St. Louis Rams General manager Les Snead followed up a tough act in his first year by arguably surpassing it in the 2013 NFL Draft, showing a mix of initiative and creativity with the extra first-rounder they held from what is effectively known as the Robert Griffin III trade.
The Rams moved up to get their game-changing receiver in Tavon Austin at No. 8 through a trade with the Buffalo Bills and traded down from pick 22 to snag Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree at the No. 30 pick. With Austin and second-year receiver Chris Givens, the Rams now sport two positively electric pass-catchers who can break big plays on anything from screen passes to shot plays.
Ogletree should complement middle linebacker James Laurenaitis and outside backer JoLonn Dunbar. Dunbar played the weakside rather well last year so it will be interesting to see how the rangy Ogletree is incorporated on defense.
“He’s much more talented a player than the 30th overall pick in the draft,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said after the Ogletree pick. “He plays linebacker like the safety he used to be. This kid does not take on the blockers, but he’s a great athlete.”
St. Louis also scooper Austin’s college mate in West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey at the end of round three, continuing a Rams trend of draft pass-catchers heavy during the early portion of recent drafts. The Rams probably hope they will come along a little faster than Lance Kendricks, Austin Pettis, Greg Salas and Brian Quick.
Remington Award winner Barrett Jones provides a nice mix of need and value at pick No. 113.
Picks: Austin (1-8), Ogletree (1-30), T.J. McDonald (3-9), Bailey (3-30), Jones (4-16), Brandon McGee (5-16), Zac Stacy (5-27)