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Rams draft wide receiver, lineman Saturday and surprise in late rounds

Saturday, April 28, 2012 | 8:46 p.m. CDT; updated 3:13 p.m. CDT, Sunday, April 29, 2012

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams continued to address areas of need Saturday with the selection of wide receiver Chris Givens of Wake Forest in the fourth round and offensive guard Rokevious Watkins of South Carolina in the fifth round.

The 5-foot-11, 198-pound Givens amassed 2,473 receiving yards on 163 receptions in his career. Last season, Givens set a school single-season record with 1,330 yards. He caught 83 passes and had nine touchdowns.

Givens also can help the Rams in the return game. Givens returned kicks and had 45 rushing attempts at Wake Forest. Givens finished with 3,509 all-purpose yards.

Givens is the second receiver the Rams have selected in this draft to help quarterback Sam Bradford, the top pick in the 2010 draft. In the second round, St. Louis drafted wide receiver Brian Quick of Appalachian State.

He did not visit Rams Park before the draft, but Givens said St. Louis talked with him at the NFL combine.

"I thought they really liked me a lot," Givens said. "I thought they were going to get me but then they got Brian Quick and then I thought, 'OK, they're not going to get me anymore.' Then today, I was pleasantly surprised."

Givens brings speed to the Rams. He was clocked at 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That was one of the fastest times among the 300-plus players at the combine.

He is looking forward to joining Quick to give Bradford some inviting targets. In fact, Givens brought up a Rams reference from the past.

"We're going to complement each other well. That's the plan," Givens said about himself and Quick. "We're going to come in and work hard and put our best foot forward and try to get 'The Greatest Show on Turf' back going again."

The Rams got the 152nd pick in the draft in their Thursday trade with Dallas that allowed the Cowboys to take the Rams' No. 6 slot in the first round while St. Louis dropped down to No. 14. St. Louis picked the 6-foot-4, 329-pound Watkins with the choice. Watkins can play inside and outside on the offensive line. Watkins played both guard positions in his junior year at South Carolina.

The Rams have an opening at left guard. Unrestricted free agent Jacob Bell left to sign with Cincinnati.

As a senior, Watkins played both tackle positions and one game at guard. He started 27 games the past two seasons.

"I played every position on the line at South Carolina except center," Watkins said. "I just do whatever coach tells me to do. If they wanted me to long snap, I would have done that, too."

Being drafted by the Rams caught Watkins off guard.

"I had no idea I was going to St. Louis," said Watkins. "I was a lot surprised. I was just waiting around and hoping to hear my name called and it got called and now I'm ready to get up there to St. Louis and go to work."

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier gave Watkins his nickname of "Rock."

"Coach Spurrier said it was a little hard to say Rokevious so he said we're just going to call you Rock once I got there," Watkins said.

The Rams selected kicker Greg Zuerlein of Missouri Western in the sixth round of the NFL draft. The Rams used the 171st selection to nab the 6-foot, 190-pound Zuerlein, who kicked 23 field goals last season and missed just one.

Zuerlein broke an NCAA Division II record last season with 21 consecutive field goals, including nine that were 50 or more yards. He kicked two 58-yard field goals last year.

He led the nation with a .952 field goal percentage for any kicker with at least 12 attempts.

In their first pick of the seventh round, the Rams selected outside linebacker Aaron Brown of Hawaii.

The Rams used the 209th overall selection on the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Brown. St. Louis has just four linebackers currently on the roster.

Brown was suspended for the first game of the Hawaii season. Brown and a teammate were accused of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for their alleged involvement in a fight at a Waikiki nightclub.

As a senior, Brown had 103 tackles, including 13 for loss. Brown recorded 4.5 sacks and had three interceptions. As a junior, Brown made 83 tackles and tied for the team lead in sacks with five. He also had 9.5 tackles for a loss and three interceptions.

The Rams used the 252nd selection — next to last — of the draft to pick 5-foot-11, 200-pound Daryl Richardson, a running back from Abilene Christian. It was a compensatory pick for St. Louis.

Richardson is the brother of former Abilene Christian running back Bernard Scott, who now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals.

As a senior, Richardson rushed for 867 yards, including a long run of 75 yards. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored 11 touchdowns. Richardson also caught 40 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns.


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