You’d be hard pressed to find a team that received a bigger impact in 2012 from their rookie class than the St. Louis Rams. Guys like Chris Givens and Daryl Richardson contributed offensively, Janoris Jenkins was stellar while Michael Brockers showed flashes on the defensive side, and of course the dynamic duo of Johnny Hekker and Greg Zuerlein stood out on special teams.
But is it possible that the class of 2013 could provide an even bigger boost to St. Louis in the upcoming season?
It’s hard not to think so with two first round selections coming into the fold in dynamic offensive weapon Tavon Austin and rangy linebacker Alec Ogletree. The Rams addressed what most would have considered their two weakest areas in the draft in the first round with talent that could explode onto the scene immediately.
The possibilities don’t end there; Stedman Bailey will also provide some help at receiver while Zac Stacy will surely see some action in the backfield. Barrett Jones will add some much needed depth at every single position along the offensive front to help cure an ailment that plagued the team during the 2012 campaign. Add in the potential that undrafted rookies Cody Davis and Ray Ray Armstrong have at safety and linebacker respectively, and the Rams have the makings of another juggernaut class.
And that was the expectation from the front office whenever they took over in January of 2012. This team needed to undergo a complete facelift with several positions in line for a total rebuild. With the never-ending free agency cycle that makes it impossible to hang onto high-profile players the challenge only grew larger this offseason.
But this regime of head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead knew that the process wouldn’t produce instant results. To be fair, it’s hard to argue with a laughing stock that had won a combined 15 games during the previous five seasons winning seven in its first campaign under a new power structure. Youth has been a huge part of the Rams rebuild, and the ongoing process to reach the top of the NFC West is still a work in progress.
At least the results are showing up on the field, and that is likely to continue with a stellar 2013 draft class joining the fold.