Rams Upgrade Young Team Thanks to Strong Draft
ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Rams play in most likely the toughest division in football, the NFC West. It's a division that boasts the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, who have reached the NFC Championship Game the past two seasons, advancing to the Super Bowl in 2013 and the upstart Arizona Cardinals. With all of the talent the Rams must directly compete against, continually upgrading is essential to NFL survival. That's exactly what the team accomplished with their picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
With 11 picks, head coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead had more than enough chances to attempt to improve their team moving forward.
St. Louis started out by selecting 332 pound offensive tackle Greg Robinson out of Auburn with the second overall pick of the draft. The Rams originally acquired this pick from the Washington Redskins two years prior in a deal that allowed Washington to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III, in exchange for a plethora of future draft picks. It has been rumored that Robinson could possibly start his career at guard for the Rams. He will be most likely be blocked from the tackle position by the newly re-signed Roger Saffold, and Jake Long, once he returns from injury.
The Rams' second pick of the first round was defensive tackle Aaron Donald from the University of Pittsburgh. Donald won the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the 2013 Chuck Bednarik Award. Both of these honors are handed out to the player deemed the nation's best defensive college football player. The former Pitt Panther will bring even more thump to a St. Louis defensive line that is among the best in the NFL. Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn anchors the line alone with fellow end Chris Long and tackle Michael Brockers.
In the second round, the Rams traded up to pick cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, who won a National Championship with Florida State, and bruising running back Tre Mason. Mason reunites with former Auburn teammate Greg Robinson in St. Louis. Mason took to Twitter to express his excitement upon teaming up with Robinson in the NFL.
In the later rounds, the young Rams continued to add depth.
The Rams selected St. Louis native, safety Maurice Alexander out of Utah State in the fourth round of the draft. A remarkable story, Alexander will now play in the very stadium he used to clean as a janitor.
Some other notable late round picks for the Rams include corner E.J. Gaines out of Missouri, quarterback Garrett Gilbert out of SMU, and defensive end/linebacker Michael Sam also out of Missouri. Sam was the co-defensive player of the year in the SEC last season, and has gained national attention as the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL. Sam and Gaines join fellow University of Missouri alumni T.J. Moe and Tim Barnes on the team.
All of the Rams' rookies will report to training camp in Earth City, Missouri by July 21 with the first preseason game coming on August 8 against the New Orleans Saints.
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