Rival Update: St. Louis Rams Draft Evaluation
By Keith Myers
Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Tavon Austin (West Virginia) is introduced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the number eight overall pick to the St. Louis Rams during the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
It’s time for the 2nd installment of my evaluations of the drafts of the division rivals of our Seattle Seahawks. Obviously, it’ll take a couple years before we know how this draft will fully work out. This is just my impressions based on my pre-draft evaluations of these players
A year after taking a big risk on Janoris Jenkin, and having it pay off for them big time, the Rams showed that it wasn’t a one time thing. With another pair of risky moves this season, Fisher is showing that he’s not scared of a little risk. While that strategy might “bite” him eventually, it’s allowing him to infuse that roster with talent very quickly.
3rd Round pick Stedman Bailey is flashy, but he’s a polished route runner with great hands. While he might not have the high ceiling like others WRs in this draft class, he’s probably the most NFL-ready of the WRs. He’ll make an instant impact in the passing game.
It’s very difficult to say any of the Rams picks were bad. “None” is apparently the answer here.
Boom or Bust
Both of the 1st round picks taken by the Rams were high risk/reward players. Linebacker Alec Ogletree, taken 30th overall, is easilly the most athletic of the LBs in the draft this year, but comes with serious character issues that scared off most NFL teams.
Wide Receiver Tavon Austin, taken 8th overall, is a similar boom or bust player. His athleticism is rare, and could make him one of the top players in the league. He’ll also be one of te smallest players in the league (height, weight, and strength all all better suited to be an MLB shortstop) and his route running leaves much to be desired. Time will tell on if the Rams got a Percy Harvin type playmaker, or just a Devon Hester type kick returner.
It’s easy for Rams fans to be excited for this draft. They got some exciting pieces. The draft will ultimately be remembered by if Ogletree and Austin work out. If both “hit,” this might be the best draft they’d had in a decade. If not, then it might be the worst in that same time span.
Either way, this team is improved over 2012, and is poised to contend for a playoff spot.