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St. Louis Rams: Hold Off On The Guard Draft Chatter

With all of the mock draft hubbub regarding the St. Louis Rams, and soon-to-be NFL rookies Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper, folks seem to have forgotten about a Guard the Rams drafted just over one year ago: Rokevious Watkins.

Dilip Vishwanat

Rok Watkins - a University of South Carolina product - was taken by the Rams with the 15th selection in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Watkins cracked the starting lineup as a rookie - as did many from the 2012 rookie class - prior to injuring his ankle in Week 1, which unfortunately ended his season. His move to the injured reserve list seemingly just piled onto the, seemingly never-ending, offensive line woes that the Rams.

But while the Rams - and their fans - gear up for this April’s draft, it would appear that his nearly season-long absence from the field has erased him from our memory. Just how is he doing? Well, from what I can gather, he’s got his priorities straight and leading a clean and healthy lifestyle in preparation for reclaiming his starting spot in the Rams starting roster.

A Lean, Mean Blocking Machine

Let’s face it, NFL players are grown men. They can - and will - do as they please. Some may need guidance more than others. Rokevious came into camp slightly overweight last season, but was able to right the ship prior to the season’s kickoff. He could very easily be spending the offseason hanging around the house, playing Playstation, and pummeling a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. But he’s not….

Workout, shower, and then smash a rotisserie chicken? A late February workout is encouraging, but the keyword may be rotisserie. A slow cooked bird allows for the fat drippings to make their way out and into some form of drip tray. Whether or not he removes the skin is up to him. Did I mention that he’s 6’3" and 330+? If the man wants the skin, let him have the skin!

He’s Got His Priorities Straight!

A lot of times in the offseason, young players who have been rewarded with more money than they know what to do with find all the wrongs things to do with it. It’s fair to assume that Rok isn’t one of the highest paid guards in the NFL at this point, so he can certainly afford to eat out. Also, he just worked out, so allow the man his proteins!

Oftentimes, after a solid workout, your body requires you to immediately reward it with electrolytes, proteins, etc. and it’s not willing to wait. But eat a rotisserie chicken without cleaning up? Oh, no no no….

Now any man of his stature could’ve grabbed that chicken, thrown it in the car, ripped a leg off, and eaten while driving…like all Americans. But Rokevious scoffs at the idea. If you haven’t washed ya ass, you should not be sitting down - on your dirty ass - to eat.

Scare Tactics

I wasn’t fortune enough to be on-hand while Rokevious ‘smashed’ his rotisserie chicken, but that doesn't mean I didn’t raise an eyebrow. I decided to use a scare tactic to prove that Rokevious was indeed enjoying a healthier meal, and ensure that he was staying on track with the Rams’ off season expectations:

…it worked! The sheer mention of the offensive line coaches name had him begging for me to respond to the non-existent [don’t tell] text. He also referred to fried chicken as ‘crap,’ so that’s a good sign that he’s maintained a healthy intake.

Go Easy On The Guard Draft Talk

Yeah, that’s right. Unless you’re planning on finding a future replacement for veteran Harvey Dahl, then just resign yourself to the fact that the Rams don’t need another guard in this year’s draft. At least not one with the 16th overall pick. Brian Quick stayed healthy, yet he played no major role in the offense, and he was selected 33rd overall. Yet, I’d bet that you’re willing to wait until 2013 for him to show you what he’s truly capable of doing. Do Rok that same favor. He’s clearly got his mind and body right!

What you should be more concerned about is the loss of the Rams all time leading rusher. Steven Jackson is a few weeks away from potentially being claimed by another organization, and the Rams have nothing but young, inexperienced RB’s to replace him. Steven’s always been known for his powerful, bruising style of rushing. The Rams only have one RB on the current roster who could - in any way - fit the bill, and that’s a relatively unknown commodity in Terrance Ganaway. Though, there does appear to be a running back on the roster that would like to play like Steven, and even follow in his footsteps. How’s his off season diet going?