2014 NFL Draft: St. Louis Rams Lacking Trade Partners Without Clear No. 2 Pick
The NFL Draft in 2012 hosted two great quarterbacks that were guaranteed for stardom in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. The St. Louis Rams had no interest in going after a QB with Sam Bradford under center. Rams GM Les Snead pulled off a trade that looked to be promising for both teams as the Rams gathered numerous picks in return for delivering RGIII to the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins were playoff bound in their first year, and the Rams were showing signs of improvement by going 7-8-1 in 2012. A year later and both teams are experiencing difficulties in establishing themselves among the best in their divisions. That deal is setting the Rams up for another successful draft thanks to the first round picks they received from the Washington franchise that was in need of a franchise QB.
The Rams are in a good position to trade way their pick as they don’t need top tier QB and instead have to build up positions that can be found later in the draft. However, this year’s draft was thought to be a quarterback heavy class, but due to injuries and young signal callers deciding to return to school the QB group has dwindled down to Teddy Bridgewater being the clear No. 1 QB available with a slew of decent options behind him. Bridgewater was masterful during his bowl game performance, exhibiting patience, mobility, accuracy, and zip on his throws. The other QB in that game, Stephen Morris, looked atrocious and had a poor season while dealing with injuries that slowed him down most of the year. Morris’ tools fit in the NFL, but his stats don’t add up to someone that could step up right away.
Blake Bortles was able to play well this season and looked confident in his bowl game matchup, but he isn’t a player that teams would jump up to No. 2 to get. The attention magnet Johnny Manziel could be a high first-round selection, but his risky off the field antics could persuade teams from investing that much money into a reckless party-goer. His size leaves him vulnerable and scouts question his strength, but he is about as exciting as it gets when it comes to Saturday afternoon football. Will it translate to Sundays? That’s a question that won’t be answered until he gears up for games in the NFL.
A.J. McCarron was trusted with more control of the offense this season, and in return his bowl game turnovers cost his team some reputation points and more importantly ruined his “game manager” reputation. It didn’t look like he possessed the it factor that teams want under center to lead the offense. Zach Mettenberger was leading one of the best passing attacks in college when he suffered an ACL tear that cost him big time in draft stock. Before the season he wasn’t thought of as a first-round QB, but he turned the tables with improved accuracy and decision making. Now, teams would have to chance it on a young QB that was just starting to figure things out coming back from a serious knee injury.
Tahj Boyd could jump up the boards thanks to an improved season, size, and athleticism. He looks like a solid pick but not someone that a team in need of a QB right now would want to throw out to the wolves. The potential is there for Boyd, but he shouldn’t get thrown out there in the first game of the year.
So the question remains, what teams will want to jump up to take a QB at No. 2 overall when behind Bridgewater there really isn’t a clear No. 2 option like there was with Luck and RGIII? There are some good options on the board, but none really scream “pick me! pick me!” The Rams can afford to trade the pick and fill in the holes in the secondary and line later on, but what are they going to get in return? Teams might not be willing to sell the farm for any prospects that are going to be available at that spot. I am glad I don’t have to make that decision for the Rams.