|Brockers becomes the 13th first-rounder from the 2012 class to sign on the dotted line. (US PRESSWIRE)|
On Thursday, the Rams signed their first-round pick, defensive tackle Michael Brockers, to a four-year contract. The 14th-overall selection in April's draft should immediately upgrade St. Louis' defense (along with second-rounder, Janoris Jenkins, considered by some draft experts as the best available cover cornerback), which ranked 22nd in the league in 2011, according to Football Outsiders (15th against the pass, 22nd against the run).
Brockers joins 13 other first-rounders who have signed contracts, with ninth-overall selection Luke Kuechly (LB, Panthers) being the highest. By contrast, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, taken 30th by the 49ers, is the lowest first-rounder to remain unsigned. And none of four quarterbacks -- Andrew Luck (No. 1), Robert Griffin III (No. 2), Ryan Tannehill (No. 8), Brandon Weeden (No. 22) -- have signed either.
The Rams traded down from No. 6 to No. 14 to take Brockers. The team originally held the second-overall pick but a blockbuster trade with the Redskins allowed Washington to eventually land RG3. In exchange, St. Louis got the sixth-overall pick, an additional second-rounder, and two future first-rounders.
Thanks to the rookie wage scale that's part of the new collective bargaining agreement, first-round holdouts appear to be a thing of the past. And while the terms for Brocker's deal weren't available, it should be somewhere between the four-year, $9.34 million the Seahawks gave No. 15 pick Bruce Irvin and the four-year, $12.1 million the Bills gave No. 10 pick Stephon Gilmore.
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