The 2011 NFL Draft is officially in the books, and I have to admit that I was pretty happy with what the Rams did on the final day. The team chose Hawaii WR Greg Salas with their fourth-round pick and then picked Ohio St. safety Jermale Hines in the fifth round. After a trade netted the team an extra seventh-rounder, the team added Baylor DB Mikail Baker, Stephen F. Austin LB Jabara Williams, and Oklahoma DB Jonathan Nelson.
I like the Salas pick quite a bit, especially considering the Rams’ offensive philosophy is obviously to put reliable, sure-handed pass-catchers around Sam Bradford. This guy was a catch machine at Hawaii, and he should be a nice possession receiver in the NFL. Hines has some decent size at about 6-foot-1, and he was known for being a hard-hitter in college. We need a guy who can strike fear in the heart of receivers who want to go across the middle, so maybe he can develop into that player. Baker might be my favorite pick of the day. He has good size, and more importantly, blazing speed. He ran in the 4.3’s in the 40 at his Pro Day, and I could see him being an exciting weapon in the return game, which is where he excelled in college. Williams is a sideline-to-sideline backer who will need plenty of development and play special teams, and Nelson is more of a coverage safety who had a nice senior year with the Sooners.
Obviously, this draft wasn’t perfect for the Rams, but after some time to sit back and look at it, I really like what we did. We got our stud in the first round in Robert Quinn, and we got weapons for Bradford in the middle. We then used the end of the draft to pick up some guys who could develop into contributors on the defensive end and who can play teams. I still think passing on Mason Foster in the third for Austin Pettis was a huge mistake, especially after the Salas pick, but we needed weapons in the Red Zone and he will provide that. What say you? Hit up the comments section and let me know how you felt about the Rams 2011 draft and vote on the poll grading the team’s draft.