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First pick trade talk heats up

As the Ndamukong Suh fans here at TST have noticed, the notion that the St. Louis Rams will draft Sam Bradford with the first pick in the draft has become the deeply rooted consensus. Hell, we're already laying out the offensive strategy for next year under that assumption. But the rumors of a potential trade with the Cleveland Browns for the first overall pick just won't go away, especially with Browns GM Tom Heckert confirming today that the two teams have had conversations about a potential trade. Ok, so they've talked, but is anymore than just talk? 

According to post from Rob Rang today, there is indeed a little depth to that talk. He says both the Rams and Browns would like to move out of their current spots in the first round, and they're still talking about the terms of such a trade. 

If the Rams didn't draft Bradford, then who would they pick to fill the massive void at QB? Some point to Jimmy Clausen, but Rang stands by the notion that we talked about yesterday citing sources who say Rams have an affinity for Colt McCoy and could nab him with the 33rd pick. He then says that WR Dez Bryant or DT Dan Williams could be the pick if the Rams do pick seventh. 

Fascinating stuff, and very possibly a classic case of pre-draft subterfuge. My thoughts on the matter below the jump.

For one, if this is a real possibility, the Rams better be damn sure about Colt McCoy. I know there are plenty out there who question the wisdom of Bradford as the first overall pick, but experts generally agree that he can be successful in the NFL. There is less consensus around McCoy. 

If the Rams do take McCoy and go bust, it at least won't be as costly a mistake as if Bradford were to go bust after being drafted first overall. However, it would still prevent the franchise from moving forward at a time when it really needs to get the cornerstones in place for the future. 

It would also be pretty frustrating to see the Rams whiff on that 33rd pick because there will be lots of great talent available. 

McCoy could probably be a good fit for the West Coast offense, and like we said earlier today, the team could also use the shotgun more often and more effectively. Billy Devaney et al could still make Clausen the pick at number seven, and that brings me to my second and most important point:

Leaks and speculation from inside sources run rampant this time of year, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit if Billy Devaney and his inside circle are playing their cards close to their chest as far as what their QB draft board looks like. First and foremost, it would give them at least some leverage in talks with Bradford, something they have very little of right now given how much conventional wisdom has solidified around the Rams-Bradford talk at first overall. It would also be the smart play because it keeps other teams guessing, which is the name of the game this time of year. Trades get made at the draft based in part on the players teams want and the assumptions they have about who else wants them. 

It's silly season, but we have to listen because there's just enough possibility with each piece of info that we hear.

Except of course the one that went around last night about the Rams swapping their first overall pick for Ben Roethlisberger. No thanks.