Rams select Clemson's Isaiah Battle in supplemental draft


Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the fifth round of the NFL Supplemental Draft on Thursday, the league announced.

With the pick, the Rams give up their fifth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. Seven players had been ruled eligible for the supplemental draft -- Battle was the only one selected.

Rams general manager Les Snead said Thursday that Battle will basically get a redshirt season in 2015.

"We felt it was an opportunity to get an earlier round value for a later round price," Snead said in a release from the team. "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."

According to NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein, the Rams are getting a player with the physical tools to play the left tackle position in the NFL, but one who comes with baggage that adds concern about his character. Meanwhile, the Rams are clearly serious, both short-term and long-term, about upgrading the offensive line that will block for 2015 first-round pick Todd Gurley and new quarterback Nick Foles. St. Louis chose four offensive linemen in the NFL draft two months ago, including two in the first three rounds, led by second-round pick Rob Havenstein of Wisconsin.

The supplemental draft setting, at least for the Rams, wasn't quite as intense as the league's annual draft in the spring. Rams Executive Vice President of Football Operations Kevin Demoff provided this serene peek into what he called the club's "war room" for the day:

Battle's pro day workout earlier this week drew representatives from 25 NFL clubs, and according to NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, Battle ran 40-yard dash times of 5.21 and 5.29 seconds.

Off-field issues clouded Battle's college career. He was suspended for punching a North Carolina State player in 2013 and was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules last year. He was cited for marijuana possession and speeding last month, according to The Clemson Insider.

At 6-foot-6, 312 pounds and with a wingspan of 85 1/4 inches, Battle has the length NFL clubs look for in a tackle.

Other players eligible for the supplemental draft were defensive linemen Darrius Caldwell and Dalvon Stuckey of West Georgia, Houston defensive end Eric Eiland, UConn tight end Sean McQuillan, Kansas defensive back Kevin Short and North Carolina Central wide receiver Adrian Wilkins. Those players became unrestricted free agents upon completion of the supplemental draft.

Prior to Battle, the most recent selection in the supplemental draft was the Cleveland Browns' choice of wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round in 2012.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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