The NFL draft is still about a month away, leaving us with plenty of time to look ahead to what might happen. But it also gives us plenty of time to take a look back.
In the interest of keeping Rams fans from re-living the nightmares of drafts gone by, we'll limit our look back to drafts from which at least one current player remains on the roster.
With that, we finish off our recap of recent draft classes with a look at last year's group. Let's make a note that drawing any long-term conclusions after one year is an exercise in futility so keep in mind much of what follows is subject to change.
The picks: WR Tavon Austin (No. 8 overall), LB Alec Ogletree (No. 30), S T.J. McDonald (No. 71), WR Stedman Bailey (No. 92), OL Barrett Jones (No.113), CB Brandon McGee (No. 149), RB Zac Stacy (No. 160)
What's left: All of last year's picks made the active roster and, with the exception of Jones, all were asked to make fairly significant contributions at times. Jones essentially took a redshirt year as he rehabbed a foot injury and worked to add strength. McGee also didn't play much aside from special teams but did struggle when injuries required him to step in late in the season.
Austin, Ogletree, McDonald, Bailey and Stacy all figure prominently into the team's plans moving forward and all could factor as starters at their respective positions in 2014.
Best pick (so far): Ogletree got better as the season went along and led the team in tackles while starting from day one. But Ogletree was also a first-round choice so playing time and production were expected. For the purpose of this exercise, we'll go with Stacy because of the fact that his contributions came as a fifth-round selection. Stacy didn't become the full-time starter until week 5 but came up just short of 1,000 yards for the season and stabilized a dreadful run game almost immediately. Although some nagging injuries got in his way, Stacy managed to not miss a full game and figures to be the team's primary ball carrier moving forward. In a few years, don't be surprised if Ogletree, Austin, Bailey or someone else has a strong case for this spot.
Worst pick (so far): Nothing against Jones because it's unfair to judge someone who hasn't played but the simple fact that he's barely seen the field when everyone else has at least contributed makes him the choice. Again, it's too early to make any sweeping judgments on this class either positive or negative but until Jones gets on the field and provides some production, the rest of the class remains ahead of him. For what it's worth, the Rams still have high hopes for Jones' future.
What could have been: One year removed, who knows how some of these picks will turn out but there is one early "what if" that could be fair to question. Clearly, the Rams needed immediate help at wide receiver as they used two of their first four picks at the position. And though Austin and Bailey both appear to have bright futures, the receiver in this class that made the biggest difference as a rookie was on the board when the Rams picked McDonald in the third round. The team obviously needed a safety and has high hopes for McDonald, who might not have been available with the later third-round choice, but Allen was there to be had at No. 71. He posted 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013, rare production for a rookie receiver.