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Monday, October 14, 2013
Week 6: Rams rookie review

By Nick Wagoner

HOUSTON -- 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 Sunday’s 38-13 win over the Houston Texans.

WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: The Rams’ game plan, combined with a limited amount of offensive snaps conspired to keep Austin mostly on the sideline against the Texans. He played three offensive snaps with three more appearances on special teams as he finished with one catch for 3 yards. The Rams’ recent efforts to gear up the running game have kept additional wideouts on the bench in favor of tight ends and Austin’s lack of size leaves him as an odd man out when it comes to blocking. Offensively, the Rams are clearly struggling to find ways to deploy Austin effectively and the shift in offensive gears of late is complicating matters further.

LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: The busiest and biggest day for any rookie again belonged to Ogletree who played 55 defensive snaps and another three on special teams. Ogletree led the Rams with 10 tackles, a pass defended, a forced fumble and a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown. The numbers are gaudy, though Ogletree continues to struggle against the run. So long as he keeps making the “splash” plays that he’s made so far, the Rams can live with the growing pains in the run game.

S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: McDonald missed his second game of the year after suffering a leg fracture against San Francisco. He’s currently on the injured reserve/designated to return list.

WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey played 14 snaps on special teams and did not accumulate any statistics according to the unofficial press box numbers. He hasn’t had many opportunities to play offense this year and the aforementioned offensive shift makes it unlikely that he will anytime soon, barring injuries.

OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones was a pregame inactive and did not play for the sixth consecutive game. He remains behind Tim Barnes as the team’s third center right now.

CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: McGee’s job was again limited to special teams, where he played 14 snaps. He did not accumulate any statistics according to the unofficial pressbox statistics.

RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: Stacy continued to make the most of his opportunity, earning his second consecutive start and putting together another strong performance. He kept the chains moving with his ability to get yards after contact as he posted 79 yards on 18 carries while playing 34 snaps. He also had two catches for 11 yards.

Undrafted rookie roundup: A trio of rookies played extensively on special teams, but it was rookie linebacker Daren Bates who stole the show. Bates scored his first career touchdown on an 11-yard return of a fumbled kickoff. That play came moments after he obliterated a would-be blocker to put himself in position to make the play. He played 12 special-teams snaps and suffered a hip injury but said after the game he would be fine this week. … Ray Ray Armstrong’s work didn’t draw as much attention as Bates but he was strong in coverage again, posting two tackles with no penalties in 15 plays. … Safety Cody Davis also appeared on a dozen special-teams plays.