Shutdown Corner - NFL

Keith Null(notes), St. Louis Rams quarterback and Ryan Leaf protégé, went 7-of-17 for 57 yards today, leading the Rams to a highly successful 28-6 loss at the hands of the very mediocre 49ers. The glorious drubbing clinched the first overall draft pick for the Rams, and might be the best thing to happen to the franchise in years.

It's good for draft fans, too, as the Rams being at the top mixes some suspense into the draft. The consensus best player available will be Ndamukong Suh, the beastly defensive tackle out of Nebraska. The Rams, however, are also in dire need of a quarterback, and if this season has proved anything, it's that good quarterbacks make good teams.

Had the Lions ended up with the pick, you could've gone ahead and started ordering your Honolulu blue "Suh" jerseys this evening. They believe they already have their franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford(notes). They end up with the second pick, which probably works out better for them. If the Rams go quarterback, they could get the best player in the draft at number two, and save a few bucks in the process. Fortunately, Matt Millen's no longer around, so they probably won't draft Golden Tate.

If the Rams do decide to go quarterback, that still leaves some suspense in the air. The NFL's minor league feeder system (often referred to as "college football") hasn't produced a clear-cut top player there, either. Sam Bradford of Oklahoma is a popular choice, and some believe in the pro potential of Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame. Jake Locker of Washington's gotten some attention, Colt McCoy of Texas is a possibility, and there will always be those arguing for Tim Tebow out of Florida.

Who knows? Maybe there will be a clearer answer when they're done playing this odd series of season-ending games named after agricultural products and random business entities.

Other players believed to be headed for the top five include safety Eric Berry of Tennessee, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and offensive tackle Russell Okung of Oklahoma State.

The rest of the top five in order: the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Cleveland Browns.

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