May 15, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Review: Saint Louis Rams

#73 Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Saint Louis Rams
Division: NFC West | Last Season Record: 7-9

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: If they decide not to move on from Sam Bradford, they should look to build around him. Upgrading the offensive line should have been their biggest priority, and if they could draft a number one receiver, that would make sense as well. A running back to compliment Zac Stacy in the mid-rounds.

Defensively, the Rams should have come away with a starting safety and corner, and it would have made sense for them to find a 3-technique defensive tackle to pair with Michael Brockers, as well as an outside linebacker.

Individual Draft Picks:

Round 1

2. (2) Greg Robinson**, OT
Experience: Sophomore (RS) | School: Auburn
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 327 lbs.

13. (13) Aaron Donald, DT
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Pittsburgh
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 287 lbs.

Round 2

9. (41) Lamarcus Joyner, DB
Experience: Senior | School: Florida State
Height: 5-8 | Weight: 184 lbs.

Round 3

11. (75) Tre Mason*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Auburn
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 207 lbs.

Round 4

10. (110) Mo Alexander, SS
Experience: Senior | School: Utah State
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 220 lbs.

Round 6

12. (188) E.J. Gaines, CB
Experience: Senior | School: Missouri
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 191 lbs.

38. (214) Garrett Gilbert, QB
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Southern Methodist
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 221 lbs.

Round 7

11. (226) Mitchell Van Dyk, OT
Experience: Senior | School: Portland State
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 313 lbs.

26. (241) Christian Bryant, FS
Experience: Senior | School: Ohio State
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 193 lbs.

34. (249) Michael Sam, DE
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Missouri
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 263 lbs.

35. (250) Demetrius Rhaney, C
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Tennessee State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 301 lbs.

Two Picks of Note:

Best Value Pick:

E.J. Gaines, CB (Round 6, Pick 12)
Experience: Senior | School: Missouri
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 191 lbs.

Analysis: E.J. Gaines was a very good pick in the 6th round. He could have gone late on day 2. He projects as a starting corner at the next level, and getting that on day 3 definitely deserves to be the "best value pick".

Most Questionable Pick:

Mo Alexander, SS (Round 4, Pick 10)
Experience: Senior | School: Utah State
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 220 lbs.

Analysis: Alexander is a big, athletic safety, who could be an extra linebacker for the Rams. This was really the only pick that I questioned, because it was a pretty big reach in my opinion. If anything, the Rams will hope that he can provide depth.

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Marcus Roberson*, CB
Experience: Junior | School: Florida
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 192 lbs.

Analysis: Marcus Roberson likely went undrafted due to durability concerns, but I thought he was a day 2 talent. He won't willingly come up in run support, but he's a very talented cover corner.

Other Free Agent Signings

Alex Bayer, TE, Bowling Green
Jarrid Bryant, CB, South Dakota
Johnny Millard, LB, Cal Poly
Austin Franklin, WR, New Mexico State
Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M
Kadeem Jones, FB, Western Kentucky
Avery Cunningham, DB, Central Michigan
Trey Watts, RB, Tulsa
Jamaine Sherman, WR, East Texas Baptist

Draft Review:

Analysis: Greg Robinson fills a need on the offensive line, whether he starts at guard or right tackle, and could eventually move to left tackle. He has hall-of-fame upside.

With their second first round pick, the Rams landed the best 3-technique defensive tackle in the draft in Aaron Donald. He'll pair with Michael Brockers inside, and bolster what was already considered the best defensive line in football.

I didn't love the fact that they moved up to get LaMarcus Joyner, but I really liked the pick. Joyner can start as a nickel corner, but has the play making ability you look for in a free safety. They may have gotten their Tyrann Mathieu.

Tre Mason may be the most talented runner in the entire class, and should be a really great compliment to the more physical style of running back Zac Stacy.

Ideally, they would love for 4th round pick Mo Alexander to develop into a Kam Chancellor like safety to pair with TJ McDonald, with Joyner and 6th round pick E.J. Gaines stepping up as #3 and #4 corners respectively.

Garrett Gilbert will not push Sam Bradford for the starting job, but could develop into a quality backup. Though, the Rams should have probably drafted one earlier.

While I didn't love all of their 7th round picks, Michael Sam stands out. He's a good football player who can win on effort. He'll be a solid rotational pass rusher.

The Verdict: The only thing preventing this draft from being an "A" or an "A+" is that they didn't draft a receiver, but it's understandable, because they already have a lot of young receivers on the roster. What the Rams did do was attack their needs early, getting very good value in return. The 49ers were praised for having an excellent draft class, but the Rams weren't too far behind.

Overall Grade: A-