In 2012, the Rams grifted Washington for the second overall pick in the draft. Or so the Rams thought.
Yes, the then-St. Louis franchise swapped the No. 2 overall pick for the sixth overall selection, two more first-round picks, and a second-round pick. And, yes, the Rams trolled their trade partners by declaring that they intend to dominate with Washington picks.
That definitely didn’t happen in 2014, when with the final pick acquired in the trade that allowed Washington to draft Robert Griffin III the Rams selected tackle Greg Robinson. Despite the contemporaneous perfunctory proclamations that, like every other first-round pick, Robinson would great, some league insiders were skeptical. The thinking was that Robinson entered the league as a bust waiting to happen, due in part to the fundamental differences between the incredibly simple offense and blocking schemes at Auburn and the far more complicated assignments at the next level.
While Robinson started in 42 of 46 games, he didn’t do enough to stick with the Rams. In May, they opted to pass on his fifth-year option. In June, they unloaded him onto the Lions for a sixth-round pick.
“Since we drafted Greg, he has been committed to our organization, his teammates and community outreach,” Rams G.M. Les Snead said in the press release announcing the move. “We appreciate his dedication and the effort he’s put forth over the past three seasons. We wish him the best as he embarks on this new chapter.”
On one hand, it’s good that the Rams were willing to admit their mistake — and able to salvage a pick and avoid paying his 2017 guaranteed salary. On the other hand, they had an opportunity three years ago to parlay a pair of first-round picks into the nucleus of a team that could have taken L.A. by storm.
More specifically, with their other first-round pick that year, the Rams took Aaron Donald. But they also could have had Khalil Mack, Mike Evans, or Odell Beckham Jr.