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Rams' 2010 draft grade improves most

1/28/2011

The St. Louis Rams were the big winners from the NFC West when Mel Kiper Jr. updated the draft-day grades he handed out in 2010.

It's easy to forget the durability and scheme-related questions surrounding Sam Bradford heading into the draft. The fact that St. Louis also came out of the draft with a starting left tackle, Rodger Saffold, was a huge bonus.

Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian even admitted during the season that his team should have taken Saffold before the Rams made the pick atop the second round.

Kiper's updated grades for Seattle and San Francisco changed little. His grade for Arizona dropped from B-plus to C-plus in part because Dan Williams did not contribute much until late in the season. Kiper liked what receiver Andre Roberts gave the Cardinals as a third-round choice, which points to a broader issue: rookie receivers in general.

They sometimes appear lost when learning the intricacies of the NFL game.

NFC West teams drafted five receivers in 2010. One of them, Seattle seventh-rounder Jameson Konz, was more of an athlete than position player (he projected at tight end). The other four -- Seattle's Golden Tate, Roberts, St. Louis' Mardy Gilyard and San Francisco's Kyle Williams -- will help determine how these draft classes grade out down the line.

Tate won the offseason as a rookie by making spectacular catches during minicamps. He flashed ability during the season before an ankle injury sidelined him. Overall, the Seahawks thought Tate needed to refine his game by paying greater attention to detail.

Gilyard took a pounding when he did play before fading onto the game-day inactive list week after week. Overall, he appeared lost, and now he must learn a new system.

The 49ers' Williams made a positive impression in training camp, but injuries largely derailed his season. Like Gilyard and Tate, he'll be learning under a new coordinator this season.