Les Snead and Jeff Fisher set the bar high in this year’s draft after they had such a successful draft last year selecting a handful of impact players that included Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Chris Givens, Brian Quick, and Daryl Richardson. If the Rams could have even half the draft they had last year, they could contend for a playoff spot this fall.
After almost every Rams pick the analysts on ESPN would praise it and would mention that the Rams draft board kept on getting better with every pick. The Rams began the draft trading up to get the most electrifying player in the draft, Tavon Austin and then got great value while also meeting a position of need by selecting Alec Ogletree. Both players will be able to come in and contribute day one.
The Rams didn’t select again until the third round when they chose the hardest hitting safety in the draft, T.J. McDonald and then selected teammate of Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey. The Rams made it a point to get playmakers for Sam Bradford, and they did just that with Austin and Bailey. The Rams also filled major holes on defense with McDonald and Ogletree. Both McDonald and Bailey will be able to come in and contribute day one, which is nice to get in a third round pick.
The Rams then got a major steal in the 4th round by taking Barrett Jones. Jones adds both depth and versatility to the offensive line. When the Rams offensive line has been hurt the team has struggled, because they had no depth, now they do with Jones. Jones has experience at all positions, but fits better on the inside. Jones will come in day one and be able compete for a starting job, and if he doesn’t get the starting role, the depth feature is always a good thing. Jones was predicted to be a second round pick or third round pick at worst. Some experts have been comparing Jones to hall of famer Bruce Mattews who coincidentally played for Jeff Fisher.
The Rams added more depth by taking CB Brandon McGee from Miami. McGee wont be competing for the starting role as the Rams are pretty solid at the cornerback position. However, McGee will add depth that the Rams lost with Brandon Fletcher leaving for Philadelphia. Championship teams are built with depth, and that’s exactly what the Rams added with their last two picks.
The Rams then traded away their 6th round picks to get RB Zac Stacy. Fisher and Snead basically said with this pick that they fully believe in the abilities of Richardson and Pead to carry the load this season. Stacy adds a physical element to the running game and will more than likely compete for that role with Ganaway.
Draft grades are always hard to do, just because you never know how a player is going to turn out, however in terms of value and need here is how the Rams did:
Best Pick: Tavon Austin. Austin is a playmaker that can score at anytime and anywhere on the field. He is a mismatch nightmare for defenses and will be a great addition for the Rams.
Worst Pick: Zac Stacy. Stacy didn’t make much sense and to get rid of picks to get him, didn’t seem worth it. It looked as if the Rams took a physical running back just to get a physical running back. If they were to trade up they should have gone up to get Lattimore or Franklin.
Biggest Steal: No choice but to go Barrett Jones here although Alec Ogletree still being available at 30 gets an honorable mention. Jones adds depth and had second round talent. The Rams took Jones in the 4th.
Overall Grade: A-, every player the Rams took looks to be an upgrade at the position or add depth. The Rams didn’t have a lot of picks, but they did a lot with the picks that they had. Every pick had great value, while also meeting a need. If the Rams rookies can contribute like last year’s class the Rams will be set for the next decade.