The Los Angeles Rams have four NFL drafts under their belt with coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead in charge. After releasing defensive end Chris Long and linebacker James Laurinaitis, the Rams only have four homegrown players remaining on the roster who were drafted before Snead and Fisher arrived.
Those four players -- end Robert Quinn, tight end Lance Kendricks, offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and defensive end Eugene Sims -- were taken in the 2011 (Quinn and Kendricks) and 2010 (Saffold and Sims) drafts.
As we head toward the draft at the end of the month, now is a good time to take stock of the four classes Fisher and Snead have brought in that form the foundation of the team.
We begin today with the 2012 NFL draft:
The picks: DT Michael Brockers (No. 14 overall), WR Brian Quick (No. 33), CB Janoris Jenkins (No. 39), RB Isaiah Pead (No. 50), CB Trumaine Johnson (No. 65), WR Chris Givens (No. 96), OL Rokevious Watkins (No. 150), K Greg Zuerlein (No. 171), LB Aaron Brown (No. 209), RB Daryl Richardson (No. 252).
Who's left: Only three of the 10 players the Rams selected in this draft remain on the roster after they put the franchise tag on Johnson and re-signed Quick during free agency. Brockers is set to play this year on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal though the Rams wouldn't mind signing him to a contract extension before the year begins. Jenkins, who was one of the best performers in this class, if not the best, departed for a five-year $62.5 million contract with the New York Giants after the Rams pushed to bring him back. Zuerlein could still return to compete for the kicking job to bring the number to four. The Rams would also like to get a long-term extension done with Johnson. Pead, Watkins, Brown and Richardson have been released at various points over the last four seasons and the Rams traded Givens to the Baltimore Ravens last year.
Best pick: It's a close call between Brockers, Jenkins and Johnson but we'll give a slight nod to Brockers because he's been the most consistent of the trio. Jenkins earned the biggest contract of the three (so far) but the Rams opted to put the franchise tag on Johnson over Jenkins, which would indicate they value Johnson more than him. Brockers hasn't been spectacular for the Rams but he's been solid for most of his four seasons and has finally settled into a nose tackle role which asks him to take on multiple blockers, stuff the run and free up Aaron Donald to rush the passer. Brockers doesn't have big stats but that's mostly because his job is to do the dirty work. He does it and does it pretty well.
Worst pick: A case can be made for a few on the list, including Quick, but the obvious choice here is Pead. The trade down that led to the Rams landing Pead instead of linebackers Bobby Wagner or Mychal Kendricks has been well-documented. That only compounds the fact that Pead had injury issues and didn't perform well when he was healthy. The Rams inexplicably stuck with Pead for three-plus seasons before releasing him early in 2015. For their troubles, they received 19 carries for 78 yards, 14 catches for 94 yards and three fumbles.
Breakdown: This should have been the type of foundational draft class from which the Rams are built. With three second-round picks, and five in the first three rounds, the Rams had a golden opportunity to find starters capable of leading them well into the future. But it's hard to look at a class from just four years ago that now only has three players still on the roster, one of whom (Quick) has never played to the level of his draft position, as anything but a disappointment. Keeping Jenkins would have helped but Brockers and Johnson are the only productive starters still with the team. Getting two starters in a given draft wouldn't be so bad under normal circumstances but the Rams had enough high-level picks to do so much more with this group.