LA Rams News: Revisiting Rams QB options in the 2016 NFL Draft

(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

LA Rams News: Revisiting Rams QB options in the 2016 NFL Draft but what of the others?

The LA Rams converted a lot of draft trade capital into landing the first pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.  The LA Rams had difficulty finding a solid quarterback to lead the team and finally decided to bite the bullet and trade up for one.  The Rams held the 15th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, which they realized would not be high enough to land a solid quarterback option.

So the team pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade with the Tenessee Titans. On April 14, 2016, the Rams sent their first-round pick, two second-round picks, a third-round pick, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 third-round pick to the Titans and in return were given the No. 1 overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick.

Trade up, or stay “meh”

At the time, some questioned why the team would trade so much for one player. Ah, but if that one player happens to be a quarterback who can run the offense successfully, it’s all worth it. With the top overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the LA Rams chose Jared Goff.  What might have happened if the Rams had held fast with their original picks? Well, certainly the team would not have improved as rapidly as it did.

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The way an NFL Draft works, there is never a guarantee that a team with NFL Draft picks will find solid players. First rounders fail to become great NFL players all the time. Of course, years down the road, with history and statistical data, it’s easy to point and determine who may have been the right choice. But it’s a trap. As soon as any scenario changes the details, the outcomes change as well.

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2016 draft gamble paid off

From that 2016 draft, Goff, Carson Wentz, and Dak Prescott all have solidified themselves as long term quarterback solutions for their respective teams.  Curiously, the Cowboys actually had hoped to choose Paxton Lynch that year.  After the Broncos selected him, the Cowboys reworked their draft board and ended up selecting Dak Prescott.

Of the 2016 NFL class, were the Rams wise to trade up for Goff?  By examining the overall draft class of the 15 quarterbacks selected, it would seem that the team was indeed very wise to do so. It was wise for two reasons.  The first, of course, is that the top two quarterbacks of that class are the only two who contributed to their team’s appearance in the Super Bowl since that draft.  The second reason is that by selecting first, the Rams had the opportunity to select Goff. In the aftermath, trading up was the right choice for the Rams.

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15 quarterbacks to track

Any selection at number three or lower proved to be a significant drop in production. Even though the Cowboys landed a solid quarterback in Prescott, they wisely loaded the backfield with RB Ezekiel Elliott, gave him one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and have been adding marquis receivers to that offense every year since. The LA Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles have more similar situations. Both teams endured significant injuries and have managed to remain rather successful in that period. Both teams appeared in Super Bowls. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in a shootout in Super Bowl LII, thanks to backup quarterback Nick Foles. The LA Rams lost the following year in a defensive struggle to the same New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII by a score of 13-3

Jared Goff- LA Rams  – First
Cason Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – Second
Paxton Lynch – Denver Broncos – 26th
Christian Hackenberg – New York Jets – 51st
Jacoby Brissett – New England Patriots – 91st
Cody Kessler – Cleveland Browns – 93rd
Connor Cook – Las Vegas Raiders – 100th
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – 135th overall
Cardale Jones – Buffalo Bills – 139th overall
Kevin Hogan – Kansas City Chiefs – 162nd overall
Nate Sudfeld – Washington Redskins – 187th overall
Jake Rudock –   Detroit Lions – 191st overall
Brandon Allen – Jacksonville Jaguars – 201st overall
Jeff Driskel – San Francisco 49ers – 207th overall
Brandon Doughty – Miami Dolphins – 223rd overall

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Did the Rams make the right choice?

15 players who may not have even met one another are now linked to each other thanks to the 2016 NFL Draft. Their lives can be successful, prosperous, and happy. But to outsiders, they will be linked to one another, compared to one another, and ranked against one another, from now into the foreseeable future. And through all of that future, NFL fans will ask if the Rams did indeed make the right choice.

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But perhaps a better question to ask at this point in time is whether the LA Rams made the wrong choice?  Evidence of the team’s rapid rise to significance in the NFL, peaking with an appearance in Super Bowl LIII, is clearly an indication that the team did NOT make the wrong choice. It will take years to determine who the best quarterback was to emerge from the 2016 NFL Draft. But for now, it’s okay to be content with one of the top three.