Predicting the Impact of Every St. Louis Rams’ 2014 Draft Pick

Predicting the Impact of Every St. Louis Rams’ 2014 Draft Pick

St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Draft
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Building a roster via the draft is the foundation for nearly every modern-day NFL dynasty. Teams must excel in plucking talent from all rounds in order to construct a depth chart with solid players from top to bottom. The St. Louis Rams have been excellent at doing this during the first three years of the Les Snead/Jeff Fisher era, and here’s how each member of the 2014 draft class figures to impact the upcoming season.

Round 1, No. 2 Overall: Greg Robinson, OT

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Round 1, No. 2 Overall: Greg Robinson, OT

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When this selection was made on draft night it seemed somewhat anticlimactic. The majority of projections had the Rams taking the tackle with immense upside, but not many pundits believed their intention would be to move him inside to guard. Initially this pick seemed like a forward looking selection that could backfire, but with Greg Robinson likely to start from day one at left guard, he will be a real roadgrader from the get-go.

Round 1, No. 13 Overall: Aaron Donald, DT

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Round 1, No. 13 Overall: Aaron Donald, DT

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It was outright theft when the Rams stayed put and plucked Aaron Donald from the draft board at No. 13 overall. He perfectly fits the team’s defensive scheme with the ability to get up the field and put pressure on the quarterback. His stunning athleticism in pre-draft workouts bodes well for the team improving both the run and pass defense through proxy. This pick is going to pay immediate dividends in the upcoming campaign.

Round 2, No. 41 Overall: Lamarcus Joyner, DB

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Round 2, No. 41 Overall: Lamarcus Joyner, DB

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If getting Donald at No. 13 overall was theft, then landing the versatile Lamarcus Joyner at No. 41 overall in Round 2 was grand larceny. This kid can play anywhere and will likely have an immediate starting job at free safety alongside last year’s third-round pick T.J. McDonald at strong safety. These two will finally give the Rams a safety tandem capable of being something other than the butt of many jokes throughout the NFL season.

Round 3, No. 75 Overall: Tre Mason, RB

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Round 3, No. 75 Overall: Tre Mason, RB

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While it seems a bit redundant to add another running back to a roster with a successful starter who was a rookie last season in Zac Stacy, he is somewhat one-dimensional as a between-the-tackles runner. Tre Mason will be the lightning to Stacy’s thunder with his ability to break the big run and take it to the house. His pass catching skills will also give the man under center a great outlet receiver on third-downs whenever the pocket breaks down

Round 4, No. 110 Overall: Maurice Alexander, S

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Round 4, No. 110 Overall: Maurice Alexander, S

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The Rams selected a second safety in Round 4 with Maurice Alexander from Utah State. He’s an extremely hard hitter as a former linebacker who excels playing in the box and supporting the run. At 6-foot-2, 212-pounds he fits the profile of the new breed of lanky defensive backs taking the league by storm. He will provide a great presence in certain packages to guard against a run-heavy defense getting burned through the air.

Round 6, No. 188 Overall: E.J. Gaines, CB

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Round 6, No. 188 Overall: E.J. Gaines, CB

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Although a bit undersized, E.J. Gaines has the athleticism that should allow him to flourish in a nickel role cover slot guys at the next level. After releasing Cortland Finnegan, the Rams needed to add some depth to the cornerback position. Gaines will likely be a depth body early on in his career, but if he proves to be a playmaker, an expanded role could be on the horizon sooner than anticipated.

Round 6, No. 214 Overall: Garrett Gilbert, QB

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Round 6, No. 214 Overall: Garrett Gilbert, QB

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Developmental quarterbacks are a dime a dozen at the next level, and Garrett Gilbert seems to exemplify this perfectly. Though he has a very strong arm and ideal size at 6-foot-4, 221-pounds, Gilbert struggled at the big time with the Texas Longhorns and eventually transferred to SMU to finish out his career. The NFL is the cream of the crop, and it’s hard to see Gilbert really amounting to much if the Rams want him to be the QB of the future.

Round 7, No. 226 Overall: Mitchell Van Dyk, OT

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Round 7, No. 226 Overall: Mitchell Van Dyk, OT

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Depth at offensive tackle was a big question mark for the Rams this offseason, but their first-round pick and the selection of small-school prospect Mitchell Van Dyk quelled some of that concern. At 6-foot-8, 315-pounds, this kid has Jake Long replacement written all over him somewhere down the line. He may wind up on the practice squad in year one, but the potential is clearly there for a high ceiling to be realized.

Round 7, No. 241 Overall: Christian Bryant, S

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Round 7, No. 241 Overall: Christian Bryant, S

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At just 5-foot-9, 198-pounds, Christian Bryant will add a different element to the Rams' secondary as a center fielder type at free safety. He was pegged as a legit mid-round prospect coming into the college season, but a broken ankle early in the year at Ohio State caused him to fall all the way to the Rams in Round 7. Leadership and impressive intangibles should lead to a roster spot for this youngster in 2014.

Round 7, No. 249 Overall: Michael Sam, DE

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Round 7, No. 249 Overall: Michael Sam, DE

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There’s been much enthusiasm about Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay NFL player, but it may wind up being all for naught given the Rams’ competitive DE depth chart. Sam is somewhat undersized for the position and will likely have a tough time getting around linemen at the next level. The pick itself may not have been a publicity stunt, but it’s really difficult to see how Sam actually makes the 53-man roster out of camp.

Round 7, No. 250 Overall: Demetrius Rhaney, C

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Round 7, No. 250 Overall: Demetrius Rhaney, C

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Competition was the motive for this selection as the Rams will have a serious battle for roster spots at the center position. Scott Wells has been an injury nightmare, Barrett Jones has yet to show much of anything and Tim Barnes performed admirably last season but doesn’t seem like a long-term fix. Demetrius Rhaney has an uphill battle for a roster spot, but his performance in camp could easily propel him into a real push for a backup role.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.


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