MMQB assembled a 12-person team, lead by people like former General Manager Bill Polian, writer Peter King, former QB Dan Fouts and many more, to put together an all-time NFL draft. The objective was that every team drafts 25 players (11 offense, 11 defense, 1 kicker, 1 punter, and 1 wild-card player).
Here are all the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams selected in the draft:
#15.) DE Deacon Jones
A five-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection, he (unofficially) averaged 20 “sacks” a season from 1964 to ’68, and historian John Turney counts 173.5 for his career.
#34.) DT Merlin Olsen
Olsen was named to a record 14 straight Pro Bowls from 1962 to ’75, and was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade teams for the 1960s and ’70s. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
#45.) CB Dick “Night Train” Lane
His 14 interceptions (in 12 games) as a rookie in 1952 remain one of sports’ longest-standing records.
#65.) RB Marshall Faulk
As a centerpiece for “The Greatest Show on Turf,” Faulk averaged 81 receptions, 2,255 scrimmage yards and 19.7 touchdowns in his first three seasons as a Ram.
#83.) OT Bob Brown
A Pro Bowler for three different teams, the No. 2 overall selection of the 1964 draft started 124 games for the Eagles, Rams and Raiders and is recognized as one of the great offensive tackles of his era. Said Rams defensive end Deacon Jones: “Bob Brown had a cold-blooded mentality. He’d kill a mosquito with an ax.” The five-time All-Pro was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Seniors Committee in 2004.
#90.) C Tom Mack
The second pick of the 1966 NFL draft, Mack put together 11 Pro Bowl seasons in Los Angeles in his 13-year career.
#91.) OT Orlando Pace
The No. 1 pick in 1997, the 6’7”, 325-pound Pace entered the league with large expectations—and somehow surpassed them all. He was named to seven consecutive Pro Bowls and became a Hall of Famer in 2016.
#104.) DE Jack Youngblood
The Rams’ defensive captain was the heart of their D-line for 14 seasons. Youngblood played so well as a rookie, the team felt comfortable trading Deacon Jones in 1972.
#118.) OT Jackie Slater
Slater holds the NFL record for most years spent with one team, playing the entirety of his 20-year career with the Rams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
#122.) RB Eric Dickerson
Dickerson’s single-season rushing mark of 2,105 yards, which he set in his second NFL season, still stands 33 years later.
#137.) Aeneas Williams
Williams’s wait for the Pro Football Hall of Fame ended in 2014, following back-to-back misses as a finalist. His enshrinement was only a matter of time, because the three-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler long excelled as one of the NFL’s best ball-hawking defensive backs. He finished his career with 55 interceptions and 12 defensive touchdowns (nine pick-sixes and three fumble recoveries).
#158.) OT Ron Yary
Yary was drafted by the Vikings with the No. 1 pick in 1968, the first offensive lineman to be selected first overall. He spent 14 seasons anchoring the Vikings’ offensive line at right tackle, earning seven straight Pro Bowl bids and, eventually, a gold jacket. Yary helped the Vikings win the 1969 NFL championship and played in all four of the franchise’s Super Bowl appearances.
#177.) LB Kevin Greene
Greene played for four teams over the course of 15 NFL seasons and made the Pro Bowl with three of them—the Rams, Steelers and Panthers. His 160 career sacks are third-best since the stat became official in 1982. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
#192.) LB Maxie Baughan
A standout linebacker and center from Georgia Tech, Baughan developed into a perennial Pro Bowl ’backer for the Eagles and Rams during the 1960s. He made nine Pro Bowls over his first 10 seasons. His best career highlight, perhaps, was helping the Eagles win the NFL championship as a rookie in 1960.
#195.) DT Gene Lipscomb
Playing for the Rams, Colts and Steelers, “Big Daddy” was a combination of speed and size—he stood at 6’ 6” and 284 pounds—who revolutionized the way defensive linemen played in the ’50s and ’60s. After a turbulent childhood, he entered the Marines, and the Rams only signed him after Pete Rozelle, their PR director, saw him playing football with the Marines. Lipscomb made three Pro Bowls in his 10-year career, which was tragically cut short when he died of a heroin overdose at age 31.
#212.) DE Andy Robustelli
In 1956, Robustelli was traded from the Rams to the Giants for a first-round pick, and New York immediately won a championship. The Giants were consistent winners over Robustelli’s nine seasons, as he teamed up front with with Rosey Grier, Jim Katcavage and Dick Modzelewski for one of the greatest defensive lines of all time. At 6’ 1” and 230 pounds, Robustelli was a bit undersized, though many view him as one of the first great 4-3 pass rushers. He retired with the record for forced fumbles (22) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
#226.) LB Les Richter
Richter amassed 193 points, most of them as a placekicker early in his career, but he is best known as a tough linebacker with a take-no-prisoners mindset. A Pro Bowler in eight of his nine seasons, all with the Rams, Richter was a member of Hall of Fame class of 2011.
#266.) P Johnny Hekker
Hekker has already earned three All-Pro nods and three Pro Bowl selections in his five seasons. His career yards per punt (46.9) is currently tied for third in NFL history.
#274.) K Jay Carney
Playing for seven teams over a 22-year career, Carney amassed 2,062 points, fifth all-time. He earned induction into the Saints’ Hall of Fame and also holds the Chargers’ all-time scoring record. Carney never had the most powerful leg, but his longevity as a player attests to his consistency. He’s one of only two players, along with George Blanda, to play in four decades.
#283.) WR James Lofton
Lofton scored touchdowns in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and was the first NFL player to tally 14,000 career receiving yards. Over his five-team, 16-year career, Lofton’s totals include 764 catches and 75 touchdowns, as well as five seasons in which he averaged at least 20 yards per catch. The 2003 Hall of Famer was named to eight Pro Bowls.
#293.) S Nolan Cromwell
He finished his 11-season career with the Rams with 37 interceptions, notching at least two in each of his final nine NFL campaigns.
#296.) P Sean Landeta
A two-time Super Bowl champion with the Giants, Landeta was also twice named to the NFL’s All-Decade first or second team. In a career that began in the USFL and saw him join five NFL teams, Landeta became the first punter in NFL history to average more than 50 yards per punt in a game in three different decades. He ranks second in career punts (1,401) and in punts landed inside the 20 (381).
#299.) WR Isaac Bruce
A founding member of “The Greatest Show on Turf” in St. Louis, Bruce led the NFL in receiving yards in 1996. Bruce ranks fourth all-time in career receiving yards, with 15,208, and 12th in touchdown receptions (91).
That is quite a list of Rams, though some notable omissions are present like Torry Holt, Elroy Crazy Legs Hirsch and Kurt Warner. With this many Rams being on the list, it’s nice to remember the true history behind the horns, and how many great players represented them with pride and passion. Hopefully, with more time gone by, there’ll be a few more future Rams to add to that list.