St. Louis Rams: What If the Rams Had Traded Sam Bradford?
Heading into the NFL draft, the debate raged. Should the St. Louis Rams stick with Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2010 NFL draft, or should the team draft Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft?
Of course, we know that the Rams decided to stick with Bradford.
We also know that Rams GM Les Snead thought he could leverage the RG3 pick into three first-round draft selections, and that he was shopping for extra compensation on top of that (the Rams got those three first-rounders, plus a second rounder).
What if Cleveland called the Rams and offered a similar package for Sam Bradford?
Cleveland GM Mike Holmgren coveted Bradford prior to the 2010 NFL draft. Meanwhile, current Browns head coach Pat Shurmur was the Rams' OC during Bradford's rookie season in St. Louis. Bradford was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year under Shurmur.
It makes sense that the Browns would be interested in Bradford. They had the No. 4 and No. 22 picks in the first round this year, which would have given the Rams some ammunition to reload right now.
Let's paint this hypothetical picture, shall we?
The Rams would have traded Bradford to Cleveland for their 2012 first-round picks (No. 4 and No. 22 overall), their 2012 second-round pick and their 2013 first-round pick. Basically, it's the same deal they got from Washington, but the Rams get two first-round picks this year in this scenario.
Which core group would you have preferred the Rams move forward with?
The Rams would have then used the second overall pick on RG3, the fourth overall pick on Justin Blackmon and the No. 22 overall pick on David DeCastro from Stanford.
No longer needing a receiver (sorry, Brian Quick), but instead a defensive tackle (sorry, Michael Brockers), the Rams then use the No. 33 overall pick on a DT at the top of Round 2. Possibilities included Devon Still out of Penn State or Jerel Worthy out of Michigan State.
Since the Rams wouldn't trade back with the Cowboys in this scenario, they wouldn't have acquired the extra second-round pick used to select Janoris Jenkins. However, we'll assume that the Rams would have still traded back to pick Isaiah Pead at No. 50 overall. We'll also assume that they would have drafted Trumaine Johnson at the top of Round 3, with the Rams needing a corner in the absence of Jenkins.
With that being said, the question is, which group would you rather go forward with on paper?
On one hand, we have Bradford, Brockers, Quick, Jenkins, Pead and whatever the two additional first-rounders (2013 and 2014) from Washington will bring.
On the other hand, the Rams could have had RG3, Blackmon, DeCastro, Still, Pead and whatever the additional first-round pick from Cleveland would have been next year.
I guess the real question is, will Bradford be a better QB than Griffin?
Over the next decade, as that question gets answered, we'll know if the Rams made all the right moves in the 2012 draft.
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