Monday, April 29, 2013
Three NFC West draft notes of interest
By Mike Sando
Sports Illustrated's Peter King spent Thursday night in the St. Louis Rams' draft room and will report extensively on the experience later this week.
In the meantime, he passed along two Rams-related nuggets, plus a note on the Arizona Cardinals' third-round choice, in his post-draft piece Monday:
- Ogletree was the guy: Most teams gush about their draft choices, leaving the impression the draft fell just right for them. Rams general manager Les Snead said Thursday night that the team's No. 1 scenario was to trade up for Tavon Austin before trading back to get Alec Ogletree. Both things happened. King verifies what Snead said when he writes, "The Rams coveted Ogletree, and they took a calculated risk they'd lose him by not picking him at 22. In fact, had they lost Ogletree between 22 and 30, it would have cast a pall over the entire draft." I had no reason to doubt what Snead was saying, but at the same time, there's no way he would have said publicly that the team had settled for one player after missing out on another. So, King's testimony from inside the draft room was helpful.
- Sanders was fallback: The Rams would have targeted Ace Sanders in the third or fourth round had they been unable to select Austin in the first. Sanders goes 5-foot-7 and 173 pounds. Austin is listed at 5-8 and 174. The Jaguars selected Sanders with the fourth pick of the fourth round, No. 101 overall. The Rams selected Austin's receiving teammate, Stedman Bailey, nine picks earlier.
- Honey Badger: The Cardinals expect to insure their gamble on third-round choice Tyrann Mathieu by giving the defensive back known as "Honey Badger" a contract with no guaranteed money. They also plan to randomly test Mathieu for drugs as often as once per week. Mathieu sounded amenable to such provisions in discussing his situation with reporters in Arizona. How far can a rookie contract go while remaining permissible under the collective bargaining agreement? I'll ask around.