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2011 NFL Draft: Why The St. Louis Rams Picked Robert Quinn

Robert Quinn wasn’t expected to be around by the time the St. Louis Rams made the 14th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but once they had the chance it was a no-doubter: The Rams had to pick Robert Quinn. Perhaps the best pass-rusher in the draft, Quinn might have been a top-five pick back in 2010 if he and his UNC cohort hadn’t been caught in a scandal involving an agent and the usual NCAA sleaze. The Rams trusted his character enough to fit him into Steve Spagnuolo’s Four Pillars scheme; why should you trust him to fit into the Rams’ defense?

The easy answer: Quinn, just 21 years old next month, is already a constant danger to quarterbacks from the right end. Nobody questions his drive or his talent, which is rare in the kind of player you can get in the middle of the first round, and in 2009 he put together some highlight tackles as a sophomore.

Quinn didn’t play last year, but he’s kept in shape, as evidence from his excellent draft-season performance in workouts. He’s got flaws, but they’re the kind of flaws that make a top-five player available at 14. Get excited.