Ever since the St. Louis Rams were rewarded with the number two overall pick from the Washington Redskins, it has been speculated that general manager Les Snead would try to pull off another RGIII-like trade and stock up on draft picks.
If Snead could pull it off, that would be great, especially in a deep draft such as this one. As great as that would be though, I say hold up, because if a trade like that does happen, you may miss what you really need.
It is no secret that the Rams need a spark in the passing game. Sure the Rams have Chris Givens and Brian Quick who have shown some upside, but in a win-now league, the Rams need a guy that can contribute and bring that spark right now.
The Rams haven’t had a 1,000 yard receiver, let alone a 700 yard receiver since Torry Holt and the final remnants of the Greatest Show on Turf left town. It doesn’t help that the Rams have gotten unlucky when it comes to drafting wide receivers either.
The years that the Rams haven’t done well, there hasn’t been a wide receiver worth a top-5 pick. The years the Rams have done well, the A.J. Green’s, Julio Jones’, and Calvin Johnson’s have entered the draft.
This year is finally different, the tides have turned in favor of the Rams. The Rams hold the number two overall pick thanks to the Redskins and there is finally a wide receiver that is worth taking that high in Sammy Watkins.
I say don’t trade back and take Watkins at number two overall. The Rams need a number one caliber receiver whether Snead thinks so or not. Why trade back to number four and give Jacksonville and Cleveland the chance at taking Watkins, or even worse, trade back to number six and give Cleveland, Jacksonville, Oakland, and Atlanta a chance to take him?
Sure those teams have other needs, but Watkins is a playmaker and that is something that all four of those teams could use. Cleveland could use a guy to put across from Josh Gordon, Jacksonville could use a guy to put across from Cecil Shorts, Oakland could use a relevant receiver, and Roddy White is on his downfall in Atlanta who would save a lot of cap by releasing White and drafting a replacement in Watkins.
Why risk it anymore? In 2012 the Rams had a shot at drafting Justin Blackmon who was worth a high pick, but traded back to number six with Washington, only to get jumped by Jackosnville who ended up taking Blackmon.
Granted, Blackmon became a bust and the Rams got a lot from the RGIII trade, so everything worked out, but something about Sammy Watkins is different and the Rams need to jump all over it while they are still in control.
This draft is one of the deepest in years, and yes there are wide receivers that the Rams could draft and would still start, but if the Rams want a playmaker that can make a difference and bring a spark, drafting Watkins is a must.
Last season at Clemsen Watkins had 101 receptions for 1464 yards and 12 touchdowns. That was after having a disappointing sub-1000 yard 2012 season. Watkins had dominating performances last season against Georgia in which he had 177 yards receiving, against Florida State he had eight receptions for 68 yards, against South Carolina he had seven receptions for 93 yards, and in the Orange Bowl he had a record breaking 16 receptions for 227 yards. That’s a difference maker.
The Rams could also take one of the top offensive lineman, but the everybody knows that they have had their fair share of bad luck when it comes to drafting lineman high as well. An offensive lineman will still make an impact up front, but it’s very high risk high reward move, especially in the NFC West where four of the best defensive lines in the league co-exist.
Sam Bradford has had one real number one receiver his entire career when Brandon Lloyd was in St. Louis. If the Rams want Bradford to take his game and the offense to the next level, they need a guy like Watkins.
Drafting a guy like Watkins not only helps Bradford with his game, but also Chris Givens. Givens struggled against the number one defensive backs last season and it didn’t help that Bradford was out half the year. Drafting Watkins takes some of the attention off of Givens and opens things up for him.
Watkins would add to an already talented receiving corps. Imagine the Rams having Givens and Watkins on the outside with Austin and Cook in the slot. Add that to a pretty good run game, and the Rams have an offense that could do some damage as well as create problems for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and other defenses.
As much beneficial as trading back would do and give more picks to the Rams in an already deep draft, drafting a player like Watkins is just as beneficial. If the Rams do end up trading back, they can trade back no further than the fourth overall pick to have a chance at drafting Watkins and even that may be risking it.
Players like Watkins don’t come along very often, and according to Nick Wagoner who asked scouts around the combine about Watkins, they said,
“He’s the real deal — explosive, physical, strong, gets off the line of scrimmage, makes you miss. … He’s not a big 6-5 type of guy but he plays plenty big and he gets separation easily. … He should be a dominant player in the league and has the makeup to be a No. 1 guy. … The thing I love most about him is how competitive he is; he has a lot of dog in him and it shows up on almost every snap.”
The wait in St. Louis for a number one receiver needs to be over, it’s time to end the drought. Do us a favor Les Snead, do not trade back and give the fans the playmaker they have been waiting for since the final pieces of Greatest Show on Turf left.