Top 30 Draft Selections in St. Louis Rams History

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

6. Leonard Little, DE/LB, Round 3, Pick 65 Overall, 1998

Perhaps it’s the fact that Leonard Little played so much of his NFL career during a horrifically bad era for the St. Louis Rams, or perhaps it was the lasting cloud of controversy that hovered over him after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter after killing a woman in a 1998 drunk driving accident, then was charged with driving while intoxicated in 2004. Whatever the case, Little doesn’t get the respect he deserves in Rams history for being quite undoubtedly the franchise’s most consistent defensive end (and perhaps defensive player) since it moved to St. Louis in 1995.

Little was taken as a linebacker out of Tennessee in 1998, and he was almost exclusively limited to special teams during his first two years in the league. But after Little began to receive more pass-rushing opportunities as a role player in 2000 and recorded five sacks, the coaching staff decided that he was fit to be an every-down player at defensive end, and made him the starter at the left end position going into 2001.

Little has the most double-digit sack seasons (4) of any player in St. Louis Rams history, and he collected a career-high 14.5 sacks during 2001. For the most part, he was not a great run defender, but he found new life during the 2006 season, marking his first double-digit sack season (13) in three years while recording a career-high 58 tackles.

Little played his entire career with the Rams, wrapping up his career after the 2009 season. He finished off with 147 games played (98 starts), 87.5 sacks, 364 tackles, 31 forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Seeing as Little was a third-round pick who didn’t even play defensive end at the start of his career, he’s very possibly the best value pick in Rams history.

Next: 5. James Laurinaitis