If you hadn’t heard, the
St. Louis LA Rams have traded a king’s ransom for the #1 pick. In brief, the Rams are giving a first, two seconds, and a third in 2016 and a first and a third in 2017 for the #1 pick, a fourth rounder, and a sixth rounder (both 2016). According to NFL.com, a big loser as a result of this trade is the Browns.
Taken only in its own context, I’m not sure this is such a brilliant move for the Rams. They need a QB, true, since Nick Foles has finally, conclusively, proved that 2013 was the weird fluke it appeared to be. They have a great running back in Todd Gurley. Then again, Pro Football Focus ranked them 28th in offensive line play. (Cleveland was 6th.) Football Outsiders is similarly unkind to LA (and Cleveland). The Rams’ best receiver was Kenny Britt, who ranked as 31st in the league. A healthy Tavon Austin would mitigate the lack of quality somewhat. My point is that if LA wants an elite offense, they’re more than a QB away.
For Tennessee, it’s brilliant. They miss a chance for Laremy Tunsil (who will be gone long before the #15 pick rolls around), but in exchange get a whole bunch of picks in the top 100. Like Cleveland, the Titans need a lot of pieces to be competitive, and that many picks will surely help them accomplish those goals.
Now, we look at the part that really matters: how this affects Cleveland. Either Wentz or Goff is going to be gone by the time Cleveland jumps up to #1. Either is a possibility. At different times, Cleveland has been linked to both QBs, so it could be that nothing changes. Cleveland takes whomever is left. The Browns could draft Tunsil and flip Joe Thomas. They could draft Jalen Ramsey. Or, somebody even more desperate for a QB than Cleveland could trade up to #2 to take the Rams’ leavings.
I genuinely don’t know what route the new front office will go. RG3 is not a long term solution at QB. Josh McCown is probably not even a short term solution. Connor Shaw and Austin Davis are unknowns. Taking the leftover QB seems like the best play. However, there are lots of other holes to fill too, and trading down will look awfully tempting. It is highly unlikely this draft makes the Browns a Super Bowl contender, so we could grab a QB next year or late in this draft.
It’s actually kind of exciting. Let’s see what DePo and Sashi Brown can do!