Friday, September 27, 2013
Week 4: Rams rookie review
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- A look at playing time and performance of each of the St. Louis Rams’ drafted rookies and a quick glimpse at the undrafted rookie class in Thursday’s 35-11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: Once again, Austin had almost no room to operate and the Rams continue to struggle to find ways to get him the ball in areas where he can be effective. Of course, he’s not helping his cause with continued drop issues and indecisiveness returning punts. He had two catches for 6 yards on his eight targets while playing 40 offensive snaps. As a returner, he tried six and gained 19 yards.
Alec Ogletree had a big night against the 49ers, making nine tackles and forcing a fumble.
LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: One of the few Rams who actually made an impact play Thursday night, Ogletree had an impressive forced fumble against Niners back Frank Gore. Ogletree played all 69 defensive snaps and posted nine tackles in a relatively solid performance. He appears to still have a knack for not hitting the correct run fits, though. He also played 17 snaps on special teams.
S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: Maybe the worst news of the night came when McDonald suffered a leg injury in the third quarter. The injury left McDonald in an air cast and had him leaving the stadium on crutches. The severity of the injury is unknown though it’s been reported as a broken leg, which could cost McDonald his season. Before the injury, he’d played 41 defensive snaps with seven special teams plays. He finished with three tackles but probably missed at least that many.
WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey again got no opportunities to help the offense but he did appear on 25 plays on special teams. He did not record any statistics according to the unofficial pressbox numbers.
OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones was a pregame inactive and did not play for the fourth consecutive game. He remains behind Tim Barnes as the team’s interior swingman right now.
CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: McGee is to the defense what Bailey is to the offense right now, a draft pick limited to special teams only. He appeared on 22 plays there and couldn’t get into the game even after cornerback Cortland Finnegan left with a thigh injury. The Rams used Rodney McLeod as the third corner in the nickel with Matt Giordano at safety.
RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: In somewhat of a surprise, Stacy was active instead of Isaiah Pead. He might as well have joined Pead on the bench, though, as he played a lone snap on offense and nowhere else. Given the Rams’ anemic run game, it couldn’t have hurt to give Stacy a carry or two.
Undrafted rookie roundup: Benny Cunningham continues to get a lot of work and replaced Pead as the primary backup running back. He played 25 snaps on offense and 11 on special teams, finishing with 6 yards on four carries. ... Linebackers Ray-Ray Armstrong and Daren Bates continue to be mainstays on special teams with 28 plays apiece in that realm. Armstrong got some work on defense, too, playing 16 snaps late in the game and making an impact. He had three tackles and recovered a fumble as one of the few bright spots on the evening. ... End Gerald Rivers was active for the first time, playing eight snaps and registering a tackle.