Draft Grades – St. Louis Rams
I’ve been looking at the fantasy repercussions of the 2013 Draft and giving out a few grades and rankings. The grades mostly focus on fantasy-relevant positions, but I’m also examining overall positional value and strategy. A complete list of teams already covered can be found at my author archive.
No. 9 St. Louis Rams Grade: F/A
This was the only hybrid grade I gave. To average the two grades together wouldn’t do it justice. In other news, Steve Fisher is awesome. (This is obviously supposed to say Jeff Fisher, but if you’re as big a fan of Glen Rice and the 1989 Michigan Wolverines as I am, then you know Steve Fisher is also awesome.)
St. Louis receives an F
My thoughts on Tavon Austin have become very schizophrenic. Austin would make a good gadget player, but his comparisons include players like Dexter McCluster and Ted Ginn. If you want to put together a dynasty lineup with virtually identical athletes, you should immediately add Aldrick Robinson, Jarius Wright, and Damaris Johnson. Austin was one of the biggest reaches in draft history, and it cost St. Louis a ton of draft capital to go up and execute that reach.
On the other hand . . . I’ve just finished writing an article on possession receiver sustainability for the PFF Draft Guide – on newsstands everywhere this summer – and it left me much more enthusiastic about the elite possession guys. At least as fantasy weapons. It’s also important to note that while Austin was an absurd luxury pick for the Rams, his landing in St. Louis represents an extreme upside scenario for him. Despite a No. 1 overall pedigree, Sam Bradford is a checkdown machine. Austin could be a WR1 as a rookie (thus making my ranking in RotoViz’s pre-draft rookie receiver ratings look ridiculous).
Emboldened by the early dividends from the Janoris Jenkins selection, St. Louis continued to take on massive character risks in plucking theoretical mega-talent Alec Ogletree. Then they appear to reach again for T.J. McDonald.
Thus concludes the F section.
. . . and also an A
They rebounded by taking RotoViz all-time favorites Stedman Bailey and Zac Stacy. If you haven’t played with the College WR Stat Filter, you may not know that Stedman Bailey is one of the most successful college WRs in recent history. You might be surprised that among his closest comparables you find players like Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, and Kendall Wright. Looking only at BCS prospects, Stedman Bailey was the best college WR in the country last year . . . and it wasn’t even close. So you could conclude that the Rams selected both the most overrated and the most underrated WR prospects in the entire draft.
But that was just a precursor. With Zac Stacy somehow still on the board in the 5th round, the Rams traded up to select him. Zac Stacy is almost a dead ringer for Ray Rice and Doug Martin. You can say he doesn’t possess their intangibles, whatever those are, but you can’t argue with the facts. Doug Martin. Ray Rice. (You know, the top two guys in the RotoViz Multi-Year Dynasty Projections.)
It’s very possible the Rams selected the best wide receiver in this draft at 92, the coolest player in the draft at 113 – that would be Barrett Jones – and the top runner at 162.