In the past ten years, the New England Patriots have participated in the NFL draft without a first round pick four times. In that same time, they played in five Super Bowls. So, does that mean that Head Coach Bill Belichick favored veterans over draft picks? In one sense, yes. But it’s also because the Patriots have enjoyed the luxury of not needing to take a risk on a collegiate player and the difficult evaluation thereof. They had the ability to attract free agents and had the aggressiveness to trade for the talent that could keep them in contention.
The Rams pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade last year by sending CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 NFL Draft second-round pick for WR Sammy Watkins. While the jury is still out on that trade, the method behind it was sound in my book. The Rams are placing a priority on players that can help them now rather than guys that have a chance to develop in the future.
Rather than selecting a cornerback with the 23rd pick in the draft as most mock drafts have suggested, the Rams look to be taking a different direction with a 25-year old star and #1 pass defender that can tackle and catch interceptions like no one else in the NFL.
I believe that this is an incredible move by GM Les Snead because it’s bold, opportunistic and puts faith in the rest of the players. So, what’s the message that Snead is sending to the rest of the team and the Rams fanbase? “We can win a Super Bowl right now.”
Get ready Rams fans. The window is wide open.