With the second pick in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams selected DE Chris Long out of the University of Virginia. This post could have appeared earlier in the day, thanks to Michael Smith’s prescient reporting that mentioned that the Rams had their sights locked and loaded on the 6’3 D-end.
There are various reasons I like Chris Long, but the one that’s more significant and initially impacting as to what he can bring to the club is this: his motoring skills. Like I’ve mentioned before, Rams DE James Hall made so many errors last season by taking the wrong angles to chase down quarterbacks. He would find a way to blast past an opponents left tackle, only to find himself chasing a QB that stepped up and made a nonchalant pass. James Hall’s incompetence has been jettisoned with this pick. Chris Long’s ability to burst off the snap and fly off the end by using his skilled hands and fundamentally sound football knowledge to break away and chase after quarterbacks. Something Hall was awful at doing in 2007.
Let’s hope that Chris will have the same impact on the game as his father Howie did.