With the speculation all but gone that with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts will select Andrew Luck, quarterback, out of Stanford University. The 2012 NFL Draft looks to have as much drama, or maybe less, surrounding the number one overall pick than in 2002 when the Houston Texans announced they would make David Carr the first pick weeks before the draft. Goodness, Carr was already living in Houston by the time the draft took place.
That’s how the first pick has to play out, right? Well for the purpose of this article we will say so.
So how will things shake out with the No. 2 overall pick? The St. Louis Rams own that pick and the potential bounty that comes with it., They could surely use it to select Matt Kalil, the USC’s projected franchise left tackle, or the field-stretching wideout from Oklahoma State, Justin Blackmon.
However, with only two franchise caliber QBs available in the first round, and so many teams needing that type of talent at the QB position, and the Rams in need of so much more, are in a great position to trade out of that spot. The question is, which struggling franchise wants Robert Griffin III the most and more than Green Bay back up Matt Flynn?
RG3 is a world-class athlete. He was a champion 110 and 300 meter hurdler in high school, coming up .01 seconds short of breaking the national high school record in the 300 meter hurdles. He is the best “dual-threat athlete” QB to enter the draft since Michael Vick.
Griffin has shows better touch than Vick to this point in his career though, completing 72.4 percent of his passes, while throwing 36 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Griffin is highly intelligent, and all signs point to him being a “high character” player who has great intangibles.
His biggest *weakness* is that he played in a pass happy, spread type offense at Baylor. However, now with more and more NFL teams using spread concepts, and the NFL turning into a pass-first league (three QB’s went over 5000 yards passing), this should not scare any team away from trading up to get Griffin.
With St. Louis already having former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford behind center, they find themselves in a great position. According to the ESPN.com Draft Pick Value Chart The No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft is valued at 2600 points. Side note, a pretty cool tool for stat heads.
So what would it cost a team to move up to get RG3? Who has the best & most, trade chips that would intrigue the St. Louis Rams?
WHY THEY FIT:
- Colt McCoy doesn’t appear to be a franchise caliber QB.
- The Browns pick early in the first round (fourth overall)
- The Browns have multiple first round picks (No. 4 and No. 22)
WHAT WILL IT COST: 2012 First Round Pick (No. 4 overall, 1800 points), 2012 First Round Pick (No. 22 overall, 780 points) and a 2012 Fourth Round Pick (No. 100 overall, 100 points).
IMPACT ON THE RAMS: By moving back to the fourth pick, the Rams would be guaranteed to draft either Kalil or Blackmon. With the extra first round pick, they could then address their needs at OLB, DT, or possibly even target Alshon Jeffrey (WR, South Carolina) with that extra first round pick. The extra fourth round pick could be used to add depth to another position of need.
WORTH NOTING: Nobody tips their hand before the draft, but the Browns are in a similar position to the Rams. They need to fill multiple holes in their roster. Team president Mike Holmgren had this to say about trading away his picks:
We’d like to use our picks. But that will not prevent my car salesman friend here from wheeling and dealing during the draft. Anything’s a possibility. But philosophically we need the picks to keep filling in the roster.
WHY THEY FIT:
- They used Rex Grossman as a starting QB in 2011 and had a choice between him and John Beck
- The Redskins pick early in the first round (sixth overall)
- Mike Shanahan in his third year as head coach, needs to win now.
WHAT WILL IT COST: 2012 First Round Pick (No. 6 overall, 1600 points), 2012 Second Round Pick (No. 39 overall, 510 points), a 2012 Fourth Round Pick (No. 102 overall, 92 points), and a 2013 Second Round Pick (450 points, give or take).
IMPACT ON THE RAMS: By moving back to the sixth pick, the Rams are taking a chance that their top two targets, Kalil and Blackmon, will both be gone. There will be good players available with the sixth pick, but do the Rams really want to take a chance on trading quality (best player available, biggest team need) for quantity (more picks)?
By acquiring three picks in the top 40 of the draft, as well as adding a second rounder for next year’s draft, the Rams would be able to fill more holes, but is it worth missing out on Blackmon or Kalil?
WORTH NOTING: The Redskins are aggressively looking at the college QBs. As much as they’d like to sit back and wait for RG3 to fall to them, it isn’t going to happen. I think the Redskins might be the most aggressive team the Rams’ deal with in terms of trying to move up in the draft. Just listen to what Redskins’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had to say:
Everybody’s looking for a franchise quarterback. You want one of those guys that there’s no question about. There’s probably only about five or six of them in the league. Then there are a lot of guys who can play and there are some guys who need to be replaced. You’re always trying to find that one and (we’re) still working to do it.
WHY THEY FIT:
- Matt Moore was their starting QB in 2011
- The Dolphins play in the same division as Tom Brady, so a good QB is a must.
- The Dolphins will have a new head coach, which means he will want his own QB.
WHAT WILL IT COST: 2012 First Round Pick (No. 9 overall, 1350 points), 2012 Second Round Pick (No. 42 overall, 480 points), a 2012 Third Round Pick (No. 73 overall, 225 points), a 2013 Second Round Pick (450 points, give or take), and a 2013 Third Round Pick (200 points, give or take).
IMPACT ON THE RAMS: By moving back to the ninth pick, the Rams are basically passing on the elite prospects that fill their biggest needs. However, by trading this far back, they have now set themselves up with six of the top 100 picks in this year’s draft, as well as picking up two more valuable draft picks for next year’s draft.
With the No. 9 pick, the Rams could target a very good player like Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama), Jonathan Martin (LT, Stanford), Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama), or a receiver like Alshon Jeffrey (WR, South Carolina) or Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame, who would be a reach at No. 9).
WORTH NOTING: The Dolphins don’t have a coach. They will bring in a new QB, and general manager Jeff Ireland is not afraid to wheel and deal.
Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland has shown a willingness to deal picks for players, and vice versa. In 2008, he traded Chris Chambers for the second-rounder that became Chad Henne, and in 2009, he dealt two second-rounders for Brandon Marshall. Last year, he sent Washington third-, fifth- and seventh-round picks for the second-rounder that became Daniel Thomas.
What Should the Rams Do?
While the Rams were the worst team in the NFL for the 2011 season, worse than Indianapolis by year’s end, they were they aren’t as unsound as you might think. Consider this, the Rams had 10 defensive back on IR by season’s end…10.
DEFENSE: They will get their top three corners back next season (Jerome Murphy, Ron Bartell, and Bradley Fletcher). They have two good safeties in Quintin Mickell and Darian Stewart. They have two talented defensive ends, Robert Quinn and Chris Long. James Laurinaitis is a beast at middle linebacker.
OFFENSE: Bradford still has the makings of a very good QB. Steven Jackson is a great runner, and has another very good season or two left in his legs. Lance Kendricks has loads of potential as a young tight end. Danny Amendola and Greg Salas will return from injury and hopefully pick up where they left off at the wide receiver position. The O-line is a work in progress, but Rodger Saffold and Harvey Dahl are two players the Rams can build around.
If the Rams get healthy, they have talented players at key positions. The best thing for the Rams to do is look at trading to whichever team gives them the most picks. As big a difference-maker as Justin Blackmon can be, the Rams would be better off trading back, loading up on picks, and then picking Alshon Jeffrey plus four other players that might help the Rams instead.