The St. Louis Rams rookie class got their second taste of professional football, or the exhibition version of it anyway, on Saturday against the Green Bay Packers. So how did they do? Let's take a look.
The second overall pick got the start at left tackle last night. He got burned by Julius Peppers, which led to a hit on Sam Bradford, but he did not allow a sack. He had his ups and down in 22 snaps with the starters. The Rams will be better off with the run blocker starting his career at left guard, as is planned.
He also did this ...
Greg Robinson made you a PANCAKE! https://t.co/NgzAST7kv7
— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) August 16, 2014
He played 38 snaps with the defense, including time with the starters while Michael Brockers sat out this week, and after looking solid last week, he was harder to see against Green Bay. He struggled at the point of attack against Green Bay's starting offensive line. I think he'll be fine, but given the concerns about his size, it's something to watch.
The FSU product led all defensive players with 51 snaps. He notched a team-high six tackle, five solo and one assist, and added a pass defensed and forced a fumble for good measure. He made plays. What else can you ask for? Oh, he didn't do himself any harm playing in coverage either. This guy might end up being the steal of the draft.
No running back got more work than Tre Mason. He had 30 yards on 12 carries, for a putrid 2.5 yards per carry. Of course, with that offensive line, you can't expect much. Mason dances a little too much, waiting for a play or a hole develop. That won't work in the NFL. He's also going to have to work on his pass blocking and blitz pickup if he's going to get any meaningful playing time.
It wasn't all bad. Mason showed his natural ability on this run:
The fourth-round pick had 40 snaps against the Packers. He was second on the team with five tackles too. He also had 14 snaps on special teams, second most of any player. More than anything, his speed was impressive to see.
The Mizzou product didn't play this week.
He was three-for-six with 32 yards ... and that's it. The Packers sacked him once and he was constantly pressured in 19 snaps with the third team. When the Rams drafted him, most called Gilbert a "project." That's looking like an understatement. Looks like he'll land on the practice squad.
The seventh-round pick notched his first NFL sack this week. He also had two tackles, two quarterback hits and a tackle for a loss in 27 snaps. It was a good game, better than last week's effort. He's fighting tooth and nail with Ethan Westbrooks to make the roster.
The UDFA built on an impressive debut last week, getting 39 snaps with the defense this week. He was a monster, constantly finding his way into the backfield. He finished the game with a sack, two QB hits and a tackle for a loss.
A surprise starter with Gaines and Janoris Jenkins out of the lineup, the Florida UDFA played a total of 34 snaps. He only had one tackle, but showed off his closing speed. The secondary was really iffy this week, back to allowing that huge cushions that were such a problem last season. At any rate, Roberson may not have made the case to be a starter, but he looks to have a good shot at making the team.
- Alex Bayer had one catch on one target for 11 yards. He did play 37 snaps in the wake of last week's big outing.
- Austin Franklin played 23 snaps, the most of any receiver, but failed to haul in the one pass thrown his way.
- Mitchell Van Dyk got plenty of playing time, 39 snaps, including reps at guard.
- Tulsa product Trey Watts saw 17 snaps last night, including three carries for 19 yards and one catch for eight. He played 12 snaps on special teams, and with Isaiah Pead likely done for the year, he could make the team if his special teams play measures up.
- TJ Moe had 13 snaps with the offense and two snaps on special teams. The former Mizzou receiver was not targeted at all.
- DJ Morrell played eight snaps at tackle.
- Ohio State safety Christian Bryant, a seventh-round pick, made his preseason debut on Saturday with 17 defensive snaps and two snaps on special teams. He didn't show up on the stat sheet, but it's good to him back in action after starting camp on the PUP list because of an ankle injury from his college days.