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Rams should heed history before drafting Liuget

Could Liuget be the next in a long line of failed defensive tackle first round picks for the Rams?

Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” Einstein’s words have echoed loud and clear over the last decade of Rams drafts, especially in regards to the defensive tackle position.

The Rams brass continued using high picks on the interior of the defensive line, but none of the prospects ever panned out.

Of the three defensive tackles selected in the first round of the 2001 and 2003 drafts by St. Louis, none played more than six seasons in the Gateway City and all are currently back-ups on different teams

If history is any indication, Billy Devaney should take some caution in the now trendy pick of Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget as the Rams first round pick in the 2011 draft.

In 2001, the Rams used both of their first round selections on defensive tackles, taking Damione Lewis with the 12th pick and Ryan Pickett with the 29th while passing up on eventual perennial Pro Bowlers Casey Hampton and Kris Jenkins.

Lewis was the more disruptive of the two, with 10.5 sacks and 88 tackles in his five years in St. Louis but never lived up to the billing of the 12th pick. For perspective, Ndamukong Suh had 10 sacks and 66 tackles in his first season with the Detroit Lions last year.

Pickett was a dependable tackler with 176 in his five years with the Rams and played in all but five games, but also only had six sacks before moving to the Packers in 2006.

Finally there is Jimmy Kennedy, regarded as one of the biggest draft busts in the history of the Rams organization. As repayment for taking him 12th overall in 2001, he had two tackles as a rookie and a total of 68 along with four sacks over his four year career in St. Louis. He was shipped to the Broncos in 2007 for a sixth round pick and was cut from the Denver squad before the season even began.

Liuget could turn out to have an entirely different career, but the Rams need to do their homework on a player who only had eight sacks over three years at Illinois and wasn’t even the best in his conference after he was relegated to the All Big-10 second team in 2010.

If they do go with Liuget, maybe he’ll bring different results and be the one to restore sanity to the long-line of failed Rams defensive tackle picks.

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