2011 NFL Draft Results: St Louis Rams Grab WR Austin Pettis in Round 3

Ethan NovakAnalyst IIApril 30, 2011

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 06:  Boise State Broncos fans cheer after wide receiver Austin Pettis #2 scores a touchdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies at FedExField on September 6, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

With the 78th overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft, the St Louis Rams selected Boise State WR Austin Pettis

It was the second straight pass catcher selected by the Rams (they selected TE Lance Kendricks with their second round pick) and it proved that the Rams are devoted to putting weapons all around QB Sam Bradford

Don't know much about Pettis other than the fact that he spent his college career running around on a blue turf?  Let's change that.



Height - 6'3"

Weight - 209 lbs

40-yard dash - 4.61



In 2010, Pettis racked up 71 receptions for 951 yards and ten touchdowns in Boise State's juggernaut offense. 

Over his career, he amassed an impressive 229 receptions, 2,838 yards, and 39 touchdowns. 


Strengths: Size and Hands

Pettis has good size for a receiver at 6'3" and 209 lbs.  When he suits up for the Rams, he'll automatically be one of the bigger guys at receiver. 

His hands are also a plus.  He frequently makes tough catches and doesn't allow the defender to get better position on the ball than him. 

Not allowing the ball to get into his chest, Pettis relies on his big and sturdy hands to make virtually all of his catches. 


Weaknesses: Speed

Pettis is going to struggle to beat people with his speed at the NFL level. 

He doesn't have great explosiveness off the line and his lack of top-end speed keeps him from separating himself from corners and safeties. 

Pettis won't be making any big plays deep as he lacks the ability to get behind coverages.


Where Does He Fit in?

Pettis will compete with Mardy Gilyard, Brandon Gibson, and Laurent Robinson for the fifth receiver slot.  The Rams top-four looks like this:

WR1 - Mark Clayton 

WR2 - Danario Alexander

Slot 1 - Danny Amendola

Slot 2 - Donnie Avery


Bottom Line: This Was A Confusing Pick

In a way the pick is good for the Rams.  It gives them another capable slot receiver to line up in Josh McDaniels' zany spread offense. 

Pettis provides QB Sam Bradford with a sure handed target that can be dangerous when playing in a stretched field.

At the same time, the fact that the Rams didn't draft a guard with Georgia's Clint Boling available was confusing. 




The Rams had a chance to fill a big need at RG, and they went with a mid-level receiver instead.  Come on Devaney. 


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