The draft is two days away, and there’s growing talk in league circles that the Rams would be willing to trade out of the No. 1 overall selection for a package far less than the outdated draft trade chart would require.
The thinking is that, if the Rams stay put, they’d feel compelled to take quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 1 overall pick. But there’s a concern that Bradford, who hasn’t played much football since 2008, will end up on the bench for most if not all of 2010, while A.J. Feeley or Keith Null or someone else takes the snaps. (Then there’s the whole “exploding shoulder” thing and the whole “spread offense” thing, which Bradford tried unconvincingly to explain away during a Monday interview on Jim Rome Is Burning.)
Some believe that the Rams, who have won six games in three years, would prefer to pick a player who can step right in and play — and if they can acquire more picks or, perhaps even better, extra players who can immediately contribute, it would be a bonus.
Then there’s the value that comes from stepping away from having to fork over the record contract that the first overall pick will receive, especially if it’s a quarterback.
So who would trade up? The primary candidates are the Redskins (No. 4), the Browns (No. 7), and possibly the Seahawks (No. 6).
And for those of you who think that the Redskins wouldn’t pick a quarterback in round one, the one quarterback they’d potentially pick is Bradford, whom offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan would begin to develop behind the scenes, potentially with the idea of coach Mike Shanahan engineering a torch-passing to Kyle after two or three seasons with Donovan McNabb at the helm.
For the Rams, the biggest question is whether they’d be willing to take the heat for taking a package that would pale in comparison to the deals done in past years at the top of round one. Given that the Rams have suffered through far greater indignities of late relating to and arising from on-field performance (or lack thereof), they should be thrilled to be criticized for making a move that potentially will improve their current circumstances significantly.