Top 30 Draft Selections in St. Louis Rams History

22 of 31

Sep 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long (91) runs on to the field before the game between the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

10. Chris Long, DE, Round 1, Pick 2 Overall, 2008

In all honesty, Chris Long probably hasn’t provided the production that the Rams probably envisioned from him when they drafted him second overall in 2008. With that said, he’s been a very dependable part of the defense for eight seasons, and he gave the Rams several seasons of elite sack production before settling in as a quality bookend to Robert Quinn over the past few years.

Long got off to somewhat of a rough start early in his career, going more than a year between sacks from October 2008 to November 2009. He lost his starting spot as James Hall and Leonard Little became the Rams’ starters in 2009, but after Little departed following that season, freeing up the left end position for Long, he found a way to turn it on.

Through a highly-successful four-year period, Long started all 64 games while finishing with season sack totals of 8.5 in 2010, 13 in 2011, 11.5 in 2012, and 8.5 in 2013. As Quinn came into his own during 2013 and collected 19 sacks as the two ends’ primes overlapped, they were considered the best defensive end duo in the NFL and earned the “White Thunder/Black Lightning” moniker.

Long has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons and has played a total of just 16 games with three sacks, while yielding his starting spot to William Hayes late in the 2015 season, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s been one of the longest-tenured, most successful defensive ends in team history. Long may not be the Hall of Fame type of player that a team hopes for when they select a collegiate athlete second overall, but he’s been a valued contributor for a long while and is one of the better draft selections in team history.

Next: 9. Grant Wistrom