We could make the case and label nearly every first-round pick of St. Louis a bust, with the exception of Orlando Pace, Steven Jackson and Torry Holt ... and maybe Sam Bradford. But if we did that, this article would be no fun. The Rams have had some really good success when the team the team was in Los Angeles, but the move may have provided some bad karma or something when it comes to management making the best decisions for the ball club.
This is a look at the five worst draft decisions in team history. Informaiton ovtained in this article comes from NFL.com.
Lawrence Phillips -- 1996
To use the sixth-overall pick on a talented running back with character issues is pretty bad. Teams felt Phillips was the most talented player in the draft, but his off-the-field character issues allowed him to fall to No. 6. What makes this most disconcerting is the club didn't even need a running back. It still had Jerome Bettis, who went on to find a lot of success with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This whole draft was a disaster for St. Louis. The team had another first-round pick, which it wasted on WR Eddie Kennison. And then in the second round it selected QB Tony Banks. Obviously, the team would go on to win a Super Bowl in a few years, but could you have imagined the success if, instead of Phillips and Kennison, the team drafted Eddie George and Marvin Harrison? Maybe you could argue the team doesn't trade for Marshall Faulk or draft Holt, fine. How about Ray Lewis then?
Not drafting RG3 -- 2012
Les Snead told the Rich Eisen Podcast he made the right move in his trade with the Redskins. Because what else is he going to say? "Oh yeah guys, I traded one of the most electrifying players in NFL history, my bad!" Of course not. However, picks don't always translate into greatness (wait until the final entry for a further explanation). And you know this is really going to bother me if the Los Angeles Rams resurface in 2015 without RG3 under center. That won't be funny at all.
Gaston Green -- 1988
If you ever wanted to know what killed the Los Angeles Rams, it wasn't necessarily the Eric Dickerson trade. The Rams received a lot of draft picks and still had a top offense despite getting rid of Dickerson. No, the complete botch job of the 1988 NFL Draft killed this franchise and ultimately led to the team closing shop after the 1994 season. With a bounty of picks, the L.A. Rams selected Gaston Green and Aaron Cox in the first round with Anthony Newman in the second. Talk about your franchise killers. You might not remember Newman, but the 49ers' John Taylor does.
Cleveland Gary -- 1989
The Los Angeles Rams were still in this sad, trying-to-replace-Eric-Dickerson phase when they selected Gary with their second first-round pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. (Don't worry, the team completely whiffed on its first pick of Bill Hawkins, who like Gary, was from the University of Miami. Guess picking players from the best college program at the time wasn't the best strategy. Nice work, John Shaw.) Gary wasn't terrible for the Rams, as he led the NFL with 14 touchdowns in 1990. But he just couldn't hold on to the football. And then he entered this weird phase where he was hanging out with Philip Michael Thomas of "Miami Vice" and it all sort of went downhill from there.
Jason Smith -- 2009
Smith was the second-overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft and he just barely found a gig again with the Saints. What a gigantic waste. St. Louis has been starved for receivers for a long time and the team didn't take a chance on Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin or Hakeem Nicks. Knowing St. Louis' history, it probably would have ended up with Darrius Heyward-Bey, so really, it's not so bad.