Many teams with the first overall pick in the NFL draft decide on their choice well in advance, and some sign the top pick to a contract before draft day. But the St. Louis Rams’ decision on the first overall pick in this year’s draft will apparently go right down to the wire.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the favorite to be selected first, but the Rams won’t decide for sure until they conduct a private workout with Bradford on Monday, April 19, three days before the first round.
That’s a sharp contrast from the time frame that other teams have used in determining the first overall pick. In 2008 the Miami Dolphins formally introduced Jake Long as their first overall pick four days before the draft. In 2009 everyone knew for months that the Lions would pick Matthew Stafford first overall, and he agreed to a contract the day before the draft.
Mortensen reports that the Rams are “very likely” to select Bradford, but they’re not going to decide for sure until that draft-week workout. Mortensen also says the Rams don’t need to be “wowed” by Bradford’s performance at his Pro Day because they know it will be his most strenuous throwing session since having shoulder surgery last year.
But they do hope to be wowed when they see Bradford three weeks later. And if they’re not, it’s still possible that they could pass on him — in which case the Redskins, who have the fourth pick and have scheduled a private workout with Bradford on April 15, may be next in line.