On Day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams made two picks: one that made perfect sense, the selection of Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner, and another that basically came out of left field with the selection of Auburn running back Tre Mason. Here’s how their second day selections grade out.
Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State: Every other team in the NFC West has acquired a player who can play a hybrid safety/cornerback position, basically like a harder-hitting nickelback. Seattle started the movement with Earl Thomas, Arizona took Tyrann Mathieu last year, San Francisco took Jimmie Ward in the first round Thursday and now the Rams have Joyner. Joyner should play more in the mold of Mathieu, taking the high majority of his snaps at cornerback, but it’s nice that he has experience at safety should starters T.J. McDonald or Rodney McLeod go down. Joyner should be very adept at filling the Rams’ nickelback position, which was scheduled to be filled by 2013 fifth-rounder Brandon McGee prior to this selection.
Tre Mason, RB, Auburn: The Rams’s selection of Mason didn’t really make sense. They had a bigger need at safety which they could have filled with Florida State’s Terrence Brooks, but they decided to make a luxury pick instead. This pick signifies that the Rams aren’t as sold on incumbent running back Zac Stacy as once thought, as Mason was drafted two rounds ahead of where Stacy was taken last year and has a much more extensive college track record. In addition, Stacy and Mason are built the same and have virtually the same running style.
In addition to Stacy’s job being jeopardized, this selection really eliminates any chance that 2012 draft picks Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson will ever be a part of the Rams’ plans at running back. While Mason is a nice addition to the offense, the Rams had other areas that they needed to address first, and the pick comes off as general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher going back to Auburn once again, as they have now acquired five players from the school in the past year.