Success in the NFL Draft can be such a subjective thing. Some analysts believe a team is successful solely on their ability to address their needs whereas others feel like teams are truly victorious if they always select the best player available regardless of need. Obviously the real answer lies somewhere in between, and that is where St. Louis Rams‘ General Manager Les Snead tends to reside.
One thing that most dratniks agree on post-2013 NFL Draft is that the Rams were one of the leaders in the league as far as their class as a whole is concerned. GM Snead was on ESPN Radio with Colin Cowherd to discuss the club’s draft haul recently. As always, his candid answers brought a smile to my face as he divulged some secrets on just where the Rams were happy and where they were a bit more disappointed.
When asked about the selection of Tavon Austin in the interview, Snead discussed the reasoning behind trading up. He said:
“Long story short, to us and our needs and our value on the board, 16 was a little scary spot. We might not get a player we were jacked about. That’s when we started to make the decision, ‘hey, can we find a dance partner early enough in the draft to go get the player we really, really want’ and that was Tavon.”
Many have praised the Rams for their ambitious approach to the draft when it came to moving up for Austin (and rightfully so), but Snead and company deserve the same amount of admiration for their decision to trade down and snag Alec Ogletree. Several teams removed the beleaguered linebacker from their draft boards altogether due to his off the field concerns, but the Rams haven’t shown any shyness toward bringing on players with troubled pasts. Head Coach Jeff Fisher knows how to get 53 players on the same page, and he believes that any player is malleable once placed into that environment.
Where this draft class ultimately ends up in terms of on-field success is obviously a long way from being determined, but the Rams have to feel optimistic about the realistic possibility of having taken two future Pro Bowlers in round one.