5 Reasons Why Cleveland Browns – St. Louis Rams Trade Bound To Happen in 2014 NFL Draft
5 Reasons Why Cleveland Browns – St. Louis Rams Trade Inevitable
Trying to connect the dots in the run-up to the madness of deceit and misdirection that is the NFL Draft is sort of like attempting to put together a puzzle when the pieces are always changing shape. There really is no rhyme or reason to some of the information released by teams about which way they are leaning or what teams they may do business with when the big day arrives, but one fact that has been on the table for a while now is that the St. Louis Rams are looking to trade down.
After pulling off the epic deal more than a month before the draft in 2012 with the Washington Redskins for the rights to Robert Griffin III, there’s no doubt that St. Louis has the fortitude to make a similar deal once again. All the team needs now is another QB desperate squad looking to jump up the draft order to secure their potential franchise man at pick No. 2 overall.
Enter: Cleveland Browns.
There are several reasons why a deal like this would make sense – one of the most glaring being Brandon Weeden – and they haven’t exactly denied the speculation that the team is targeting a move up the board. This is a franchise that has been desperate to become relevant again since the city of Cleveland was given its franchise back some 15 years ago, but since that time they have barely even been a blip on the NFL radar.
The 2014 NFL Draft is Cleveland’s time to shine, and for better or for worse they are ready to make a swap with the Rams to get into position for a franchise quarterback. Here are five main reasons why the Browns making a deal with the Rams makes too much sense not to happen before May’s draft arrives.
5. Cleveland's Desire For Franchise QB
Let’s start with an easy one here. The Browns have had picks like Tim Couch, Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden all fail miserably in their attempts to become the franchise QB. Though Derek Anderson enjoyed a brief rise to stardom at one point, the emphasis there is on the word brief. Needless to say the franchise and the city are desperate to find a man under center who can actually be a reliable starter for more than a few games to take this team where it wants to go. That segues perfectly into the next reason this deal makes perfect sense.
4. Rumors For Johnny Football Trade Up Already Leaked
To refer back to the introduction on this one, all rumors at this time of year must be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, the mere fact that a leak from the Browns according to Jason LaCanfora said: “[T]hey are willing to trade up to land Johnny Manziel in the draft if need be, sources said” basically means they will move up by any means necessary to get their man. Now this was pre-front office shakeup so things may have changed by now, but perhaps the change was to facilitate a deal more easily rather than deter it.
3. Rams GM Les Snead’s Connection to New Cleveland GM Hire
Of course this segues quite perfectly into the new man the Browns actually hired to run the franchise in Ray Farmer. In 2002, Farmer got his first NFL job with the Atlanta Falcons when current Rams GM Les Snead was director of pro personnel. According to the Browns team website, Snead was quoted as saying: "Hiring Ray is one of the easiest and best decisions I've ever made." This clearly suggests quite a rapport between the two which obviously can’t hurt when it comes to trade negotiations. You can try and play this off as irrelevant all you want, but these two men being friends in high places could give a deal that extra push needed to get done.
2. Cleveland Has the Ammo To Make a Deal Happen
Probably the most important aspect in making a trade is actually having desired resources to make said deal occur. The Browns are the only team other than the Rams to have two first-round picks in the draft this year, and they also have an early second-rounder (No. 35 overall) that could come in handy if the price gets steeper than expected. It’s a very real possibility that the Rams could have three first-round picks if a deal were to get done with the Browns, and that would allow them to retool an offensive line that desperately needs help.
1. Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson Likely Still Available at No. 4
Talk about perfect segues – There’s no doubt the Rams would love to land one of these top two tackles. The debate that will be ongoing throughout the pre-draft process is just which one should they target with Greg Robinson having the upside advantage and Jake Matthews having the proven pedigree. A trade with the Browns makes perfect sense because several QB needy teams combined with a freakish athlete like Jadeveon Clowney guarantees that at least one if not both of these two elite tackles will still be available at No. 4 overall. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that the Rams land two or potentially even three big-time prospects in the trenches with their protection for Sam Bradford aging and deteriorating.