Monday, September 9, 2013
Week 1: Rams rookie review
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- A look at playing time and production of each of the team’s drafted rookies and a quick glimpse at the undrafted rookie class.
WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: It was difficult for Austin to find space to operate against the Cardinals as he played 41 offense snaps and dropped back for punt returns four times. He finished with six catches for 41 yards on his seven targets and had one carry for minus-1 yard. Finding opportunities in the return game was equally difficult. He returned one punt for 1 yard.
LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: Ogletree played a lot with 66 defensive snaps and eight more on special teams. He tied cornerback Cortland Finnegan for the team lead with seven tackles according to the unofficial press box statistics. It was a quiet seven tackles for the most part, though Ogletree nearly made a diving interception in the fourth quarter.
S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: The most active of all Rams rookies, McDonald played every defensive snap with 71 and 15 more on special teams. He finished with five tackles and a pass defended. McDonald had a few bone-crushing hits that drew oohs and aahs from the crowd but was mostly workmanlike in his debut.
WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey didn’t get a chance to contribute offensively. His day consisted of three special-teams snaps and did not record any statistics in unofficial press box numbers.
OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones was a pregame inactive and did not play. He’s behind Tim Barnes as the team’s interior swingman right now.
CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: Like Bailey, McGee didn’t get many opportunities. He played a trio of special-teams snaps and none on defense.
RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: Stacy spelled Daryl Richardson briefly, playing seven offensive snaps. He had one carry for 4 yards.
Undrafted rookie roundup: It was a busy special-teams day for undrafted rookie linebackers Ray Ray Armstrong and Daren Bates. Both are core players on the coverage units and both made their presence felt on their 17 snaps. Bates dropped Arizona returner Javier Arenas at Arizona’s 8 on a kick return and Armstrong stopped Patrick Peterson after just a 1-yard return on a punt late in the fourth quarter. … Running back Benny Cunningham indeed got the first chance to handle kick-return duties and was solid if unspectacular on his pair of attempts. He averaged 23 yards with a long of 25 on those returns.