I don’t know if most of you saw my last post, but it dealt with the Rams worst selections in the draft dating back to 1999. Now I came up with a list of 9 guys who I thought could be considered as the top picks the Rams have made in the past 13 drafts. As most of you know, it has not been pretty, as this is definitely not a list to be proud of.
It is probably a little too early to say whether or not Bradford and Quinn were good selections, but I felt like they have both shown enough potential in limited action to be considered for this list. With 3 selections in the first 2 rounds in each of the next three drafts, hopefully the Rams can start to turn things around.
I know most of the votes will probably come down to either Torry Holt or Steven Jackson, but I thought it would be worth noting some of the other good picks the Rams have made over the past decade or so.
Torry Holt WR N.C. State, 1st Round, 6th Overall (1999)
Holt was everything the Rams had hoped for when they drafted him in the first round in 1999. He went six straight seasons with 1,300 yards or more from 2000 to 2005 and was a 7 time Pro Bowler. He finished his Rams career with 869 receptions for 12,660 yards and 74 touchdowns.
Dre’ Bly CB North Carolina, 2nd Round, 41st Overall (1999)
Bly had four productive years at cornerback for the Rams. He had three interceptions as a rookie and was part of the Super Bowl winning team that season. He then signed with the Lions where he made two Pro Bowls.
Pisa Tinoisamoa LB Hawaii, 2nd Round, 43rd Overall (2003)
Tinoisamoa was a very productive player for the Rams. He led the team in tackles his first three seasons and would sign a five year contract extension with the Rams. The injury bug hit him in 2006 and 2007 before he led the team in tackles again in 2008 and being released in May of 2009.
Steven Jackson RB Oregon State, 1st Round, 24th Overall (2004)
Jackson was named the starter in his second season in 2005. But 2006 was the season that Jackson broke out, as he went for 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground and also caught 90 passes for 806 and three more scores. Jackson has been a three time Pro Bowler and a 2 time All-Pro selection.
Ron Bartell CB Howard, 2nd Round, 50th Overall (2005)
Bartell has been a solid contributor ever since being drafted by the Rams. After a very productive 2008 season, Bartell signed a 4 year deal to stay with the Rams. He was recently released this past off-season and is now an Oakland Raider.
Chris Long DE Virginia, 1st Round, 2nd Overall (2008)
At first I did not really like this pick, but Long has picked it up the past couple of years. He has been a starter since his rookie year and ended up with 13 sacks during the 2011 season. Long was also a Pro Bowl alternate the past two seasons.
James Laurinaitis LB Ohio State, 2nd Round, 35th Overall (2009)
When the Rams took Laurinaitis in the second round I was so excited. I knew this guy could come in and play and make a difference right away. He hasn’t missed a game in his three year career and went for 142 tackles last season.
Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma, 1st Round, 1st Overall (2010)
Bradford had a great rookie season followed by a rough sophomore campaign. Once we get more weapons around Bradford I think he can be a Pro Bowler. I know he has not lived up to his draft status yet, but I think he has the potential to be great.
Robert Quinn DE North Carolina, 1st Round, 14th Overall (2011)
Quinn was just a rookie a season ago so it might be too difficult to grade him. But he ended the year with 5 sacks and 3 blocked punts. He has all the tools to be an elite pass rusher in this league.