4 reasons why LA Rams trading back in 2023 NFL Draft seems likely

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Reason IV: It’s more cost-effective

Even as the NFL Draft has prescribed salaries for where the rookies are selected in the draft process, there is far more value if an NFL team can hit on a late draft pick and coach that player up to an NFL starter, than there is if the same team drafts a player in round one and subsequently is able to get that player suited up to start.

How much of a cost difference is there? Well, after inspecting the projected NFA rookie salaries as per the table from Over The Cap.com, quite a bit. For example, if the LA Rams trade back from their first pick of the draft, the 37th overall pick, to a late second-round pick and perhaps a third or two fourth-round picks, the cost for that first selection could drop by as much as $600,000 or more.

Hot. LA Rams 2023 Mock Draft featuring 3 blue chip OL prospects. light

Pinching pennies? More like millions

But what about the additional players picked in the draft? Well, that is inconsequential. All NFL teams will ultimately enter training camp with 90 players. For training camp, the NFL salary cap applies to only the Top-51 players.  Since the Rams have 50 such players on the roster now, and the likelihood of extending 10 more players, less expensive rookies are unlikely to even cross the threshold of that 51st player to even move the Rams’ salary cap needle.

Okay, so where do those rookie salaries make a huge impact? Well, the Detroit Lions, the team that controls the LA Rams’ first-round pick, is already on the hook for more than $5.4 million for that player, who has yet to play a single NFL snap. The Chicago Bears, the team currently projected to hold the first overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, is on the hook for over $7.375 million for that rookie.

Just for argument’s sake, the LA Rams’ first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, IOL Logan Bruss, cost the team just $1.1 million in 2022. The aggregate effect of the LA Rams trading back multiple times could save the team hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even millions.