• Joe Strauss
When the smokescreens cleared, the Rams opted Thursday for a road grader over a bandwagon. Given a second shot at booking a carnival, they shored a trench.
The adults in the organization’s second-story war room controlled the process, spending the second overall pick of a long-anticipated draft on Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson and the No. 13 selection on Pittsburgh fireplug defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The Rams took starch over sizzle. In the regime’s third draft, head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead adhered to a philosophy of building inside-out rather than turning things upside down.
“When you lay the foundation for your skyscraper, that’s the least exciting thing you do. But that’s the thing that holds the skyscraper up for a number of years,” Snead noted shortly after the club took Donald, a smallish, dogged pass rusher who amassed 28 1/2 tackles for loss last season.
The Rams sought dominance on both lines. Drafting Robinson creates the possibility of four tackles comprising 80 percent of the starting line. The 332-pound Robinson paved SEC defenses as Auburn rolled up 4,596 rushing yards.