From April to August, every report about the newly drafted players are positive. Not one draftee is a bust, instead most draftee’s fall under the ‘promising’ status. If a team’s coaching staff get the feeling that a rookie isn’t what they’d hoped for, the coach’s comments about the player is usually not to the point, usually choosing to beat around the bush. Now that the NFL season has just passed the halfway mark, fans, coaches and the media have a better understanding of what the once ‘promising’ status has changed in to.
Over the past seven years the Rams have drafted very poorly, hence the poor records over this time period. Steven Jackson is the last player the Rams have drafted who made the pro bowl. In the 2012 NFL draft, the St. Louis Rams were on the clock 10 times, only behind the Cleveland Browns who had 11 draft picks. If the Rams manage three decent players from the 2012 draft class, it would be considered a great result for an up and coming, young football team. This is how the 2012 draft class has graded so far:
Michael Brockers DT, Pick 14
Reports from training camp were stating that Brockers’ performance was dominant. His preseason execution backed up the reports that came from training camp. Brockers was on a roll until a cheap block from the last preseason game, saw him sidelined for the next five weeks. Brockers was a little slow to get rolling. It wasn’t until week seven against the Green Bay Packers, that the Ram fans saw what they were hoping for. He accumulated four tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack. Although it is hard to judge his performance thus far, expect Brockers to become a force in the middle.
Brian Quick WR, Pick 33
The reports from training camp were pretty vague about Brain Quick. The sorts of comments that were made about Quick gave the Ram fans something to worry about. The coaches never seemed sold on what they saw in him. So far this season, Quick’s yards have come from junk time. Quick will take sometime developing before fans see what the Rams saw in him at the draft.
Janoris Jenkins CB, Pick 39
The Rams took a big risk in drafting this troubled, yet talented cornerback. It’s tough to grade Jenkins on his performance this year. There are times when he looks like a stout cornerback with endless talent and then there are times when you wonder ‘how could he be a starting corner?’
Jenkins will eventually get rid of his frustrating habit of ball watching and will become the play maker that the Rams will hope for.
Isaiah Pead RB, Pick 50
Pead was going into training camp hoping he would be the number two running back behind Steven Jackson. Instead, that number two position was won by the seventh round pick, Daryl Richardson. Pead didn’t do anything wrong to lose this job, it was more Richardson’s fantastic preseason that won it for him. Pead had some good carries against the Patriots when the game was all sealed up. Other than that, he hasn’t really had a chance to prove his worth.
Trumaine Johnson CB, Pick 65
Johnson is surrounded by talent. Like Pead, Johnson has been out played by other players at his position. When Johnson has been on the field, he seems to make plays that are very noticeable. Johnson will eventually move to free safety in the future.
Chris Givens WR, Pick 96
After a slow start to the season, Givens has transformed into a deep threat for opposing teams. He has already set records as the only rookie to have four consecutive 50+ yard plays in a game. Givens is very similar to Mike Wallace in the way they each create big plays. Look for Givens to surpass his 13 receptions for 333 yards and two touchdowns in the second half of the season.
Rokevious Watkins G, Pick 150
Watkins was only able to play the week 1 game against the Lions before being placed on the Injured Reserve. When he’s back and healthy, don’t be surprised if the Rams cut him as Rams will more than likely address the interior line in the offseason.
Greg Zuerlein K, Pick 171
This guy has been nothing short of amazing. He was yet to miss a field goal until his 15th attempt. In his young career he has already hit from 60 and 58 yards. Expect Zuerlein to break the NFL record for the longest field goal. This guy is money.
Aaron Brown OLB, Pick 209
Brown didn’t make the final roster.
Daryl Richardson RB, Pick 301
The best pick of the draft. Going into the 2012 draft, the Rams’ mission was to find a replacement running back for Steven Jackson. The Rams used one of their three second round picks on Isaiah Pead, who they thought would fill that void. With Daryl Richardson dominating the preseason, the Rams couldn’t ignore the seventh rounders performances, so he was elevated to the back up running back. Expect Richardson to be the number one running back sometime throughout this season.