the last decade. Here’s a hard-to-believe stat:

The Rams drafted wide receiver Torry Holt with their first pick in the 1999 draft. Holt, selected to seven Pro Bowls, was a fantastic choice. That was followed by a lengthy, horrific drought.

From 2000 through 2011, the Rams drafted 104 players. And of the 104 players, only one has made the Pro Bowl. That’s running back Steven Jackson, who has been honored three times. One more time: 104 draft picks, one Pro Bowl player.

I don’t put a ton of stock in Pro Bowl selections, but one out of the last 104 is so pathetic that I had to look up their draft history. This site has all the terrible selections. I used a photo of Trung Candidate for this post because he was the Rams’ 1st-round pick the year after they selected Torry Holt. Canidate, who starred at Arizona, carried 240 times for 1,095 yards and seven TDs … in four seasons with the Rams and Redskins. He was out of the league at the age of 26. The rest of the list is equally ghastly.

Fisher’s got a crucial decision to make with the No. 2 pick: Take a potentially-elite receiver in Justin Blackmon, or draft a potential franchise left tackle in Matt Kalil to protect Sam Bradford? Surely a segment of the Rams’ fanbase doesn’t want to take Kalil and see him turn into another Jason Smith (their No. 1 pick in 2009 who has been a bust), which is why I think Blackmon is the obvious choice. Unless, of course, someone wants to trade up and select Robert Griffin No. 2 overall?

Previously: Who will trade with the Rams to jump up and grab Robert Griffin?
Previously: NFL 2012 Mock Draft 4.0

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