The 2011 NFL Draft has come to a close. Draft results are in and ready to be argued over more fully. The St. Louis Rams ended up with five total picks on the day, after trading down in the fifth round as Atlanta saw the chance to grab Jacquizz Rodgers, who for some reason the Rams had no use for.
Round 4, WR Greg Salas, Hawaii
A bit of a surprise pick, since the Rams spent both their day two picks on pass catchers, TE Lance Kendricks and WR Austin Pettis. Salas represents part of a trend in the Rams' draft strategy for offensive players with highly regarded hands and the ability to beat coverage in the middle of the field. Remember, the Rams lacked sure-handedness from receivers not named Danny Amendola last year. They don't want to make that mistake again in 2011. Our earlier report.
Round 5, S Jermale Hines, Ohio State
Expanding on their collection of Ohio State linebacker, the Rams cleared a spot on the knick knack self for a Buckeye defensive back. Hines is a versatile, if unglamorous safety, prized by head coach and former defensive back coach Steve Spagnuolo. I like this pick. The safety class was a buyers market, and the Rams found an athletic guy with enough coverage skills to beef up their defense against slot receivers and running backs on the outside. Our earlier report.
Round 7, CB Mikail Baker, Baylor
Prized as a special teams player, Baker was one of Baylor's all-time leading return men. He put himself on the radar when he turned in a blazing forty time at his pro day. If the new rules for kickoffs don't completely kill the return, he should get a look. Some think he can play safety too. Our earlier report.
Round 7, OLB Jabara Williams, Stephen F. Austin
You may remember his work in the Star Wars canteen scene...kidding. The Rams have a pretty good history with seventh round linebackers, with David Vobora and Chris Chamberlain. I would have liked to have seen what Josh Hull could have done last year. Josh Buchanan said of Williams: "Misses some tackles but very athletic. Good size. Runs well. Productive guy. Needs to work on cover skills." He's 6'2" 228 lbs, ran a 4.54 forty. NFL Draft Scout has him ranked 19th on their OLB list. He was the conference defensive player of the year.
Round 7, FS Jonathan Nelson, Oklahoma
Nelson had some big games with the Sooners. He's 5'11" 198 lbs and runs a 4.46 forty, which is pretty intriguing. Here's Russ Lande's take on Nelson from his scouting report: "he has the skills to be a backup safety and solid special teams player."
And there you have it, the St. Louis Rams day three draft results. No running back...I'm assuming they have plans somewhere else to find a backup or complementary guy? I'm assuming John Greco is the starting guard next year? Lots of questions left to be answered. We'll be back with more grades and analysis tonight and tomorrow.