5 Potential First-Round Scenarios for St. Louis Rams in 2014 NFL Draft

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5 Potential First-Round Scenarios for St. Louis Rams in 2014 NFL Draft

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams are in an enviable position looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft as one of two teams with a pair of first-round picks. The other squad in that fortunate position, the Cleveland Browns, are actually rumored to be potential trade partners for the Rams as they look to move down from the No. 2 overall selection.

Though such a deal is far from a certainty at this point, the Rams remain one of the top candidates to move down the draft order early on this May. This makes speculating which clubs may want to climb up the board in exchange for their No. 2 overall pick all the more intriguing as St. Louis attempts to extort yet another NFL franchise in a similar manner to the Robert Griffin III deal with the Washington Redskins back in 2012.

Plenty of teams will undoubtedly be linked to a deal with the Rams between now and draft day, but distinguishing smoke from a real fire is quite the task. Of course no team in its right mind would decline having an early pick in any draft, but if it means forfeiting the right to future draft choices then things get a big more complicated.

Quarterbacks are sure to be at a premium in this draft with four projected to go in the first eight selections after last year saw just one signal-caller taken in the entire first-round. That will provide plenty of incentive for QB-hungry teams in the top-10 picks to move up the draft board in pursuit of that franchise-changing arm.

From their perch at the No. 2 overall spot in the order, the Rams could potentially entertain these five options in the first-round this year.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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5. No Trade Partners

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It’s not the most entertaining and it certainly isn’t the most desirable for a team that has made it known it would like to move down the board, but the Rams could always stay put and take Jadeveon Clowney if the Houston Texans go with a quarterback as expected. They could then use the No. 13 overall pick to find some help in the secondary with a cornerback like Justin Gilbert or safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Though it may not be ideal, the reality is that some teams may be unwilling to pony up what it takes to move up that draft board when the time comes.

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4. Trade Down With Cleveland Browns

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Those Cleveland Browns mentioned in the opening, well, here’s where they come into play. Cleveland could potentially send both of the first-round picks it currently possesses, No. 4 and 26, to the Rams along with second-rounder in 2015 for No. 2 overall. The Brownies are thought to be in play for Johnny Manziel, and they may be willing to do just about anything to bring in Johnny Football and light a fire under their fanbase.

If the Rams were to make this style of heist with three first-round picks in one draft, chances are they would look to move down with at least one of those picks as well in a similar fashion to the two trades the team pulled off back in 2012. But just to play devil’s advocate, how does a draft of Jake Matthews or Anthony Barr at No. 4, a corner like Justin Gilbert at No. 13 and a potential quarterback to groom in Derek Carr at No. 26 sound?

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3. Atlanta Falcons Come After Jadeveon Clowney

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Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt the Atlanta Falcons need to beef up a defense that has been routinely torched even during their successful seasons over the past handful of years. The team is no stranger to making big moves up the draft board having pulled off the Julio Jones deal just a few years back, and a move from No. 6 overall to No. 2 wouldn’t be nearly as costly.

If Jadeveon Clowney is still sitting there at No. 2 there are bound to be plenty of calls for the pick. Atlanta would likely be one of them given their need for a top-notch pass rusher, and a potential deal could yield the No. 6 and No. 37 picks this year along with a second-rounder in 2015. This would allow the Rams to grab Jake Matthews or Anthony Barr at No. 6, add a corner like Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard at No. 13, find a safety early in round two and possibly land a signal-caller to groom later in the second-round.

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2. Minnesota Vikings Desperately Need QB

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Another quarterback-needy team this offseason is the Minnesota Vikings as they turn the page on a painful Christian Ponder era. Either Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles could be intriguing for the Vikes to jump from No. 8 overall to the No. 2 slot. In order to do so they would have to part with their second-rounder this year as well at No. 41 overall along with a first-rounder in 2015 which would give the Rams the building blocks they’re looking for heading into the future.

This would be a great scenario for St. Louis with the ability to land tackle Greg Robinson or linebacker C.J. Mosley at No. 8, grab safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 13, find a developmental QB at No. 41 and then land a tackle or linebacker (whichever need isn’t addressed in round one) at No. 44 overall. Two first-round picks and two second-rounders along with an extra first in 2015 would really pave the way for serious improvement in 2014 and beyond with the Rams.

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1. Cleveland Browns Go All-In For Johnny Football/Sammy Watkins Combo

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

But no trade scenario would trump the potential haul the Rams could make in an ideal world if the Browns get desperate. Some have pointed out that the Browns could potentially keep their No. 4 overall pick and still try to move up to No. 2 overall with the Rams. Such a scenario would entail sending No. 26 overall to the Rams with a second-rounder in 2014, a first-rounder in 2015 and a first-rounder in 2016. This deal would be Redskins-esque and leave the Rams loaded for bear in upcoming seasons just as GM Les Snead desires.

What the motive behind this would be for Cleveland is to add wideout Sammy Watkins at No. 2 and Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles at No. 4 to complement Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron in an already dangerous array of offensive weapons.

The team that would really benefit in such a scenario is the Rams, however, with the No. 13 and 26 picks in round one, picks No. 35 and 44 overall in round two and their own No. 75 overall in round three. That’s five picks from the top 75 players in this year’s draft class while still having an additional first-rounder in both 2015 and 2016. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it seems like the Browns may be just anxious enough to make such a haul a reality.

Related Links

St. Louis Rams Smart to Already Be Shopping No. 2 Overall Pick in 2014 NFL Draft

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