St. Louis Rams GM Billy Devaney is pretty open in is willingness to explore trades, either up or down, in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. However, he did make it clear today that the Rams will not trade their first-round pick in 2012. That comes from Devaney himself appearing on 101 ESPN in St. Louis today.
Trading away a future first-round pick is something Billy Devaney has some experience with. Devaney's draft strategy with the Rams has been honed through years of practice working in Atlanta, San Diego, Washington and San Francisco. But no single experience seems to have impacted his draft day dictum like San Diego's decision to unload a boat load of picks, including a first and second-round pick in the next year's draft, to move up in the 1998 NFL Draft to select none other than Ryan Leaf. Devaney talked about that experience incessantly with regards to the Rams evaluation of Sam Bradford, and the lessons are showing themselves again here.
Already a few have wondered whether or not Devaney should rule that out, but it's a wise policy not to put all your eggs in one basket, no matter how solid and well put together that basket looks. Missing out on a first round pick next year could be just as devastating as whiffing it this year. If both scenarios were to happen, it would put the Rams back on 2007 footing...and I'm not willing to go back there as a fan.