The key, of course, is to avoid stagnation.
The Los Angeles Rams, just two months ago, nearly achieved immortality - ultimately falling short to the New England Patriots.
Since then, staples like Rodger Saffold have left. Veterans like Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews have arrived.
Now what comes next?
At pick No. 31, the Rams stand at the lowest pick the team has been in the first round since 2002. In this spot, Los Angeles will hope to kick off what comes next in the evolution of this Super Bowl-caliber roster.
The Turf Show Times staff took a shot at what the Rams should do in this spot with three options per person.
1. First and foremost, the Rams should make every effort to trade out of this spot. The Jared Goff, Marcus Peters and Brandin Cooks trades allowed Los Angeles to swing for the fences last season, but also robbed the team of valuable depth and even more valuable affordable rookie contracts. The best case scenario is if one of the quarterbacks slips and a team in the early part of the second round is willing to move back up for an extra year of team control in exchange for a high 2020 pick.
2. DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
The 2019 cornerback class has a little bit of everything. Baker isn’t a burner and gives up some size to bigger receivers, but he’s the toughest competitor at the position in this draft. He’s confident in press that Wade Phillips’ scheme demands and has the consistency and patience that Marcus Peters often lacks.
3. Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M
Assuming Garrett Bradbury will be long gone by this spot, Los Angeles grabs the second best center in the draft to offset the losses of Saffold and John Sullivan. McCoy is a fantastic fit in the Rams’ zone blocking scheme and held up well in competition against elite SEC competition like Quinnen Williams.
1. Garrett Bradbury, G, NC State
Bradbury is unlikely to be there at #31, but he would be a dream pick for the Rams. He can play any interior position, and his athleticism is close to Jason Kelce’s. If he’s there, you need to sprint to the podium.
2. Trade down. There appear to be a cluster of OL/DL prospects likely to be there in the early 2nd round that could provide immediate help. If the Rams can drop 3 spots and pick up an extra 3rd or 4th, they have to do it.
3. BPA in the secondary. The Rams signed 34-year-old Weddle to a 2 year deal, and have Talib/Peters hitting the market in 2020.
Eric Nagel (@Eric_nagel)
1. My first choice is obviously to trade down. I think the Rams have a looming depth problem and it’s not going to be solved without infusing the team with a lot of rookies. UDFA’s can only go so far. Of course, that depends on the deal on the table, so I’m not going to be sad if it doesn’t materialize.
2. The second choice is the best available front seven guy on the board. The Rams have an immediate problem at NT that hasn’t been addressed and they don’t have much depth at EDGE. So if someone falls, go for it! Now isn’t the time to be picky.
3. Third is going after an offensive lineman. They are very top heavy here, but quality IOL can be found outside of the top 32 picks, so it’s not my first choice for that reason.
Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)
I believe a trade down is almost a surefire guarantee, and I agree they should absolutely explore a trade down. My assumption is they will trade back. Whether they do or don’t, here are my selections:
1. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Simmons is a superstar talent who’s likely a top-5 player in this entire draft class. His recently torn ACL as well as a bad video from high school could keep him from going higher, though that ultimately ends as a major win for the Rams.
McCoy is the perfect fit when it comes to the Rams looking to add a zone blocking scheme center. McCoy might be even better in pass pro, and that bodes well for a team who just lost two interior offensive lineman.
3. Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Adderley is the perfect fit for what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips seeks in a single-high roaming playmaker on the back end. Adderley has elite ball skills as well as unlimited range, making him the top safety in this class in my opinion.
Joey The Jerk (@LaRamsRamsRams)
2. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_ )
1. Stay put. Does nobody value the fifth-year option? Take BPA on offensive or defensive lines. The Rams lost key players on the interiors this offseason, and it’s something they need to shore up with a quickness; and for the long-term.
2. Trade down, but only if the deal is sweet enough. The haul for the Rams would have to go above and beyond standard draft trade value chart numbers, in my opinion. The invisible line that exists at the end of the first round (again, that fifth year option) carries value and teams will strongly consider making the move back into Thursday night — make them pay for it, and preferably in 2019. Going BPA seems wisest at that point.
3. Straight up BPA. While it feels like the Rams most pressing needs are in offensive and defensive fronts (my two cents), they’ve got needs elsewhere. Again, stay put and just take the stud atop your board at 31, regardless of what position he plays (within reason — no kickers, punters, WR wouldn’t make much sense...you get the deal).
Elijah Kim (@Sports_EZK)
1. Trading back is in the Rams nature. By trading back a couple spots, the goal would be to pick up additional draft capital in the deep draft (especially in the secondary.)
2. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Murphy is considered by some to be the top corner. This draft is very deep but not necessarily top heavy. However, Murphy in the late first round could be the best of the bunch and he is definitely of interest to either take over for Peters/Talib when transitions could possible occur.
3. Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State
Jenkins can play any of the three interior OL positions and offers versatility. He would be more “talented” than Noteboom or Allen and could easily replace either of them at LG or C.
Eddie Perez (@iAmEddieP_)
1. Trade Down. Unless there is a player the Rams really covet, a trade down from 31 would be best. More picks baby.
2. Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
The offensive line needs bodies – Lindstrom is a helluva lineman and he’s versatile, which the Rams love.
Imagine Donald and Simmons on the same defensive line. I would love to see it become a reality.
1. Trade down
I went into this in more depth back in mid-February, but the Rams are in good position to trade back from #31 and potentially pick up a 3rd-rounder.
Snead even alluded to that opportunity this week, saying:
The benefits of trading back would be, can you acquire an extra mid-round pick? The way we painted the picture – if you trade back, can you get an extra player like a (WR) Cooper Kupp, a (S) John Johnson (III), a (T) Joseph Noteboom, (C) Brian Allen, a (WR) Josh Reynolds – some guys that we’ve gotten in the third and fourth (rounds) – (OLB) Samson Ebukam, (DL) John Franklin-Myers. The key there is those are people who had a role here and it’s up to us if we do that, to still draft right and develop right.
2. BPA among any position on defense or OL
The Rams have so many roster gaps coming up this year and next that you can easily justify any position between OT, G, C, DT, DE, EDGE, ILB, CB or S. That’s plenty wide enough to allow for a near-true Best Player Available strategy to reign here.
3. BPA - OL only
The biggest roster gap at the highest position value is along the offensive line. Rodger Saffold III and John Sullivan are gone. Andrew Whitworth is retiring after this season. While I’m hopeful Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen turn into functional starters, there’s no certainty there. If anything, adding a first-round OL to a group with third-round and fourth-round sophomores who barely played at all last year with a fourth-year UDFA at right guard hardly seems like a bad idea.
What should the Rams do with the 31st pick?
This poll is closed
Draft an defensive lineman
Draft an offensive lineman
Draft a cornerback