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  1. #1
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    Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/14/2009

    Former Rams general manager Charley Armey ran the drafts in St. Louis for nearly a decade before retiring two years ago. It was his belief that no matter how many needs you have, you can’t pass on the chance to take marquee talent high in the draft.

    "The No. 1 cardinal rule for me absolutely, without question, is do not trade out of an impact position," Armey said. "Because there’s only a few impact players. Some years I’ve been in the draft, it was only around six impact players. The year Orlando Pace was in the draft (1997), there was only about six. The year we took Torry Holt (1999), there was about 13."

    As Armey saw it, if you’re trading down, never trade down out of that year’s range of impact players. For example, if it’s a so-called "nine-player draft," with nine players deemed impact players by your scouting department, you should never trade past that No. 9, 10 or 11 spot.

    (As Armey sees it, you can afford to trade one or two spots lower than your impact range, because not every team will have the same group of impact players.)
    In Armey’s experience, trading out of quality to pick up quantity rarely works out.

    "And they could be good players," Armey says, referring to the extra player or two you might get in a trade-down scenario. "But good players make you good; great players make you great."

    Armey and the Rams were involved in one of the biggest trade-down scenarios in recent years when the New York Jets traded out of the No. 1 overall spot with the Rams, who had the No. 6 overall pick that year.

    The Rams moved up for Ohio State left tackle Orlando Pace that year at No. 1 overall.

    "There are certain players you’ve got to have in order to build a football team," Armey said. "You’ve got to have a left tackle; you’ve got to have a quarterback; you’ve got to have a (pass-rushing) defensive end; you’ve got to have a running back; you’ve got to have a wide receiver."

    That year, Pace was Armey’s highest-rated player since quarterback John Elway in 1983.

    "Without question, he was the most dominant player in college football that year, and with all the tools and everything to do that on the next level," Armey said.

    As for the 2009 Rams, who have the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, Armey says:

    "If I’m the Rams, I sit right where I am unless I get a blockbuster deal and it doesn’t involve moving down that many spots. I’m going to sit where I am and I’m taking that tackle."

    * * *

    Here's a look at trade-downs involving teams with top 5 overall picks since the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995:

    2004

    A bit of a fluke, because both teams trading in the top five already had made their selections before executing the trade. The Chargers took quarterback Eli Manning with the No. 1 overall pick, knowing full well Manning didn’t want to play for San Diego. The New York Giants, picking No. 4 overall, selected quarterback Philip Rivers.

    The teams swapped quarterbacks, with the Chargers also getting the Giants’ third-round pick in ’04 and the Giants’ first_ and fifth-rounders in ’05. San Diego used the third-rounder for K Nate Kaeding, and then took DE/LB Shawne Merriman with the first-rounder (No. 12 overall) in ’05. The Chargers used the fifth-rounder in ’05 to trade for veteran offensive tackle Roman Oben.

    BIG ADVANTAGE: San Diego


    2003

    The New York Jets traded up to No. 4 overall with Chicago to take DT Dewayne Robertson, who is no longer with the Jets and currently without a contract. Counting some side trades with other teams using the picks they acquired from the Jets, Chicago got DE Michael Haynes (No. 14 overall in the first round); QB Rex Grossman (No. 22 overall in the first round); and DT Ian Scott (fourth round). Chicago also packaged some Jets picks with some of their original picks to trade up into the fifth round for WR Justin Gage.

    SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: Chicago


    2001

    San Diego traded the No. 1 overall pick to Atlanta, which had the No. 5 overall pick. Atlanta took QB Michael Vick at No. 1 overall. San Diego took RB LaDainian Tomlinson at No. 5 overall. The Chargers also got veteran WR Tim Dwight from Atlanta, as well as a 3rd-rounder in ’01 (DB Tay Cody) and a second-rounder in ’02 (WR Reche Caldwell).

    ADVANTAGE: San Diego


    2000

    San Francisco traded its No. 3 overall pick to Washington. The Redskins moved up for LT Chris Samuels. San Francisco got Washington’s No. 12 and No. 24 overall picks in the first round, plus Washington’s fourth_ and fifth-round picks. The ‘Niners took CB Ahmed Plummer at No. 24 overall; they used Washington’s No. 12 pick to trade back to No. 16 overall with the Jets for LB/DE Julian Peterson. San Fran used a mid second-rounder from the Jets (as part of the trade back) for CB Jason Webster, and then used the fourth_ and fifth-rounders from Washington to trade up into the late third round for DE/LB Jeff Ulbrich.

    SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: San Francisco (Ulbrich is the only player still with the *****.)


    1999

    New Orleans traded its entire ’99 draft class, plus first- and third-rounders in 2000 for Washington’s No. 5 overall pick All to take RB Ricky Williams. Washington used only one of the ‘99 draft picks from New Orleans directly for a draft pick (LB Nate Stinson in the fourth round). The Redskins traded the Saints’ first-rounder (No. 12 overall), plus third_ and fifth-rounders, plus the 2000 third-rounder to Chicago to move back up to No. 7 overall for CB Champ Bailey. They traded the sixth_ and seventh-rounders from New Orleans to Denver to move up to the late fifth round for OT Derek Smith. In the 2000 draft, the Redskins used that Saints first-rounder _ which turned out to be No. 2 overall _ for LB LaVar Arrington.

    (New Orleans didn’t have a second-rounder that year; the Saints already had traded it to St. Louis for WR Eddie Kennison.)

    BIG ADVANTAGE: Washington.


    1998

    San Diego, traded veteran WR Eric Metcalf, veteran LB Patrick Sapp, its first_ and second-round picks in ’98, plus its first-round pick in ’99 to Arizona for the Cardinals’ first round pick. San Diego had the No. 3 overall pick, so the Chargers traded all that to move up one spot to Arizona’s No. 2 overall pick for. . .QB Ryan Leaf, one of the biggest draft busts in modern draft history!

    The Cardinals used San Diego’s picks to take DE Andre Wadsworth at No. 3 overall and DB Corey Chavous in the second round; they used San Diego’s first-round pick in ’99, which turned out to be No. 8 overall, for WR David Boston.

    SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: Arizona (Chavous turned out to be the only player in the group to have any kind of career.)


    1997

    A monster year for top 5 trades. In late March, the top six overall picks looked like this:

    1. Jets, 2.) Saints; 3.) Falcons; 4.) Ravens; 5.) Lions; 6.) Rams.

    By the time Atlanta, Seattle, Oakland, New Orleans, the New York Jets, and St. Louis were done wheeling and dealing, it looked like this:

    1. Rams, 2.) Raiders, 3.) Seahawks, 4. Ravens, 5.Lions, 6.) Seahawks

    * On March 28, Atlanta traded its No. 3 overall pick plus its third-round pick to Seattle for the Seahawks’ first-round (No. 11 overall), second-, third-, and fourth-round picks. Seattle had acquired the No. 11 overall pick from Chicago as part of the Rick Mirer trade on Feb. 19.

    The Seahawks used the No. 3 overall pick (from Atlanta) for CB Shawn Springs. The Seahawks then used their original first-round pick (No. 12 overall) plus the third-rounder from Atlanta to move up to the No. 6 spot with the Jets for LT Walter Jones.

    With the Seahawks picks, the Falcons drafted DB Michael Booker (No. 11 overall), RB Byron Hanspard (second round), TE O.J. Santiago (third round), and LB Henri Corckett (fourth round).

    BIG ADVANTAGE: SEATTLE

    * On April 1, Oakland traded its first_, second_ and fourth-rounders to New Orleans for the Saints’ first_ and sixth-rounders.
    Oakland used the first-rounder (No. 2 overall) for DT Darrell Russell and packaged the Saints’ sixth-rounder with its own fifth_ and seventh-rounders to trade for Miami’s fourth-rounder and take RB Chad Levitt.

    The Saints used Oakland’s first-rounder (No. 10 overall) for OG Chris Naeole, got DE Jared Tomich with the Raiders’ second-rounder, and then used the Raiders’ fourth-rounder to trade with Houston (now Tennessee) for fourth-round WR Keith Poole and seventh-round TE NICK Savoie.

    ADVANTAGE: NEW ORLEANS

    * The Jets traded the No.1 overall pick to St. Louis for the Rams’ 1st-rounder (No. 6 overall), plus the Rams’ third_, fourth_ and seventh-rounders. The Rams used the No. 1 overall pick for LT Orlando Pace.

    In a dizzying series of subsequent trades with Tampa Bay, Denver and Philadelphia, the Jets used those Rams picks to end up with: LB James Farrior (No. 8 overall, first round); WR Dedric Ward (third round); DE Terry Day (fourth round); RB Leon Johnson (fourth round); QB Chuck Clements (sixth round); RB Dustin Johnson (sixth round); DT Jason Ferguson (seventh round); and veteran DT Ronnie Dixon.

    SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: ST. LOUIS (True, the Jets got lots of serviceable players; but the Rams got an anchor at left tackle and potentially, a future Hall of Famer.)


    1995

    Carolina traded the No. 1 overall pick to Cincinnati for the Bengals’ first_ and second-round picks. The Bengals used the Carolina pick to take RB Ki-Jani Carter No. 1 overall. He turned out to be a colossal bust. Carolina took QB Kerry Collins with the Bengals’ first-rounder (No. 5 overall), and took DE Shawn King with the Bengals’ second-round pick.

    SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: CAROLINA (Collins did take the Panthers to the NFC title game in ’96).
    Here's to Big O and Big Game!



  2. #2
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    Who am I to argue with Charley Armey? I think what he says makes sense. Of course this is contingent upon a team correctly identifying and making the right choice of "impact player" in their draft spot. I agree that the Rams should not trade out of this spot unless they are overwhelmed with a great offer that addresses multiple needs- which is unlikely.

  3. #3
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    In Armey’s experience, trading out of quality to pick up quantity rarely works out.

    "And they could be good players," Armey says, referring to the extra player or two you might get in a trade-down scenario. "But good players make you good; great players make you great."
    Oh, I don't know. Pioli seemed to do pretty well with it in New England.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  4. #4
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    Why would we listen to this guy? He wasn't very good at his job

  5. #5
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    so of the ten drafts from '95 to '04, 80% had trades affecting the top 5.
    interesting. lot more trades affecting the top picks than i would have imagined for those years.

    i'm curious why an article written in '09 though, fails to consider the past 4 drafts. i seem to recall trades not being as frequent these past few years... but really don't remember. that makes it difficult to use these 10 drafts as any indication of current trends... but it is interesting.

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    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    Oh i get it. The article says "since the Rams moved to St. Louis." So that means there weren't any! even more interesting!

  7. #7
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    My question is this....How many impact players are there in this years draft?

  8. #8
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    My question is this....How many impact players are there in this years draft?
    Well .. That's the $64,000.00 question, isn't it? Uh .. I'll rephrase that: The $50,000,000.00 question .. That's for our new FO to decide. If they feel there isn't an impact player available at #2 overall, there is a good chance other teams will view things the same way .. In that scenario, who's going to want to trade up? Hopefully at least one the two top OTs will grade out well enough to warrant a #2 overall selection, otherwise ...... Billy and Spags might have to be happy with ham sandwichs.

  9. #9
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    Were you saying that he wasnt very good at his job when he was a key guy in putting together the team that won the super bowl? Did you make that comment when he was the architect of the trades for faulk and aeneas williams? How about when he made the deal for pace, then took wistom and holt in consecutive years? Armey was a very highly respected football guy, not a suit like ziggy and shaw. How about the signing of timmerman etc.

    I wonder what charlie meant when he said "You sit right there and take THAT tackle" I wonder which tackle he meant.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    I find it funny how he says San Diego had the big advantage in the Eli Manning trade even though that trade helped bring the Giants a superbowl and made them one of the dominant teams in the league.

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Armey: 'Don't trade out of impact position'

    Quote Originally Posted by jmk321 View Post
    I find it funny how he says San Diego had the big advantage in the Eli Manning trade even though that trade helped bring the Giants a superbowl and made them one of the dominant teams in the league.
    Eli's a good player but I'd trade him for Rivers AND Merriman. Given the Giants team around them, they'd have rings of their own.

    I even think Rivers might have got the G-men there more quickly as well.

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