How Signing Kenny Britt Affects The 2014 NFL Draft For The St. Louis Rams


Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) and head coach Dabo Swinney toss oranges to the crowd following the 2014 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Clemson defeated Ohio State 40-35. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t already heard the news about the long-awaiting “decision” from Kenny Britt, the St. Louis just signed the former 30th overall pick to a one-year, “show me” contract worth a mere $550,000 in guaranteed money. Aside from the miraculous story surrounding the re-signing of Rodger Saffold, Britt is obviously the Rams biggest “splash” in free agency. However, the signing raises as many questions as it does answers for the St. Louis Rams, especially with the 2014 NFL Draft quickly approaching. So, what does the signing really mean for the Rams? We’ll break it down here…

Gives St. Louis flexibility in the Top 10

While it may seem like that Rams were flexible prior to the signing, adding Kenny Britt to the roster truly allows the St. Louis Rams to employ the “Best Player Available” strategy with their opening pick in the Draft. With all the “smoke” blown into the air over the last couple of weeks by Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, it would be difficult for anyone to truly gauge the Rams target. However, most have speculated that either a wide receiver, offensive tackle, or pass rusher would be their selection, with most leaning towards Sammy Watkins. With two Top 25 offensive tackle and three Top 20 defensive ends on the roster, it is not difficult to see why many would point to receiver, especially considering the Rams haven’t had a 700+ yard pass catcher since Torry Holt was still sporting the golden horns. Now, with three former Top 33 wide receiver draftees on the roster (all 25 years of age or younger), the field has certainly leveled for the Rams to take whoever falls into their lap, wherever they end up picking in the Top 10.

Rams nearly guaranteed to trade out of No. 2 pick

What? How? Why? Prior to this evening, one could have made the argument that the St. Louis Rams were still in dire need of a dynamic receiver on the outside. In the mind of Jeff Fisher, Kenny Britt is, potentially, that guy. So, with no more immediate “needs” on the roster at positions of genuine value (i.e. QB, WR, OT, and edge rusher) in the Top 5, the St. Louis Rams should be more apt than ever to trade down and hoard more Top 100 picks in this year’s stacked draft class. Despite what the fans in Rams Nation might want, Les Snead, the man calling the shots, likes loves extra draft picks.

Gives St. Louis some leverage in trade negotiations

Piggy-backing off the previous two points, the St. Louis Rams should now be in a position to genuinely take the “best player available” at their spot, wherever it may be. When teams are no longer drafting for “need,” it should allot them more power in negotiations. For example, if the Atlanta Falcons wanted to move up to take Jadeveon Clowney, an obvious position of need for them, would the “trading up price” be lower or higher if the Falcons’ front office believed the Rams were honestly considering drafting Clowney for themselves?

Assuming that the general consensus around the league is that Kenny Britt filled the Rams only “need” at a position of value in the Top 5, it should give the Rams more leverage during negotiations; something along the lines of  a “Oh, I guess we could just stay here and take whichever player you were planning on drafting” card. Certainly a nice card to have…

Could “help” with the drafting of Sammy Watkins

Again… What? How? Why? It was blatantly obvious in the 2012 NFL Draft that the St. Louis Rams were eyeballing Justin Blackmon with the No.6 overall pick, following the miraculous trade down with the Washington Redskins. As a result, the Jacksonville Jaguars pounced on the chance to trade up, jumping the Rams in the order and snagging Blackmon with the No.5 pick in the draft. Assuming Sammy Watkins is the “main target” for St. Louis with their first pick, the signing of Kenny Britt could be the ultimate smoke screen for other teams that might have been considering jumping up the order to take the consensus top receiver prospect. No need to trade up, if the Rams have “crossed” wide receiver off of their big board, right? Sneaky.