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:

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