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

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Round 6: Cody Wichmann, OG, Fresno State


The selection of Wichmann was pretty much out of left field, as the four-year Fresno State starter did not attend a college All-Star game or the NFL Combine and was projected by many as an undrafted free agent. (In fact, Wichmann had existed in such obscurity that the above image of his posterior was the only photo of him available to us through USA TODAY Sports Images.)

Beyond the obscurity of Wichmann, the pick also seems reminiscent of the Rams selecting defensive end George Selvie in 2010 after already having selected two other ends, Hall Davis and Eugene Sims. Selvie ended up being the best of the three, having accumulated 13 career sacks for the Rams, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dallas Cowboys, but because of roster limitations and the lack of evaluation time, the Rams ended up letting him fall through the cracks and effectively wasted the pick.

Wichmann was the fourth offensive lineman that the Rams selected, following Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown, and Andrew Donnal. With starters Greg Robinson and Rodger Saffold returning, newly-signed veteran Garrett Reynolds likely to make the team, and a host of experienced Rams such as Barrett Jones, Tim Barnes, Demetrius Rhaney, Brandon Washington, and Travis Bond vying for spots, logic would indicate that there’s almost no way all four rookies can make the 53-man roster. Wichmann figures to be the biggest long shot considering that he was drafted last.

Last year, the Rams’ last five draft picks did not make the 53-man roster. At the time, general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher drew that as a positive, citing the growth of their organizational depth. Obviously, that wasn’t really the case, as the Rams went 6-10 and had their eighth straight losing season. Snead and Fisher can brag about their depth all they want, but until the roster is viable enough to make the playoffs, it would seem more practical to draft players who have a chance of making the 53-man roster.

The Rams can salvage the pick if they are able to stash Wichmann (or whichever draft pick doesn’t make the team) on their practice squad, but it was impractical to take a fourth offensive lineman when there’s almost no chance that all of them will be able to make the team. If it was a must for them to select another offensive lineman here, it might have been better to take a risk and select a player with starting potential, such as Florida State’s Josue Matias or Oklahoma’s Adam Shead, who fell because of injury concerns, rather than taking a player like Wichmann who projects as a backup at best.

Next: Round 7: Bryce Hager