The connection between the St. Louis Rams and BYU running back Harvey Unga seems to get more and more conspicuous each day. The Rams are said to be one of a handful of teams that are particularly keen on Unga. Will they make a move for him in the NFL Supplemental Draft set for this Thursday?
Unga told ESPN 101 in St. Louis today that teams have spelled out their vision for the big guy's NFL role. Personnel types see the 6'1" 244 lbs rusher as a running back. Here's more from Unga on what he can bring to the table for teams:
I can be the third-down back--and that can 3rd and short or 3rd and long, they think it'd be great to have a big guy like me even on a 3rd and long play where if they need to throw me the ball they know I'll catch it and make the best of it. There's a lot of different things I believe teams will be able to use me for.
The Rams really seem to be culling a stable of running backs with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, a must for the West Coast offense. As for backing up Steven Jackson, Unga's already been something of an unofficial understudy with the staff at BYU using film of SJ39 to educate Unga on how to play the game.
Teams will gather 'round a laptop in a scaled down version of their draft rooms Thursday to submit their picks in the NFL Supplemental Draft. Unga could fetch a third round pick, according to Michael Lombardi at NFL.com.
Third round, huh? On one hand that seems like a steep cost given this far from April 2011 when the Rams would have even more options available to them. On the other hand, this team could use an advance on its 2011 draft picks and Unga might be just as good as any player they could draft in the third round next spring.