On the defensive side of the ball, middle linebacker Will Witherspoon was a force, just as the Rams had hoped when they signed him in the 2006 offseason. The former Panther totaled well over 100 tackles and was seemingly everywhere at times. However, the linebackers flanking Witherspoon—Dexter Coakley and Brandon Chillar—did not up to the same level. Coakley played decently at times, but not consistently. Chillar is still developing, so the team may be patient with him. A linebacker is a definite need, though, and a player taken on the first day may be the direction the team wished to go.
Also, the team may look to upgrade by finding a replacement for Jimmy Kennedy at the defensive tackle position. Essentially, the team needs talent up front in order to put pressure on offenses and stop the rushing attack of opponents. The position is not weak, but it is a problem area in terms of consistency. The defensive line depth in the draft suggests that the team may draw from a pool of players at either position on the line.
Another defensive area that the Rams will focus on is at the end spot. Leonard Little is still playing great and he compiled thirteen sacks for all of last season. On the other end, Victor Adeyanju is young at twenty-four, but is probably not the answer St. Louis is looking for, and James Hall likely isn’t the right person for the job either. With Little turning thirty-three in October, and Adeyanju’s lack of production—one sack during the ’06 season—the Rams can add depth, but can also upgrade one of the starting positions by spending an early or mid-round draft on an end with athletic ability and worthy potential.
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