Football / Sports

Rams select Missouri's Gaines before taking Michael Sam

In the seventh round, with the 249th overall pick of the NFL Draft, the Rams selected Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.

The Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL.

The Rams also chose Missouri Tigers cornerback E.J. Gaines, with the 12th selection of the sixth round (188th overall).

Gaines, a 5-foot-10, 190-pounder from Fort Osage High in suburban Kansas City, is a physical player with good ball skills. A three-year starter, he was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2011 and a first-teamer in the SEC last fall. Had five of his eight career interceptions as a senior.

Gaines is a strong zone corner who is noted for his toughness, awareness and a high football IQ. He's expected to make an immediate impact on special teams while working his way up the depth chart at corner.

Later in the sixth, with the 214th overall pick, the Rams added a quarterback -- 6-foot-4, 223-pound Garrett Gilbert of SMU.

After three years at Texas, Gilbert transferred to SMU and enjoyed two big-number seasons under head coach June Jones. He threw for 3,528 yards and 21 touchdowns in 10 games while rushing for 267 yards and six scores last fall.

As a junior in Jones' pass-heavy attack, Gilbert passed for 2,932 yards with 15 passing touchdowns and six more on the ground.

In the seventh round, the Rams took:

-- Portland State tackle Mitchell Van Dyk (6-8, 315). A three-year starter, he was part of a Viking offense that set school records for total offense (6.486), rushing yards (3,330) and rushing yards per game (277.7).

-- Ohio State safety Christian"C.B" Bryant (5-10, 193), a three-year starter and team leader who saw his senior campaign cut short due to a broken ankle.

-- Missouri's Sam was the SEC co-defensive player of the year as a senior after making 56 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11 1/2 sacks and nine quarterback pressures.

-- Center Demetrius Rhaney from Tennessee State. Has good lower-body power to go along with quickness and agility. Has also played guard and tackle in college.

(c)2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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