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Monday, May 6, 2013
Closing the book on Larry Warford, Rams

By Kevin Seifert

On Friday, I passed along a post from NFC West colleague Mike Sando, who noted some backroom facts from the St. Louis Rams' draft as observed by Sports Illustrated's Peter King. The upshot: The Rams had two fallback players in mind if Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree wasn't available at No. 30 overall.

One was UCLA defensive end Datone Jones, whom the Green Bay Packers drafted at No. 26. The other was Kentucky guard Larry Warford, whom the Detroit Lions drafted the next day at No. 65 overall.

On the surface, it appeared the Lions drafted a player in the third round that at least one NFL team had considered selecting in the first. So it's important to note King's follow-up in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

In essence, King wrote, the Rams wouldn't have selected Warford at No. 30 but instead would have sought to trade out of the first -- probably with the Minnesota Vikings -- and target him at the bottom of the second round. (The Vikings owned the No. 52 overall pick.)

What does this tell us? The Lions drafted a player at the top of the third round who another team wasn't opposed to drafting in the bottom third of the second round. That isn't entirely stunning, given the value groupings many teams use to evaluate players. The Rams' interest reassures anyone who thought Warford was a reach, although I haven't heard that from anyone, and re-establishes the thought that he is good enough to challenge for a starting job right away.