Team-by-Team Draft Recap: St. Louis Rams



This article is part of our ongoing series where we provide team-by-team analysis and veteran divisional winners and losers from the NFL Draft. You can read the entire series here.

The Rams have slowly but surely been building their team into a powerhouse through the masterful drafting of General Manager Les Snead. This year, the Rams continued to add key personnel, primarily on the defensive side of the ball and look poised to be very close to contending with the big boys.

There appears to have been much internal discussion and debate as to whether the Rams should have attempted to trade Sam Bradford away before the draft and draft Johnny Manziel. Ultimately, that did not occur and there is some belief the entire discussion was orchestrated by Snead in order to stir up interest among teams who may be looking to trade up in the draft. There are signs supporting each side of that debate and we, the fans, may never ultimately know how genuine this debate really was.

The Rams were fairly quiet during free agency due in large part to the lack of cap space they had coming into this season. The most noteworthy acquisition is Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s former poster boy/problem child Kenny Britt. Britt is impossible to gauge in terms of value due to the fact he has been all over the map during his career. He’s posted games where he has caught passes for over 200 yards and three touchdowns and also played in 12 games last year while never breaking 100 yards receiving during the entire season. Furthermore, he’s suffered several injuries, including tears of his MCL and ACL, not to mention the nine separate incidents he’s logged involving police since his entry into the NFL or the brief sex video he posted to Instagram shortly after joining the Rams.

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Simply put, Britt has the potential to be an incredible signing for the Rams or an incredible headache, only time will tell.

With very few fantasy relevant offensive selections made by the Rams this draft, I’ll highlight some defensive selections as well:

Aaron Donald, DT (Round 1, #13)

Aaron Donald has routinely been referred to as the next Geno Atkins. Admittedly, there are several similarities to their game, but I feel many are making this comparison primarily due to their height. Donald measures in at 6′-0″ to Atkins’ 6′-1″, sizes not usually associated with dominating interior linemen. However, both possess excellent leverage skills and violently use their hands when engaging offensive linemen. Donald just adds to an already fearsome defensive front for the Rams with a projected starting lineup of DEs Chris Long and Robert Quinn and DTs Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald. With Donald’s addition, look for the Rams to get much tougher on the defensive side of the ball in 2014.

Tre Mason, RB (Round 3, #75)

Tre Mason was a huge part of Auburn’s National Championship appearance last season accumulating 1,816 rushing yards on 317 attempts while compiling 23 rushing touchdowns. Mason was the very definition of a workhorse back and gave his all in the National Championship game, rushing 34 times for 195 yards and one touchdown. I use these statistics to show Mason has what it takes to be a featured running back in the NFL. Only one thing stands in his way and that is last year’s rookie phenom, Zac Stacy. The problem here for Mason is Stacy single handedly kept the Rams respectable last season, rushing 250 times for 973 yards and seven touchdowns and adding another 26 receptions for 141 yards and another score. This opportunity presented itself for Stacy due in large part to his pass blocking ability, a gaping hole in Mason’s game thus far. Until Mason can prove he can block effectively and not get his quarterback killed, he will only be a change of pace back in the Rams’ offense.

Garret Gilbert, QB (Round 6, #214)

Garret Gilbert generated a little bit of buzz late in the draft process and it seems to have been enough to secure himself a place on the Rams. Coming out SMU, Gilbert set numerous school passing records which include most passing yards in a game (538 yards), most touchdowns in a game (seven) and most 300+ passing yard games (nine). Those are only a few of the numerous records Gilbert holds but from that sampling you can easily see this guy knows how to throw the ball around. While their games aren’t all that similar, I can’t help but think if Gilbert was given a chance to start some games like Kurt Warner did, what just might happen? Daydreaming aside, Gilbert is very accurate with his throws and he possesses a pretty strong arm and is able to make any NFL throw asked of him. With Kellen Clemens now in San Diego, the Rams could do worse at backup quarterback than Gilbert if Bradford does happen to go down.

Michael Sam, DE (Round 7, #249)

Michael Sam was one of the most talked about players coming into the draft despite lacking the physical tools needed to be a top draft pick. The primary reason for all of the discussion centered around the narrative of whether an NFL team would draft Sam, who was openly gay. Many questions swirled whether teammates would accept an openly gay teammate or if an NFL team would even be willing to take on the media circus atmosphere that may accompany such a selection. The Rams, however, looked past those concerns and drafted Sam in the seventh round of the draft. For Sam to make any kind of impact, to speak nothing of making the final roster, he will need to seriously work on his pass rush moves has he lacks the size to overwhelm blockers. Ultimately, I think Sam will make the squad, but he will be on the roster bubble for quite a while unless he improves his game dramatically.


While the Rams draft took a different direction than I expected (and hoped), it ultimately turned out very well as they found themselves receiving top scores for their selections from nearly every sports media outlet. I had hoped the Rams would have invested in a large, big-bodied outside receiver to give Bradford someone to throw to on the outside such as Mike Evans or even Kelvin Benjamin, but Britt could possibly fill that role to a degree. The focus on defense in this draft is consistent with the Rams desire to “keep up with the Joneses” of the NFC West. With four defensive backs selected in this draft, it is clear the Rams want to step up their pass defense while addition or Greg Robinson and Mason will keep the offensive side of the ball moving forward as well. Overall the Rams draft wasn’t glamorous, but it definitely help address issues of need while strengthening the core of their team.

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