2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rams draft USC S McDonald in third round

By R.B. FALLSTROM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-26 23:07

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams addressed perhaps their neediest position in the third round of the NFL draft, selecting Southern California safety T.J. McDonald. Then they added another wide receiver from West Virginia, one even more prolific than first-rounder Tavon Austin.

``We're going to lobby with the league to see if we can play with more than one ball,'' coach Jeff Fisher said Friday night. ``We're going to need more than one ball.''

The 6-2, 219-pound McDonald led the Trojans with 112 tackles as a senior and could fill one of the Rams' two starting vacancies at safety after getting taken with the 71st overall pick.

``You're always going to come in and know you've got to compete,'' McDonald said. ``I'm going to compete regardless, but my plans are to go in and take it.''

Stedman Bailey, taken late in the third, had 25 touchdown catches his senior season. The Rams traded up eight spots in the first round to get Austin with the eighth overall pick and plan to use him all over the field.

The Rams had an introductory news conference for Austin and fellow first-rounder Alec Ogletree earlier in the day. Bailey had not spoken with Austin when he spoke with reporters.

``I kind of look at Tavon as a brother,'' Bailey said. ``When I saw him go up on stage and get drafted, I kind of shed a few tears because I was just very happy for him. Once again, we get a chance to play together.''

The 5-9, 197-pound Bailey, taken with the 92nd pick is bigger than Austin, who's 5-9 and 174 pounds, and almost as fast with 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed. Bailey caught 114 passes for 25 touchdowns and a 14.2-yard average, with 13 catches for 303 yards and five touchdowns against Baylor and four touchdown grabs against Oklahoma.

The Rams have a full complement of skill position players for quarterback Sam Bradford, signing tight end Jared Cook in free agency, with Chris Givens coming off a nice rookie year and Brian Quick taken in the second round last year.

They had a long wait Friday with no pick in the second round after their deal with Buffalo to move up for Austin. ``Nothing tempted us,'' general manager Les Snead said.

McDonald's father, Tim McDonald, was a six-time Pro Bowler who also starred at Southern California and they're the only father-son combination to have captained the team. Tim McDonald was a rookie with the Cardinals in 1987, their final season in St. Louis before moving to Arizona.

McDonald landed on a team that has a strong Southern California connection in coach Jeff Fisher, a former defensive back for the Trojans who coached the elder McDonald when he was an assistant with the San Francisco. The Rams brought McDonald in for a visit that left the player, who has experience at both safety spots, feeling it might be a fit.

``My dad has a lot of respect for coach Fisher and he's definitely proud I get to play for him,'' McDonald said. ``I kind of got a sense for myself about what kind of coach he was. Just from meeting him, it doesn't take very long and you can tell he's a great coach.''

The last few seasons, Fisher has been monitoring McDonald's progress.

``T.J. is a big safety that moves well, that covers, that will run and hit,'' Fisher said. ``That was a hold-your-breath pick because we were a little bit nervous.''

McDonald's senior season was considered a bit of a drop-off from his junior year.

``I wouldn't say a bad year, I would say it was a different year,'' McDonald said. ``I wasn't coming down from 15 yards deep flashing across the screen making those plays. I still went out there and made plays, that's the name of the game.''

One of the starting safeties last season, Craig Dahl, signed a three-year free agent deal with San Francisco. The Rams had been considering re-signing the other safety Quintin Mikell, who was released to save salary cap space.

The only safety with starting experience on the roster is Darian Stewart, who played mostly on special teams last season.

Austin and Bailey had private workout not long before the draft with the Rams and both made visits to St. Louis at separate times. Fisher thought the Rams just beat several teams on the pick.

``We had them on the board based on their grades, not based on what school they attended,'' Fisher said. ``It was a great opportunity for us. Both of them had outstanding workouts.''

Together, Austin and Bailey totaled 488 receptions for 6,631 yards and 70 touchdowns. Bailey played primarily outside with Austin in motion, in the slot or in the backfield.

The Rams have four picks on the final day of the draft Saturday, one each in the fourth and fifth rounds with two in the sixth.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group