Rams Trade For #1 Pick, Shake Up 2016 NFL Draft
The Rams made quite the splash when they moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles. They made another reverse splash when they opted not to address the quarterback position in free agency. It appears they had a plan, all along.
Splash number three arrived in a big way on Thursday morning, when news broke that the Rams and Tennessee Titans agreed on a blockbuster trade that netted L.A. the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
- 2016 #1
- 2016 #113
- 2016 #177
- 2016 #15
- 2016 #43
- 2016 #45
- 2016 #76
- 2017 (Rams 1st rounder)
- 2017 (Rams 3rd rounder)
The Titans win big in this trade at first glance, and for two very good reasons. For one they got two first round picks (six picks total) in return for the top pick in this year’s draft, but the big kicker was they didn’t want to have the pick in the first place.
Number one draft picks are generally reserved for franchises that require an answer at quarterback, and with the Titans figuring that out with Marcus Mariota via the top pick last year, keeping the top pick didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Tennessee was reportedly mildly interested in the likes of Joey Bosa, Laremy Tunsil and Jalen Ramsey, but none were full-fledged #1 pick prospects or lacked question marks. Quarterbacks – namely Carson Wentz and Jared Goff – was the only spot that screamed “top pick”, and the Titans seemed ready to trade down the moment an amazing deal came their way.
The move does drop the Titans all the way down to the #15 spot in this year’s draft as far as the first round goes, but they also snagged four picks overall in the top-76 picks, as well as a first and third round draft choice from L.A. from the 2017 draft.
The plummet from the top spot to 15 probably takes the top prospects the Titans were looking at off the table, but the value didn’t make sense for them with the #1 pick. Because of that, this ends up being a huge (and successful) haul for a team that is rebuilding and needs all the picks it can get.
Rams Eye QB
Los Angeles has not had a stable quarterback on a regular basis since the days of Kurt Warner, so it’s high time they make a big move that nets them a competent passer that has franchise appeal.
Either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff will do, as both have the size and arm strength that NFL teams look for. Goff fared well against stiffer competition and is arguably a little more polished, but Wentz is easily the better athlete who brings more upside to the table with his skill-set.
It remains to be determined exactly which quarterback the Rams prefer, and so far the reports have been mixed. SI.com’s Peter King stated that the Rams have not decided who they’re taking yet, and the door remains open to both Wentz and Goff.
Just filed a story on the trade @theMMQB. Will link when it’s live.
Rams have not decided with certainty who they will pick at number one.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 14, 2016
Others feel like Wentz is the obvious call, but no matter who you ask, it does appear that they are dead set on taking a quarterback, however.
Rams are taking a QB with No. 1 pick. I believe they’re leaning toward Carson Wentz, but Jared Goff heavily in mix too. This gives them time
— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) April 14, 2016
That only makes sense, as Case Keenum is currently the scheduled starter and the team appears hell bent on parting ways with Nick Foles just one year after acquiring him in a trade with the Eagles.
The other big question is what do the other quarterback-needy teams do from here? The Cleveland Browns pick second overall and just let Johnny Manziel go, and despite signing on Robert Griffin III, are expected to search out a long-term answer under center.
Whether or not they chase that possibility with the second overall pick now may depend on what the Rams do. Cleveland is said to be high on both Wentz and Goff, but if there is one they prefer and he’s off the board, it’s not impossible that they could opt to trade down or address a different position. Cleveland still has great needs on defense and still lacks an impact wide receiver.
Cleveland is the first team up after the Rams, but they’re far from the only team that wants a shot at a top level passer. The Philadelphia Eagles have long been involved in draft trade rumors and even though they have Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel under contract, they very much would like to nab a quarterback of the future.
Other teams potentially thinking about going after a quarterback in round one could include the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
While it remains to be seen how the draft shapes beyond the top pick, one thing is for certain: the Rams trading up was not an expected happening and it absolutely changes everything when it comes to the 2016 NFL Draft.
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