2013 St. Louis Rams free agents: William Hayes should be a priority

USA TODAY Sports

Some players are just under appreciated. Last season Ram fans were spoiled by their front four playing so well that we forgot about the 5th member William Hayes. If any Ram should be re-signed it's Hayes.

The St. Louis Rams improved on defense last season, moving from 22nd in total defense to 14th. For a team without a defensive coordinator last season, that was a big jump. The team did add some important players like Janoris Jenkins, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Cortland Finnegan, and first-round pick Michael Brockers.

Those players are important pieces to the Rams, but one name that is rarely mentioned is William Hayes. Hayes was drafted by Rams head coach Jeff Fisher in 2008 in the 4th round while he was coaching the Tennessee Titans. Hayes was brought in last season to be a backup defensive lineman.

He excelled in that role, having the most productive season of his career. Hayes sacked the quarterback 7 times, and tackling the ball carriers 26 times. But you know what is really impressive about his stats? He only played on 378 snaps last season. He lead the four starting defensive linemen with 26 tackles.

Yes, Hayes is underrated, but he could have earned himself some major bucks after last season. But if the Rams can ink a deal with Hayes, then their defense, which led the league in sacks, can continue to improve, and maybe, just maybe, break the sack record that coach Fisher wanted them to do last season.

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