While it’s impossible to truly gauge just how effective any particular draft class will be until they hit the field for at least one season, on paper, the St. Louis Rams were quite impressive with their two picks in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Despite this presumed improvement in the draft’s opening stanza, the aggression and tactical positioning of trades in round one left the Rams without a pick until the 71st overall selection in the third round on Friday night. Apparently General Manager Les Snead didn’t mind waiting a while before getting into the action on day two of the draft.
That 71st overall pick turned into safety T.J. McDonald from USC who is a hard-hitting missile for the middle of the St. Louis secondary. McDonald is the son of former San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl winning safety Tim McDonald and his initials actually stand for Tim Jr. His ability to play down in the box has to be attractive to the Rams, and when he drops into coverage, opposing receivers will need to have their head on a swivel to avoid being decapitated once they catch the football. He may be a bit stiff in the hips and somewhat suspect when forced to turn and cover, but those techniques can be honed at the next level.
Things only got better for the Rams on offense with the 92nd overall pick as quarterback Sam Bradford added yet another weapon at wide receiver in Stedman Bailey. Better known as the other wideout from West Virginia, Bailey was an early entry to the 2013 draft after an incredible junior campaign in Morgantown where he hauled in 113 balls for 1,627 yards and a staggering 25 touchdowns. Bringing him on board with first round pick Tavon Austin will be a nightmare for opposing defenses to deal with. It certainly was during their time together with the Mountaineers.
GM Snead and Head Coach Jeff Fisher said that needs wouldn’t dictate their selections in this draft, but they didn’t have to. The Rams have found outstanding talent in areas of need just by making savvy moves throughout the draft process to maximize their haul. With one more day of picks to go in rounds four through seven on Saturday, the Rams are poised to have one of the best draft classes for a second year in a row.