Beyond the Bison: The Long Con

Doug Hendry, Senior Writer

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The National Football League (NFL) draft is less than a week away, and there had been a lot of talk about what the Tennessee Titans were going to do with their first overall pick. With Marcus Mariota at the helm, the Titans weren’t going to pick another quarterback, so the pick went on the market.

The Titans’ front office kept saying that they already had a few offers for the pick and that one of them had a lot of firepower. Boy, were they right. The Los Angeles Rams came out of the shadows to take the No. 1  draft choice away from the Titans. 

In the deal, the Titans sent their first overall pick to the Rams, along with their fourth rounder (No. 113) and sixth rounder (No. 177). In return, the Titans received the Rams’ first round pick (No. 15), two second rounders (No. 43 and 45), a third rounder (No. 76), as well as next year’s first rounder and third rounder.

Wow. We all heard the Titans were asking a lot for that top pick, but it seems the Rams sold the farm in order to acquire it. Overall, I think that the Titans easily won this exchange of draft picks, but we can go through the mindset of both teams when making this deal.

The Rams haven’t been able to succeed in the talented National Football Conference (NFC) West in years. They finished 7-9 this season and haven’t had a playoff appearance since 2004, a season in which they were only 8-8. In the midst of this recent trend of mediocrity, the Rams had been gaining some key pieces, but knew they just weren’t going to get over the bump any time soon.

The major asset the Rams have been missing is a consistent quarterback. Sam Bradford never panned out for them, and there was nothing convincing about the Nick Foles and Case Keenum combination from last year. This trade was made so that the Rams could potentially find their future franchise quarterback.

So who will the Rams be taking in this year’s draft? There are really only two options now that they have the top overall pick: Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.

Goff is a 6’4” quarterback from the University of California, Berkeley who threw 43 touchdowns and 4,714 yards in 2015 for the Golden Bears. Wentz has the form and strength to be a franchise quarterback as well, but what makes him an uncertain pick is that he played at North Dakota State at the FCS level.

Still, this was too much of a loss for a team who is trying to rebuild, as they will be missing those much-needed draft picks. The franchise should have learned from when they were on the other end of a similar deal a few years ago with the Washington Redskins—the Rams traded the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft for Washington’s sixth overall pick, its second round pick, and first rounder in both 2013 and 2014. And who did the Redskins draft with that newly-acquired pick? Robert Griffin III, who now sits in Cleveland.

Either way, the Rams will be rolling with who they hope to be the quarterback of the future, and out of any other team in the draft, this will affect the Cleveland Browns the most. Cleveland picks second overall, and with the hopes of drafting a quarterback as well, Cleveland’s top choice may be wearing a Rams jersey before too long.

As for the Titans, this trade was a no-brainer. Again, they had no need for a quarterback, and now the franchise has nine draft picks in this year’s draft, including six picks in the top 76 picks. The team has a bright future with Mariota under center, and will now have ample opportunities to grow through the draft.

 

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