Draft Grade: B+
The Rams addressed their defense with a few of their early picks. Adam Carriker is a big, athletic, versatile defender who gives them a strongside end and a flexible lineman to play any type of front. He carries an early starting grade, and is a major addition to a problem area. Brian Leonard gives the Rams a big, versatile back with excellent hands and the ability to play any backfield position. He is a well-developed prospect who should help in a number of roles. Jonathan Wade is a very fast cover man who improved nicely over his final season. He addresses a major need area, and could be an early performer as the nickel corner. He has the talent to start fairly early in his career. Dustin is a savvy technician who is more an overachiever than top athlete. He has graded out high over his career, and is a good fit for the Rams' blocking scheme. Clifton Ryan is a solid addition and a defender with the athletic ability to eventually start. He was good value here, and could push for time as a pass rusher early in his career and play in their tackle rotation. Ken Shackleford is a huge blocker with SEC experience. He is a high-cut athlete with the frame, arm length and agility to warrant a long look. He could be a practice squad candidate. Keith Jackson is a fireplug defender with nice quickness to be disruptive on the inside. He figures to win a roster spot or become a practice squad performer at a thin area. Derek Stanley is a fast receiver with run-after-the-catch ability. He has the talent to surprise here, and should at least make the practice squad.
This is special to Rivals.com from Frank Coyle. Coyle has written about the NFL Draft in his newsletter for more than 15 years and has endorsements from NFL veterans like Gil Brandt, Phil
Savage and Charley Casserly. Coyle's work can also be found at draftinsiders.com or you may call him toll-free at 800-776-1949.