Past trades mean future success
While the LA Rams have taken a unique approach to how the organization views and uses draft picks, the meme that has taken on a battle cry of the Rams is way oversimplification of the strategy. On a recent episode of the LA Ram’s official podcast, on or about the 1:40 mark as ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry poses a rather complex question to LA Rams GM Les Snead regarding the reasoning behind trading future picks for present-tense players, Snead had this to say when asked about the draft.
"‘…I get where we’re at, right? In the Twitter age. I’ve even got a mug that my kids have given me about what I feel about draft picks. I get the shallow narrative, and it’s fun and its entertaining… but to say ‘we don’t value draft picks’, I mean, I get why it would be said, but look at our offensive Line. Most of those guys were drafted by us. We do believe in utilizing every round, we do believe in our symbiotic relationship with our coaching staff in knowing what we’re looking for. (then smiling) I don’t think that answer is gonna stop the narrative, though, that we don’t care about draft picks – Les Snead"
Of course, the entire video is shown below:
On the quiet, Snead has made a bunch of low-key trades to bring in a haul of later-round draft picks. You see, people are too busy looking at the blockbuster category trades and signings like that which brought QB Matthew Stafford to the team last year, or the FA signing to add ILB Bobby Wagner to the roster this year.
Below the surface, a monster rumbles and takes form. Let’s not forget, after all, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the greatest wide receiver in the game today, was one of those unheralded, third-round draft picks out of Eastern Washington with few eyes on him at the time.