St. Louis Rams: Initial Grades for 2015 NFL Draft Class

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Round 1: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia


The Rams shocked everyone by neglecting their strongest need, offensive line, with their first pick and selecting Georgia’s Todd Gurley. The selection of Gurley has the potential to be fantastic; he’s the best running back prospect the NFL has seen in a long while, and he’s looked NFL-ready since the day he first touched the field at Georgia. While guys like Zac Stacy and Tre Mason have been productive for the Rams in recent years, Gurley should be the biggest difference-maker the Rams have had in the backfield since Steven Jackson was in his prime.

The Gurley pick carries a certain amount of risk considering that he’s coming off a torn ACL, and he may not even be ready for the start of the season. With Gurley likely to miss all of the offseason program and at least part of training camp, it’s debatable whether he’ll be able to get up to speed quickly enough to make significant contributions during 2015. Thus, it was a bold move for Jeff Fisher, going into his fourth season in St. Louis with a 20-27-1 record, to invest a top ten pick in a player that may not be ready to go full-blast until 2016.

Ultimately, it’s difficult to fault the Rams for taking a shot at a player who could be the best at his position since Adrian Peterson was in his prime. With that said, there’s a certain degree of optimism required to believe that Gurley will be a game-changing star, A) while the Rams are still in St. Louis, and B) while Jeff Fisher is still the Rams’ head coach.

Next: Round 2: Rob Havenstein