Eugene Monroe, OT Virginia
6' 5", 309 lbs.
Positives: With the release of Orlando Pace, the Rams need a strong left tackle to protect Marc Bulger's blind-side. Eugene Monroe has the prototypical ideal OT physique of height, proportion (arm span of 33 7/8 inches), and speed to make Rams fans expect the next coming of Pace. He has good feet and keeps his defender in front of him well. He's able to match speed rushers and bull rushers alike with a mixture of speed and balance that is ideal for pass protection. He's able to reach the second level well and neutralize linebackers. Can line-up as a tight-end with athleticism to be a viable option.
Negatives: Tends to catch rushers rather than initiating the contact to knock them off their move. Needs to shift some of his gut weight to muscle weight. Needs to improve instincts where to be looking when plays break down or when the blitzer takes an inside angle.
Why the Rams will draft him: It's debatable who is the better fit for the Rams, Monroe or Alabama's Andre Smith. In light of Smith's poor pro-day performance, Monroe, who is tabbed in a few Mocks to go first to Detroit, is the favorite to replace Orlando Pace. He will give Bulger plenty of protection and Steven Jackson will love his ability to clear defenders. Get used to seeing Monroe for a long time, Cardinals faithful.
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