St Louis Rams: Projecting the Stats of Each 2011 Draft Selection

Ethan NovakAnalyst IIJune 3, 2011

St Louis Rams: Projecting the Stats of Each 2011 Draft Selection

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    BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 19:  Austin Pettis #2 of the Boise State Broncos runs after a catch against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Bronco Stadium on November 19, 2010 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    When the St. Louis Rams drafted eight new players into the family during the 2011 NFL Draft, they selected what they hope to be valuable contributors in the upcoming season. 

    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

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Ryan Griffin #94 of the Connecticut Huskies runs after a catch in the first half while taking on the Oklahoma Sooners during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Role

    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.

    Stats

    15 tackles, 1 pass defended

7(228) Jabara Williams, OLB, Stephen F. Austin

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    Role

    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.

    Stats

    30 tackles

7(216) Mikail Baker, DB, Baylor

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    WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 3:  Wide receiver Mikail Baker #3 of the Baylor Bears celebrates a touchdown during play against the TCU Horned Frogs on September 3, 2006 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Role

    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.

    Stats

    5 tackles

5(158) Jermale Hines, S, Ohio State

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    COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 9:  Jermale Hines #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes pursues the ballcarrier to make a tackle against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Role

    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. 

    Stats

    35 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 interception, 1 FF

4(112) Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii

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    HONOLULU - SEPTEMBER 2:  Greg Salas of the University of Hawaii Warriors runs the ball during second half action at Aloha Stadium September 2, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
    Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

    Role

    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?

    Stats

    32 catches, 350 yards, 1 touchdown

3(78) Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20:  Austin Pettis plays at the NFL PLAYERS Premiere League Flag Football Game at UCLA on May 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    Role

    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.

    Stats

    25 catches, 300 yards, 1 touchdown

2(47) Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin

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    MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: Lance Kendricks #84 of the Wisconsin Badgers catches a pass against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Camp Randall Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19. (Photo by Jonathan Da
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Role

    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.

    Stats

    30 catches, 325 yards, 3 touchdowns

1(14) Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28:  Defensive lineman Robert Quinn of North Carolina runs through a drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Role

    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.

    Stats

    40 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR