The 2011 NFL Draft results are in for the St. Louis Rams' first three picks. After getting a steal in the first round, the Rams' day two picks offered a good reminder of just how different draft boards start to look once the second round starts and the draft moves on from there.
Recapping the Rams' 2011 NFL Draft results...so far.
Round 1, Pick 14
Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Quinn was the best pass rusher, non- 3-4 OLB edition, in the draft this year. That he fell to pick #14 was nothing short of a miracle, but the Rams benefited with so many teams looking for quarterbacks. Quinn will instantly join an impressive defensive line, giving the Rams one of the more threatening pass rushes in the division.
Could have been: Mark Ingram, Prince Amukamara and Corey Liuget were ranked behind Quinn on the Rams' draft board. Ingram would have been a disappointment. Liuget and Prince would have been solid additions. They made the right pick with Quinn.
Round 2, Pick 47
Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
Easily the most surprising pick of the bunch, so much so that it infuriated some fans, and even the optimists called it a reach. It'll take some getting used to. What Kendricks does give the Rams is a speedy tight end who can create a lot of mismatches, an option to clone the wicked (nod to our Boston friends) Patriots offense centered on two tight ends. Don't forget good hands.
Could have been: This is what hurts about this pick. They probably could have waited until round three, especially in hindsight since he was one of just three TEs off the board so far. The draft board had Mikel Leshoure and Terrell McClain above him, until some convincing by McDaniels changed their mind.
Round 3, Pick 78
Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
Less of a surprise than Kendricks, but the shock value left most still in searching for answers. No, Pettis is not a speedy, do-it-all receiver. This is not Julio Jones. Nevertheless, Pettis is a really big guy who can run routes well and beat defenders with his smarts and power. His biggest asset, however, are his hands. The Rams really lacked that in a receiver last year, and the combination of what he brings they've lacked for a long time.
Could have been: Some talked about Leonard Hankerson, but as Monty Burns would say, pish posh! Hankerson has the vertical speed that Pettis lacks, but brings questions about his game. The Rams were never big on him anyway. Some thought that they could have waited for Pettis. Doubtful. Teams went on a receiver run following this pick. A running back seemed to make the most sense, but there are better running backs to be had in the fourth round than there are receivers.