Grading the St. Louis Rams’ 2014 Draft Picks

Grading the St. Louis Rams' 2014 Draft Picks

Jeff Fisher Les Snead
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft was yet another success for the St. Louis Rams as they selected a solid group of immediate impact players across the board on both sides of the ball. Although they did not pick a wide receiver in this year's draft, they were able to fill needs elsewhere on the team. Here are the individual grades for each of their 11 draft picks.

1st Round (2nd Overall): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Greg Robinson
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1st Round (2nd Overall): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Greg Robinson
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In what seemed like a forgone conclusion, the Rams took the versatile offensive lineman out of Auburn to help further strengthen their offensive line. Robinson is a dominant run-blocking lineman who is a bit raw in his pass protection skills. Nonetheless, he will immediately come in and fill a hole at left tackle for St. Louis that will help keep Sam Bradford upright and create holes for the run game. Grade: A-

1st Round (13th Overall): Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Aaron Donald
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1st Round (13th Overall): Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Aaron Donald
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Rams got on the clock at the 13th overall pick, they were surprised to see Donald still on the board. The 2013 Bronko Nagurski award winner has arguably the most upside and talent among all defensive players in this year's draft. This, along with St. Louis already possessing an impressive defensive line with Michael Brockers, Chris Long, and Robert Quinn, gives this group the potential to be the best in the entire league. Grade: A+

2nd Round (41st Overall): Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State

Lamarcus Joyner
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2nd Round (41st Overall): Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State

Lamarcus Joyner
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In need of help in their secondary, the Rams may have found that in former Florida State standout. Joyner is a versatile defensive back who will be able to start alongside T.J McDonald at safety and be a viable option at cornerback when the team plays in the nickel package. He will also bring his leadership to St. Louis' young secondary that is looking to make a name for itself in a defense-loaded NFC West. Grade: B

Third Round (75th Overall) : Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

Tre Mason
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Third Round (75th Overall) : Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

Tre Mason
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams came away with possibly the steal of the third round as they added Tre Mason to their young backfield. Mason is coming off an impressive 2013 season that saw him break Bo jackson's single season rushing yard record at Auburn and being named a Heisman award finalist. Although he needs to improve on his pass protection skills, Mason will be a change-of-pace running back for St. Louis behind Zac Stacy. Grade: B

4th Round (110th Overall): Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State

Maurice Alexander
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

4th Round (110th Overall): Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State

Maurice Alexander
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams added more depth to their secondary with the selection of Alexander, as he is a safety with great athleticism and size at his position (6-foot-2, 212-pounds). An honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference player in 2013, Alexander's fall in the draft may have been due to his off-the-field issues rather than his play. But as St. Louis has shown in the past, they can work with that and get the most out of their players. Grade: B-

6th Round (188th Overall): E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri

E.J. Gaines
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

6th Round (188th Overall): E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri

E.J. Gaines
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The former Missouri defensive back may have fallen a little draft than he anticipated, but he could not ask for a better spot. He will step in as a backup cornerback who could help cover slot receivers in nickel coverage and play in the special teams as a coverage defender. There is also a chance for the 2013 first team All-SEC selection to show his versatility with the Rams' young secondary. Grade: C+

6th Round (214th overall): Garrett Gilbert, QB, SMU

Garrett Gilbert
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

6th Round (214th overall): Garrett Gilbert, QB, SMU

Garrett Gilbert
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The selection of Gilbert was made purely for the need of a backup quarterback to Sam Bradford. Although the team had signed Shaun Hill during free agency, GIlbert could be the long-term solution as a backup if he makes the 53-man roster. Although he underachieved at the collegiate level, he proved to be an efficient quarterback last year at SMU as he threw 21 touchdowns with seven interceptions and over 3,500 passing yards. Grade: C

7th Round (226th overall): Mitchell Van Dyk, T, Portland State

Mitchell Van Dyk
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

7th Round (226th overall): Mitchell Van Dyk, T, Portland State

Mitchell Van Dyk
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Van Dyk adds more depth to the Rams' offensive line as he will be a backup tackle to both Jake Long and Joe Barksdale. Although he will have to compete for a roster spot, if Van Dyk is able to make the roster he will need to improve in his pass protection in order to have any impact on the team this upcoming season. Grade: C-

7th Round (241th overall): Christian Bryant, S, Ohio State

Christian Bryant
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

7th Round (241th overall): Christian Bryant, S, Ohio State

Christian Bryant
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Although Bryant is a bit undersized at his position (5-foot-9, 198-pounds), he was a productive player during his three years at Ohio State. His draft stock may have taken a hit because of his ankle injury last season, but he showed his value to the team's secondary. Bryant will also bring his leadership skills to St. Louis' young secondary and compete with Alexander for a spot on the 53-man roster. Grade: C+

7th Round (249th overall): Michael Sam, DE, Missouri

Michael Sam
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

7th Round (249th overall): Michael Sam, DE, Missouri

Michael Sam
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The selection of Sam at the 249th overall pick was a great pick as he can make an immediate impact with the Rams' solid defensive line group. With Sam falling to the Rams in the final round of the draft, he will play in a role on the team as a designated pass rusher. St. Louis may have been the perfect spot for the 2013 SEC Co-Defensive Player of Year to prove he belongs in the NFL. Grade: B

7th Round (250th overall): Demetrius Rhaney, C, Tennessee State

Demetrius Rhaney
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

7th Round (250th overall): Demetrius Rhaney, C, Tennessee State

Demetrius Rhaney
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The decision to draft Rhaney was made because of the injury risk that starting center Scott Wells has had over the past two seasons while missing 13 games. The former Tennessee State lineman made the transition to center last year, and if he can develop further at the position he could make the team. But in order to do that he will have to beat out current backup center Barrett Jones. Grade: C


Around the Web