ST. LOUIS (AP) — Backed into a corner by the mad shuffling ahead of them, the St. Louis Rams added a big body to the defensive line by taking LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers with the 14th overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday.
The Rams appeared poised to take Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon with the sixth pick, then traded down eight spots after Jacksonville moved up to snatch Blackmon with the fifth overall pick. The Rams received the Cowboys' second-round pick in that deal, leaving them with three of the first 13 picks in the second round, including the first pick of the day Friday.
The Rams said Brockers was one of their top-rated players heading into the draft.
Brockers, a 21-year-old sophomore, had just two sacks in his lone year as a starter. The Rams released two defensive tackles, Justin Bannan and Fred Robbins, prior to free agency.
The defensive line is perhaps the strongest unit on the team, with former first-rounders Chris Long and Robert Quinn at the ends and tackle Kendall Langford signed in free agency.
Brockers started all 14 games at left tackle last season, helping the Tigers rank second in the nation in total defense with a 261.5-yards per game average. LSU also was second in the nation at points allowed with just 11 per game.