- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - When the St. Louis Rams sent the second pick of the 2012 draft to Washington, they probably couldn’t imagine owning that same slot in 2014.

Thanks to Washington’s free fall last year, they do as the final payout from the Robert Griffin III trade.

This is their last chance to capitalize.

After draft day dealings last year, the Rams (7-9) landed explosive receiver Tavon Austin and outside linebacker Alec Ogletree, who led the team in tackles. They also have the 13th pick.

Ideally, the move would again be parlaying the prime pick into more choices. That might be harder to pull off given uncertainty at the top of this draft, so they could end up addressing needs on the offensive line and taking Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews.

Two years ago, quarterback was a rare area of strength. Plus, the Redskins were desperate.

So the franchises swapped first-round spots, with the Rams moving down just four places, plus they gained Washington’s first-rounders in ‘13 and ‘14.

They’re still playing catchup in the NFC West behind Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona, which all have rebounded quickly from down times. But the rebuilding effort of coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead might be getting closer.

Since the Griffin deal, they’ve also added running back Zac Stacy, defensive tackle Michael Brockers and cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Five thing to look for in the draft for the Rams:

ON THE CLOCK: No deal means decision time. Going for need, they could pluck Robinson or Mathews - unsexy picks that would bolster protection for Bradford.

The line is in flux with Chris Williams leaving in free agency, along with top backup Shelley Smith, and Harvey Dahl released in March. Rodger Saffold nearly left, too, but re-signed after failing a physical with Oakland, and will start at guard.

The team maintains left tackle Jake Long will be ready for the opener coming off knee surgery in January.

FUTURE QUARTERBACK: They’re set for now with Bradford, rehabbing from knee surgery, and new veteran backup Shaun Hill. Bradford has two years to go on his contract.

But don’t be surprised if they grab a quarterback to groom in the early rounds. Bradford has been dogged by injuries and even when healthy has fallen far shy of elite status, although the talent he’s working with has a lot to do with it.

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