The St. Louis Rams selected offensive lineman Isaiah Battle in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL supplemental draft on July 9. Battle is the fifth offensive lineman the Rams drafted this year.
The St. Louis Rams have selected Isaiah Battle in the 2015 NFL supplemental draft.
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According to Austin Lankford of the Rams' official website, the team acquired Battle in exchange for its fifth round pick in 2016. He is the fifth offensive lineman St. Louis has drafted in 2015.
There were seven eligible players in this year's supplemental draft. Battle was the only one to be picked, per Lankford.
Battle is the first Rams player acquired via the supplemental draft since the team moved to St. Louis 20 years ago, per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tom Jim Thomas.
What's more is Battle is the first player selected in the supplemental draft since the Cleveland Browns took wide receiver Josh Gordon via the same route three years ago, per ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter Nick Wagoner.
Battle becomes the 43rd player selected in NFL supplemental draft history, per ESPN.
Rams general manager Les Snead told Lankford that the team felt Battle should prove to be a good bargain:
"We felt it was an opportunity to get an earlier round value for a later round price. 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.
Rams GM Les Snead pulled over driving son Logan to Manning Passing Academy to exercise picking OT Isaiah Battle 5th rnd supplemental draft— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) July 9, 2015
"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 St. Louis Post-Dispatch update says Snead and his son were on their way to the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La. when he called the NFL league office in New York to select Battle.
At the time of Battle's selection, Rams executive vice president of football operations and COO Kevin Demoff was on vacation in Lake Tahoe. On the other hand, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher "was fishing in Montana," per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Thomas says the Rams asked scout Ted Monago to attend Battle's Pro Day on July 7. Monago spoke with Battle's coaches with the Clemson Tigers in an attempt to know him better asa player.
A total of 26 teams turned up at Battle's Pro Day workout at Clemson University, per Wagoner.
Thomas points out he's had some off-field issues and even referred to "family matters" as his reason for applying for his year's NFL supplemental draft.
The "family matters" issue turned out to be a child Battle and his girlfriend are expecting, per ESPN (via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
Battle's citation for marijuana possession was also a key factor in his supplemental draft application. A state trooper discovered the marijuana in Battle's car when he pulled him over for speeding last month, per The Clemson Insider (via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
The Tigers suspended Battle two years ago for punching a North Carolina State Wolfpack player, per Thomas.
Wagoner says Clemson also suspended Battle for its game against the Syracuse Orange "for undisclosed disciplinary reasons" last season.
The 6'6", 312-pound Battle was an 11-game starter for the Tigers last season. He had been initially projected to be a first- or second-round selection in the 2016 NFL draft. All in all, he suited up in 27 games with 15 starts for Clemson, per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Battle joins a young Rams offensive line rotation which has four fellow rookies: Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown, Andrew Donnal and Cody Wichmann, per Thomas.
The Rams only had 89 players under contract prior to Battle's selection on Thursday. This means they don't have to cut a player to make room for him on their 90-man training camp roster, per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
St. Louis has a total of five draft picks for 2016 -- the fewest in the league -- per Wagoner.
The Rams could possibly gain an additional third- or fourth-round choice next year should quarterback Sam Bradford plays for more than 50 percent of the Philadelphia Eagles' snaps.
The conditional draft choice was part of the deal that sent Bradford to the Eagles in exchange for fellow quarterback Nick Foles in March, per ESPN.
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