Revisiting the LA Rams trade package for QB Matthew Stafford

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3

When the LA Rams traded for Detroit Lions veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, the team assembled what appeared to be a very hefty package for the veteran hurler. That trade package proved to be enough to secure the exchange, but not before LA Rams head coach Sean McVay personally lobbied team owner Stan Kroenke for the authorization to include not one, but two first-round draft picks as compensation.

In the end, the transaction involved two lauded NFL veteran quarterbacks, and three draft picks. The Rams, of course, emerged with Stafford. But the Detroit Lions, a team fully emerged in rebuilding the roster from the ground up, ended up with young veteran quarterback Jared Goff, a 2021 third-round draft pick, a 2022 first-round draft pick, and a 2023 first-round draft pick. The package looks like this:

But that really tells us nothing. After all, the picks could turn out to be gold or lead. So let’s dive a bit deeper for this one, shall we? For example, We know the results of two of the three LA Rams traded picks. So what is the status of those picks so far?

Minnesota meanders in

Well, nothing is simple, is it? The Detroit Lions traded the LA Rams’ first-round pick (32nd overall) as part of a package to trade back up into round one with the Minnesota Vikings for the 12th overall pick to select WR Jameson Williams.  That creates a rather ugly and confusing trade graphic as shown below:

So, eliminating the Minnesota Vikings from this analysis, the Detroit Lions have parlayed two of the LA Rams picks (plus a few of their own) into three young players and still have a 2023 first-round pick in the vault.

That’s a lot on the table and an overwhelming amount to process in one sitting. So let’s give a prerequisite to the next couple of slides. Comparing one player to a host of players may seem to favor the volume side. But the challenge of any team building a roster is to elevate the talent and production from promising to average, average to good, good to very good, very good to great, and great to elite.  While a handful of young prospects may deliver down the road, they will take time to do so.

Related Story. Los Angeles Rams: 15 best first-round draft picks of all-time. light

Meanwhile, elite players deliver today. And that is what the LA Rams wanted in initiating this trade. Not tomorrow’s potential, but rather today’s production. What do I mean? Let’s look at what the Detroit Lion’s package looks like, and it should all become a bit clearer.