Grade : A
Round 1 – Greg Robinson OT
Round 1 – Aaron Donald DT
Round 2 - Lamarcus Joyner S
Round 3 – Tre Mason RB
Round 4 – Maurice Alexnder S
Round 6 – E.J. Gaines CB
Round 6 – Garrett Gilbert QB
Round 7 – Mitchell Van Dyk OT
Round 7 – C.B. Bryant FS
Round 7 – Michael Sam –DE
Round 7 – Demetrius Rhaney C
When the Rams made the RGIII trade they couldn't have imagined in their wildest dreams that they would end up with the second round pick overall in this years draft. Fate handed the Rams a golden opportunity though and they seized it with both hands.
With their two first round picks the Rams drafted a possible franchise left tackle, Greg Robinson, and then followed that pick up with potential pass rushing demon defensive tackle, Aaron Donald.
Number two overall pick 6'5'' 323 pound Greg Robinson is as close to NFL ready as a freshly drafted lineman can get. He has the perfect mixture of freakish size mixed with speed of 4.92 second 40-yard-dash. Robinson does need to improve certain aspects of his game but these improvements are essentially just ironing out the creases.
Initially, it seems likely that Robinson will start at guard before transitioning over to left tackle. As such he will have plenty of time refine his technique before being given the crucial job of protecting QB Sam Bradford's blind side.
The Rams followed up the Robinson pick by taking pass rusher Aaron Donald. A defensive tackle with the speed of a linebacker. Robinson is 292 pounds and able to run the 40-yard-dash in 4.62 seconds. There are concerns that Donald is a one trick pony who is overly reliant on his speed but these concerns a likely overblown.
Knowing that Donald is going to use his speed to get past the offensive line is a whole world away from actually being able to stop that blur as it runs beyond your line into the backfield.
Even if Donald doesn't get a huge number of sacks from the interior of the line he will put hurry up pressure on the QB and make things easier for the rest of the Rams scary looking defensive line to make plays.
Picking Donald and Robinson in the first round were great choices but they didn't
require much thought or insight into the NFL. Where the Rams draft did get smart is with the recruits that were brought into the secondary. Second round pick defensive back Lamarcus Joyner, fourth round pick safety Maurice Alexander and sixth round pick E.J. Gaines all offer great value.
What Les Snead and Jeff Fisher have done is find players with value who have been overlooked by other teams for not being perfect.
With the trend for tall wide receivers 5'8'' Joyner isn't the sort of secondary that most teams are looking for. By looking past his height though the Rams have got a special player. Joyner can play either safety or cornerback and contribute on special teams. At college he was a leader on the field who always played at 100% and perhaps most importantly he tackles hard.
Similar points could be made about Maurice Alexander and E.J Gaines who both need
some polishing. Alexander comes into the NFL with questions about his temperament but those issues seem to be behind him and the aggression he brings to playing defense is great.
Whilst sixth rounder Gaines might be one of the steals of the draft. Experienced at picking up the slot receiver Gaines should be able to make an immediate impact in the dime package.
The only criticism with the draft the third round pick of RB Tre Mason. Mason seems like a strong running back but the Rams had a need at wide receiver that was more pressing. Sometimes running backs can make receiving yards but Mason isn't that guy. At Auburn he was barely used as a receiver. Taking a wide receiver like Martavis Byrant or Donte Moncrief would have improved the offense more.
Overall, though by picking up Greg Robinson, Aaron Donald, E.J. Gaines and Lamarcus Joyner the Rams had one of the best drafts in the NFL.
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