I have been doing some research on what some of the so-called “experts” think about the Rams 2011 draft, and I have to admit that I’m a little surprised at what I’ve seen. For the most part, everything I have read has been positive. Mst of the grades I have seen hover right around the B grade, which is about where I had it, and I even saw some A’s and A-’s. You have to be happy about that, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. Now, it’s time for me to run down my grades for the final four picks.
Round 5 – Jermale Hines (S, Ohio St.) – B+
I kind of like this pick, although I don’t know how much Hines will be able to contribute to the defense immediately. Since he is a 5th rounder, he probably won’t be expected to make a major impct right away, so you have to like him as a developmental prospect. He is know to be a hard-hitter and an aggressive player, but he doesn’t have a ton of top-end speed and he can be a liability in coverage. Spags likes his safeties to be able to hit, so he should like Hines just fine.
Round 7 – Mikail Baker (DB/KR, Baylor) – A
My grade here isn’t so much based on the fact that Baker is a great player, but it is based on the fact that I love the fact that the team took a chance on this guy. He has elite (4.3) speed, and he could contribute immediately in the return game. He has had durability concerns, but if we can keep him healthy, we might finally have an exciting, home-run threat in the return game that has been missing for over a decade. Other than Robert Quinn, this was my favorite pick in the entire draft for the Rams.
Round 7 – Jabara Williams (LB, Stephen F. Austin) – B
This is one of those picks that I really don’t feel strongly about one way or the other. Williams has the tools to develop into an NFL player, but he is pretty green and will take some time to be ready. He has a nice motor and does a good job attacking from sideline-to-sideline, but I wouldn’t expect to see him do much more than special teams if he makes the squad. He’s worth the risk in the 7th round.
Round 7 – Jonathan Nelson (DB, Oklahoma) – B+
Nelson is a bit of an interesting case. He can play both safety and corner, and he showed flashes of being pretty solid in coverage during his time as a Sooner. He comes across to me as the kind of guy who could be under the radar, but someone would could contribute on both defense and special teams down the road. The expectations will be low as a 7th rounder, but I wouldn’t be completely shocked if we