Turf Show Times Rates the Rams Draft

VanRam of Turf Show Times offers his take on the Rams draft.


St. Louis Rams
Selection: OT Jason Smith (1st), MLB James Laurinaitis (2nd), CB Bradley Fletcher (3rd), DT Darell Scott (4th), WR Brooks Foster (5th), QB Keith Null (6th), RB Chris Ogbonnaya

Analysis: For a team with so many needs, a single draft can't be viewed as any kinf of panacea for the franchise, rather just one important step in a long process. Nevertheless, the Rams did take major strides toward rebuilding beleaguered units up front on both sides of the ball.

Despite flirtatious rumors of a potential trades out of the number two spot and GM Billy Devaney’s best efforts to drum up interest, the Rams went with Baylor OT Jason Smith in a move that surprised nobody. Smith wasn’t the sexy pick, but he’s exactly what the offense needed after allowing a porous offensive line to turn a Pro Bowl QB into a shell of his former self. They could have gone with Sanchez and tried to get an OT later in the draft, but such a move would have most likely just ruined another QB and forced a tackle not ready for prime time into a starting role. Smith was the smart pick and joins free agent acquisition C Jason Brown as the young heart of the Rams new offensive line.

The Rams also made two smart picks in MLB James Laurinaitis and DT Darell Scott, picks that should instantly improve a historically bad front seven. The Rams opted for the more cerebral Laurinaitis over USC’s Rey Maualuga in the second round, and in doing so got a guy who looks like great player and should be, along with DE Chris Long, the face and cornerstone of this defense for years to come. Scott gives them a run-stopping, big body NT, who should fit in immediately as part of the rotation up front. Besides making the front seven a more complete unit, these two draft picks nicely complement the addition of free agent SS James Butler to give the Rams a much better defensive middle. A third defensive player taken in the draft, Iowa CB Bradley Fletcher, raised some eyebrows as a relatively unknown prospect, but he’s the kind of physical corner Spagnuolo likes to use in his defenses.

They raised some eyebrows with the Keith Null pick, a player they might have picked up via free agency on Monday, but hopefully he can turn into a decent backup QB. I like their final pick of Texas RB Chris Ogbonnaya, who could be a nice candidate for a third down back or maybe even a backup.

With so many needs and only so many picks, this draft was bound to disappoint some. Fans that were hoping for a WR definitely don’t like this draft. Overall, I’d give it a solid B, reserving the right to upgrade that if the defensive line plays well over the next couple seasons.

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