Rams sign former Auburn LB Darren Bates as UDFA
"It was pretty much the longest night ever," Daren Bates said of the wait the ensued going undrafted in all seven-rounds of the 2013 NFL draft that ended on Saturday. "But eventually it came through, and the Rams, I got that contract with them."
Nearing the four-day audition that is scheduled to begin May 9 through May 12, Daren Bates had nothing more to count on except the opportunity of trying out for the St. Louis Rams. And the thought of having to beat out the entire draft class and a couple of other priority free agents, competing for a training roster spot as well, had been building its pressure on Daren Bates. The former Auburn linebacker is trying to move back to his natural position of safety this season in the NFL.
"It takes a lot of stress off," said Daren Bates. "Now that they've given me a contract, I can do anything, so I can just go out there and relax and play football."
The St. Louis Rams had been slightly depleted at safety after 2012 starter Craig Dahl signed with the San Francisco 49ers and the Rams ha to release veteran Quintin Mikell this offseason. Going into the 2013 season, the St. Louis Rams have only three players returning at the safety position.
The St. Louis Rams partly addressed those need through the draft by selecting USC free safety T.J. McDonalds in the third round and later adding Texas Tech safety Cody Davis to the mix as an undrafted free agent.
"All it takes is just one team to fall in love, or just to see that I can bring a spark to the team," said Daren Bates. "It's definitely easier to go this route, to be able to sign on with the team that needed my help."
The 5-foot-11 Memphis, Tenn., native Daren Bates drew some interest from NFL teams when he ran an unofficial 4.53-second 40 time at Auburn’s Pro Day.
Last season, Daren Bates led Auburn in tackles (94), including 5 1/2 for loss with two sacks, an interception as well as two fumble recoveries including a return touchdown.
Daren Bates will now join former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, after he signed as an undrafted free with the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.