The Rams currently hold the No. 1 pick in the draft, becoming the first team to trade up to the top of the stack since the Falcons made the move 15 years ago to get Mike Vick. The Rams say they haven’t decided who they plan to select, but the signs are pointing squarely at the two top quarterbacks: Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.
There are conflicting reports regarding the team’s plans, and diverging opinions as to which guy should be the pick. So if/when the Rams settle on one of the two, the Rams could engineer a way to get the guy they want without using the first overall pick and, in turn, getting back some picks in the process.
If, for example, the Rams decide they want Wentz but another team in striking distance to the top of the draft decides it wants Goff, that team, the Rams, and the Browns (who hold the No. 2 pick) could do a three-way deal that puts the Rams at No. 2, the Browns later in round one, and the third team at No. 1.
A potentially more viable deal could happen if the Rams decide they want Goff, since this would open the door for the Eagles (who reportedly covet Wentz and who reportedly were talking to the Titans about a move to No. 1) to engineer a deal that would allow them to take Wentz at No. 1, the Rams to take Goff at No. 2, and the Browns to stockpile more of the much-needed scratch-off lottery tickets that may or may not become quality NFL players.
Although it currently seems that the Rams are hiding their intentions due more to showmanship than strategy, the possibility (slim as it may be) of getting their man and getting some picks back becomes the best reason for keeping a close lid on what they plan to do.
To close a three-way trade that would let the Rams move down to No. 2 and secure their preferred option at quarterback, the Rams will have to continue to create the perception that they could take either guy — and that they’d genuinely be happy with either guy. If they ever let it be clearly known that they want Wentz or Goff, a team who wants the other guy would simply do a deal directly with Cleveland at No. 2.
So the sales pitch would go something like this: “We love either guy. If you definitely want one of the two, there’s only one way to make it happen. Trade up to No. 1.” If there’s a team sufficiently desperate to get a franchise quarterback and sufficiently convinced that one guy is better than the other, the Rams just might pull it off.