With the Rams loaded with picks in the first 2 rounds over the next three drafts, I thought it would be fun to look back on recent Rams drafts and what they have done in the first two rounds. I wasn’t sure how far back I wanted to go, but since Torry Holt has officially retired as a Ram today, I chose to go back to the year he was drafted, 1999.
To me, these are the guys that stand out as some of the worst selections the Rams have made in the past 13 drafts. The 2006 draft might go down as the worst in its history, as both Tye Hill, Joe Klopfenstein, and the rest of the draft class failed to really make any significant contributions at all.
A strong case could be made for most of the players on this list, as the Rams have done a pretty awful job of drafting over the past 10-15 years; definitely a factor in why the Rams have won only 15 games in the past 5 seasons.
I will also write about who I think are the Rams best selections since 1999 following this post.
Trung Canidate RB Arizona, 1st Round, 31st Overall (2000)
After trading for Marshall Faulk the previous year, I was definitely confused by this pick. He started three games in three seasons with the Rams and was a huge disappointment. He was eventually traded to the Redskins where he played one season and then was out of football.
Not one of these players ended up being worth a first rounder for the Rams. Lewis struggled as a Ram but became a solid player for the Panthers, Archuleta had a few good years before falling off, and Pickett was a decent starter but is much better now that he is on Green Bay. 0 for 3. Unbelievable.
Robert Thomas LB UCLA, 1st Round, 31st Overall (2002)
Thomas went on to start 30 games as a Ram in three seasons while recording 163 tackles. He was also not worth the first round selection and was traded to the Packers in 2005 for cornerback Chris Johnson.
Jimmy Kennedy DT Penn State, 1st Round, 12th Overall (2003)
Kennedy played four seasons with the Rams but never lived up to the first round hype. He had productive seasons in 2005 and 2006 as the Rams starting nose tackle before being traded to the Broncos in June of 2007 for a 6th round draft pick in 2008.
Alex Barron OT Florida State, 1st Round, 19th Overall (2005)
Alex Barron was supposed to come in and be the left tackle of the future. He spent 5 years with the Rams where he was the most penalized player in the NFL next to Flozell Adams. He was eventually benched then traded for Bobby Carpenter.
Tye Hill CB Clemson, 1st Round, 15th Overall (2006)
After recording two tackles and an interception in his first NFL game, everything went downhill. He finished the 2007 and 2008 seasons on IR and was eventually traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a 7th round pick. He currently is without a team.
Joe Klopfenstein TE Colorado, 2nd Round, 46th Overall (2006)
He recorded 20 catches as a rookie including one that went for a touchdown. He started 11 games the following season but proved to be very ineffective. He was waived in 2009 and after a few stints with the Bills he hasn’t been on a roster since 2010.
Adam Carriker DE/DT Nebraska, 1st Round, 13th Overall (2007)
Carriker started all 16 games as a rookie as a defensive tackle. He was not very effective in his three seasons with the Rams and was traded to the Redskins in exchange for a swap of 5th and 7th round picks in the 2010 draft.
Brian Leonard RB Rutgers, 2nd Round, 52nd Overall (2007)
I still remember the day the Rams took Leonard in the 2nd round and it makes me angry every time I think about it. I liked Leonard but didn’t want to spend a 2nd rounder on him. After two seasons with the Rams he was traded to the Bengals for defensive tackle Orien Harris.
Donnie Avery WR Houston, 2nd Round, 33rd Overall (2008)
I am a big fan of Avery, but I had to put him on this list because he couldn’t even make the team last year on a roster full of mediocre receivers. Avery was the first wide receiver off the board in 2008 and had a productive rookie season before he started getting injured and everything went downhill.
Jason Smith OT Baylor, 1st Round, 2nd Overall (2009)
Although he hasn’t been as bad as some of these guys, he definitely should be considered because he was drafted at #2 overall. Smith has been very inconsistent in his play and also has had a history of injuries. Not what you want from a guy drafted this high.