St Louis Rams: Projecting the Stats of Each 2011 Draft Selection
Sure, some will have larger and more immediate impacts than others, but for the most part the entire group should be expected to see the field on several occasions throughout 2011.
So how large of an impact should we expect from the Rams eight draft selections? Lets take a look.
7(229) Jon Nelson, S, Oklahoma
Nelson will find his way onto the Rams' roster as a special teams' contributor along with the occasional appearance at safety. Although he is more of a project at this point, he should still manage to rack up a few tackles throughout 2011.
15 tackles, 1 pass defended
7(228) Jabara Williams, OLB, Stephen F. Austin
The small-school linebacker comes in with the potential to gain an adequate amount of playing time due to the Rams' lack of depth at outside linebacker. Expect to see Williams primarily on special teams throughout the season, but the occasional appearance at OLB should definitely be expected.
7(216) Mikail Baker, DB, Baylor
Baker will fill in on special teams this season. He has impressive speed (runs a sub 4.40 40-yard dash), but he isn't physical nor instinctive enough to play safety at the NFL level. Because of the Rams serious lack of depth at the position he might find himself making a couple appearances on defense, but don't expect much from the rookie.
5(158) Jermale Hines, S, Ohio State
Jermale picked a perfect year to get out of Ohio State didn't he? Now a Ram, Hines will receive an adequate amount of playing time at safety. His skill-set is not yet NFL-ready and his instincts are a little behind, but the Rams don't have a whole lot to choose from at the moment.
While Hines will be a project, the lack of depth will give him the benefit of being able to immediately prove himself.
35 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 interception, 1 FF
4(112) Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii
Salas is quite a question mark. He possesses good strength, size, and excellent hands that allow him to make difficult catches with ease. Many believe his production was a result of the wide-open Hawaii offense, but the fact of the matter is, you don't put up the stats that Salas put up without having serious skill.
With the Rams, Salas will fit in nicely with McDaniels' spread offense. He won't put up eye-popping stats or immediately emerge as the steal of the fourth round, but he will hold his own in the NFL. His only real concern is his lack of speed. Will he manage to separate himself from NFL cornerbacks?
32 catches, 350 yards, 1 touchdown
3(78) Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
Pettis will play a role very similar to that of Salas. He won't be expected to do too much his first year, but he should fit in well with McDaniels' spread offense as a slot man. His dependable hands and precise route-running should make him a solid target for Bradford down the year, but as for next year Pettis will get by sneaking in a big play when the defense is focusing on Danny Amendola in the slot.
25 catches, 300 yards, 1 touchdown
2(47) Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
Kendricks has shown improvement as a blocker, but the Rams main reason for drafting him is his potential in the passing game. He possesses great hands and athleticism for a tight end and should cause problems with linebackers who are matched up on him in 2011.
The main problem Kendricks faces heading into 2011 is the battle for playing time at the position. Mike Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells, and Billy Bajema all performed admirably at times in 2010 and none of them will willingly give up playing time to the rookie. If Kendricks wants serious playing time his rookie season, he is going to have to earn it.
30 catches, 325 yards, 3 touchdowns
1(14) Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Sitting out of football for an entire year means two things:
1) You're well rested
2) You're rusty
Quinn missed all of 2010 after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA board so there are a few question marks on him heading into 2011. He possesses dangerous speed and top-end explosiveness that is impressive for a defensive end. He won't start immediately because of the success James Hall had in 2010 and because the Rams will most likely wish to ease him in slowly, but by the end of the year he may turn into the starter at RDE.
My one concern regarding Quinn is how he'll handle against the quicker linemen who will be able to keep up with him off the edge. He lacks a large arsenal of rush moves, thus rendering him vulnerable should his speed alone not allow him to get to the quarterback.
40 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR