When one franchise holds two of the top 22 selections in a draft involving 31 other teams, it’s safe to that there is no shortage of options for that particular club. The 2013 NFL Draft features a team with that luxury as the St. Louis Rams hold both the 16th and 22nd overall picks in April’s selection festivities. While the team could look to add two players with those picks, it seems more prudent to try and trade down from one of those spots and accumulate some additional choices in later rounds.
The thinking behind this would be that this year’s draft (more than any in recent memory) lacks a real difference maker at the top. What it is missing in star power, it quickly makes up for in depth however as many analysts have said that there isn’t much difference between the player that will be selected number one overall and the player that goes with the 32nd and final pick in round one.
Even though the Rams already have eight total picks with their two first rounders, the team could easily parlay one of those firsts into an early second this year and a second in 2014 if they are so inclined. General Manager Les Snead has already shown a desire to build this team via the draft and trading down is a large part of that equation. That was illustrated quite well with their deal involving quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins last year as well as trading down with the Dallas Cowboys into the middle of round one.
With those deals, the Rams have gotten themselves into an enviable position coming into this draft in the eyes of many. Snead’s approach to the draft is one that emphasizes the importance of the later rounds as well. The GM said: “What happens in a draft is you usually get a couple of rock stars. If those two players are the rock stars, you need to be able to then go, okay who are the dancers in this concert? Are they similar to the rock stars? Maybe not as good but relatively close who can help us a little later.”
If the Rams can duplicate the late round success that they enjoyed a year ago in 2013, there is plenty of reason for optimism regarding the future of this franchise. The club’s leading receiver was fourth round pick Chris Givens, their starting kicker was Greg “Legatron” Zuerlein from the sixth round, and running back Daryl Richardson who ran the ball successfully in 2012 and is in line for an expanded role in the upcoming season was found late in the seventh round.
Whether they are rock stars, dancers, or even backup vocalists (to stick with Snead’s analogy), the Rams need to be in harmony come April. Trading down seems like a good way to achieve this type of synchronicity and leave it to Snead to maneuver properly in less than two months.