The Rams used their seventh draft pick this year on linebacker Clay Johnston, selecting him 234th overall in the seventh round. Here are five things you should know about the former Baylor standout.
1) Wore the number 4 as a symbolic gesture
Johnston's uniform number during his senior season at Baylor had two different kinds of symbolic meaning.
According to a story shared by Rams Senior Personnel Advisor Taylor Morton, former NFL quarterback Brett Favre is a big influence in Johnston's life. Johnston grew up around the game due to his father, Kent, being a longtime strength coach in the league, and Kent worked with Favre at one point during Favre's tenure with the Green Bay Packers.
Baylor has a senior year tradition where they select a handful of players as the hardest workers on the team, and their reward is the opportunity to pick a single-digit number to wear. Johnston's choice was 4 in honor of Favre.
2) Another late-round value pick
Midway through that same senior season, Johnson suffered a season-ending torn ACL. While the setback was unfortunate, it likely played a role in the Rams getting great value out of the first of three seventh-round selections.
"We really projected that he was going to be a higher pick than what we got," Morton said. "I think he's going to be a steal of a deal in the seventh round, because we'll rehab him and get him healthy. I think he's got a really good chance of making our team."
3) Weddle connection
Like draft classmate Terrell Burgess, Johnston also knows former Rams safety Eric Weddle.
"Well, he was with the Chargers when my dad was there and so, when I would go there, we'd wake up in the morning and we'd do some defensive back drills together," Johnston said on an April 25 video conference. "He'd always say, 'You're going to be the young little prodigy of Eric Weddle.' So, he'd just joke around about that. It was such a blessing being able to train with him. Such a great guy, freaking love him, he works his tail off."
Perhaps this comes as no surprise from a player who played both running back and linebacker in high school, but Johnston will bring a lively presence to Rams.
"When I got a call and they said, 'Do you want to be a Ram?' I said, 'By God, I want to be a Ram, let's freaking go.' I screamed and everyone was screaming, going nuts in here. Instantly put some pads on, ran through our front door, broke the windshield, it was awesome."
5) Might follow in his father's footsteps
According to his Baylor bio, Johnston majored in health, kinesiology and leisure studies while in school.
Welcome to LA, Clay Johnston! Meet the LB from Baylor.