The 2012 NFL Draft is coming up and this year's class of available players looks to be stacked. Washington Huskies defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu was figuring to be a top pick early in the 2011 NCAA season, but a year of injuries and a less-than-spectacular performance in the offensive sprint that was the Alamo Bowl led to a decrease in chatter surrounding Ta'amu.
It appears that he still figures to place well in the draft, however. Robert Occhipinti of Drafttek predicts that Ta'amu will be selected as the No. 33 overall pick. In other words, the very first selection in the second round. That pick would belong to the St. Louis Rams. Here's Occhipinti's reasoning.
The Rams use a DT rotation of at least 4 in each game, yet the Rams only have two good tackles: 35 year old Fred Robbins and 33 year old Justin Bannan. The drop off in talent after them is immense - as a result the Rams having a bottom 5 ranking in all rush defense stats in 2011. Alameda Ta'amu is a huge mountain of strength with surprising agility that commands double teams in the run game and can open up lanes to the QB in the pass rush. He lacks long arms to be an effective pass rusher but the size and talent he displays makes him great in run situations, and a good compliment to the end rushing duo of Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Inside he will allow Robbins and Bannan the chance to rest and be more effective when they are on the field. Depth, size, talent and youth are the reasons Alameda Ta'amu is a good choice for the Rams
Makes a lot of sense and is something worth keeping an eye on in the coming months. It appears Ta'amu is still regarded as a top pick for teams looking to beef up their 4-3 defense.
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