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With compensatory picks for 2019 NFL Draft set, the Los Angeles Rams are in a clear position to trade back because of roster timeline gap

Years of trades have footed the bill. Now, the bill is due.

Los Angeles Rams General Manager Les Snead celebrates in the locker room after the Rams’ victory in the NFC Championship, Jan. 20, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams General Manager Les Snead celebrates in the locker room after the Rams’ victory in the NFC Championship, Jan. 20, 2019.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Since the 2016 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams have remade their roster through the conventional means of the draft and free agency coupled with an aggressive posture on the trade front.

That posture, though, has meant that while the Rams were aggressive in bringing in top talents, they’ve brought in less players than what they’ve traded out.

I went back and compiled all the trades since the 2016 draft (not including any previous trades such as those that included QB Nick Foles and QB Case Keenum that involved picks in that draft for example) both leading up to drafts and throughout. You can see them in this table here that I’m not going to embed because it’s a bit of a hot mess, but what you can see is that for all the trades since 2016 is that the Rams have brought in 13 less players than what they’ve traded away.

Put simply, those deals have left the cupboard a bit bare at the back end of the roster.

Deals like the trade for the #1 pick that we used to take QB Jared Goff in which we sent the Tennessee Titans six picks and received three back. Deals like the trades for WR Sammy Watkins and CB Aqib Talib and potentially EDGE Dante Fowler, Jr., where the Rams sent away draft picks that would have been on the roster for several more years than the players we brought in.

The bottom line is that were it not for the trades (and I’m not advocating against them, I’m just pointing out the cost), the Rams would have 13 more players shoring up their roster. And when you look at all the role players on expiring deals, it’s clear that the Rams have a ton of work to do just to fill out the roster with capable talents this year and next.

That means one thing.

The Rams severely need to trade down this year.

Specifically because of the trades, the Rams are in the unusual position of needing to backfill a gap in the roster timeline because of the sheer number of trades General Manager Les Snead has pulled off. Had the Rams held on to all those picks, they might already have a quarterback on the roster to supplant Sean Mannion as the QB2. They might have had an edge rusher that would have negated the motivation to trade for Fowler in the first place. They might already have the cornerback depth they severely need once Talib and perhaps even CB Marcus Peters are gone after the 2019 season.

The Rams have been aggressive in bringing quality. But it has come at the expense of quantity.

For that reason alone, the Rams need to balance the scale in favor of quantity this year by scaling back the quality of their draft capital.

Work your magic, Lester.

2019 NFL Draft LA Rams Order

Rd # Rd# Pick Player POS School
Rd # Rd# Pick Player POS School
2 61 29 Via Chiefs Taylor Rapp S Washington
3 70 6 Via Buccaneers Darrell Henderson RB Memphis
3 79 15 Via Falcons David Long CB Michigan
3 97 33 Via Patriots Bobby Evans OL Oklahoma
4 134 32 Via Patriots Greg Gaines DT Washington
5 169 31 Rams pick David Edwards OT Wisconsin
7 243 29 Via Patriots Nick Scott S Penn State
7 251 37 Comp pick Dakota Allen LB Texas Tech