2012 NFL Draft Grades: St. Louis Rams
Round 1, Pick 14 (14) (From Cowboys) Michael Brockers DT LSU: Grade A
-I was a big fan of this pick-up for the Rams. Brockers is a bit raw, but he’s going to a perfect situation in St. Louis. He’ll have a lot of help along that defensive line and can be eased into his role. Brockers has the upside to be an elite defensive tackle, which could make him a steal at this selection.
Round 2, Pick 1 (33) Brian Quick WR Appalachian St.: Grade B+
-There were a couple of viable receiver options here, and while Quick was a bit of a surprise, he was in this mix and fills a big need. Quick has number 1 WR potential (though he’s not there yet), and should develop nicely with young QB Sam Bradford.
Round 2, Pick 7 (39) (From Redskins) Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama: Grade A-
-Corner was a big need heading into this offseason, now after adding Jenkins here and Finnegan in free agency the Rams can count on this to be a strength. There is some risk here as off the field issues dropped Jenkins out of the first round, but from a talent stand point he’s a top 15 pick.
Round 2, Pick 18 (50) (From Bears) Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati: Grade B-
-I’d consider this pick a slight reach, but Pead is a perfect complementary back to Steven Jackson, and should have a big impact on special teams as well. They maybe could have waited a round to address their RB needs, but overall you can’t find much fault with this pick.
Round 3, Pick 2 (65) Trumaine Johnson CB Montana: Grade A
– Johnson is another guy who slid a bit due to off the field concerns. From a talent perspective he should have bee a top 40 pick, but the Rams did well to land him here. Johnson may look to transition to FS, where he might be even more valuable.
Round 4, Pick 1 (96) Chris Givens WR Wake Forest: Grade B+
-Givens is a great pick-up at the top of the 4th round. He adds another weapon for Bradford, and he’s a guy who can stretch the field and work out of the slot. Nice value here as he was expected to go 20-40 picks earlier.
Round 5, Pick 15 (150) (From Bears) Rokevious Watkins T South Carolina: Grade B-
-Watkins has some nice late round upside here and adds much needed depth to the offensive line. Long term expectations should be fairly limited, but he could be a swing tackle/spot starter.
Round 6, Pick 1 (171) Greg Zuerlein K Missouri Western: Grade B
–Josh Brown was among the league’s most inconsistent kickers last year and was due nearly $3 million. By drafting Zuerlein, the Rams should be able to get an upgrade and save some money at the same time.
Round 7, Pick 2 (209) Aaron Brown LB Hawaii: Grade C
-The Rams really needed some linebackers so this pick does offer some value, though Brown isn’t expect to develop into much of a starter or even primary back-up.
Round 7, Pick 45 (252) (Compensatory) Daryl Richardson RB Abilene Christian: Grade C+
-Adding another back is smart and at the very end of the draft their is limited risk. Richardson will have to contribute on special teams to make the Rams squad but a solid selection.
Overall: Grade A-
I’m a bit more bullish on the Rams draft than most, but I really like what they did. For moving back from the 2nd overall pick to 14th, they ended up with a pair of top second round picks (both in the top 50), a 5th rounder and two future 1st round picks. I feel their top 6 picks all offer big time upside and potential, and should give early results as well. That is a lot of impact talent for a rebuilding team. Now there are some question marks about a few of these guys, which is a little worrisome, but not enough that it should be considered a major issue. My one real complaint is that the Rams waited until the 5th round to address their offensive line. That I feel will be their sole regret looking back at this draft.