Rams rookie review: Plenty of work

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
11:00
AM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A look at playing time and production of each of the St. Louis Rams’ drafted rookies and a quick glimpse at the undrafted rookie class in Friday's 26-24 preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints.

OL Greg Robinson, first round, No. 2 overall: Robinson split time between left guard and left tackle, playing 33 snaps offensively and a pair of special teams snaps in a blocking role. All in all, it was a solid first showing for Robinson though he had a communication mistake which led to a sack early in the game when he blocked outside rather than coming down to help on the defensive tackle. He held the edge well in pass protection albeit against third string pass-rushers.

DT Aaron Donald, first round, No. 13 overall: Donald started at defensive tackle and was in for 37 plays on defense and two more on special teams. Coach Jeff Fisher indicated that Donald got a little tired as the game went on since he couldn't rotate in and out. He had no tackles but was disruptive and spent plenty of time in the backfield. That workload could end up being similar to what he gets in the regular season, though the reps will be spaced out better when the Rams have their full complement of interior players.

DB Lamarcus Joyner, second round, No. 41 overall: Joyner also got plenty of work, mostly as the nickel corner in playing 33 snaps on defense and seven more on special teams. He had a pair of tackles and was effective as a gunner.

RB Tre Mason, third round, No. 75 overall: Mason got a bigger workload than the Rams would have liked as he was on the field for 34 plays on offense and four on special teams. He carried 15 times for 51 yards and had another long run called back because of a holding penalty.

S Maurice Alexander, fourth round, No. 110 overall: Back working at the Edward Jones Dome, Alexander was tied for the second most defensive reps with 42 and a whopping 12 on special teams. He finished with just one tackle but had a crushing block on special teams and looks like he's going to factor heavily into a role there right away.

CB E.J. Gaines, sixth round, No. 188 overall: The busiest of all Rams on defense, Gaines played 51 defensive snaps and six on special teams. He led the Rams with six tackles and was solid in coverage as he begins building a case to make the roster.

QB Garrett Gilbert, sixth round, No. 214 overall: The second quarterback in the mix, Gilbert took 29 reps as the backup to Shaun Hill. Gilbert was up and down in his first NFL action as he finished 6-of-11 for 53 yards. He still remains the favorite to land a possible third quarterback job.

OT Mitchell Van Dyk, seventh round, No. 226 overall: Van Dyk also got plenty of work, with 42 snaps on offense and four on special teams. The Rams have a lot to sort through in terms of backup linemen. Van Dyk was mostly nondescript but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

S Christian Bryant, seventh round, No. 241 overall: Bryant is still working his way back from injury and though he is practicing again, he did not play.

DE Michael Sam, seventh round, No. 249 overall: Sam entered the game early, working with the second team defense and played into the third quarter for a total of 32 defensive snaps and five more on special teams. He had a quarterback hurry and a tackle for no gain in that time.

C Demetrius Rhaney, seventh round, No. 250 overall: Rhaney was even busier than Van Dyk, playing 43 offensive snaps and six on special teams. Like Van Dyk, Rhaney didn't necessarily stand out one way or the other but he has showed some toughness to this point.

Undrafted rookie roundup: Tight end Alex Bayer was a busy man, playing 44 snaps on offense and nine on special teams. He made the most of that time with five catches for 71 yards. ... Defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks also showed well with three tackles and some pressure on the quarterback in his 33 snaps. ... Receiver Austin Franklin hauled in a 15-yard touchdown on his 21 plays and had a 27-yard kick return.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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