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Of St. Louis' 10 draft selections in 2012, was there any rookie who disappointed the masses more than running back Isaiah Pead? Most people would say "no." Prior to the season starting, fans and media members alike expected Pead to be the Rams' change-of-pace back.
Steven Jackson was still entrenched as the starter, but his time in St. Louis was running out. After a few poor showings during training camp, it was becoming more and more evident that Pead was losing ground to seventh-round selection Daryl Richardson.
Richardson seemed to have a better grasp of the playbook. He showed better ball security and was a willing blocker in pass-blocking situations. The University of Cincinnati runs on the quarters system, so Pead was a late bloomer by participation standards.
In turn, his slow development as a rookie was associated with his setback. When Richardson earned the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Jackson, the second-round pick was never able to wrestle that spot away from him. Instead, Pead spent the entire 2012 season in catch-up mode.
This resulted in a limited number of snaps and touches.
For the season, Pead logged a mere 42 snaps on offense. Of those 42 offensive snaps, he carried the ball 10 times for 54 yards and caught three passes for 16 yards. Moreover, he didn't even come close to finding the end zone.
The experiment of Pead returning kicks didn't work either. On 10 returns, he averaged 21.2 yards per return—the 71st-worst mark in the NFL. However, one less-than-impressive season won't spell the end for the high-round draft pick.
Back in March, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Pead will compete for the starting job in 2013.