Coach Jeff Fisher confirmed he envisions a big role for Tavon Austin right away.
Fisher wants Austin to be a weapon out of the slot, take some handoffs out of the backfield and be a factor in the return game. "We're going to try to get the ball to him as often as we can, however we do that," Fisher said. The Rams clearly envision Austin influencing games in the same vein as Randall Cobb and Percy Harvin. They're loading up his plate.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes undrafted S Cody Davis has a legitimate chance at a roster spot.
Davis' contract includes $20,000 guaranteed, a sign the Rams agree. Davis led Texas Tech with 101 tackles last season, and blazed a 4.37 40 at Houston's regional combine. The Rams are among the league's thinnest teams at safety, but Davis would likely be a strict special teamer if he cracked the 53-man roster.
According to SI's Peter King, more than one team was "afraid" of No. 8 pick Tavon Austin heading into the draft.
Teams were apparently worried hangers on from Austin's past would follow him into the league, proving a distraction. Austin alluded to the problem in a weekend interview with the Rams' website. "Everybody expects a lot of things from you as far as money," Austin said. "Everybody wants to be around you. My phone doesn't stop ringing now. It feels like they're counting my bank account now. So that's probably the hardest thing for me right now, just people." The fact that Austin himself is already leery of the "issue" means it's unlikely to be an issue at all. The Rams got the top playmaker in the draft.
Per the team's official website, Rams first-round OLB Alec Ogletree is going to work at strong-side linebacker initially.
Ogletree is best suited for the weak side where he can chase ball carriers and cover tight ends. The Rams apparently feel comfortable with Jo-Lonn Dunbar sticking at WILL instead of flipping him to SAM. Ogletree intercepted a pass intended for the tight end on his first snap at minicamp, for what it's worth.
Rams fourth-round G/C Barrett Jones (Lisfranc surgery) is expected to be held out until training camp.
"He may be 80 percent at OTAs and things like that, but mentally and everything else considered, he'll be fine by the time camp starts," coach Jeff Fisher said. Jones (6-foot-4, 306) could compete for the Rams' left guard job, but he projects better as a backup at both guard and center.
The Rams envision third-round WR Stedman Bailey as their replacement for Brandon Gibson.
Gibson had been a starter in recent years, but the Rams never viewed him as more than a No. 3 or No. 4 wideout. Bailey will compete for fourth receiver duties as a rookie, behind Brian Quick, Tavon Austin, and Chris Givens. He can also returns kicks and punts. Bailey is unlikely to be a fantasy factor in 2013.