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Draft review: St. Louis Rams

Austin from West Virginia University stands with NFL Commissioner Goodell after being selected by St. Louis Rams as eighth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft in New York Reuters

After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The St. Louis Rams.

What they needed: Running back, wide receiver, safety, guard.

Who they got:
Round 1: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virgina; Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Round 3: T.J. McDonald, S, USC; Steadman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
Round 4: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Round 5: Brandon McGee, CB, Miami (FL); Zachary Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt

Where they hit: The Rams put together one of the more impressive draft classes in the league. They added the top playmaker in the draft in West Virginia’s Tavon Austin – then they drafted his teammate Steadman Bailey in the third round. Sam Bradford should finally have the weapons he needs at the receiver position. T.J. McDonald was a strong value pick in the third round and could be an opening day starter. Alec Ogletree, a former safety, gives the Rams some intriguing versatility at linebacker.

Where they missed: Not much. Despite a smaller number of draft picks, the Rams made the most of their limited opportunities. St. Louis may have waited too long to add another running back to the mix following the departure of Steven Jackson to Atlanta, but it’s a fairly minor quibble.  The Rams were able to address each of their core needs.

Impact rookies: Austin should have an immediate impact for the Rams offense. St. Louis will likely use Austin in a variety of ways, including lining him up in the backfield. McDonald has a chance to start as Darian Stewart is the only other safety on the roster with starting experience. Ogletree should help improve the coverage ability of the Rams linebacker corps.

Long-term prospects: The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks may have stronger rosters in the NFC West but the Rams have improved significantly. St. Louis went 4-1-1 against the division in 2012 and their draft class helped fill many of their needs. Austin has the chance to be an explosive player in space similar to that of Percy Harvin. The additions on offense should allow the Rams to truly get a feel for how good Sam Bradford can be.

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13 Responses to “Draft review: St. Louis Rams”
  1. datdangdrewdundunituhgin says: Apr 29, 2013 8:26 PM

    barrett jones is a tough ball player. he was a steal in the 4th. i like what i see from these rams, they’re gonna fight hard.

  2. jjb0811 says: Apr 29, 2013 8:40 PM

    Fisher has had media praise he entire career. He wins about 50% of his games, but that 1 Super Bowl appearance cancels the roughly 50% of games he loses.

    As ‘great’ of a draft as everyone is proclaiming, I don’t see them topping the ‘9ers or Seahawks.

  3. gregm5s7 says: Apr 29, 2013 8:46 PM

    Jeff Fisher has turned the Rams into a tough, respectable team.

    However, let’s see the small WR play before we start drooling over him.

  4. samtheram says: Apr 29, 2013 8:54 PM

    The Rams are on the up, they might be another year but are building their roster the right way for a change.

  5. themackstrong says: Apr 29, 2013 9:07 PM

    The Rams have really turned things around the last few years and I think Les Snead has been on the money. I second the media love affair with Jeff Fisher as a coach. He gets treated and paid like the best coaches in the NFL and I think it has to do more with his circle of friends rather than his win-loss record.

  6. thejabronisayz says: Apr 29, 2013 9:46 PM

    I’m a Rams fan, and while I wholeheartedly hope that they compete for the division, I just don’t see it. Don’t get me wrong, I am anxious for the season to begin and hope that they can compete for a wild card, I just don’t see them taking down the 49ers or Seahawks. Everyone says, and rightfully so, “the Rams went 4-1-1 in the division.” That’s true – but they finished 7-8-1, which means they went 3-7 outside the division. They can’t lose close away games against the Lions and Dolphins; they can’t come out entirely flat against the Vikings and JETS at home. They can’t have penalties on the road in OT against the 49ers, a division rival, that wipe out potentially game winning pass plays and/or game winning field goals. It’s the mark of a young and inexperienced team. They played tough against the division last year which shows how the young guys are hungry to win and compete, but they seemed to lay eggs at other times, which shows how sometimes the young guys just don’t step up at the right time.

    I think the game for me that showed the disparity between the Rams and Seahawks was when the Rams went to Buffalo and won on a late TD pass 15-12. The Seahawks went into Buffalo the following week and hung over 50 points on the Bills. Destroyed them.

    I want the Rams to compete for the playoffs next year, and only until they decisively beat the mediocre teams and then win those road games against beatable opponents will I view them as legitimate division contenders. Until then, I will still take solace in the fact that the team’s arrow is pointing up, for the first time in a long time.

  7. turfrage says: Apr 29, 2013 9:50 PM

    Yet the Niners and Seahawks both had trouble beating them last year without these weapons… In fact, the Niners couldn’t do it.

  8. rodge1 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:28 PM

    Austin would be great in flag-football, not sure about tackle-football though…

  9. cgsuddeath says: Apr 29, 2013 10:55 PM

    @jjb0811 says: Apr 29, 2013 8:40 PM

    Fisher has had media praise he entire career. He wins about 50% of his games, but that 1 Super Bowl appearance cancels the roughly 50% of games he loses.

    As ‘great’ of a draft as everyone is proclaiming, I don’t see them topping the ’9ers or Seahawks.
    =====================================
    We’ll see about that.With a different and supportive owner and GM,your presumed favorites might get a run for their money.

  10. bkh405 says: Apr 30, 2013 12:01 AM

    Rams killed it, and will continue to do so come the regular season.

  11. drew1969 says: Apr 30, 2013 1:02 PM

    Very nice draft by Mr.Snead.Things are looking up in STL.

  12. garyhd01 says: Apr 30, 2013 2:56 PM

    I support the jabroniz comments with 1 caveat that was indeed last year the rams went on the road and stunk it up got pummeled by the afc east and nfc north however he pointed out their youth and inexperience well another year has passed they actually got younger but more experienced and gave the offensive side of the ball true reason for optimism and while they say we have a rough schedule I like us in 4 out of 6 in our division 3 of 4 against the nfc south and 3 of 4 against afc south and a split in the 2 conference out of division 3rd place team games so that’s 4+3+3+1=11 wins should be solidly in the playoffs go rams

  13. docboss says: May 2, 2013 10:44 PM

    Rams will be a better team with a poorer record than last year. They need another draft and the cap to bring the 49ers and Seahawks back down to their level. I just hope the fans and management will understand this and give Snead and Fisher time.

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