While the St. Louis Rams are thought to be most interested in an offensive tackle with the No. 2 pick of the NFL draft, coach Jeff Fisher indicated he wouldn't be afraid to add South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, even though the club is already in good shape at that position.
Nor is he bothered that Clowney's big-play production nose-dived in his final collegiate season.
"Not if you watch the games, it's not (a concern)," Fisher said, according to stltoday.com. "Because the effort's there. You've got to give offenses credit, too. I mean they were aware of where he was. They turned the center towards him. When the ball came out, they'd check out with backs just like we do in our league with good rushers."
Notice Fisher praised Clowney's effort? That would also be a fairly clear indication that Fisher isn't seeing the same on-and-off motor many of Clowney's critics see. Clowney himself takes that particular knock on his game as insulting, as he should. As for the offensive game-planning by South Carolina opponents that attempted to limit Clowney's impact all season, that's been the narrative the Clowney camp began building before last season even ended.
Need-based projections on the Rams' choice at No. 2 still, however, center around Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews or Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson, both of whom Fisher remarked on, as well. While highly impressed with Robinson's athletic skills, Fisher said his lack of experience in a pro-style offense may result in a lengthier developmental stage. Fisher also had high praise for Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but added that he is confident in the talent already on hand in St. Louis at that position.
"He's very, very explosive," Fisher said. "I mean, he's good with the ball. He's good without the ball. He's one of those guys that can pluck a ball at his ankles running full speed. He's gonna be a very, very good pro."
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.