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2011 NFL Draft Results: Thinking way ahead about matchups

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The St. Louis Rams will need tough receivers to matchup with Arizona's first-round pick CB Patrick Peterson twice a year.
The St. Louis Rams will need tough receivers to matchup with Arizona's first-round pick CB Patrick Peterson twice a year.

Another quick thought about the St. Louis Rams draft picks this year. I know the confusion and disappointment over picks 2-4 have really colored the thinking about Devaney's draft haul, but it's hard to overstate just how essential it was for the Rams to get Sam Bradford some options in the receiving game, a variety of options.

Since the draft, we covered the Austin Pettis and Greg Salas picks a couple times, and will talk plenty more about those two players down the road. I'll say it again, having a pair of potential possession receivers with sticky hands is a big, big deal for the Rams. Neither one may contribute much as a rookie, but with a bevy of options from the tight ends, to the receivers and running backs (well, running back, singular, right now).  

I was just thinking about this again in the context of some other moves in the draft, specifically Arizona's addition of Patrick Peterson with their first-round pick. Peterson paired with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie forms a deadly effective cornerback pairing, at least it should, a tough pair of corners that will demand to be countered with bigger receivers. They also have a couple of 6'3" safeties.

Thinking ahead about Arizona (which shouldn't be much of a matchup for the Rams' defense) being able to spread the field out wide will be just as important as spreading it out deep. Getting receivers matched up against the linebackers will be essential. Throw in what should be a healthier Donnie Avery, Mark Clayton and Danario Alexander and the Rams can match up pretty well. Of course, it helps that Arizona hasn't done much to address a sagging pass rush.