One of the reasons the Rams were not overly flustered about missing out on wide receivers Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame is they felt they have very good wideout options at the top of the second round.
But one of the most-coveted of those options, A.J. Jenkins of the University of Illinois, was snatched away by San Francisco with the 30th pick — or third-to-last selection — of the first round.
League sources told the Post-Dispatch on Thursday afternoon that the Rams liked Jenkins so much that his grade wasn't much different than the one given Blackmon by the team's personnel department. Blackmon was the first wide receiver taken in the draft, going No. 5 to Jacksonville (which traded up with Tampa Bay for the pick.)
Not only did Jenkins make a pre-draft visit to the Rams in early April, he was one of at least four players the Rams engaged in private workouts last weekend. Backup Rams quarterbacks Kellen Clemens and Tom Brandstater threw to Jenkins in Champaign, Ill. (According to the NFL, private workouts must be conducted on the player's college campus.)
The Rams also conducted such workouts for Blackmon, Floyd and Baylor's Kendall Wright over the weekend, all of whom were taken in the first round. Floyd went No. 13 to Arizona, while Wright went to Tennessee at No. 20.
The Rams did pick up a second-round pick for trading down with Dallas to the No. 14 spot in the first round. As a result, the Rams now have three second-round picks today for Day 2 of the draft: No. 33 overall, No. 39 overall, and No. 45 overall.
After missing out on a wide receiver in the first round, and unexpectedly losing Jenkins, the Rams almost certainly have to take a wideout at No. 33 overall. The Rams' top wide receiver options in Round 2 appear to be Brian Quick of Appalachian State, Rueben Randle of Louisiana State and Chris Givens of Wake Forest.
Other possible targets
The Rams could use one of those second-round picks on an outside linebacker, with California's Mychal Kendricks, Utah State's Bobby Wagner, Nevada's James-Michael Johnson and Miami (Fla.)'s Sean Spence all still on the board.
The team has only four linebackers on its current roster, and only two of those four are sure starters (James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar).
Offensive guard is another possibility, with Midwestern State's Amini Silatolu among the possibilities. The Rams need a starting left guard. And at cornerback, will the team take a chance on North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins, who would have been at top 15 pick were it not for off-field issues?
Wide receiver Danny Amendola, who was the Rams' team leader in receptions (85) and reception yards (689) in 2010, has signed his one-year tender as a restricted free agent and will be back with the team in 2012.