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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Versatile Hines hopes to give Rams options

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

There was some thought the St. Louis Rams would target defensive tackle in the 2011 NFL draft, even in the first round.

It never happened during the early or middle rounds.

The team has two seventh-round choices remaining after using the 158th overall choice, a fifth-rounder, for Ohio State safety Jermale Hines, who weighs 219 pounds and could have longer-term potential at outside linebacker, according to scouts.

The Rams had a need at safety after watching veteran starter Oshiomogho Atogwe sign with the Washington Redskins this offseason.

"I played nickelback, I played strong safety and I played free safety," Hines told reporters in St. Louis after being drafted. "I did a little bit of everything -- dropping down in the box, helping support the run, playing off the deep half."

Hines said he played a combination linebacker-safety position, and served as a blitzer.

That versatility could come in handy given the injury problems that have affected St. Louis at both safety spots.

"I'm a physical guy," Hines said. "I like to impose my will on opponents. Hit as much as I could."