2012 NFL Draft: Why Rams Must Trade Out of Their Pick

Josh Toyofuku@jtoyofuku8Contributor IIIJanuary 5, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Why Rams Must Trade Out of Their Pick

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    Because of their horrendous 2-14 record, the St. Louis Rams have been awarded the second pick of the 2012 NFL Draft

    But, for no reason whatsoever, should they keep it?

    Why should St. Louis give up the second pick that they need so badly? The answer is plain and simple—because they can get much more out of the pick by trading it.

    But let's take a more in-depth look at the situation the Rams are in and the reasons they should trade the pick.

2011 St. Louis Rams

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    The Rams were terrible in 2011.

    Coming off of a 7-9 season in which they missed the playoffs by one divisional game, the Rams were picked by many to possibly win the weak NFC West. But when the season started, everything fell apart.

    Quarterback Sam Bradford was injured for much of the season and only managed to throw six touchdowns—and six interceptions—in 10 games. He had to deal with a porous offensive line that let him get sacked 36 times and saw multiple wide receivers, like Danny Amendola, get hurt as well.

    The defense wasn't much better, giving up 24.5 points per game and an average of 151.7 rushing yards per game.

    The team was so bad that head coach Steve Spagnuolo was fired following the season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

    The lone bright spot was running back Steven Jackson's 1,145 rushing yards.

Possible Draft Pick

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    Matt Kalil
    Left Tackle

    The Rams are in clear need of a dominant offensive lineman, and Matt Kalil is the best offensive lineman in the draft.

    Kalil, a left tackle out of USC, has decided to forgo his senior season with the Trojans and is projected to be drafted as high as No. 2 overall.

    Why so high? It doesn't hurt that his brother, Ryan Kalil, is the starting center for the Carolina Panthers. More importantly, however, Kalil held together a very inexperienced offensive line at USC and led them to be one of the best in the college game.

    Thanks to his great footwork, he did not allow a single sack while the rest of his line only gave up eight sacks in 12 games—an average of .67 sacks per game. Kalil's presence only helped quarterback Matt Barkley's draft stock before the junior quarterback decided to return for his senior season.

    Bottom line, Kalil is very talented and would help out the Rams immediately. 

Possible Draft Pick

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    Justin Blackmon
    Wide Receiver 

    Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon is another player who is atop the draft board within the St. Louis Rams' front office.

    Sam Bradford badly needs a deep threat, and Blackmon was the best wide receiver in the college game in 2011. 

    The two-time Biletnikoff Award winner and unanimous All-American has great speed, hands and ball control. He works hard to create separation and breaks tackles once he has the ball in his hands. Plus, he can take over a game at will—just look at his 186 yard and three touchdown performance in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl in only eight catches. 

    In 2011, Blackmon had 121 receptions, 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns.

    Blackmon is a game-changer and can quickly turn Bradford back into the quarterback he was during his days at Oklahoma.

Possible Trade Partner

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    Washington Redskins

    The Washington Redskins also had a terrible 2011 season—they finished 5-11 and own the sixth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

    While they have many problems, the most obvious one is at the quarterback position. In 2011, Rex Grossman threw for 3,151 yards, 16 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

    The player they need the most is Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner and the second-best quarterback in the draft.

    The Redskins have run through countless quarterbacks in recent memory and need to get one who can provide the promise the organization and fans want.

    They need Robert Griffin III so badly that they should be willing to trade up to the No. 2 spot in order to ensure the fact that no other team can get him.

    Washington needs to trade up to No. 2.

The Trade

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    The Rams and Redskins need to make the trade work because it is in the best interest of both team's futures. 

    The Redskins can get a player, Robert Griffin III (pictured), who could instantly become the face of the franchise and help turn them around.

    In return, the Rams can ask for almost any draft pick they want. Last season, the Atlanta Falcons traded away five draft picks, including two first round picks, in order to select Julio Jones—a wide receiver. In 1999, the New Orleans Saints traded away every pick they had that season and their first and third round picks in 2000 for the fifth overall pick, Ricky Williams.

    Obviously, those are two very extreme cases, but at the very least, the Rams should be able to get four picks—the Redskins 2012 first, second and third round picks along with a 2013 second or third rounder.

    St. Louis' leverage? A franchise player comes at a steep price—so pay up.

Why the Rams Are Winners

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    However, what about the players the Rams covet with their current draft position? What will they do with the sixth pick in the draft instead of the second?

    Matt Kalil would likely be gone by the sixth pick because he is such a good lineman, but teams are often weary of drafting a wide receiver so early. That would most likely mean that Justin Blackmon (pictured) would be available to the Rams to select him at their new position—sixth. Not only that, but because he would be the sixth pick and not the second, Blackmon would cost the Rams less money.

    But wait, there's more!

    As previously stated, trading the second pick would give the Rams multiple picks in return. This would set them up in a great position to restock their roster over the next year because of the extra picks they will receive. They could build up the rest of the roster around Bradford and Blackmon with the former Redskins draft picks.

    So at the end of the day, St. Louis would likely get the player they coveted all along in Blackmon and they would have picks to spare.

    So come on, St. Louis! Trade the pick!