Can the LA Rams trade for picks before the 2021 NFL Draft?

Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

As the LA Rams scramble to find creative ways to add draft picks for the 2021 NFL Draft, some teams do not face that challenge.  Some teams have an abundance of picks, and may actually look to combine some to trade up in a draft that carries a lot of uncertainty.

Teams with nine or more picks in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft include the Jacksonville Jaguars (10), New York Jets (9), San Francisco 49ers (9), Atlanta Falcons (9), Philadelphia Eagles (11), Dallas Cowboys (10), Denver Broncos (9), Los Angeles Chargers (9), New England Patriots (10), Minnesota Vikings (11), Tennessee Titans (9), Cleveland Browns (9), and Green Bay Packers (10).

As it stands, many of these teams will have only a handful of roster spots to fill after the draft. The Rams? Well, they will be shopping for 17 players after they draft six to the roster.  So how can the LA Rams hope to secure a trade for more picks before the 2021 NFL Draft? And better yet, how can the team leverage their current roster to attract some value?

Team Needs

Well, put a call out to each team that has excessive draft picks:

The Jacksonville Jaguars need: QB, T, TE, and S
The New York Jets need: QB, ED, G, and CB
The San Francisco 49ers need: QB, TE, WR, CB, and S
The Atlanta Falcons need: ED, CB, and S
The Philadelphia Eagles need: QB, WR, LB, and CB
The Dallas Cowboys need: TE, ED, CB, and S
The Denver Broncos need: QB, T, and LB
The Los Angeles Chargers need: T, G, and CB
The New England Patriots need: QB, WR, and CB
The Minnesota Vikings need: T, G, ED, and S
The Tennessee Titans need: WR, T, G, and CB
The Cleveland Browns need: DI, ED, and LB
The Green Bay Packers need: WR, LB, and CB

While the LA Rams do not have the roster depth to manage attractive packages for all of the teams on this list, there are certainly some needs that the Rams can offer up attractive alternatives to simply drafting a rookie.

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Watcha got?

We explored how the Rams could and should convert players with just one year remaining on their current contract and who may have a rotational or limited role projected in 2021. Now we are doubling down on that same scenario. The LA Rams have ILB Kenny Young, OC Brian Allen, Edge Justin Lawler, KR/WR Nsimba Webster, Edge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and OT Joseph Noteboom on the last year of their contracts.

Now it’s just a matter of mixing and matching NFL teams with players who are productive on the LA Rams and who could be a good fit on another team. But before the comments section fills with the views that draft picks are too precious, consider this.

Let’s make a deal

A first-round draft pick is about a 50/50 shot of getting a player worth re-signing after the rookie contract expires. While the LA Rams have done well in the draft, many teams simply do not, and the opportunity to give a player a test drive for a year before committing long-term is a solid selling point.

NFL Teams are fully aware of this risk and do appreciate the opportunity to reduce the risks by exchanging the uncertainty of a draft pick for the certainty of a proven NFL player. And the uncertainty associated with the 2021 NFL Draft is running at a historic high. This is a prime time for the LA Rams to leverage the certainty of players on their roster to pry some picks away from the overstuffed pockets of one or two NFL teams.

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Time is running out. Now is the time to strike a deal for a couple more draft picks.