(FootballSTL) - When the Rams traded down for what seemed like the millionth time in the draft last April they selected someone who wasn't really on many fans' radars. Not only that, they selected someone who played a position no one really (again, among fans) targeted as a huge need.
With the 14th pick in the 1st round, the Rams took Michael Brockers. Defensive tackle. LSU.
Wasn't exactly the splash most were anticipating.
And when he sprained his ankle during the preseason it changed the time frame for when everyone would truly get to see him on the field
Well, once Brockers did return - Week 4 versus Seattle - it took him exactly three weeks before he got this whole NFL thing figured out. The Houston native had just a pair of tackles in his first three games. Just two. And not a single sack.
His fourth game against Green Bay? Bam. Four tackles and a sack of Aaron Rodgers. It was a coming out party that many had hoped for. The New England disaster followed in London where no one played well. Since then, Brockers has been on a tear. Five tackles against San Francisco (plus one and a half sacks); three each against the Jets, Cardinals and Niners before having by far his best game as a Ram last Sunday versus Buffalo. Seven tackles, one and a half sacks and a key forced fumble.
This recent strong play has shown multiple things. First of all, GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher know what they're doing. They didn't succumb to public pressure and go all out for a huge name like Justin Blackmon. They didn't succumb to public pressure and draft a wide receiver no matter what.
They took the best player on their board...regardless of the position he played.
That's the other thing it's shown. You don't win championships seconds after drafting someone. Just because a guy had a prolific and highly publicized collegiate career doesn't mean he's the end all to winning a Super Bowl. So going all out for the "name" in April isn't what many believe it is.
Les Snead and Jeff Fisher are making the decisions whether fans like it or not. When someone is picked you really have no choice but to believe in them and what they're doing. Trust they made the right call and let it play out.
If the time comes and they are wrong most of the time and things are not turning around...they won't be making decisions for very long will they?
That initial trade with the Redskins gave the Rams so many extra picks it will give them a ton of chances to add talent. Two extra first rounders to be exact.
I'm not suggesting 10 games into Brockers' career that he's going to end up in Canton one day. He could falter for a multitude of reasons. No one knows what the future will predict.
But you cannot ignore how much of an impact the rookie from LSU has made since putting on the pads and needing three games to work the kinks out. Having stout defensive tackles makes life a million times easier for not only the ends but also the linebackers. If the offensive line needs to use, say, a center and a guard to take on one defensive tackle that frees up blockers for guys like Robert Quinn and Chris Long. Not to mention James Laurinaitis.
A lot can happen from now until the day he decides to hang em up. But it's looking like the Rams found a nice little (and by little I mean big) defensive tackle that can cause offensive linemen head aches for a while.