The St. Louis Rams' 1996 draft class was not, all around, as bad as the 2006 draft class. Nevertheless, it had some stinkers, some big ones too. Most notable, was the Rams' first-round pick, RB Lawrence Phillips, but we'll get to him in this series.
Let's go to the second round for tonight's entry. With their first pick in the second round, 42nd overall, the Rams picked the first QB off the board that year, Tony Banks from Michigan State. The Rams definitely needed a QB at the time. They were lost, two year after Jim Everett played his final season. Banks was going to the answer, helping to turn around the NFL tumor growing the in city of St. Louis that some people still weren't quite sure they wanted.
Banks started 13 games in his rookie season. Like the Rams most recent rookie QB, Banks set a record. Unfortunately, that record was the most fumbles by a rookie QB with 21, still unsurpassed, though David Carr tied it. After three seasons under center for the Rams, with 36 TDs and 42 INTs - you wonder how things would have looked without Isaac Bruce on the roster - the team cut bait in 1999...you should know how the QB situation worked out after that.
To be fair, Banks was sacked 48 times as a rookie, and not even the next year's first-round pick, Orlando Pace, could help him. He was sacked more than 40 times in each of his three seasons with the Rams.
Banks isn't a bust in the dramatic sense of other players, like Lawrence Phillips, but he is a reminder that teams can't get by without good quarterbacks at the helm.
Top 10 draft busts, since the move to STL: #10 - Joe Klopfenstein; #9 - Jimmy Kennedy.
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