NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Michael Brockers from LSU holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #14 overall by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The draft is now over. The start of the 2012 season has begun. The Rams made some very interesting picks, and traded down a total of three times in the draft. What is most impressive is that the Rams turned the 2nd overall pick into the 14th,, 39th, 50th, and 150th pick this year as well as picking 2 1st round picks the next two years. What a job by Les Snead and Jeff Fisher and a huge thanks to Robert Griffin III.
Now let's move on to the grades. The grades for the picks will be made just on where the player was picked and his value, not what the Rams were able to get in trade downs, but that will be factored in for the final overall grade. Make sense?
Grades after the jump, with highlight videos for each (yes even the new kicker!!)
Round 1, Pick 14: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Brockers fills a need for the Rams very well. He is a great run stopper who can help the Rams turn around their leaky run defense. He will also be able to free up space for the rest of the Rams defense, particularly James Laurnaitis, to make plays. The main issue with this pick is that Brockers has very limited pass rushing skills as of now. This can be coached up and Fisher seems pretty confident that Brockers will develop into a good pass rusher, but picking a defensive linemen who isn't a good pass rusher in today's NFL is a bit of a risk. Still, Brockers can come in and help to solve what has been the Rams most consistent problem since 2007, run defense. Grade: B
Round 2, Pick 33: Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian St.
Brain Quick looks like a player that can develop very nicely. He has great size for a WR and good speed with very good hands. He also has amazing hops and will be able to get those jump balls in the red zone. He looks like he might develop into a number one target for Sam Bradford and the offense, but all it is is projections. Trying to project a small school player to the NFL is nearly impossible. Fisher and co were very, very impressed in private workouts that held with Quick, and certainly feel great about picking him. Grade: B+
Round 2, Pick 39: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
How can one grade this pick? This is such a high risk, high reward pick that it could eventually be anywhere from a F to an A+. He has supreme talent and the Rams needed help at CB, but his character issues might lead to another Pacman Jones situation. Grade: Incomplete, but on talent it's a A for sure.
Round 2, pick 50: Isaiah Peed, RB, Cincinnati
This pick was a bit of a reach, but he definitely can help out the Rams. Brian Schottenheimer wants to establish a two back system, and Peed's speed complements Steven Jackson's power well. I do question reaching on a RB when Lavonte David and Zach Brown were still available. Grade: C+
Round 3, pick 65: Trumaine Johnson, FS, Montana
Johnson is a great fit for the Rams. He played CB in college, but he will most likley be a FS for the Rams. He has good instincts for the ball and could be a good "center fielder" for the Rams' defensive backfield. Grade: A-
Round 4, pick 96: Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest
He is very explosive and very fast. With their 4th round pick, the Rams found what the offense has been missing for a long time, a deep threat. The only question is will he be only one-dimensional in the NFL, but the Rams really needed a guy with great speed at WR. Grade: A
Round 5, pick 150: Rokevious Watkins, OT/OG, South Carolina
He is a big man at 340 lbs. He was a very good run blocker for the Gamecocks in his two years there, after transferring from the junior college level. He was projected as a 7th round pick before the draft by many, but he does have good potential. He played both guard and tackle in college, but he lacks the quickness to play tackle in the NFL. He will be a guard for the Rams that Jeff Fisher will hope can develop into a starter. Grade: B-
Round 6, pick 171: Greg Zuerlien, K, Missouri Western
The Rams said goodbye Josh Brown after picking Zuerlien in the 6th round. He set records in college, including making 9/9 FG from 50+ yards. Looks like the Rams have the K position settled. Grade: A+
Round 7, pick 209: Aaron Brown, LB, Hawaii
The Rams waited until the 7th round to address what is one of their weakest positions. Brown was 1st team All-Wac his senior year for Hawaii. He is undersized for the position at 6' 1" and 220 lbs. The Rams will be looking to him to be a special teams contributor. Grade: C
Round 7, pick 252: Daryl Richardson, RB, Abilene Christian
He is small but fast. He could be backup insurance for Pead if he makes the team. Grade: C
*Go to 2:50
Overall Draft Grade: A
If I was just judging the pick the Rams made, this would be a B- draft. It was solid, but not fantastic as the Rams took many project players and are still left with some roster questions. Who will play OLB and who will play LG?
They picked up 2 players that will most likely be starters on day one (Brockers and Quick) and two others that could be starters (Jenkins and Johnson). The additions of Pead and Givens gives the offense some much needed speed.
Simply grading this draft on this year's pick though would be unfair. The most important aspect of this draft was the amazing deal that Les Snead was able to pull of for the 2nd overall pick. That massive trade that gives the Rams 2 first round picks for the next two seasons is enough to bump that B- all the way up to an A.