NFL Draft: Grading the Rams First Round

USA TODAY Sports

The Rams made a flurry of moves in the first round. They traded up for Tavon Austin and traded down and drafted Alec Ogletree. Was it all worth it?

I'm pretty impressed with the Rams haul in the first round. I'm equally impressed with Les Snead's willingness to makes moves; a hallmark change from the four pillars approach of yore. Still, it's so refreshing to see a team stick to their guns and draft the prospects they want the most. The Rams didn't settle, which is impressive.

On Adding Tavon Austin

The Rams made the right call here. I'm near 100% certain that the Jets would have taken Austin with one of their two picks (most likely 9th, to avoid any team trading into the top twelve to take him). Alas, it was not in the cards for Rex Ryan.

The team added arguably the most explosive player in the draft. He was my second rated receiver behind Keenan Allen, who is still on the board after a drug test question most likely plummeted him down. Austin's versatility extends beyond the slot and return duties, and fans should be ecstatic to see what he can do on the field.

It's clear that this offseason, the Rams wanted to add speed. With Jared Cook and now Tavon Austin, they did just that.

On Adding Alec Ogletree

I've waxed poetic about my feelings on Alec Ogletree, but one thing is for certain: he's athletic. His role in the defense is yet to be seen, but the Rams added someone at 30 that many had linked to the 16th pick; that itself a coup.

However, I will say this: the Rams played many three corner sets last year and we're about to see if it was because they had three corners that were good enough to stay on the field for three downs, or if they only had two linebackers that were worth staying on the field for three downs. It might just be the latter.

Regardless, the team added speed to the outside linebacker position, something they need to do given the offensive styling of the rest of the NFC West, sans Arizona.

The Rams still have holes to fill, but I can tell you this- I haven't been this excited for the NFL season to start for a long, long, time. As far as I'm concerned, the Rams have probably the second best draft in the league so far. That's saying a lot considering where they've come from.

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