If the 2011 NFL Draft results in fewer three-yard dump-offs to Danny Amendola in 2011 it has to be considered a win for Sam Bradford, the St. Louis Rams, and anyone who particularly appreciates the forward pass. After snaring Robert Quinn in the first round, the Rams used both of their day-two picks to add to Bradford's war chest, selecting pass-catching tight end Lance Kendricks in the second round and grabbing wide receiver Austin Pettis in the third. They'll go into 2011 still short an iconic downfield threat, but after the anemic threat they posed in 2010 a new look can't hurt.
Kendricks is going to be the lynchpin, with 2010 pick Michael Hoomanawanui, of a two-tight-end system designed to compensate for the Rams' downfield shortcomings. It's a nice example of Josh McDaniels tailoring his offense to the roster's strengths and weaknesses, if not a great example of value-based drafting.
As for Austin Pettis, with Mardy Gilyard still an unknown quantity going into his second season expectations have to be low for the Rams' newest mid-round wide receiver pick-up. Pettis and Gilyard got similarly great results in college, but the process was much different for the Boise State product—Pettis is a big, physical receiver who makes up for his average speed with great hands. Which sounds like a nice compliment to Donnie Avery, if he ever gets healthy.
The Rams probably didn't draft a future Pro Bowler on day two, but they did draft two receivers who could help Sam Bradford make the Pro Bowl someday. That's not a bad haul.