<
>

Isaiah Battle picked by Rams, is 1st supplemental pick since 2012

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams' quest to add young talent to their offensive line continued Thursday when they used a fifth-round supplemental draft choice on former Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle.

Battle is the fifth offensive lineman the Rams have spent a draft choice on this year after they used four picks on the line in this year's NFL draft. The Rams now forfeit their fifth-round choice in the 2016 NFL draft.

Battle is the first player taken in the supplemental draft since the Cleveland Browns selected receiver Josh Gordon in 2012 and becomes the 43rd player selected since the supplemental draft began. He's also the first supplemental choice made by the Rams since they moved to St. Louis in 1995.

"We felt it was an opportunity to get an earlier round value for a later round price," Rams general manager Les Snead said in a statement. "He's going to practice what would've been his final year of college eligibility with us, go through our offseason program, and then start his rookie season a year from now. This will allow us to bring him along gradually both on and off the field. Now it's up to Isaiah and us to go work to reach his potential as a person and player."

The 6-foot-6, 312-pound Battle played left tackle for the Tigers, starting 11 games in 2014 and appearing in 27 in his three-year career. There, he earned a reputation for his run-blocking, as Clemson averaged 4.5 yards per carry running to the left versus 4 up the middle and 4.1 to the right, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Battle entered the supplemental draft last month, saying he "had family matters to address," and acknowledging he had a child due this summer. He also has been dealing with off-the-field issues. According to media reports, he was cited for possession of marijuana, speeding and lack of proof of insurance on June 11.

In 2013, Clemson suspended Battle for a game for throwing a punch a North Carolina State player. Last season, he was suspended for Clemson's game against Syracuse for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

Battle drew 26 teams to a pro day workout at Clemson on Tuesday.

In St. Louis, Battle will be expected to compete with the Rams' many young offensive linemen. The team selected right tackle Rob Havenstein in the second round this year and left tackle Greg Robinson with the No. 2 overall pick in 2014. Swing tackle Garrett Reynolds signed as a free agent this offseason to backup Robinson and Havenstein.

The Rams now have five picks in next year's draft (the fewest of any team), pending the outcome of a conditional choice traded to Philadelphia for quarterback Sam Bradford. If Bradford plays more than 50 percent of the snaps for the Eagles, the Rams would recoup that selection, which would be a third or fourth-round choice depending on how much Bradford plays.

The other six players eligible to be drafted Thursday were: West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey, West Georgia defensive end Darrius Caldwell, Houston defensive end Eric Eiland, UConn tight end Sean McQuillan, Kansas defensive back Kevin Short and North Carolina Central wide receiver/kick returner Adrian Wilkins.

Since they weren't selected Thursday they become unrestricted free agents.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.