After taking Eugene Monroe in the first round, Van Ram, chief blogger at Turf Show Times continues to target tackles. This time, on the other side of the ball.
The Rams have a ton of pressure to hit a home run with their second overall pick in the draft, but they also have to find a building block player with their second round pick that can be a contributor. The middle of the Rams defense has been a trouble spot for some time' their 2008 effort against the run set a franchise record for futility.
Though they have some good pass rushers on the end and a couple of solid under tackles in Adam Carriker and Clifton Ryan, they lack, sorely lack, a big presence in the middle, a guy who commands double teams. Sure, any old big-body tackle would fill the team's need in the middle, but Brace gives them a guy who can do so much more. With Brace taking up two blockers, the Rams can finally get some pass rushing production from Carriker, a first-round pick -- and whomever else plays at under tackle -- allowing him to slide through the line and pressure the quarterback. And it's not just the UT that benefits. The ends, with our link to past glory Leonard Little on one and the promise the future in Chris Long on the other side, can better get to the quarterback with the middle finally requiring so much attention. Brace could be the kind of nose tackle that makes the rest of the line better at the expense of his own stats.
MTD thoughts: The re-draft following Jay Cutler's trade to Chicago left Brandon Pettigrew on the board. He would be a perfect fit for the Rams' offense, which plans on relying heavily on Steven Jackson. Brace is a solid pick that fills a need, but a tight end may have been a better one.
Mocking the Draft's Top Five Remaining Prospects - DE Michael Johnson, WR Percy Harvin, OT Phil Loadholt, OT Eben Britton, TE Brandon Pettigrew