Morning Ram-blings: Athletic freaks

Every NFL draft comes with plenty of players who might be freakish athletes but not necessarily top notch football players.

Ideally, your favorite team will pick players who are the rare mix of both, though those can be hard to find. For every Calvin Johnson, there are 10 Vernon Gholstons.

On Thursday afternoon, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. offered his list of the biggest "freaks" in this year's NFL draft. The list is open to ESPN Insider subscribers but there are interesting names that could become St. Louis Rams next week who made the cut.

Headlining the list, of course, is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack also made the cut.

Among players the Rams have showed interest in before the draft, those two are on it and so are Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman and Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans.

Many of those names could be in play for the Rams come Thursday night. Should the Rams choose one, the hope is they'll be getting the next Johnson and not the next Gholston.


A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we started the day with a look at defensive end Robert Quinn's film study sessions. ... Next, we rounded up the Rams' final visits as they hit the road to get a last look at prospects before the draft. ... From there, we returned to the draft preview series with a look at the running backs. ... To close the day, we continued our prospect profile series with a glance at Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley.

Chat: Coming today at 1 p.m. EST, I'll be participating in the weekly Rams chat where I take your questions on all things related to the team. Submit your questions now or join us live when the time comes.


ESPN NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Herm Edwards discuss the chances of the Rams taking Johnny Manziel.

ESPN Senior NFL writer Seth Wickersham with yet another outstanding piece worth your time on the Carr brothers.

At stltoday.com, columnist Bryan Burwell offers video thoughts on where the Rams will go in round 1.

Jim Thomas previews the quarterback spot and the Rams' needs in this year's draft.

Thomas details the many options for signal callers as well.

Pro Football Talk compares the Rams' recent binge of private workouts to the past two years.