The Rams did a lot of moving around on Thursday night in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. Ultimately though, the team ended up settling at No. 8 overall and No. 30 overall and they took wide receiver Tavon Austin and linebacker Alec Ogletree, respectively, with those picks.
When a team moves around so much throughout the course of the night and has two picks inside the first round, there are going to be some good things and some bad things that they do.
Here is a look at the pros and cons from both the Tavon Austin pick and the Alec Ogletree pick.
Tavon Austin Pros
The receiver who the Rams have long waited for has finally arrived. There can no longer be any excuses about the fact that Sam Bradford does not have the proper weapons on offense, because Tavon Austin absolutely terrorizes defenses.
Austin can line up all over the field for St. Louis and use his size, or lack thereof, and speed to create major mismatches across the field. Not only can Austin use his speed in the slot, though, but he can also use that speed to create separation on deep routes down the field, much like Chris Givens did for the Rams this season.
The Rams gave up a lot, but they got the guy they wanted in Tavon Austin and there is little doubt that he will greatly improve this offense in St. Louis.
Tavon Austin Cons
I won't lie, I was not happy at all when the Tavon Austin pick came across, and I was even less cheerful when I heard what the Rams had to give up for Austin.
It wasn't that I didn't like Austin, or thought he was too small to play in the NFL, it just seemed like giving up four picks in exchange for two was quite a lot to move up eight spots in the draft, especially when you could still draft a good receiver with the No. 16 pick.
The Rams certainly made me breathe easier later in the night, though, when they moved back from No. 22 and acquired the No. 30 pick from Atlanta and an additional third-round pick.
The Rams believe that Austin is the guy who can help their offense, and after watching how beautifully Les Snead managed his picks in the draft last year by trading and acquiring so many key picks for future years, I certainly believed that he would do the same this year. And he certainly did not disappoint.
Alec Ogletree Pros
Alec Ogletree was one of my favorite players coming into the draft this year. Just watching how quick he was on the field and how much havoc he could cause on opposing offenses made him look like a perfect fit for St. Louis.
Simply put, Ogletree is an athletic freak.
The Rams did an outstanding job of understanding where Ogletree would go in the draft as well. They could have easily just sat at No. 22 and taken him, but they were smart and were able to gain an additional pick by moving back eight spots and then taking him at No. 30.
This move significantly lessened the damage that the Tavon Austin trade caused to our stockpile of picks, and once again was another example of how well the Rams have been able to manage the last two drafts.
Alec Ogletree Cons
There are a lot of things that scouts and supposed experts have said that have made me seriously doubt whether Ogletree is as good as I think he is. The facts that he has displayed character issues and he doesn't take on blocks well are two of the biggest things that have hurt Ogletree's draft stock over the past month.
The Rams reaffirmed my belief in Ogletree, though, when they took him Thursday night. Just pop in the tape and watch how dominant and athletic he is. Sure, it may take some coaching for him to turn into a truly dominant NFL player, but what guy does not need to be coached up a little bit?
The other biggest con to taking Ogletree in the first round is that the Rams miss out on a great value player in Zaviar Gooden in the third or even fourth round of the draft.
Gooden is one of the biggest sleepers in this year's draft and many people believed that it would be smart for the Rams to take a safety in the first round and then take Gooden later in the draft because he could be just as good as Ogletree.
What grade would you give the Rams for tonight's first round?
Overall, it was clear that the Rams had a very detailed and well thought-out plan in place tonight and they ultimately got the two guys that they wanted.
At first it seemed like the team was reaching too high and giving up too much to go out and get a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball in Tavon Austin. When the team moved back to get Ogletree, though, we could all see that moving back with the later pick was part of the Rams' plan the whole time.
Sure, St. Louis had to give up a valuable second-round pick and a not-so-valuable seventh-rounder, but they also picked up a third-rounder and a sixth-round pick.
The Rams were able to go out and get the two guys they wanted most out of the first round of this draft tonight, and through a well-executed plan, it did not cost them as much as what we all initially thought it would to move up and take Tavon Austin.
St. Louis now has another playmaker on each side of the football, and both of these guys will use their outstanding speed and athleticism to make this football team better.
The first round is now over and the most important thing is that the Rams are a better football team going into Friday's second and third round than they were when they entered the first round on Thursday. Rams fans everywhere should be pretty happy with the results thus far.