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2011 NFL Draft: Should the Rams trade up?

A trade up in the 2011 NFL Draft would give the St. Louis Rams a shot at WR A.J. Green of Georgia.
A trade up in the 2011 NFL Draft would give the St. Louis Rams a shot at WR A.J. Green of Georgia.

It's being said that the Denver Broncos would consider trading their second overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Unless, of course, there's a rookie salary schedule in place by the time the draft rolls around in late April, says one report, the tight-fisted Donkeys could look to reduce uncertainty and move down in the draft.

Good luck with that. Even if a rookie salary schedule is in place by that time, trading the second overall pick won't be an easy proposition. Rookie cap or not, it will still be an expensive pick, not as pricey as it is now, but not exactly free. Second, this draft isn't stuffed with the kind of blue chip prospects that were at the top of everyone's draft board last year, e.g. Sam Bradford and Ndamukong Suh. But let's go with it for a minute and consider whether or not the St. Louis Rams would be wise to think about moving up in the draft.

The most obvious reason would be to draft Georgia WR A.J. Green. He's considered the best receiver available in the draft in a long time. Owning the second overall pick would all but ensure the Rams could draft Green and address their biggest need and have a nice offensive nucleus for years to come.

However, setting aside the contract cost, trading up would involve a hefty price tag in and of itself. Billy Devaney would have to throw in one of the Rams later picks, maybe even a second or third rounder to swing the deal. In a year where the Rams have just one pick in each round and the need for depth at every position, that would be a prohibitive cost. Then there's the contract. Rookie salary scale or not, the second overall pick is going to be a much pricier item than the fourteenth overall pick. Last year's first overall pick has more than $18 million due to him this year, and the pressure is on to open up the checkbook in free agency.

If the Rams do any trading, they would most certainly look to trade down. That would guarantee them the chance to draft another wide receiver (remember, it's hardly a given that Julio Jones would be available at #14) like Leonard Hankerson or Jonathan Baldwin and net another draft pick or two on the second and third days of the draft.