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The Lake News Online
  • Rams make best of few picks

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  • The St. Louis Rams surprised a lot of people with their playing last season, proving to be troublesome for the San Francisco 49ers. And though the team had only a few picks this year, they made the best of their situation with some strong draft choices.
    Round 1: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virgina
    With Danny Amendola moving on to greener pastures, figuratively speaking, since he is headed to New England, the Rams needed another weapon for Sam Bradford to throw to. And the Rams’  decision to draft Austin fills that void with a talented and versatile offensive playmaker. Austin can be used in a variety of ways, including lining up in the backfield.
    Round 1: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
    Ogletree rounds out a tough front seven on defense for the Rams. He may not have been the hardest hitting guy at his position in the draft, but his athleticism may make him the most athletic linebacker on the roster.
    Round 3: T.J. McDonald, S, USC
    The Rams truly needed help in the secondary. Some people argued whether McDonald was the best safety available at the time of the pick, but at 6’2 and 219 pounds, McDonald brings size and hard hits to the team. There’s not much competition at the safety position in St. Louis, so it would not surprise me if he starts Week 1.
    Round 3: Steadman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
    Two receivers from the same offense? There’s some intangible that Jeff Fisher sees here that I’m missing. Bailey is only 5’11, but he has the ability to go up and get the ball with his hands. He is a solid route runner, so if he could learn the playbook quickly and make a good impression in camp, he could develop into a possession receiver, something the Rams’ offense sorely needs.
    Round 4: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
    Jones was part of the talented Alabama line and a favorite of Nick Saban’s. He plays physical and mean in the trenches, and was All-American and All-SEC center last year, which was his first season at the position. Over his career, he has played EVERY position on the line, but it looks like he’ll be sticking to the middle of the line, possibly competing for a starting guard spot. And with Harvey Dahl and Scott Wells both dealing with injury, he could wind up anywhere in one of the three middle spots.
    Round 5: Brandon McGee, CB, Miami (FL)
    McGee fits the prototype of a Fisher corner: small and physical. The best way to describe it is as a pit bull. They are not the biggest dog in the arena, but it’s the size of the fight in the dog that counts, right? McGee comes in under 6’0, which is a disadvantage  against some of the large wideouts, but his physical playing style might be just enough to secure him a spot as the slot guy in the secondary.
    Page 2 of 2 - Round 5: Zachary Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt
    With Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson on roster, most wouldn’t consider running back a major need. Coach Jeff Fisher, however, likes to have a solid run game, and with both of his current guys being smaller and more finesse-style runners, he looked for someone to bring the pound and ground game. Enter Stacy. At 5’9 and 216 pounds, he can pack a punch.  He did 27 reps on the bench press, while running a respectable 4.53 40. He was a top performer among running backs on the bench and three-cone drill at the Combine. He finishes his runs well and hits his hole, which should be perfect for a time-sharing guy to work between the tackles.

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