Saturday, May 11, 2013
Rams rookie CB McGee out to make an impression
ST. LOUIS -- About the only surprise St. Louis Rams rookie Brandon McGee experienced since finishing his college career at Miami came during the three-day NFL draft.
The cornerback heard from enough people he should expect to be taken on the second day, in either the second or third rounds. After no team selected him, McGee blew off some steam on the fields he grew up playing.
"It was like adding fuel to the fire, honestly," he said Saturday, the final day of the team's rookie minicamp. "I actually grabbed my cleats and went to the field. I was kind of frustrated with everything and just went and worked out. It kind of just gave me the opportunity to vent.
"But the Rams called me the very next day and it's a great situation. I'm happy to be a Ram."
McGee, selected in the fifth round by St. Louis, joined the Rams other draft choices, their rookie free-agent signees and 27 tryout players at the two-day rookie minicamp at the team's practice facility.
He's coming off a four-year career at Miami, where he started his final 24 games. He intercepted three passes, including two his senior season during which he served as one of the Hurricanes' captains.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said McGee obviously impressed the team's staff enough on film to get drafted. What he showed on the field during minicamp has supported that decision.
"Brandon is a smart young man," Fisher said. "He's got speed, got good size, can change direction and we're seeing the kind of things that we saw on tape. He's playing a couple of positions already in just a couple of days."
McGee worked out at both safety and in the nickel package for the Rams, the same positions he played in college. He said nothing the coaches have asked of him thus far proved overly challenging and that he felt comfortable with the transition.
He also got a chance to go against Tavon Austin, the eighth overall pick in the draft.
While he faced plenty of talented wide receivers at Miami, going against Austin provided a preview of what the NFL might be like.
"He's a really shifty guy, he's really quick," McGee said. "He's good competition. It prepares me and it prepares him as well for some of the things I'll see on Sunday."
McGee also broke up a few passes intended for Austin.
The transition to the NFL has proven relatively smooth so far, McGee said, but learning the new terminology is a bit tricky.
McGee said he's not concerned, though. He's had the playbook -- delivered on an iPad, which he said was the best thing the Rams provided since they drafted him -- long enough to get a grasp of the system.
He said knowing the system and translating that on the field is all that matters, regardless if he was a first-round pick or the 149th overall selection where the Rams grabbed him.
"I got a lot of third-round projections going into the draft, so that's where I thought I'd land," he said. "But everything happens according to God's plan. So, I'm not mad at the way things fell out. I fell into a great situation, great program, great coaches. I'm looking forward to moving forward."