NFC West: DeJuan Groce

With the San Francisco 49ers in the market for cornerback help and our offseason power rankings focusing on the position later Tuesday, I'll look back at the corners current NFC West teams have drafted over the last decade.

This is the second part in a series that began with a look at 15 classes of NFC West quarterbacks. Then as now, I'll break up the charts with narration from teams' perspectives.

These guys had better start early and challenge for Pro Bowls ...

Some prospects aren't ideal in one area or another, but they could shine in the right scheme ...

Still not too late to find decent starters ...

Last chance to find a likely contributor ...

Time to fill out the 80-man roster ...
The St. Louis Rams can probably forget about landing the highest-rated cornerback in the 2011 NFL draft.

They're drafting too late for a realistic shot at LSU's Patrick Peterson, who apparently knows this, and the position isn't one of great need for the Rams, anyway.

Before taking a look at cornerbacks the Rams have drafted since moving to St. Louis for the 1995 season, I'll pass along thoughts on the position from coach Steve Spagnuolo, who addressed his secondary over breakfast at the NFL owners meeting last month:
"Real happy with the way Bradley Fletcher overcame his knee injury. I do think it affected him early in the season. As you guys know, when you have the ACL, his knee injury was pretty extensive, you come back and it takes the whole year. I'm really looking forward to him this coming year.

"Jerome Murphy, rookie, I thought he came on at the end, so that is helpful. Ron Bartell, this will be the third year for him in this system, so that is real helpful. Justin King will bounce back. He battled injuries. It was a pull or a groin. We have some guys there to work with that will help us. We're OK. You would like to add a guy at any position."

That final sentence came off as obligatory -- what coaches say when leaving open the possibility for something unexpected.

The Rams have drafted only one cornerback, Tye Hill, in the first round since moving to St. Louis. They haven't drafted one higher than 65th overall over the past four drafts. The team could still draft one relatively early, but it's an upset if the Rams use the 14th overall choice for one.

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