3 storylines for Rams fans to follow in Round 1

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Rams do not have a first round pick, but here are three ways fans can still get value out of watching the first round on Thursday night.

Draft picks are given to teams so those teams can get better.  The Los Angeles Rams did that unconventionally by trading their first round pick earlier this Spring for WR Brandin Cooks.  The result is, however, that they (and their fans) are left with a boring Thursday night.  For fans like me, for whom the draft is the favorite event of the entire year, this is a letdown.

However, there is still value for Rams fans by watching the first round.  Here are three ways.

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  1. Could any current Rams players be on the block for a draft day trade?

Les Snead has gained a reputation as a “wheeler and dealer.”  Might we see that continue on draft day?  The Rams don’t have a first rounder to move, but might they have some players from the “old regime” that could be moved?  Some have speculated that LB Mark Barron, who costs $10 million against the cap could be released after June 1st, which would only cost the team $3 million in dead money, but save the $7 million (the same as if they traded him).  Could a team want to move in and trade a pick for Barron?  The likelihood?  Unlikely, especially in the first round. But the acquisitions of DT Ndamukong Suh, CB Marcus Peters, CB Aqib Talib, and WR Brandon Cooks were also unlikely.  You never know what may happen.

2.  What do the other NFC West Teams do?

The Rams are in an arms race with the San Francisco 49ers, who pick 9th overall in the draft.  The Seahawks are drafting 18th, and would love to play spoiler to the Rams next year.  The Cardinals are pulling up the rear, but are in an important rebuilding phase and drafting 15th.  The players these teams select in the first round will be facing the Rams twice a year for the foreseeable future.  Keep an eye on how these teams maneuver.

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3. What do the top-tier playoff teams do?

If the Rams really are in “win-now-mode,” they should keep an eye on the elite of the NFL.  It has been said that coaches always want to win now, but general managers play for the future.  Will the Eagles trade back, out of the first round?   Will the Patriots draft a quarterback in the first round?  Will the Saints look to the future with QB Lamar Jackson?  Will the Vikings reach for the 4th best safety?  If any of these teams make decisions for the future, it helps the Los Angeles Rams.  Every quarterback these teams take or high pick they trade, that is one fewer player to contribute to next years’ playoff run.

Enjoy the draft this weekend, Rams fans.  As always, stay up to date with all the action here at ramblinfan.