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Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Rams 18th in post-draft Power Rankings

By Nick Wagoner

Suffering from Power Ranking withdrawal? No worries, our ESPN voting panel made a quick cameo return Tuesday morning with the post-draft edition of the rankings.

Yes, I know there have been a total of zero games played since the rankings last posted, but the idea here is to give an idea of how the six-member panel views the moves teams did or didn't make to improve in the offseason.

For the most part, the rankings are stable with teams sitting in the same spot or moving up and down a couple of spots. There are a few outliers who made big jumps or went on a bit of a freefall.

As for the St. Louis Rams, they fall into the category of mostly stable, moving up two spots to No. 18. In the final edition of last season's rankings, the Rams and their 7-9 checked in at No. 20.

In the time since, the Rams mostly stayed out of the free-agent spending spree other teams enjoyed. They did get lucky with the return of offensive lineman Rodger Saffold but it was an important move regardless of how it happened. Other additions in free agency were one-year prove-it deals for receiver Kenny Britt and defensive lineman Alex Carrington. Backup quarterback Shaun Hill also signed a one-year deal.

But there's little doubt that the Rams' marginal jump is more strongly correlated to the work they did in last weekend's NFL draft. They selected 11 players and earned positive reviews across the board for their work. The additions of tackle Greg Robinson, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and running back Tre Mason, in particular, should provide immediate impact for a team in need of it.

Time will tell if the offseason approach is enough for the Rams to make the leap to contender in 2014. Of course, much more will hinge on the health of quarterback Sam Bradford and left tackle Jake Long.