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Thread: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

  1. #1
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    How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    How far is too far for trade down by Rams?

    April, 6, 2014
    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    One of the few draft-related topics the St. Louis Rams have been openly willing to discuss in the run-up to May's NFL draft has been their willingness to trade the No. 2 overall selection.

    That pick is the final piece of the haul the team received from the Washington Redskins in 2012, and the Rams would undoubtedly like that deal to continue perpetuating itself as long as possible.

    But the Rams also need to add some difference makers if they want to keep up in the arms race that is the NFC West. So while a trade down would allow them to add more good players with later picks, it also could prevent them from getting an elite talent if they move down too far.

    Which begs the question, if the Rams do find a trade partner, how far can they move while still maintaining the chance at a top talent?

    Of course, the quality and rankings of the talent is purely in the eye of the beholder so while one team may see five players separated from the group, another team might see seven, including some that aren't in the other team's top five.

    In the 2014 draft, there does seem to be at least a little bit of a consensus forming on who the top players are, though there's room for differences of opinion behind South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is widely regarded as the No. 1 overall player.

    According to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., if the Rams want to walk out of the first night of the draft with an elite talent, they'll need to ensure that any move down still garners one of seven players. Those seven players are Clowney, Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews, Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans and Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan.

    "Thatís your super seven," Kiper said. "After that, I donít see anybody that belongs in that group right now. I donít think any of the quarterbacks do and I donít see any other players jumped up that far. So thatís your sensational seven, if you want to say that. Then youíre getting into the range where the eighth guy could be the 18th guy on some boards. To me, the seven are the consensus seven."

    Now, just because those are Kiper's seven players doesn't mean the Rams view it that way. There could be more, there could be less. But given their apparent willingness to move down, it's reasonable to conclude that they have a number of players they view as worthy of taking in the top 10 or so of the draft. They've showed at least some level of interest in all seven of the players Kiper mentions.

    Beyond that, the Rams have made it clear they have no intention of taking a quarterback in the first round. Which is what makes how other teams view the top quarterbacks the overriding X factor in trying to assess how far the Rams could comfortably trade down to secure one of the top talents.

    It'd be easy to say there are seven players you covet and follow with the logic that you can't move any lower than No. 7 to get one. But quarterbacks perpetually complicate projecting the draft. No other position gets over drafted more as teams desperately seek franchise signal-callers at the expense of someone who might be a more sure thing at a less important position.

    Of teams picking in the top 10, Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Minnesota and possibly Tampa Bay could use help at quarterback. So it's possible the Rams could move down a little past that seventh spot.

    Still, finding a trade partner, especially if Clowney is off the board, might prove difficult because of that lack of excitement about this year's quarterback prospects. And it's not out of line to say that just because the Rams could move down doesn't mean they should. If indeed there's a super seven, the Rams might be better off taking their pick of the litter than rolling the dice on the player at the bottom of that group.


  2. #2
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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    I'll take it a step further than Kiper. I think there is a Fab Five in this class: Clowney, Mack, Matthews, Robinson, Watkins. I like Evans and Lewan, and I think they're deserving of Top 10 selections, but to me, they're on a slightly lower second tier than the previously mentioned five.

    I've been vocal about preferring either of the two tackles with the Rams' first pick in this draft, and I maintain that position. Having said that, I think it would be a shame to have the second pick in this class and not come away with one of those top five prospects. For as much as I fear the risk in Clowney or don't see a great personnel match with Mack, they are two incredible prospects. The same goes for Watkins, who some have compared to AJ Green as a prospect.

    The Rams have the opportunity to take one of these five studs. We all have our preferences, and individually, would be more excited about some than others. But if the Rams end up trading down and ultimately lose out on the chance to draft any of these five, I think that will be rather disappointing. Trading down to get more players is fine, but an elite talent is a pretty darn good thing, too.

    For that reason, I'd be hesitant to trade down below the fifth or sixth pick. I could easily envision a scenario where no QBs go in the Top 5-8 picks, and I don't want to see the Rams left without a dance partner from the elite group of players.
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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I'll take it a step further than Kiper. I think there is a Fab Five in this class: Clowney, Mack, Matthews, Robinson, Watkins. I like Evans and Lewan, and I think they're deserving of Top 10 selections, but to me, they're on a slightly lower second tier than the previously mentioned five.
    I agree with you completely here - especially with Lewan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I could easily envision a scenario where no QBs go in the Top 5-8 picks, and I don't want to see the Rams left without a dance partner from the elite group of players.
    Bingo! There lies the clincher ..

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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    Yes, last two years the Rams needed quantity to turn over the roster. Now it is time for quality. Eventually, the best teams have SOME elite players. Except for Quinn, I don't see the Rams with much elite talent now.

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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    Five or six is the lowest I'd like to go. There will be one QB taken in the top 5 just don't see it not happening. When was the last time a draft went that way? A QB not going in the top 5 that is. With Robinson being the trendy OL pick if one is taken in front of us that leaves Matthews who is my preference there.
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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    Well I have a different mind set, kinda...
    If some team comes calling with a boat load of picks ala what the Skins offered us for the RG dah 3rd pick, then yeah we would have to take that even if it meant dropping way down in the first round we would still have 2 first rounders and I really like allot of the players in this draft not just the top 5 non QB guys. It only would sweeten our chances of hitting on a great player, remember this even at the top of the draft some guys just fail to develope or go down with horrifying injuries. I agree with you all about these top 5 guys they are amazing all of them and I will be happy if the Rams select one and we stay at our pics. Butt we are still the youngest team in the NFL and have much growth yet ahead of us before we really make a run with a experianced core. Therefore I really would love to pic up another couple 2nd round pics in this deep draft.

    Allways happy to deliver the alternate view mates... lol

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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    In the top 10, the only teams I can see that definitely wouldn't pick a QB are the Falcons at 6 and the Lions at 10. The Raiders might go with their short term fix in Schaub, but evidently don't have much confidence in the starters last year, and its hard to see them say 'we are good with Schaub for the next 5 years.'

    I'd be surprised if no other team reached for a QB in the top 10. My guess is probably 2 of the QBs will go in the top 8.

    Given that, I'd be OK with us trading down as far as 7 or 8 - still good chance to get a truly elite player (if you can believe the current draftniks) at that level. Of course, the Rams have their own grades.

    My evaluation is we need: FS, OG, OT, OLB. Considering FS and OG don't have high values, we could get very good players there without investing top 10 picks. I know lots of people think we need a true #1 WR, but this is evidently the deepest WR draft in many, many years.

    Truthfully, the only guys I'd think are no brainers to spend a top 8 pick on are the two OTs. Otherwise we don't have needs and the rookie might not even start. And we do have some big needs at several important positions.

    I think otherwise if we can trade down (and that might be hard this year) there's a lot more value in doing so. The analysis on Watkins bothers me a bit - I've rarely if ever seen a guy with so many short screens on his resume. Tons of talent of course, but I think he'll take a bit of time to develop his route running. I think there's several other WRs that might actually be more ready to step on the field and contribute.
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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    There will be one QB taken in the top 5 just don't see it not happening. When was the last time a draft went that way? A QB not going in the top 5 that is.
    Well.......there's last year. There's 2000, 1997, 1996, 1992, 1991, 1988, 1985, 1984, 1981, 1980, etc.
    Last edited by HUbison; -04-07-2014 at 10:14 AM.
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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    So once in the last 14 years. Four times in the previous decade. So in the modern QB pass heavy era it's happened twice. I still feel comfortable saying a QB will be taken in the top 5. If you look at those years the QB's aren't taken in the top five it's more an indication of the quality of QB's taken rather than teams not needing QB's. One of those years you listed the first QB taken was Tony Banks.

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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    So once in the last 14 years. Four times in the previous decade. So in the modern QB pass heavy era it's happened twice. I still feel comfortable saying a QB will be taken in the top 5. If you look at those years the QB's aren't taken in the top five it's more an indication of the quality of QB's taken rather than teams not needing QB's. One of those years you listed the first QB taken was Tony Banks.
    I was just answering the question, mikey. I think Bortles most likely goes in the top 5, but the fact remains, that scenario played out just last year. I don't know that this set of QB prospects is any better than last year's.
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    Re: How Far Is Too Far For Trade Down By Rams?

    Wow, good comments above.

    One thing I would throw in there too is, let's not forget the viability of the Rams trading the 13th pick instead of the #2. As always, it's about the trade partner and what they got on the table. Rams could potentially get that elite talent and still be in a position to acquire additional (high) picks this year and/or next.

    And for teams desperate for qb help but don't want to snatch one up in the top ten... can you see Bortles or Blake or Manziel getting drafted in the teens of the 1st round? That just sounds right... I can envision Rams getting a solid deal there, thus extending the RGIII trade even further.
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