Now that the three-day selection extravaganza formally known as the NFL Draft is completed for 2013, the ritual of a mad dash to land some of the top undrafted free agents let loose immediately thereafter. For the St. Louis Rams, General Manager Les Snead did such an outstanding job finding players that will immediately contribute via the draft itself that the team wasn’t in a desperate search for a player to fill any particular needs. Even though the team found some instant impacts in the draft itself, they may have found a few more players that can perform in from the undrafted crew as well.
Here is a list of the players that the Rams signed after the draft came to its conclusion.
Brett Baer, K, Louisiana Lafayette
Braden Brown, OT, BYU
Benny Cunningham, RB, Middle Tennessee State
Cody Davis, S, Texas Tech
Michael Gillard, MLB, Georgia
Philip Lutzenkirchen, TE, Auburn
Graham Pocic, OL, Illinois
Gerald Rivers, DE, Ole Miss
Philip Steward, LB, Houston
From this group of nine, there are three names in particular that stand out. Let’s start with Cody Davis who put up some eye-popping numbers at the Red Raiders’ pro day running the 40-yard dash in 4.42 and 4.41 seconds. Along with that, he also had a 41.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-3 broad jump. His short shuttle time was 4.00 seconds and he had a 6.78-second three-cone drill. His 15 reps on the bench press was average, but when put in conjunction with his other speed numbers as well as 6’2” 203lbs. frame, Davis could easily find a roster spot on a safety deficient team.
Next let’s look at Philip Lutzenkirchen who is well known from his collegiate days where he was ultra-productive with the Auburn Tigers. While he may not be an elite athlete in comparison to today’s NFL, there is no doubt that Lutzenkirchen has the potential to make the roster. He will clearly be a third tight end given the Rams’ top two options of Lance Kendricks and newly signed free agent Jared Cook, but in run-heavy packages, he could be a real threat for this team.
The final name that peaks my interest is Philip Steward who obviously comes in at another position of need in linebacker. When looking at his pre-draft numbers, Steward actually outperformed first round pick Alec Ogletree with a 4.65 40-yard dash time while Ogletree clocked in at 4.68. At 6’1” 237lbs., that time is certainly noteworthy. The Rams can use all the competition they can get at the linebacker spot so this kid could find himself on the final roster as well for depth purposes.
At the end of the day, the Rams have to be thrilled about the haul they made from the draft class of 2013. Now the task will be getting all of these youngsters into camp and working together for a common goal. The arrow continues to point up for this budding young roster with loads of potential for greatness.