ST. LOUIS — Under coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead, the St. Louis Rams refuse to stay put on draft day.
The Rams got help for quarterback Sam Bradford, trading up eight spots with Buffalo and taking speedy West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin with the eighth overall selection Thursday night. They surrendered two picks in that deal and got two back from the Atlanta Falcons when they traded down eight spots, and then used No. 30 to get Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree.
“I would have to say we’re very excited, to say the least,” Fisher said. “It was a scenario we had been discussing for several days. We got two very explosive, talented young players that are going to help us right away.”
Ogletree, whose draft stock was probably hurt by an in-season suspension and a DUI arrest a week before the combine, is expected to fill a starting vacancy at outside linebacker. Without those problems, Fisher said Ogletree would have been a top 15 pick at worst.
“I was just happy to hear my name called,” Ogletree said in a conference call with reporters in St. Louis. “I was dumb. I made a mistake and I just want to move forward.”
Austin was among the fastest players at the combine with an official 40-yard dash time of 4.34 seconds, and with gaudy statistics to match that made him the first skill position player taken. His 2,910 all-purpose yards as a senior were fourth-most in NCAA history and he totaled 17 touchdowns last season, including one each on punt and kickoff returns.