Yesterday, Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead and Head Coach Jeff Fisher provided the team's official website with some tidbits on what qualities they look for in a potential top overall draft pick. You should be well aware by now that the Rams will make either North Dakota St. QB Carson Wentz or Cal QB Jared Goff their next franchise quarterback after trading up with the Tennessee Titans for the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft:
"We’ve always said this: if we think there’s a guy there that can really put us over the top — or help us get over the top and mainly stay over the top long-term — then go grab him," general manager Les Snead said. "And sometimes, you can’t let him come to you because he won’t get there."
The Rams certainly haven't been strangers to moving up and down the draft before. They've moved up for players like Tavon Austin, Lamarcus Joyner, and Zac Stacy before this year's move up to the top spot of the draft. The team obviously feels that Goff or Wentz fit the mold of helping the team "get over the top" and staying there.
"I think [at] No. 1, you need to have a special skill set that’s going to allow that skill to translate into production on the field," Snead said. "But there’s an off-the-field element to it — how that player is going to represent the franchise. Because, guess what, if you get picked No. 1, that’s going to stay with you forever."
Number one priority for a number one pick has to be about skill set, etc. It may be a football move but it isn't lost on the GM that this QB will become the face of the franchise. Good thing for them, neither Wentz or Goff have off-field concerns in regards to how they would represent the team. The Rams are doing just as much homework with each QB's on-field abilities as they are with how each one would fit with their team and the pressures of being that number one pick.
"Because he’s the No. 1 pick, he’s been individualized to a certain extent, been put on a pedestal to a certain extent," Snead continued. "So when he walks into that locker room, guess what — he comes off that pedestal. No. 1, it really means nothing. ‘I’m a part of the group.’ And there’s qualities in humans that can get us all marching in the same direction. That’s the chemistry we’re looking for."
Les Snead loves saying "humans". But he brings up a great point about how the status of being the top pick will follow whomever gets selected. It would seem impossible to tell how they would handle that until they actually step into the locker room. But in case you think the no. 1 pick must start week 1, Snead is quick to point out that the decision to take someone first overall isn't with week 1 in mind but three, five, seven years down the line. And as far as Fisher goes:
"They both have the ability to be franchise quarterbacks," Fisher said. "They’re both different — unique styles. But at the end of the day, they win. They’re productive. They’re great leaders. They have great minds. And they’re both equipped to take the next step and be successful."
The Head Coach is a seasoned vet in interview-speak. Playing it close to the vest as expected but on Thursday we will have a definitive answer in which qualities and QB they actually prefer.