Will Rams move up, down, or stand pat in draft? ..
BY ROGER HENSLEY
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:08 pm
QUESTION: What do you think the Rams will do in this year’s draft now that they’ve traded down to No. 6 and picked up additional picks? Will they package some of those picks to trade up and grab WR Justin Blackmon, will they cross their fingers and hope that Blackmon drops to them at No. 6 or just take the best available player at that spot, or, do you think it’s possible that they’ll trade down even farther in an attempt to collect as many draft picks as possible as they look to restock this roster?
If they value WR Justin Blackmon, OT Matt Kalil, CB Morris Claiborne, and RB Trent Richardson as much as seemingly everyone else does, they should hold their ground. Just stay at No. 6 and take whoever is left in that group.
Experts seem to agree that there are six elite players at the top of this draft. The No. 6 slot might lose some value to the Rams if cornerback Morris Claiborne or running back Trent Richardson fell to that spot after Blackmon and Matt Kalil. The Rams already have veterans in the lead RB and CB roles, so that might prompt the front office to trade down out of the pick for additional assets. Or the Rams could move up IF the football staff falls in love with Blackmon. How the staff assesses these high-end prospects during the weeks ahead should help Jeff Fisher and Les Snead chart their course.
If wide receiver was the Rams’ only need, or most obvious need, and if they totally struck out during free agency, then trading up in the draft to get Blackmon would make sense, if they thought Blackmon was All That as a wide receiver. That’s a lot of ifs.
However, free agency has a way to go. After the free agency dust settles, the Rams and everyone else will reassess their needs for the draft. Then, the Rams can come up with a plan to maximize value in the draft and the best trade partners.
I asked Jeff Fisher today if the free-agent miss (on wide receivers) means the Rams are more inclined to grab Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Fisher said the Rams have been doing their work on Blackmon, and called Blackmon an impressive prospect. But Fisher downplayed the Rams’ interest, which is understandable. No one knows if Blackmon will fall to the Rams’ spot at No. 6 overall. And if the Rams are inclined to trade up to get Blackmon, it would be silly for Fisher to drive up the price in advance by raving about Blackmon in media interviews.