Senior Bowl a Key Pre-Draft Tool for St. Louis Rams

By Anthony Blake
Les Snead, Stan Kroenke, Jeff Fisher - St. Louis Rams
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Teams around the NFL have always flocked to Mobile, Alabama in January to take in the Senior Bowl, which features some of the top draft-eligible talent from all of the country in one place at one time. Perhaps the only other comparable spectacle in NFL Draft terms is the NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place in February in Indianapolis.

For the St. Louis Rams, the Senior Bowl has been a place where the new regime has found plenty of players on their current roster. Their visit to Mobile this year could yield even more players for the team by the time the draft rolls around.

Last year, the Rams added wideouts Brian Quick and Chris Givens, running back Isaiah Pead, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins in the draft. Each of these players were present in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. Rams general manager Les Snead disclosed his interesting philosophy on the college football all-star festivities, saying: “You want to go into it knowing what you think the player is and then figure out what the questions are that need answered. Can they be answered at the Senior Bowl?”

That strategy could be very important to the Rams this year, as the team holds both the 16th and 22nd overall selections in the 2013 draft. With plenty of underclassmen expected to go in the top 10 picks, the top senior talent tends to funnel down into the middle and end of round one.

Snead offered some interesting insight on this aspect of the draft as well, saying: “I think what you usually get with a senior football player is they kind of are who they are, they are sound, what you see is probably what you are going to get. A lot of times with a junior, redshirt sophomore a guy like Michael Brockers, you have got to project a little bit because you have to say ‘This is what they look like now, if they would have played another year, can we compare him to this player and what did he look like when he was just a redshirt sophomore?’ I think that’s what the Senior Bowl is. These guys are who they are, they are mature, they are men.”

Although Brockers was one of the underclassmen that the Rams did select in the 2012 draft, the majority of the class consisted of seniors. Expect that to be a theme with this team that has rebuilt itself over the past 12 months into a legitimate threat to contend in the NFC next season. For that to continue, this draft needs to be just a fruitful as last year’s and with Snead calling the shots, you can bank on it.

Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake

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