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Fantasy Information: Alex Barron and the Rams Offensive Line

San Francisco 49ers v St. Louis Rams

In 2005 tackle Alex Barron was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the first round at the NFL draft. Since the Rams had a great left tackle in Orlando Pace, they moved Alex over to the right tackle position.

For an offensive line that has had so many injury problems over the past three seasons, Barron has been a staple as he’s started all but one game in that time.

The Times are a Changing

Former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is now the head coach in St. Louis.
Obviously Steve is a very talented coach when it comes to the defensive side of the ball, so one has to believe the Rams will get better in that regard.

While I thought it was a timely move to release Orlando Pace, I was disappointed that they released veteran receiver Torry Holt.

With Holt gone the Rams are left with no one for defenses to respect in the passing game. Now they will have to rely on youngsters Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton.

The 2009 NFL Draft

In the draft St. Louis selected Baylor standout Jason Smith with the second over all pick. Jason stands in at an impressive 6’5 and 309 pound with good speed for a linemen. While he is a great replacement on the o-line for Pace, he is not project to be the left tackle.

That job is Alex Barron’s as Jason is slated to play right tackle this season. While Smith is a gifted pass protector, many analysts say he needs to still improve in the running game. How ever there is also a wide belief that Jason will eventually take over as the left tackle on the team.

St. Louis Rams Mini Camp

Alex Barron’s time to shine

This is Barron’s final year of his rookie contract that paid him 9.2 million (possible 11 million with incentives) all together.

While I do believe Barron will have a good year, I just hope the Rams are not dumb enough to let this guy leave for free agency. I’m sure if they do not get a deal done with him this year, they will no doubt use their franchise tag on him in 2010.

The only problem with that is that Barron would get paid top 5 money as a left tackle as apposed to a right tackle.

That is great news for Alex, but one as to ask if the Rams will try and list him as a right tackle when they franchise him?

The two main reasons they might try this is because for one they would pay him less and for two they might end up playing him at right tackle in 2010. By that time Jason Smith should be ready to take over as the left tackle and I’m sure they would rather have Jason (and his big contract) playing on the left as opposed to the right.

Paying the Money and Keeping the Line Intact

If the Rams want to go back to the playoffs in the years to come, they need a strong offensive line. While Barron’s situation (as shown above) could potentially get complicated, the Rams would be wise to give Barron a new contract this off-season.

With Barron and Smith on the team together, St. Louis could have one of the best bookend pairs in football for years to come.

Throw in stud free agent center Jason Brown from Baltimore and you have an o-line that could go from zero to hero in one season.

NFL: JAN 04 AFC Wild Card - Ravens at Dolphins

Fantasy Football Information for the Rams offense

While I do believe the Rams offense will find more success this season, they will be even better in 2010. Especially if Marc Bulger begins to trust his boys up front and stops being so gun shy.

Right now you can get all the Rams players at a low price in your fantasy draft this summer.

Steven Jackson should be available in most drafts in the second round (that is low for his talent). He should have a productive year now that he has a better o-line in front of him. The only thing I still need to see from Jackson, is he needs to stay healthy (missed four games each of the last two seasons).

Receiver Donnie Avery and kicker Josh Brown are the only other players on this team I can suggest drafting this year. Both players should be drafted towards the back end of your draft as they need to prove they can be consistent week to week.

Marc Bulger and Keenan Burton are players you should keep an eye on for waiver wire pickups if the Rams start showing fantasy relevance as the season goes along.

Sean E. Douglas:

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