The St. Louis Rams’ experience in the 2012 NFL Draft was awfully top heavy with a total of five selections in the draft’s top 65. Some would argue however, that these first three rounds are not where general manager’s fates are decided, but rather the final four.
Day three of the draft was busy as well for the team as they added five more new players to the roster. Of these guys, three will compete for and possibly attain starting jobs in the 2012 campaign.
There was no denying a deficiency at the wide receiver position for St. Louis last season. Chris Givens was selected in the fourth round to give the team that explosive slot threat that can blow games open with one deep grab. At Wake Forest, Givens was productive racking up 83 catches for 1,330 yards last season. Expect him to compete immediately for a starting role in three-receiver packages as a speedy slot target.
Round five saw the team go big with offensive guard Rokevious Watkins out of South Carolina. Watkins is a punishing run blocker and at 6’5” 340lbs. that should come as no surprise. The Rams’ offensive line struggled last season to put it mildly so Watkins has a chance to compete for a starting gig from day one.
In a move that was somewhat anticipated, the team selected local product Greg Zuerlein out of Missouri Western. The team hosted Zuerlein for a private workout in the pre-draft process and was definitely in the market for a new kicker. Perhaps his best quality is the combination of accuracy and power that his leg offers with the ability to boom kickoffs through the end zone while still nailing 50-plus yard field goals with regularity. Zuerlein will be expected to take over the starting place kicker job in 2012.
The focus has been on the glamour rounds of the draft, but GMs make their money in rounds four through seven. The Rams hope that they have found a few hidden gems to provide instant contributions to their team next season.