NFL St Louis Rams

Ranking the St. Louis Rams’ 2014 Draft Picks From Worst to First

St. Louis Rams' Draft Picks From Worst to First

Jeff Fisher Rams 2014 Draft
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The St. Louis Rams carried a pile of picks into the 2014 NFL Draft, and they are hoping some of those selections turn out to be stars at the next level. Here's how they all rank from worst to first.

11. Mitchell Van Dyk

Mitchell Van Dyk Rams
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11. Mitchell Van Dyk

Mitchell Van Dyk Rams
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Mitchell Van Dyk is a small-school prospect from Portland State, but his stature is anything but small. Towering in at 6-foot-7, Van Dyk adds depth to the trenches for St. Louis. The Rams used one of their seventh-round picks to help increase the competition at offensive tackle. Considering how late Van Dyk was selected, he is a prime candidate to be stashed on the Rams’ practice squad.

10. Demetrius Rhaney

Demetrius Rhaney Rams
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10. Demetrius Rhaney

Demetrius Rhaney Rams
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Demetrius Rhaney’s passion for the game is a trait that lured the Rams into nabbing him with one of their seventh-round picks. In addition to his love for the game, Rhaney can play anywhere on the offensive line. St. Louis was set on adding to their offensive line depth, and Rhaney will battle for the backup center spot in training camp, though the practice squad seems like a safer bet.

9. Michael Sam

Michael Sam Rams
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9. Michael Sam

Michael Sam Rams
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Sam was one of the biggest stories that occurred during the draft. The Rams believe Sam will line up as a defensive end and help rotate amongst the very talented personnel already present. Watching game tape of Sam leaves a lot to be desired, and he is a tweener who will struggle against NFL-caliber talent. The Rams have a front four that is young, strong, fast and very talented, so Sam will have to earn his keep on special teams.

8. Garrett Gilbert

Garrett Gilbert Rams
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8. Garrett Gilbert

Garrett Gilbert Rams
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Gilbert has the DNA to be an NFL quarterback, but he has a long path ahead of him to reach this goal. Gilbert shined in the SMU pass-heavy offense after a rough start and eventual transfer from the University of Texas. He is a big quarterback and will flourish in the short and intermediate game due to a lack of zip on his passes and a hitch in his motion. The Rams need to be patient with Gilbert in order for him to succeed.

7. Christian Bryant

Christian Bryant Rams
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7. Christian Bryant

Christian Bryant Rams
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Bryant was a bright spot during his time as an Ohio State safety, but an ankle injury destroyed his 2013 season. A natural leader, Bryant’s blazing speed, sure tackling and ability to come down in the box to stop the run are his strengths. He is also a great leader on the field and has a knack for always being around the play. Undersized at 5-foot-9, Bryant will have to battle with several rookies in an already loaded secondary.

6. Maurice Alexander

Mo Alexander Rams
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6. Maurice Alexander

Mo Alexander Rams
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Maurice Alexander is a thumping safety and intimidating presence in the defensive backfield. Blessed with a 6-foot-2 frame and adequate speed, Alexander could be the kind of player that the Rams have been looking for to patrol their secondary. He is a tackling machine and has a very impressive 38-inch vertical to help him high-point the ball in coverage. A native of St. Louis, Alexander will feel right at home with the Rams.

5. E.J. Gaines

EJ Gaines Rams
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

5. E.J. Gaines

EJ Gaines rams
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

E.J. Gaines' physicality masks his average height and length. He is best suited as a nickel cornerback and thrives in the short and intermediate passing lanes. Gaines does not allow himself to get rattled after getting beaten on a route and has the memory that coaches look for in a defensive back. Rangy and shifty receivers will give Gaines problems, so he will need coverage over top to protect him. He's a potential steal in the sixth round.

4. Tre Mason

Tre Mason Rams
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4. Tre Mason

Tre Mason Auburn Rams
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Drafting Tre Mason didn’t help incumbent Zac Stacy’s confidence moving forward, but the former is a well-rounded running back who should have an impact as a rookie. Mason was a touchdown machine for Auburn in 2013, scoring 23 times. Mason is not afraid of contact, has an explosive first step, is shifty in and out of cuts and gets stronger as the game wears on. He's good up the middle or outside, but he will make mistakes trying to do too much.

3. Lamarcus Joyner

Lamarcus Joyner Rams
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3. Lamarcus Joyner

Lamarcus Joyner Rams
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Lamarcus Joyner is a ballhawking defensive back who plays larger than his 5-foot-8 stature. Joyner is flexible enough in his skills to play cornerback or safety, though safety would probably suit him best. He is a very cerebral player with great vision and is very calculated in the way he attacks the game. Nabbing him in the second round where the Rams did allowed them to add a playmaking piece to their evolving defense.

2. Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald Rams
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2. Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald Rams
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Possibly going as high as No. 7 to Tampa, the Rams got the best defensive tackle in the draft. Donald is strong, agile and loves getting after the quarterback. His awareness and ability to anticipate the play opens up his athleticism. Donald’s addition to the interior will be the yin to Michael Brockers' yang, as they complement each other perfectly. Games are won in the trenches, and the Rams just added a beast to that area.

1. Greg Robinson

Gregg Robinson Rams
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Gregg Robinson Auburn Tigers

Gregg Robinson Auburn Tigers
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Arguably the top overall player in this draft class, the addition of Greg Robinson gives the Rams a franchise left tackle for the next decade. Robinson has the athleticism rarely seen in a man his size, incredible strength and upside that is still untapped. Robinson is light on his feet, very fluid in his movements and shows a lot of agility off the snap. Protecting Sam Bradford's blindside, Robinson will help keep Bradford upright more often.