EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Former Rams general manager Billy Devaney wasn’t around in St. Louis when the team used the No. 19 pick in the 2005 NFL draft on offensive tackle Alex Barron.
Devaney was around for the end of Barron’s tenure in St. Louis, though. In fact, it was Devaney who was calling the shots when the team parted ways with him in 2010 after five years.
On Monday afternoon’s edition of ESPN's "NFL Insiders," Devaney cut to the heart of the matter on why Barron never lived up to his potential.
"He does not like anything about the game except getting paid,” Devaney said.
Coming out of Florida State in 2005, nobody questioned Barron’s physical abilities. He was 6-foot-7, 320 pounds with the wingspan of a condor and a two-time All-American.
Offensive tackles with that size and résumé rarely fall out of the top five of the NFL draft let along the top 10. Questions about Barron’s effort level were enough to push him to No. 19, where the Rams grabbed him in hopes that he could be the bookend for Orlando Pace and become his long-term successor.
Barron proved durable in the sense that he started 74 games in his five seasons with the Rams. But most in St. Louis remember him for his ability to consistently earn penalties. He drew 43 flags for false starts and 13 holding penalties while with the Rams.
Devaney was two seasons into his tenure as Rams general manager when he dealt Barron to Dallas for linebacker Bobby Carpenter only a couple weeks after drafting current right tackle Rodger Saffold in the second round of the 2010 draft. The Rams drafted Jason Smith in the first round in 2009.