2012 NFL Draft: Rams Believe Isaiah Pead to Be Starter Material

Field YatesCorrespondent IIIApril 30, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 05:  Isaiah Pead #23 of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers on November 5, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams were amongst the most active movers and shakers during the 2012 NFL draft, as they made four selections in the top-50 picks, and are still sitting on two additional first-round choices in the next two years stemming from the trade that landed Robert Griffin III in Washington.

And while it's probably too soon to accurately gauge what each of the players drafted over this past weekend will ultimately mean to his respective franchise, the Rams are already optimistic about Isaiah Pead, a running back from Cincinnati that they chose with their third and final second-round selection (No. 50 overall).

ESPN's Adam Schefter, appearing on SportsCenter, reported that the Rams believe Pead will one day assume the starting role that presently is held by veteran Steven Jackson (as relayed by Pro Football Talk).  

Jackson's current deal runs through the 2013 season, and he remains a productive part of a St. Louis offense that looks to improve in 2012 under the direction of new coordinator Brain Schottenheimer.

Pead, meanwhile, enjoyed a decorated career at Cincinnati, finishing with nearly 2,300 rushing yards during his final two seasons. There was talk that the Rams would entertain offers for Jackson during the draft process, although head coach Jeff Fisher publicly denied that being the case.

NFL offenses have become increasingly reliant on multiple running backs within an offense, and the Rams' selection of Pead should help lighten the load for Jackson, who has previously been one of the most heavily-worked running backs in all of football.