Top 30 Draft Selections in St. Louis Rams History

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

27. Adam Archuleta, S, Round 1, Pick 20 Overall, 2001

Adam Archuleta didn’t have an exceptionally long career with the Rams, but he made the most of it and has been arguably the best safety to wear a St. Louis Rams uniform to date. The college linebacker was the Rams’ second of three first round picks in 2001, and while he was converted to the secondary in the NFL, he still played more of a linebacker-like role than most safeties while he was at his best in St. Louis.

After starting most of the season for the NFC Champion Rams and recording 56 tackles with two sacks, Archuleta really broke out in 2002. He recorded a team-leading 116 tackles, good for second among NFL safeties, while also collecting 2.5 sacks. While Archuleta’s tackling production dropped off a bit in 2003, he still had 79 takedowns in 13 games while also recording five sacks, a spectacular season total for a safety.

He had another fantastic season in 2004, recording 88 tackles and two sacks in 16 games, before dealing with concussions that set him back a bit in a still-solid 2005 season during which he amassed 70 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and the only “pick six” of his NFL career—an 85-yard interception return—over 14 games.

Archuleta signed what was then the largest contract for a safety in NFL history, a six-year, $30 million-dollar deal, with the Washington Redskins in 2006. Unfortunately, due to scheme issues, ongoing injury concerns, and general poor performance with the Redskins and then the Chicago Bears, Archuleta would only play two more NFL seasons after his departure from St. Louis.

Next: 26. T.J. McDonald