With the 39th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the St. Louis Rams select Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu. Ee Oulo is serving as the Rams' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
As I mentioned in the No. 33 pick write-up, the new front office and coaching staff make predicting the picks for the Rams a difficult task. The one thing we do know about the new coach, Jeff Fisher, is he values a strong defense and in particular places high value on dominant line play. With 2/3 of the picks in the first two rounds, they are making great strides to build from the lines out. So with the 39th pick, it's a pleasure to bring in the imposing Alameda Ta'amu, a defensive tackle of Washington.
To put it bluntly, Ta'amu is a monster coming in at 6'2", 348 lbs. He's as strong as you might expect and is able to eat up double teams. While he is able to get under linemen and gain push to collapse the pocket, he isn't likely to be a sackmaster by any means. For such a big man, he is able to work to secure the edge surprisingly well when the play moves outside. He's also got very solid hands and generally gets the stop once he gets a hand on the carrier. This line just got a whole lot better against the run, and as he develops, his technique will likely be considered well above average.
This OL-eating force will work out extremely well next to new addition Kendall Langford, who plays the three technique and is formerly of the Bengals. The addition of fellow 1T DT Trevor Laws should help in his development in giving him a competent player to be used in the rotation. This offseason's work of building the interior line is going to pay huge dividends for the progression of Chris Long and Robert Quinn at DE, and we can expect a big year from them. Solidifying this unit will also prove valuable for newly drafted OLB Shea McClellin and returning MLB James Laurinaitis on blitz packages. While they could benefit from added rotational depth at DE, this line is now looking very competitive. That's a refreshing change for this long-struggling unit.
Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.