2012 NFL Draft: Could the St. Louis Rams Trade Up for Trent Richardson?

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2012 NFL Draft: Could the St. Louis Rams Trade Up for Trent Richardson?
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Is Trent Richardson going to become a member of the St. Louis Rams?

With a day remaining until the 2012 NFL draft, the St. Louis Rams are the team that will alter the draft based on who they select with the sixth overall pick. However, Rams management is reportedly heavily pursuing a trade with the Minnesota Vikings that would land them Alabama running back Trent Richardson.

ESPN Scouts, Inc. draft analyst Matt Williamson believes the Rams can complete the trade with the Vikings, who have shown their desire to move the third overall pick:

 

This is quite an interesting scenario because it involves arguably the two teams that could alter how the draft plays out.

The Vikings are reportedly torn right now between offensive tackle Matt Kalil and cornerback Morris Claiborne. For months, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that the Vikings would select Kalil. They need to begin investing in players that can protect Christian Ponder and hopefully avoid any future injuries.

However, many executives don't see Kalil as an elite offensive lineman prospect. He is not the caliber of the Browns' Joe Thomas or the Dolphins' Jake Long.

In the Vikings' case, they could easily address the secondary as well. This unit has been ignored for the past few years, even when Brett Favre was the quarterback.

Morris Claiborne is the best cornerback prospect in the draft and is the most NFL-ready. Despite his performance on the Wonderlic test, teams have no trouble believing that he can read NFL defenses at a high level.

If the Vikings trade down from the third spot, they are showing that they are content with Kalil or even South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore with the sixth overall pick.

The Rams have not shown many signals of who they will draft with their first pick. Justin Blackmon seemed intriguing to the Rams, who are in desperate need of a wide receiver. However, with a deep wide receiver class, they could afford to address the need in other rounds.

Fletcher Cox has been on the rise for weeks, and it's known that Jeff Fisher loves his defensive linemen. 

Their initial thinking could have changed when Steven Jackson expressed disappointment in his current contract and his desire for a new one this offseason. Jackson has been a workhorse for the Rams, but his durability history won't lead to a new contract.

As the Jackson trade rumors begin, that only means a potential trade up for Trent Richardson. The Rams have the draft selections to make the move after receiving a great deal from the Washington Redskins.

The speculation will continue leading up to minutes before the NFL draft. Ultimately, the Rams will need to decide if they want Trent Richardson to become a part of their future.

UPDATE: The St. Louis Rams may have competition if they want to trade up for Trent Richardson. The New York Jets are considering trading up from the 16th overall pick for Richardson, who is "very high" on their draft board.

Matt Miselis is an NFL Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. He has appeared on ESPN.com, CBS Sports and other media outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @MattMiselisNFL

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