What will the LA Rams do with the 19th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft?

2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Trade for a player

The first path of utility for the first-round pick is an obvious one, and one that the team has used many times before: Trade the pick for a known player. Whether that player was WR Brandin Cooks, DB Jalen Ramsey, or QB Matthew Stafford, the LA Rams front office has employed a unique strategy to upgrading the roster with previous Round 1 draft picks.

The thing about that strategy is that the use of those picks at the time were rather obvious and opportunistic. The Rams did not hold their first-round pick at the end of a stick and beg other NFL teams to make their best offers to acquire that pick. The opposite was true, in that many players, for one reason or another, became available to other teams, and the front office simply seized that opportunity.

Does any such opportunity exist right now?

I'm not so sure that it does. While we know that the Carolina Panthers are in for a long drawn-out negotiation with DE/OLB Brian Burns, in which Burns is rumored to be holding out for a contract averaging $30+ million per year. The team did target Burns as a trade target in 2022, but there are new circumstances at work right now.

Burns is no long entering the final year of his contract, which means that 2024 is a very expensive season for whichever team he will play for. But perhaps more importantly, both OLB Byron Young and NT Kobie Turner have proved to be just as productive on the playing field, at a fraction of the cost. Why would the team consider trading a first round pick, and then paying as much as $30 million a year, for a pass rusher who is already showing up for the team?

Without a clear and obvious target already generating plenty of buzz, I am inclined to believe that this is a less-than-likely scenario for the team.