Which direction will the LA Rams go with the 19th overall pick?

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Option III: Trade up

There is a growing number among NFL draft analysts and Rams fans that the team may choose to trade up in the 2024 NFL Draft. We know from reports after the 2023 NFL Draft that the team did try to trade into Round 1, but failed to do so. Would fans have been as excited by the overall draft class if the team had successfully done so? We know from draft value charts that the team would not have been able to select IOL Steve Avila and either OLB Byron Young or NT Kobie Turner.

If the team had successfully traded up to draft TE Dalton Kincaid, would we still have won 10 games in 2023?

Trading up in the draft gives fans an incredible rush of dopamine. But after the draft, and the dust settles, is it always worth it? You may love the aggressiveness behind trading up, but there are no guarantees with the results. In fact, trading up elevates the risk-reward nature of the draft exponentially. Let's look back at two trades in the 2023 NFL Draft to see what I mean:

When the Carolina Panthers traded up for the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, they had to surrender this package to the Chicago Bears:

  • 2023 Round 1 pick (9th overall)
  • 2023 Round 2 pick (61st overall)
  • 2024 Round 1 pick (1st overall)
  • 2025 Round 2 pick (TBD)
  • WR D.J. Moore

In return, the Panthers emerged with former Alabama QB Bryce Young. Was he worth that king's ransom? While the jury is still out, there is some who believe that the Panthers severely overpaid. That is particularly true if you believe as many do that the 2024 NFL Draft boasts as many as six quarterback prospects whose NFL careers with eclipse that of Bryce Young.

So trading up can be a very expensive proposition. And there are no guarantees that it will result in selecting an NFL star. So why do teams attempt it?

Why Rams may trade up

The LA Rams find themselves in an ideal situation to trade up in the 2024 NFL Draft. By many accounts, this year's draft is loaded with offensive talent early, has only a few defensive players who stand out above the rest, and the remainder of the rookie players have enough talent to start at some positions well into Round 4 of the draft.

Last year, the team was content to select players who could potentially start in the NFL, and let competition dictate how well they might play and in which capacity. But with such amazing success last year, there are fewer opportunities for rookies to have an immediate impact in 2024.

And that may force the front office to try searching for the next NFL star by trading up to get him:

Of course whether it is a franchise offensive tackle, an epic tight end, or a sure-fire wide receiver, the cost of trading up could be very expensive. And that cost becomes crippling if the team selects the wrong player.

Will the Rams trade up in the 2024 NFL Draft? They certainly have valid reasons to consider doing so. But the team must get the right player, give him the right coaching, and create the right opportunities, for any 'trade up' investment to truly pay off.