"If `ifs' and `buts' were candy and nuts..."
The draft is over and the preliminary grades have been assigned, so what else is left? Why the "what if" game, that's what. What? Exactly.
The Browns, looking to grab Brady Quinn with all the desperation of a "Flava of Love" contestant, offered St. Louis the package they wound up giving Dallas for their 22nd overall pick. Apparently, per this report in the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, the Rams gave the offer some consideration. And why not. The trade would have given the Rams two first round picks in the 2008 draft, with the one from Cleveland likely being a top ten pick.
In the end, I'm glad they turned it down, because drafting Carriker (or another defender of his caliber) gave the Rams the defensive help they need right away to make a run at the playoffs this season. "This season" was probably what helped the Rams leadership decide to pass on Cleveland's offer, as much of our offense, namely Bulger (as much for his contract status as his age and likelihood of injury) and Holt and Bruce, is built for a win now run. Sacrificing the needed, blue chip help on defense that the Rams we're going to get from the 13th overall pick, would have left the defense with the same big, big question mark over its head and reduced the chances of getting to the postseason.
But, man, that 2009 team could have been one helluva squad.
Okay, sense we're playing the "what if" game, why didn't the Rams take Alan Branch in the first round? I'm not suggesting that they should have, but logically he would have been an instant fit for the NT position. My personal opinion is that given past first day DT picks not panning out and Branch's rumored (?) willingness to check out, he could have easily become another Jimmy Kennedy OR would have required a level of coaching and motivation that would have left him fairly useless to the Rams d-line needs for 2007.
Ultimately, this draft wasn't about building for the future so much as it was about getting the players and the depth we need to win now.