Willie Springer

EARTH CITY, Mo. (KMOX) — After stealing a defensive end at pick No. 14 on day one of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Rams made some interesting moves in the second and third rounds to add depth and versatility to the offense.

In the second-round, at pick No. 14 and No. 47 overall, the Rams made a surprise, under the radar pick in tight end Lance Kendricks out of the University of Wisconsin. Then in the third-round at pick No. 14 and No. 78 overall, wide receiver Austin Pettis was taken by St. Louis to wrap the up the day of work on Friday at Russell Training Center.

General Manager Billy Devaney and Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo were both very content with their selections. The Rams were very high on the various abilities that Kendricks and Pettis bring to the football team, and not just the offense.

The first of the two picks, Lance Kendricks, was first-team All-Big Ten, a John Mackey Award finalist, and ranks 18th all-time at Wisconsin with 1,160 career receiving yards.

Last season, he led the Badgers with 43 receptions, 663 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns; fifth in scoring and all-purpose yards. In the 2011 Rose Bowl, Kendricks led Wisconsin with 4 catches for 36 yards against TCU.

According to scouts, Lance Kendricks was the No. 2 rated tight end on the draft board. His pro day was better than his combine performance. At his pro day on March 9, Kendricks ran a 4.57 40-yard dash and had a vertical of 38 1/2 inches.

Kendricks comes from a Wisconsin team that is heavy on the run. Though he can hold his own down in the trenches, Kendricks is known for his ability to haul in any catch and get the ball up field.

Kendricks, who stands at 6-4 and weights 241 lbs, is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Rams almost got to a point where they were in discussion of making a trade to make sure they were in a position to draft Kendricks, but that became unnecessary once they were just a couple picks away at No. 14 in the second-round.

The third-round pick, Austin Pettis, who is 6-3 and 209 lbs, left Boise State University as the school’s all-time leader with 229 receptions and 39 touchdown catches. The two-time first-team All-WAC selection also ranks second on the school’s all-time receiving yards list with 2,838 for his career.

As a senior, Pettis reeled in 71 catches for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was part of a Broncos offense that ranked second in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 46.67 points a game during the regular season.

A native of Anaheim California, Pettis is versatile athlete that can play receiver, throw passes, hold kicks, punt the ball, and be a contributor on special teams.

Copyright KMOX Radio


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