PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 05: Isaiah Pead #23 of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers on November 5, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

2012 NFL Draft: New GM Les Snead Addresses Both Sides Of Ball In First Draft

The St. Louis Rams took DT Michael Brockers in the first round and added WR Brian Quick, CB Janoris Jenkins and RB Isaiah Pead in the second round. In the third round, they selected CB Trumaine Johnson.

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NFL Draft Grades: Isaiah Pead Could Save St. Louis Rams' Next Draft, Too

Granted: I spent nearly all of the 2012 NFL Draft season begging the St. Louis Rams not to take Trent Richardson because I think all running backs are overrated. You my not, then, trust my NFL Draft grades, especially as they relate to Isaiah Pead, the running back the Rams eventually did take with the last of their second-round picks. But hey: Pead could save the Rams a pick when Steven Jackson finally slows down, and if he does that then the Rams' draft grade is a solid A from me, at least.

Here's how it could happen: Isaiah Pead needs to have a solid rookie season as Steven Jackson's change-up and Sam Bradford's safety valve. He needs to keep doing that as Steven Jackson declines. Then: The Rams need to not feel the need to spend a first-round draft pick on a running back who won't make nearly as many carries as Jeff Fisher or anyone else thinks he will, because they're satisfied with Pead's performance to date. Voila! Instant A+ from your local running back hater and NFL Draft grader.

More NFL Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


NFL Draft Results Podcast: SB Nation St. Louis, SpreeGoogs Mock The (Seahawks') Draft

The 2012 NFL Draft results are in, the mock draft season is mostly behind us—all that's left to do while we wait for Michael Brockers and company to report to training camp is talk about the NFL Draft results. That's why I sat down with Adam Bonefeste and Frank Bouch of noted sports and 90s-TV-focused blog SpreeGoogs to talk through every pick in the 2012 draft's wild first round. Here's the first half of the fruits of our labor.

SB Nation St. Louis and SpreeGoogs Present: A 2012 NFL Draft Mockery Podcast

In addition to mocking Bruce Irvin we talk about the Rams' major draft picks, from Brockers to Janoris Jenkins, and wonder whether the Rams will be disappointed, down the line, about failing to select both Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd. Also there's a cameo from Zack Morris.

Here's more handpicked NFL Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


NFL Draft Grades 2012: Janoris Jenkins Shows St. Louis Rams' Risky Side

Over at Rams Herd, a concise examination of the two picks most likely to influence the St. Louis Rams' 2012 NFL Draft grades: Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, the two high-risk cornerbacks the Rams selected, making a symbolic break with Steve Spagnuolo's "Four Pillars" theory of team conduct in favor of lots of upside. If there's one thing NFL Draft grade writers like, it's upside—it has the chance to make them look brilliant in two years, and by then, if it hasn't made them look brilliant, nobody remembers.

Jenkins, at least, should pay off or cash out pretty soon. His problem isn't performance-related, and if Jeff Fisher and the Rams can keep him on the field they could have two top-of-the-line cornerbacks a year after sporting the worst secondary I've ever seen. Just that—even if Johnson, the other character-issues type, busts—would be enough for me to give this particular draft risk a high A.

More NFL Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

  • Here's a look at the St. Louis Rams' draft results, featuring links out to all the draft coverage we produced on the Rams' newest players.
  • And here, if you're interested, is the inevitable template for any St. Louis Rams-based 2013 NFL Mock Draft.

St. Louis Rams Draft Grades: Michael Brockers Divides NFL Draft Experts

The St. Louis Rams's NFL Draft grades for 2012 have, so far, been mostly positive, but there's a lot of variance in how experts see their No. 1 overall pick, Michael Brockers. ESPN's Todd McShay focused on Janoris Jenkins when he reviewed their draft; SB Nation Studios didn't like the Rams' constant trading down, which led to Brockers, and Mel Kiper's response could best be described as ambivalent.

But: Sports Illustrated appeared to be a fan, and SB Nation proper gave the Rams an A, suggesting that the Michael Brockers pick completes a defensive line that was already looking strong. As a Rams fan, I have to say it is kind of nice to look at a unit besides "starting running back" and think, "Well, that looks about right for 10 or 11 wins." It's been a while since I've had the chance, and Brockers, with Robert Quinn and Chris Long, makes me think I'll feel that way for a while yet.

For more NFL Draft 2012 coverage, take a look at our complete 2012 St. Louis Rams draft results feature, with links to all our coverage.


St. Louis Rams Draft 2012: Isaiah Pead, Steven Jackson Form Solid Running Back Platoon

You wouldn't know it from all the calls for the first pick of the St. Louis Rams' 2012 draft to go to Trent Richardson, but Steven Jackson had a minor renaissance season last year, after coming off his worst season as a professional. After earning just 3.8 yards per carry on 20.6 carries per game in 2010 the Rams dialed back his playing time, and it paid off: He bounced back to 4.4 yards per carry at 17.3 carries per game in 2011, tied for his best per-carry performance yet. Enter Isaiah Pead.

Because unfortunately for the Rams, the plan they'd gone into the season with to decrease his workload didn't quite pay off so well. Jerious Nowood was invisible, making just 24 carries, and Cadillac Williams, after a hot start, vanished in midseason due to injury and ineffectiveness.

Pead is not going to threaten Jackson for playing time this year. He's small, quick, and well-regarded for his pass-catching ability, and he'll be used in all the stereotypical change-of-pace back spots as a rookie. He might be capable of more later, but right now that's all the Rams need to keep their 29-year-old offensive centerpiece fresh.

More NFL Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


NFL Draft 2012: Chris Givens A Major Bargain For St. Louis Rams

Some have called the St. Louis Rams' first wide receiver of the 2012 NFL Draft, Brian Quick, a bit of a reach—but according to the National Football Post's Dan Pompei the Rams made it up by taking "second round talent" Chris Givens with the No. 96 overall pick.

That's the good news. Here's the bad news: He says Givens fell because of potential off-the-field problems—they already took Janoris Jenkins, so this probably wasn't an issue—and, you guessed it, "concerns about his knees." Maybe Danario Alexander can refer him to a good physical therapist.

With Quick and Givens—however you rate them—the Rams have made their second attempt in as many years to revamp their wide receiving corps. Let's hope this one works out better than last year, when they drafted Austin Pettis and Greg Salas.

More NFL Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis's Rams hub:


2012 NFL Draft Grades: WR Brian Quick A Reach, According To Tony Pauline

According to NFL analyst Tony Pauline, the St. Louis Rams may have picked WR Brian Quick -- already a second round pick -- too high. In his latest column, Pauline analyzes the steals and reaches in the recent 2012 NFL Draft:

Brian Quick/WR/St Louis/Pick No. 33 -- Quick offers a lot of upside and could eventually develop into a second receiver for an NFL roster. Yet the first pick of Round 2 was much too early for his services, considering the other receivers still on the board.

Quick played four seasons with the Appalachian St. Mountaineers, collecting over 3418 receiving yards. In his final college season, he caught 71 passes in 12 games for 1096 yards and 11 touchdowns.

For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, visit SB Nation St. Louis' NFL Draft StoryStream. For a complete list of 2012 NFL Draft results, visit SBNation.com. For even more comprehensive coverage of the NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.


2012 NFL Draft Grades: Todd McShay Praises Janoris Jenkins, Brian Quick Selections

The latest analysis from ESPN and Scout.com's Todd McShay suggests the Rams secured a duo of potentially unique players in the second round. McShay's latest article examines an impact player and an intriguing pick for each of the 16 NFC teams, and for the St. Louis Rams, McShay likes the picks of CB Janoris Jenkins and WR Brian Quick.

Jenkins, according to McShay, could contribute immediately to the Rams:

Impact: CB Janoris Jenkins (second) -- The risk-reward gamble is huge with Jenkins and his considerable character baggage, but anyone who saw him shut down the likes of Jeffery, A.J. Green and Julio Jones in 2010 knows just what kind of cover corner Jenkins can be. He's ready to be a starter right now...

Quick, meanwhile, promises a rougher initial product, but could offer an even greater upside.

Intriguing pick: WR Brian Quick (second) -- How steep will Quick's learning curve be coming from a small school, and can he handle the transition to NFL life both on and off the field? Some feel he could become overwhelmed in that regard, but there's no denying his impressive size and athleticism...

For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, visit SB Nation St. Louis' NFL Draft StoryStream. For a complete list of 2012 NFL Draft results, visit SBNation.com. For even more comprehensive coverage of the NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.


NFL Draft Results 2012: St. Louis Rams' Wide Receivers Come Later Than Anticipated

Here's a complete look at the St. Louis Rams' 2012 NFL Draft results.


NFL Mock Draft 2013 Tells Us How Drafts Failed In 2012

There's something fundamentally ridiculous about the idea of a 2013 NFL Mock Draft a full calendar year before the actual draft, but now that I know they exist I feel compelled to see what they say about the St. Louis Rams, every so often. This one, in an oddly concise way, says a lot about the weaknesses of the Rams' 2012 draft. Namely: They're selecting an offensive lineman, and they're doing it fourth overall.

The Rams addressed their porous defense in a big way, and they addressed their wide receiver problem—though maybe not as definitively as we'd have liked—but the offensive line problem lives to terrorize Sam Bradford another day. I don't think this is much of a limb to go out on: If Bradford's sacked three-and-a-half times a start again next season, the Rams are going to be drafting in the Top 10 again, and it won't be pleasant.

Heck, at that rate, they might have to trade that offensive lineman in for a quarterback.

More NFL Draft coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


St. Louis Rams Draft Grades: Mel Kiper Gives Rams A C+ And A B+

The St. Louis Rams' NFL Draft grades have improved markedly since the 2012 model ended, with days two and three bringing the Rams' interesting upside risks (like noted character risk Janoris Jenkins) and good need choices (like wide receiver Chris Givens.) Mel Kiper approved, giving them a C+ for needs and a B+ for value according to Turf Show Times.

The major refrain for his draft grades is an odd one, given how far off the Rams are from contention: A lot of these players are very raw, so Les Snead might be taking a long view. First-rounder MIchael Brockers and Round 2 receiver Brian Quick are both high-upside players who need a lot of development; Jenkins needs a lot of people watching to make sure he doesn't get himself kicked out of another organization. The only player who's a sure thing as a starter in 2012 is kicker Greg Zuerlein.

There's a lot of work to do, but that's why they hired Jeff Fisher: So that he would do it. Here's more NFL Draft news and analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Draft Grades: St. Louis Rams Earn Points For Janoris Jenkins Gamble

The St. Louis Rams' 2012 NFL Draft grades have been mixed, for the most part, but Don Banks of SI.com, at least, is giving them some extra credit for taking a risk with one of their three Round 2 picks: Janoris Jackson's character problems are well documented, but if he's really a Top 10 kind of talent—and with the Rams as bankrupt in the secondary as they are, outside of Cortland Finnegan—it's a chance for Les Snead and the new Rams braintrust to make a big mark on the team immediately.

In Jenkins's own words, he "never shot up a strip club," but the comparisons to Pacman Jones and Jeff Fisher's embattled tenure in Tennessee are inevitable. In the end I like Banks's suggestion that the Rams have, at least at the moment, managed to get both quantity and quality in the 2012 NFL Draft, thanks to their judicious trading and, well, their ineptitude in 2011.

More NFL Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


NFL Draft Results: Arizona Cardinals Sneak Michael Floyd From St. Louis Rams, Score High Draft Grades

This one hurt: Let the 2012 NFL Draft results records show that the St. Louis Rams were pipped on not just one but two wide receiver prospects, losing out on Justin Blackmon at No. 6 and then, having traded down to No. 14, watching the Arizona Cardinals snag Michael Floyd at No. 13. Early draft grades show high marks for the Cardinals, who got Floyd and also managed to protect Kevin Kolb with Bobby Massie all the way down at No. 112, a pick WalterFootball loved.

Here's how the rest of their draft shook out:

No. 80: Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
No. 151: Senio Kelemte, G, Washington
No. 177: Justin Bethel, S, Presbyterian
No. 185: Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State
No. 221: Nate Potter, OL, Boise State

Like the Rams, the Cardinals needed a lot of offensive line help. Unlike the Rams, they seem to have gotten a lot of it.

If you're looking for more Arizona Cardinals coverage check out Revenge of the Birds and SB Nation Arizona. For more about the St. Louis Rams' draft, and more looks at their rivals in the NFC West, stay tuned to our NFL Draft 2012 Stream.


NFL Draft Results: Seattle Seahawks' 1st Rounder Slammed In Draft Grades

Perhaps the best NFL Draft Results news for St. Louis Rams fans: The Seattle Seahawks, their permanent rivals in mediocrity, made one of the most confusing draft picks in recent memory in the first round, choosing Bruce Irvin—a pass-rushing specialist with character questions who was nowhere near the first round on any draft board—with the No. 15 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He might get to Sam Bradford a few times in the next five years, but some people think Irvin could have gone as late as the third round if the Seahawks hadn't pulled the trigger.

Later results proved a little more promising. No. 47 went to Bobby Wagner, a quick linebacker who could be starting soon, while at No. 74 they went with a quarterback prospect in Wisconsin's undersized Russell Wilson. Other picks:

No. 106: Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
No. 114: Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
No. 154: Korey Toomer, LB, Idaho
No. 172: Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State
No. 181: Winston Guy, S, Kentucky
No. 225: J.R. Sweezy, DT, North Carolina State
No. 232: Greg Scruggs, DT, Louisville

For more Seattle Seahawks news and analysis, check out Field Gulls and SB Nation Seattle. For more about the St. Louis Rams' performance in the draft—and more handicapping about their rivals—check out our 2012 NFL Draft Stream


NFL Draft Results: San Francisco 49ers Reach For A.J. Jenkins, Have Draft Grade Mellow Harshed

If there's one thing the NFL Draft grades headmasters don't like, it's reaches they didn't know about in advance. That's why the San Francisco 49ers' decision to select A.J. Jenkins with the No. 30 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has resulted in such stern glares. Jenkins, a small, fast Illini vet with big college numbers, was widely regarded prior to draft day as a second rounder at best. Up next, the 49ers stunned mock drafters again by taking LaMichael James at No. 61, despite having Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, and Brandon Jacobs all under contract.

From there, this is how their draft looked:

No. 117: Joe Looney, G, Wake Forest
No. 165: Darius Fleming, DE, Notre Dame
No. 180: Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State
No. 199: Jason Slowey, C, Western Oregon
No. 237: Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia

For more about the San Francisco 49ers, check out SB Nation's very own blog, Niners Nation. To keep updated on the St. Louis Rams' draft, and how the other NFC West teams are looking, keep following our NFL Draft 2012 stream.


St. Louis Rams Draft Picks: Chris Givens Mentions Greatest Show On Turf, Rams Fans Swoon

Chris Givens, who earned the second pick the St. Louis Rams spent on wide receivers in the 2012 NFL Draft, just became first in the hearts of Rams fans everywhere. Sorry, Brian Quick—he mentioned the Greatest Show on Turf, and that's all it takes. The speedy Givens said, in particular, that he and Quick want to "try to get 'The Greatest Show on Turf' back going again." Which works for me.

Unfortunately for Givens, Quick, and your correspondent, I'm not sure Jeff Fisher has any such desire—and since they spent two of their first three draft picks on high-profile defensive specialists, I'm willing to infer that their plans are more related to making games as ugly as possible, with the hope that the Rams come out on top at the end of them.

Well—it's up to Sam Bradford and his two new receivers to change the game plan by sheer competence. Good luck with that.

More 2012 NFL Draft coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


NFL Draft 2012: Will Janoris Jenkins's Results Be Worth The Risk?

Janoris Jenkins. That's the sound of the St. Louis Rams taking a major risk with one of their three picks in Round 2 of the 2012 NFL Draft Friday. It's also the sound of Steve Spagnuolo's oft-derided Four Pillars philosophy coming down once and for all after years of the Rams ostensibly worrying about character concerns over results in all personnel decisions.

Jenkins's character concerns are legendary. He's fathered four children by three women; he's been arrested for multiple drug-related offenses; he got into a barfight and had to be restrained with a taser. He was kicked out of the University of Florida and had to finish his academic career, such as it is, at North Alabama.

In case you were wondering, that's how you begin your career as a Top 10 pick (his tools are also legendary) and end it going 39th overall. The Rams could get that Top 10 talent if Jenkins, 23, ever matures. That's why they took the risk—and with three second-round picks, they could do it. But it's a major riskand one that shows us something about how new braintrust Jeff Fisher and Les Snead plan to run the team.

More NFL Draft 2012 results and analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:


2012 NFL Draft Grades: Janoris Jenkins Pick Earns St. Louis Rams High Marks

The St. Louis Rams were unpopular for picking Michael Brockers when 2012 NFL Draft grades were rushed out after the first round, but their early returns in the second round have earned them considerably more plaudits. WalterFootball in particular loved the Janoris Jenkins pick, giving it an A- and suggesting the Rams' variety of second-round picks and Cortland Finnegan's presence at cornerback left them uniquely suited to take the risk.

Brian Quick got a gentleman's B—he's not quite as exciting as Stephen Hill, or as well-known as Rueben Randle, but he's a wide receiver and Sam Bradford will probably be excited. Meanwhile, Isaiah Pead, the Rams' biggest reach of the draft, earned a C+, leaving them to wonder why the Rams chose him over Lamar Miller and LaMichael James.

It's been a mostly unexpected second round—Brian Quick only hit the draft-watchers' Rams radar Friday morning—but the Rams got most of what they wanted out of it, improving on defense and snagging a wide receiver. I give it a passing grade. But now who's going to block for Bradford?


NFL Mock Draft 2012 Round 2: Wide Receivers, Offensive Linemen Available In Second Round

Round 2 is just about to begin, and the St. Louis Rams have their pick of the players currently appearing in your 2012 NFL Mock Draft Round 2. Luckily for them, wide receivers and offensive linemen top the list of available players remaining. First round talents Rueben Randle and Stephen Hill and Cordy Glenn and Jonathan Martin are all available at the front of the second round, where the Rams have three picks.

SB Nation's mock draft has them taking Rueben Randle with the first pick, then RB Lamar Miller and OLB Lavonte David, but my personal ideal draft would probably involve Jonathan Martin and Stephen Hill. Whatever they do will have to contend with an already-harsh set of NFL Draft grades—though we, personally, are happy with the Michael Brockers pick given the trades it allowed them to make.

We'll know in just a few minutes which direction they take. For up-to-the-minute updates on the Rams' draft choices, follow along with us at SB Nation St. Louis; for national news, follow SB Nation.


NFL Draft 2012: Which Wide Receiver Will The St. Louis Rams Take In Round 2?

Day two of NFL Draft 2012-watch is here, and the St. Louis Rams begin the day on the clock—the first of their three second-round picks is also the first one in the second round. With Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd both slipping through their fingers Thursday, Rams fans are ready to see a wide receiver go early in the draft's second round—but who might it be? The major options right now look to be Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle, and Brian Quick.

Stephen Hill is this year's Jonathan Baldwin: A major physical talent with raw football skills. At six-four, and with a 4.36 40 time, Hill has as much natural ability—and upside—as anybody in the 2012 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, the junior played for Georgia Tech, which means he caught all of 28 balls last season. 28 balls for 820 yards and five touchdowns. He might not be ready to save the Rams' beleaguered receivers on Day 1, which is bad news for Sam Bradford, but he definitely looks like a No. 1 receiver. At some point.

Rueben Randle goes to the Rams in SB Nation's second-round NFL Mock Draft, kicking off Round 2. He's Hill's opposite number—not especially fast, not quite as big, but considerably more tested in college action.

Brian Quick has lit up the rumor mill today—some say the Rams are looking very closely at the Appalachian State product. Quick is another big receiver with major college production. He's not as risky as Hill, and the reward is likely to be more immediate—and that could be all it takes for the Rams to pull the trigger.

Related instant-gratification news: Insiders doubt the Rams will trade their first second-round pick.


NFL Draft Results: Four Reasons Not To Hate The Michael Brockers Pick, Rams Fans

The reaction to the St. Louis Rams' selection of Michael Brockers with the No. 14 pick was swift and it was harsh. Here's why you shouldn't pay attention.


2012 NFL Draft Results: St. Louis Rams Take Michael Brockers After Multiple Trades

The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is in the books, and the results for the St. Louis Rams are... a little complicated. The Rams went into draft day with the Washington Redskins' No. 6 pick, which they acquired with a basket of picks for what amounts to Robert Griffin III at No. 2. They ended draft day with defensive tackle Michael Brockers, set to save their scuffling run defense, at No. 14, and a third second-round pick. The Dallas Cowboys took them up on the offer—they wanted Morris Claiborne at No. 6.

Justin Blackmon and Matt Kalil falling just short of the sixth overall pick probably precipitated the trade for the Rams, who got a solid talent at a position of need but failed to address the problems with their dysfunctional offense—Sam Bradford still needs a wide receiver and some offensive line help, and the Rams are likely to try to address both with one of three second-round picks on Friday.

More NFL Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


NFL Draft 2012: Dallas Cowboys Trade St. Louis Rams For Morris Claiborne Pick

The St. Louis Rams continued their trade-filled NFL Draft 2012 season on Thursday, with the Dallas Cowboys trading up to get Morris Claiborne at No. 6. The Rams got No. 14—that's run-stuffing defensive tackle Michael Brockers—and No. 45, their third second-round pick after the initial trade that brought the No. 2, and Robert Griffin III, to the Washington Redskins.

That's not quite Justin Blackmon—who went a little bit too early for the Rams to pounce—but between Brockers, Robert Quinn, and Chris Long they've successfully rebuilt an aging defensive line. I can't argue with the Rams taking the best player available at their new position, and if they make some judicious selections in the second round they could have a rejuvenated team a little sooner than anyone anticipated.

Now it's up to Les Snead: You've gotten yourself all the picks you could want—now do something with them.

For more coverage on the St. Louis Rams' wild 2012 NFL Draft, click through to our storystream.

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