Biggs: Spagnuolo keeping all options open
Don’t lock the St. Louis Rams into selecting a defensive tackle with the No. 1 pick in the draft, that is now 64 days away. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said the team has just completed going through evaluations for free agency and will now focus intently on prospects for the draft.
Yes, Spagnuolo says that a quarterback – Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen – could still be in play for the top pick. St. Louis, which passed on Mark Sanchez a year ago with the No. 2 pick, has a decision to make. Stick with veteran Marc Bulger or plot a new course with a new quarterback, preferably a young one to build around for the future.
"I hope everybody doesn't think I would be opposed to (drafting a quarterback No. 1),” Spagnuolo told reporters on Tuesday in St. Louis.
"It'll come down to — and I know you're talking about the first (overall) pick — it'll come down to the best guy to take at that position at that particular time.”
The Rams used their high pick a year ago on future left tackle Jason Smith and Spagnuolo believes firmly that teams are built from the lines out. That would make Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh an ideal choice.
"I've said this from the beginning, you build from the inside out," Spagnuolo said. "You start with the linemen and move your way out."
Getting back to the free agents the Rams have studied, Spagnuolo has a history with recently released linebacker Antonio Pierce, and St. Louis’ defense was decimated at the position last season. The Rams traded Will Witherspoon to Philadelphia during the season and really the only piece they had for the future at the position was rookie second-round draft pick James Laurinaitis.
Pierce could be a steadying influence for a young defense, but he’s coming off a neck injury even if agent Drew Rosenhaus is insisting his client is healthy.
"I think the world of him," Spagnuolo said. "I know he had the (neck) injury last year, I was sorry to see that. But I'll have to visit with him."
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