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2011 NFL Free Agents: Mark Clayton And The St. Louis Rams

Most hope for upgrading the St. Louis Rams' sorry wide receiving situation have attached to the 14th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, which has, at this point, been offered up in mock drafts to every college-aged wide receiver in the country. (I'll announce in the coming weeks whether or not I've accepted their offer.) But the 2011 NFL Free Agents could also hold the key to an upgrade, if not a Vincent Jackson-sized one. How do you feel about—16 games of Mark Clayton, instead of just five?

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It's not the most exciting thing I've ever heard, but the Rams are into it, and Mark Clayton and family apparently "love it here", which is the kind of thing we normally get from prospect St. Louis Cardinals free agents.

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It can't be denied that Clayton was the most effective receiver in the Rams' depleted corps, averaging 13 yards per carry over his five games and being targeted nearly as frequently as Danny Amendola over the rest of the season. It's weird—Clayton was a disappointment with the Baltimore Ravens, but he could have basically continued his production to this point in his career and still been among the Rams' top receivers.

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We can only hope that won't be true forever, but it probably will be in 2011. A healthy Clayton and Donnie Avery might give us a 2011 that's a little easier to stomach while we wait for an impact receiver to grow on this impact receiver tree I've planted. 

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