The St. Louis Rams have added yet another young offensive lineman to the organization.
During the NFL’s annual Supplemental Draft on Thursday, the Rams used their 5th round pick for the 2016 NFL draft, and used it to select offensive tackle Isaiah Battle from Clemson University. He is the first supplemental pick since 2012, when the Browns selected WR Josh Gordon.
Battle, 22, was considered not only one of the most premier lineman on the Clemson Tigers, but in all of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Over the course of his career, the 6’7″, 290 lb Battle played 1,336 snaps over the course of 27 games (15 of them being starts). From 2012-2014, he was an integral part of the Tigers’ victories over top-ranked teams during bowl games.
His first game with Clemson was against Ball State on Sept. 8th, 2012. He played a total of 41 snaps during that game. He finished the 2012 season with one knockdown and 153 snaps played.
In the 2013 season, Battle was a much more utilized player on the Clemson offensive line. According to Clemson’s official statistics, Battle had accumulated 13 knockdowns in 359 snaps over 10 games, four of which he was a starting lineman. He also had two knockdowns against No. 6 Ohio State as the two teams faced off in the Orange Bowl on January 3rd.
But it was during the 2014 season where he really shined. He started in 11 out of the 12 games he played in. He also had 18 knockdowns out of the 824 snaps he was on the line for.
On December 29th, Clemson faced off against No. 24 Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl. During the game, he participated with the offense on 60 snaps, garnering two knockdowns.
He had been a prospect by many teams over the course of the past few months, when the Rams, who boosted their offensive line (which has struggled badly over the past few seasons) during the 2015 NFL Draft, saw the opportunity, using their fifth rounder to draft Battle.
Rams GM Les Snead released a statement on drafting Battle:
“We felt it was an opportunity to get an earlier round value for a later round price,” Snead said. “He’s going to practice what would’ve been his final year of college eligibility with us, go through our offseason program, and then start his rookie season a year from now. This will allow us to bring him along gradually both on and off the field. Now it’s up to Isaiah and us to go work to reach his potential as a person and player.”
The Rams have heavily invested in offensive lineman over the past few months, and only time will tell if the investment pays off.
(Photo credit: sportsmockery.com)