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After trading down, Rams may target Morris Claiborne

Morris Claiborne AP

The Rams are all but certain to trade out of the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft and receive extra selections from some team that wants Robert Griffin III. But after they make their trade, who will they pick?

It may be LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Claiborne very much figures into the Rams’ draft discussions and could be the man they’re hoping to take after they trade out of the second pick.

It’s easy to see why the Rams would want to add a player like Claiborne, who entered the Combine widely regarded as the top cornerback in the draft, and had a good enough showing not to change that. Among the Rams’ cornerbacks last season, Al Harris is retiring, Justin King could leave via free agency, and Ron Bartell, Bradley Fletcher and Jerome Murphy all suffered season-ending injuries in 2011. Cornerback is a position the Rams would like to upgrade.

The problem, of course, is that the Rams have no way of knowing that Claiborne will still be available after they trade down. If they were to trade with the Browns at No. 4 it’s likely that Claiborne would be there, but any further down than that and it’s entirely possible that Claiborne would be off the board.

The reality is that in February, any projection of how the draft is going to play out is little more than guesswork. But if you want to take a guess about what kind of player the Rams would like to get after they trade out of the second pick, Claiborne isn’t a bad bet.

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53 Responses to “After trading down, Rams may target Morris Claiborne”
  1. lbcoach34 says: Feb 29, 2012 8:33 AM

    if they can’t complete a deal with CLE – that might as well trade way back – because i believe Claiborne will be off the board at #5 to Tampa Bay (who recently hired the LSU secondary coach).

  2. ud1hens says: Feb 29, 2012 8:34 AM

    That will finally give Bradford a true #1 WR to throw to…oh wait

  3. waltdawg says: Feb 29, 2012 8:35 AM

    He will be there at 6…Just swap with the SKINS and make it happen…We will also throw in Albert Haynesworth’s book of insults that he left in his locker.

  4. tashkalucy says: Feb 29, 2012 8:35 AM

    The speculation by both the St. Louis and Cleveland media is ridiculous.

    Are they going to keep this up every day for the next 2 months?

    I’d suspect a lot of possibilities are going to be discussed between now and then, and most of them will have no chance of happening.

  5. vikefan says: Feb 29, 2012 8:40 AM

    they should demand way too much for a trade deal & just take him @ #2, vikings take a first, second, & fourth to trade 2-3 spots down.

  6. sj39 says: Feb 29, 2012 8:43 AM

    I guess we have to have something to talk about but let’s face it, until free agency is over speculating on what team may take who in the draft is kind of moot.

  7. macbull says: Feb 29, 2012 8:47 AM

    I have read nothing sourced to the Browns that indicates they are looking to give away multiple 1st round picks and maybe their #37, just for the right to draft #2.

    There have been a lot of IFs and UNNAMED sources from a writer who claims he has sources…but he can’t name those sources.

    I have never seen this much hype over a player who thrived in a conference that played the worst pass defense of any NCAA conference in 2011.

    Claiborne has a better chance of being a Cleveland Brown than he does a Ram, imo!

  8. dasboat says: Feb 29, 2012 8:49 AM

    Claiborne will not make it past the Bucs at #5. Or at least he’d better not…

  9. hendawg21 says: Feb 29, 2012 8:55 AM

    So they make the deal with Cleveland and pick and the 4th spot hoping to Claiborne only to have some team trade up with Minnesota @ 3 and take him…yes Washington could do this after being dissed by St. Louis they make the deal with Minnesota to steal Claiborne from the Rams and Tampa and it’s not a bad move as Corner is a position of need and you’re getting the top corner in the draft…or if they are looking to get Blackmon at 4 he also could be ripped right from under their nose…

  10. clayton43 says: Feb 29, 2012 8:58 AM

    What a great situation for the Rams fan base and how luck for Fisher to come to a new team and be able to build it with alot of draft and your franchise QB already in place and a weak division to boot… I dont care for Fisher as coach, I feel is overrated with a 54 percent winning percentage and a playoff record of 5-6. I am not saying a bad coach, just overrated as far as the talking heads..he was with one team for 17 years and had control of drafts and such…not alot to show for being the head guy in an organization for that long IMO.

    49ers are good, but I think benifited from a bad division and a 3rd place schedule and will be harder for them to repeat that same great season again. I think the Rams will have an opportunity withing 2 years to take division on a yearly basis with so many draft picks they will get and early ones to boot !!

  11. zn0rseman says: Feb 29, 2012 9:02 AM

    Week 16 2011…

    The most costly win in Vikings franchise history.

  12. Dixon's Dawgpound says: Feb 29, 2012 9:02 AM

    IMO, the Browns aren’t going to cough up # 4, 22, and 37 to move up 2 spots. I see them taking Claiborne @ 4 , Kendall Wright at 22 and Mike Adams at 37. I believe Justin Blackmon will slip some and be available at 6.

  13. unkrautsalat says: Feb 29, 2012 9:05 AM

    If they don’t get Kalil or Blackmon, it’s official: the Rams truly hate Sam Bradford.

  14. kd727 says: Feb 29, 2012 9:06 AM

    If the Rams want to trade back AND want to take Claiborne the only team they can trade with is Cleveland. Claiborne won’t make it past Tampa at 5.

  15. peytonsneck18 says: Feb 29, 2012 9:08 AM

    RG3 is not worth all those draft picks. Some GM will lose his job if he mortgage a teams future by giving up a load of picks over him. Buyers beware!

  16. sportsmeccabi says: Feb 29, 2012 9:11 AM

    Cleveland should just have to give up their two first round picks and their third and fifth picks. That is more than a fair deal.

  17. tashkalucy says: Feb 29, 2012 9:20 AM

    1. The Browns are in the drivers seat.

    1a. The Rams will get one of the top 2 choices on their board (at #4) if they trade with the Browns.

    1b. A #1 pick in next years draft is an unknown. It can be in the top 10, or it can be in the lower half of the first round.

    Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert have been around the block. I believe they want Griffin and are willing to give up a fair amount to get him. But they are not Lynn and the Vikings overpaying the Cowboys for Hershal Walker. If the bidding gets insane, then I’d expect the Browns will go after 2 other QB candidates – Flynn and Kolb – both versed in the West Coast Offense.

    As for these Redskin rumors of multiple high draft picks for years – the Redskins roster is arguably worse then the Browns. Surely their WR’s are no better. If these people mortgage the future for Griffin, exactly where do they get players to put around him? Sure, Snyder spends money and historically overpays for free agents. But the NFL remains a salary cap league. The Redskins can only overpay so many players. At some point they have to get young, cheap guys in the draft to fill out the roster. With the rumored packages they’re offering, the Redskins are just tying a nose around their neck – they’ll have a flashy QB on a lousy team.

  18. schmitty2 says: Feb 29, 2012 9:32 AM

    The only options the Ram’s should look at if they can’t pick up anyone good in free agency is standing pat at number 2 or trading with Cleveland. If they trade down with the Skins Khalil,Blackmon, and Claiborne will all be gone

  19. lolb23 says: Feb 29, 2012 9:40 AM

    Can Claiborne play LT??

  20. lolb23 says: Feb 29, 2012 9:44 AM

    Tomorrow’s headlines:

    After trading down, Rams may target (insert well known player name here)

  21. juanandonly24 says: Feb 29, 2012 9:44 AM

    Holy crap Rams, can you just get a decent offensive line already? Don’t let Bradford become Carr 2.0.

  22. coonsqualler says: Feb 29, 2012 9:45 AM

    OK!! Cleveland gives Rams 4th overall pick and a 2nd this year and 3rd this year for Bradford. Rams take RGIII and Claiborne at 4(or Blackmon). Browns still get a top wide out at 22 and their QB of future. Rams get what they want plus an upgrade playmaker at QB. Everyone wins!….Just Sayin’….Go Brownies!!!

  23. mychode says: Feb 29, 2012 9:45 AM

    Me thinks the Rams should just give the pick to the skins outright because Fischer and Shanahan are bros.

  24. digitaldonnie says: Feb 29, 2012 9:47 AM

    So let’s say CLE moves to 2, WASH in spite moves to 3. STL still gets a cornerstone LT. Some posters are just dumb

  25. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Feb 29, 2012 9:47 AM

    Forget Claiborne. If I told you you could get Vontae Davis, two #1s, and some mid round picks….is that something you might be interested in?

  26. buffalomafia says: Feb 29, 2012 9:53 AM

    Hello Buffalo needs a QB!

  27. realitypolice says: Feb 29, 2012 9:56 AM

    If I am Sam Bradford, this report makes me crazy.

    Really? You can’t go to 4 and get me either Justin Blackmon or Matt Kalil?

    Yes, seriously, let’s add a CB and go into next season with the same lame WR corps and porous offensive line.

    Oh, that’s right, we hired a defensive minded coach who still believes you can win in the NFL running the ball 40 times a game.

    Can’t wait.

  28. timtheenchanter1 says: Feb 29, 2012 10:01 AM

    And the posturing continues….

    It’s lying season.

  29. bobleblah says: Feb 29, 2012 10:09 AM

    Or they could trade the pick to the Eagles for first-round picks this year and next year PLUS Desean Jackson and Asante Samuel.

  30. 3yardsndust says: Feb 29, 2012 10:11 AM

    “With the rumored packages they’re offering, the Redskins are just tying a nose around their neck..”

    Well said, but the Skins will still stink.

  31. wryly1 says: Feb 29, 2012 10:18 AM

    Lotsa speculation Rams could trade downfor a bunch from Washinton or Miami or some other team drafting further back – but if they wanna get Kalil or Blackmon or Claiborne, they probably can’t drop below Cleveland at #4. Those there is no reason for Browns to give them more than the 800 point draft value differencew between pick 2 and pick 4. If Rams get to greedy they won’t get ANY of the 3 players they most covet.

  32. waltdawg says: Feb 29, 2012 10:19 AM

    Look at all the Browns fans trying to downplay RGIII and stuff…We smell your smoke screen Browns….Sorry, but RG III is ours and don’t worry about us leveraging our furture…We’ll be fine in getting RGIII…

    Funny how some play the posting games like you are actually giving unbiased advice,

    HAIL,

  33. suhisabeast90 says: Feb 29, 2012 10:29 AM

    The Browns will do what they always do……draft a Combine King that turns out to be a joke. The player leaves that Hole and becomes a decient back-up for some other team for the rest of his career. Phil Taylor is the only exceoption…..for now! Sounds like RGIII is perfect for this joke of a franchise.

  34. thehighhat says: Feb 29, 2012 10:46 AM

    “Rams trading pick #2″ is already the most annoying story of the off season.

  35. ron69 says: Feb 29, 2012 10:47 AM

    The deal hasn’t been done because the Browns don’t want to get rid of next years first rounder (who can blame them) could be a top 5 overall, many things can go wrong.
    The Rams better make this deal before free agency starts or there won’t be a deal after all with Manning and Flynn flying around.

  36. buckfigben says: Feb 29, 2012 10:47 AM

    If they want a top 5 player, maybe they shouldn’t trade to the #6 spot. Claiborne won’t last until 6.

  37. tashkalucy says: Feb 29, 2012 10:48 AM

    Thanks to Jeff Fisher’s ties, the Rams have the inside track with Cortland Finnegan.

    Bradford needs some help before he becomes another beaten up QM with no weapons.

    The Rams are going to want Kalil or Blackmon.

  38. brenenostler says: Feb 29, 2012 11:06 AM

    I’ll feel sorry for Rams fans if they don’t draft Justin Blackmon.

  39. mikehttr87 says: Feb 29, 2012 11:10 AM

    tashkalucy says:
    Feb 29, 2012 9:20 AM
    1. The Browns are in the drivers seat.

    1a. The Rams will get one of the top 2 choices on their board (at #4) if they trade with the Browns.

    1b. A #1 pick in next years draft is an unknown. It can be in the top 10, or it can be in the lower half of the first round.

    Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert have been around the block. I believe they want Griffin and are willing to give up a fair amount to get him. But they are not Lynn and the Vikings overpaying the Cowboys for Hershal Walker. If the bidding gets insane, then I’d expect the Browns will go after 2 other QB candidates – Flynn and Kolb – both versed in the West Coast Offense.

    As for these Redskin rumors of multiple high draft picks for years – the Redskins roster is arguably worse then the Browns. Surely their WR’s are no better. If these people mortgage the future for Griffin, exactly where do they get players to put around him? Sure, Snyder spends money and historically overpays for free agents. But the NFL remains a salary cap league. The Redskins can only overpay so many players. At some point they have to get young, cheap guys in the draft to fill out the roster. With the rumored packages they’re offering, the Redskins are just tying a nose around their neck – they’ll have a flashy QB on a lousy team.
    ___________________________________

    I don’t necessarily agree with your comments about the skins. Yes I am a skins fan, and yes I will admit that the browns have the most leverage to get RG3. But to say that the skins roster is arguably worse than the browns is a stretch. The defense is much improved and IMO better than the browns. And while we don’t have a better receiving corps, I wouldn’t say its worse.

    As for the salary cap, the skins have the 4th most cap room in the league. Since Shanahan and Allen came in they purged the books and dead weight contracts on this team. We have much more room to spend in free agency wisely, which I have no doubt Allen will do, wisely. As for filling out the team with younger players, see last years draft. The skins filled the roster with a ton of draft picks from trading down and building depth. Am I saying we have depth like the patriots or packers, hell no. But you can only trade down and stockpile draft picks, drafting a dozen players so many times. The reality is they can’t do what they did last year, otherwise they will be drafting guys they don’t have the room to keep. This is one year where they do have the option to trade up and put that franchise quarterback in place.

    Hell look what Cam Newton did last year. I wouldn’t say he walked into an offense loaded with weapons, other than Steve Smith. He still put together a high octane offense for the majority of the year.

    All I am saying is, regardless if he goes to Cleveland or Washington, RG3 is the type of talent that’s going to make an impact.

  40. snowpea84 says: Feb 29, 2012 11:20 AM

    They should go LT. Yes, you heard me. they should use their pick to get Ladanaian Tomlinson.

  41. digitaldonnie says: Feb 29, 2012 11:33 AM

    Suhisbeast….really? A lions fan talking about drafting combine kings? You finally have a good year and you think your franchise isn’t trash? Need I remind you of the 23 WR’s the Lions took in the top ten? Talk to us when the Lions have more than one good year.

  42. celly84 says: Feb 29, 2012 11:44 AM

    since everyone is adding their (somewhat irrelevant and Madden based) opinion, I guess I’ll add mine:

    I’m thinking that the Rams might just be trying to covet a boatload of picks over the next couple years (a la NE). Could it be that since he KNOWS that my beloved Bucs WILL draft Claiborne @5, the only way they can possibly trade down and pick up some more picks in this draft and the next is to allow everyone to believe that they will take the player that the team at 5 is going to take.

    But I guess that just makes too much sense.

    I really feel bad for the Rams fans that are going to have to suffer through Bradford getting planted on his back and running for life over and over again this season because of a porous offensive line. smh.

  43. weneedlinemen42 says: Feb 29, 2012 11:48 AM

    That has all the halmarks of a story made up by the journalist.

    Even if it does actually come from an insider source it sounds more like a

    ” Hey, Cleveland we don’t mind dropping down to 6 in the draft, you’ll have to improve your trade offer or we might give Blackmon a miss and trade with Washington instead.”

    It’s very hard to believe that anyone who is genuinely on the inside of the organisation would be keen to disclose which players their organisation is most interested in.

  44. oldbyrd says: Feb 29, 2012 11:57 AM

    If the Rams truly want to help Sam Bradford, they should make a deal for D. Jackson of the Eagles. Before you all laugh, remember Jackson takes 2 with him on every play. This opens it up for Bradford. Also he is a threat on every play. They wouldn’t have to use their 1st rd pick either. Now go out and create a off. Line to protect Sam. Watch what happens then.

  45. clayton43 says: Feb 29, 2012 12:21 PM

    If i was Cleveland….and it is estimated as of right now without any current signings….they have roughly somewhere between 20- 30 million in free cap space ( actual numbers havnt come out yet so is speculative)…I would draft RG 3 and give the Rams the next three first rounders or whatever they want beccause the cap will be going up in 2 -3 years an additional 20- 25 million. I know it seems like would be mortgaging alot but if he is your guy… you can build around him immidiatly with free agents this year and still have guys to draft with picks in the 2nd 3rd round on down ect ect for 3 years.. the picks will sttill be high in those rounds….

    I only say this because of 2 reasons…..

    1) he would immediately create excitement and generate revenue with ticket sales, jerseys, .. general buzz…

    2) as a Steelers fan and a football fan in general..Colt McCoy I dont think is the answer long term as far as taking them to a Superbowl. He would be/ will be a mediocre QB and I think RG3 would be a major upgrade and lets be honest…the Browns havnt been very relevant for awhile and are normally at the bottom of the division. I think with RG3 and some free agents around him plus with some good players already there…you can build a competitive team that can contend for division year in and out… You already know the Steelers and Ravens are going to be there and the Bengals are getting better so the Browns need to sh*t or get off the pot or else is going to stay at the bottom.

    I am not dissing McCoy or any of the Browns players…just saying the Giants gave up alot for Manning and it worked out for them although it took a couple of years. I think Rg3 would make more of an immediate impact and make the Browns competitive faster in a divison that will have 3 good teams for awhile and the Browns need to get up there as well or keep hanging at the bottom… Since a Steelers fan.. I dont really want the Brownies to get RG3 for that reason… Good Luck !!

  46. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Feb 29, 2012 12:33 PM

    Or they could trade the pick to the Eagles for first-round picks this year and next year PLUS Desean Jackson and Asante Samuel.
    —————————

    Don’t you have Michael Vick?

  47. lombardihero says: Feb 29, 2012 12:36 PM

    Any team that sells the farm for one player that had the type of record that landed them in the position to offer a deal to the Rams is going to pay for it. Not only in the draft but on the playing field as well.

    The teams bidding for RG3 service are teams that had bad records not just because they had bad QB’s.. Some need much more and even solid depth in case a player goes down.

    You can’t replace that many positions with free agency due to the cap and the cost of bringing in that many Vets.

    This draft has to much value to sell the farm I think teams would be better off just to stay put and continue to build.

    The Rams are smart by taking advantage of a situation that does not come along all that often the team that takes the bait and are on the hook will be fighting to build around that lone pick for some time to come.

  48. ernie ernie says: Feb 29, 2012 12:50 PM

    fool me twice shame on…………..
    This is a joke. And a smart one. Make someone think your zeroing in on someone so your competition moves up -giving away draft picks, takes that person to ruin you day and in reality it wasn’t the guy you were going for in the first place.

    The Rams need speedy receivers for Bradford plain and simple. There not passing on Blackmon at 4.

  49. matthewcarlson1 says: Feb 29, 2012 1:01 PM

    I know it’s considered “bad” to tank games.. but if you’re not gonna make the playoffs why try to win any more? The Vikings screwed up by winning more than 1 game. I spent an entire season cheering against my favorite team because it was for the best in the future.

  50. young2rice says: Feb 29, 2012 1:29 PM

    Trading back two spots to get a couple extra quality draft picks, and have the option to get Kalil, Blackmon, or Claiborne (2 of the 3 are almost certain to be available)… Tough life

  51. atrophiedambitions says: Feb 29, 2012 1:53 PM

    It seems weird that the Rams would just write-off taking Justin Blackmon with that pick.

    The problem with trading down is if they go lower than the 5th overall pick, there is a very low probability of Blackmon still being on the board. If you look at the draft order, that eliminates a few of the teams that are truly desperate for a QB (Washington, Miami, Seattle). Those are the teams that would give them the chart-value-plus-sweetener type of trade. The Browns, if they’re smart, won’t offer more than chart-value to the Rams knowing that McCoy is serviceable. I just don’t see the Browns selling 3 picks in the top 37 for 1 guy, no matter who he is. They have far too many holes for that. Plus, if they don’t trade and the Rams want Blackmon badly, there’s a chance RGIII falls to them anyway after the Vikings take Kalil.

    If they want to get that super-duper-deal, they’ve gotta sacrifice Blackmon to do it. And there is a long drop-off at WR after that. Guess we’ll see how much they like Blackmon on draft day.

  52. rpiotr01 says: Feb 29, 2012 1:58 PM

    The Rams shouldn’t target ANYONE. That’s how you get in trouble. They need help EVERYWHERE except QB and RB, so trade as far down as you’re comfortable with, get as many quality picks as you can and go for it. Acquire as many quality players as possible, every spot on the depth chart matters.

  53. tbbucs1638 says: Mar 1, 2012 4:14 AM

    First off claiborne will be gone at 5 bc the bucs will take him not knowing if barber will retire or not and will talib going to court this month, and you guys must not know wat teams have to give up to move up, its always a first rd for ghat draft and a first rounder the year after

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