2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Griffin deal fuels Rams rebuilding effort

By R.B. FALLSTROM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-22 11:05

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The pricey Robert Griffin III trade was worth it to the Washington Redskins, who won the NFC East after finishing last the previous four years. The St. Louis Rams already consider themselves the real winners in the deal, and they're still getting paid off.

The Rams gave up the second overall pick in 2012 for a quarterback they did not need to move down just four spots, in return receiving future considerations galore. After additional jockeying during the draft, the Rams came away with starting defensive tackle Michael Brockers and cornerback Janoris Jenkins, plus promising running back Isaiah Pead and offensive guard Rokevious Watkins.

In addition to the 16th pick Thursday night, the Rams have the Redskins' 22nd selection, plus Washington's first-rounder in 2014. That's several more shots at stockpiling a 7-8-1 team that made a six-win improvement under new coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead.

Sure, they'd do that trade again.

``The fun part about that one is it's still going and we haven't even gotten to this year yet,'' Snead said in an interview with The Associated Press. ``Those picks, they keep me up late, wake me up in the middle of the night, get me up early out of pure excitement. I'm jacked about that thing every day.''

The Rams could look to replace departed running back Steven Jackson and wide receiver Danny Amendola, with perhaps Eddie Lacy or Tavon Austin among the possibilities. They're still in building mode, too, one year removed from the worst five-year stretch in NFL history, and could rely on players they drafted at those spots last year and trade either or both picks for even more choices.

For the time being, they have eight selections, one each in the final six rounds, which means the NFL's youngest roster could get even younger.

``Hey, we're not timid,'' Snead said. ``So, if we think we need to go get somebody, we'll go get somebody. If we think moving back to add more picks is beneficial for the long-term success of this organization, we'll do that, too.''

The Rams could invest a first-round pick in a safety, given they need two new starters after Craig Dahl left in free agency and Quintin Mikell was released to save salary cap space, leaving Darian Stewart as the only player on the roster with starting experience.

They're looking for a starter at outside linebacker, too.

``There's still a multitude of positions we can look at,'' Snead said. ``The focus will continue to narrow as we build.''

What they don't need is a quarterback. Their belief in Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, led to them accumulating 10 picks in the first and second rounds over a three-year stretch.

Next season, Bradford will be in the same system in consecutive seasons for the first time as a pro and he'll be playing behind a line bolstered by free agent pickup Jake Long at left tackle. Watkins, a fourth-round pick who missed virtually his entire rookie season with an ankle injury, figures to be in the mix.

The Rams have a pair of running backs who together might fill Jackson's shoes.

Seventh-rounder Daryl Richardson jumped ahead of Pead in training camp as the change-of-pace back behind Jackson last year and had 475 yards and a 4.8-yard average while Pead got just 10 carries. Both could get plenty of work next week with Jackson taking a deal in Atlanta after eight straight 1,000-yard seasons, but neither are the physical back Fisher prizes.

The later pick had the biggest NFL debut at wide receiver, too, with fourth-rounder Chris Givens emerging as a deep threat with a team-leading 16.6-yard average on 43 catches and second-rounder Brian Quick limited to just 11 catches. Jared Cook, a tight end with wide receiver speed signed in free agency, will help the Rams replace Amendola's team-leading 63 receptions as the slot receiver.

``What happens a lot of times is you draft some people, they don't play as much because you have a veteran, and you forget about those players,'' Snead said. ``To be successful, you have to build, develop and coach. You take a young player and as the years go on you put him on the field more and more.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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A.J. GreenOct 20 10:33p

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Ahmad BradshawOct 20 08:43p

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.

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Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.

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The Denver Broncos signed practice squad RB Kapri Bibbs to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Daniel KilgoreOct 20 06:53p

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Zach MillerOct 20 06:43p

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Derrick ColemanOct 20 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) will miss at least six weeks because of a foot injury he suffered in Week 7.

Usama YoungOct 20 06:23p

Oakland Raiders FS Usama Young (knee) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament in Week 7, according to a source.

S. RichardsonOct 20 06:13p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released from the practice squad injured list with an injury settlement Monday, Oct. 20.

Rey MaualugaOct 20 06:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is expected to miss a few weeks because of his hamstring injury.

Chris SmithOct 20 06:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Chris Smith was signed from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Tom CrabtreeOct 20 06:03p

The New Orleans Saints re-signed TE Tom Crabtree to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

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Austin PettisOct 20 05:43p

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Cullen JenkinsOct 20 05:03p

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Jake LockerOct 20 05:03p

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Brian HoyerOct 20 04:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer is still the team's starting quarterback even though he struggled in Week 7, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Ahtyba RubinOct 20 04:43p

Cleveland Browns DE Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) received a second option on his injured ankle. Head coach Mike Pettine said surgery for Rubin has not been ruled out.

Jason VerrettOct 20 04:43p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) missed his second game of the year in Week 7 with a shoulder injury, and his absence hurt the team in space against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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