On Wednesday, we covered the best defensive tackle to ever be drafted by the Rams. The choice was an easy one: Merlin Olsen.
Today’s task is a bit tougher. You see, the Rams have drafted a lot of dud defensive tackles over the years, especially between the years of 2001 and 2007. As usual, I’m only considering guys drafted between rounds one and three, so you can see the list here of guys that qualify for this dubious award.
After careful consideration, I must award the “worst defensive tackle ever drafted by the Rams award” to one Claude Wroten, who was part of the despicable 2006 Rams draft class.
Wroten was picked at the top of the third round, 68th overall, in 2006 and was out of football by the end of the 2007 season. At least former Rams busts like Damione Lewis, Jimmy Kennedy and Adam Carriker were able to catch on with other teams and prove they were NFL-worthy.
Wroten, meanwhile, played in 26 games (zero starts) and had 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Not exactly the production you’re looking for from a guy picked in the top 70. However, Wroten’s off-the-field troubles doomed him more than his subpar on-field performance.
In 2007, he served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Less than a year later, Wroten tested positive yet again and was suspended for the entire 2008 season. The Rams cut ties with Wroten and demanded he return a portion of his signing bonus.
Wroten has bounced around the CFL and Arena League football in the years since then. He appears to have gotten his life back together though and is seeking another chance in the NFL. (He was reinstated by the NFL prior to the 2010 season.)
I wish Wroten all the best in his mission to stay clean and maybe even get another shot in the NFL (at age 30, that’s highly unlikely though). But he’s still the worst defensive tackle the Rams have ever drafted.