St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead got a lot of text messages on Thursday night after drafting Todd Gurley. One of them was from Mark Richt.
"Hey great pick, you got a stud," Richt wrote, according to Snead.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher got a similar text from one of his former players, Hall of Famer Eddie George.
"Congratulations, great pick," George wrote, according to Fisher.
Entering the draft, the Rams weren't really thought to be in the market for a running back, having a couple other young SEC alums in their backfield: Zac Stacy (Vanderbilt) and Tre Mason (Auburn.)
But when offensive linemen went early, Snead and Fisher decided that Gurley, the second-leading rusher in Georgia school history, was too good not to take. The G.M. and coach used similar words to describe Gurley.
"We felt he was a unique talent that only comes around once in awhile," Snead said at a press conference Thursday night. "We thought he may have fallen and gone earlier if he hadn't had the injury, so it was a bonus that he was sitting there."
"This was an opportunity we could not pass up," Fisher said. "This is one of those players at the position who really only comes around once in a great while."
Fisher also called Gurley "the complete back." The coach listed the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Gurley has having athletic ability, strength, explosion, instincts, and great hands out of the backfield.
The one issue is Gurley's health. He tore his ACL last November, and it sounds like a longshot for him to be ready for the season opener. Fisher said they didn't know when he would be on the field "competitively." But when that would be they did not want to guess.
Nor do the Rams want to rush him to the field.
"This is the running back of our future," Fisher said. "It makes no sense to ... put him in a bad situation sooner than we have to."