The LA Rams almost certainly won’t be picking on Thursday, but news can always happen as we saw last week with Brandin Cooks. Does that mean that the Rams will trade for one of these veteran players who are presumably available in trade? Probably not. They not only lack a first round pick in each of the next two drafts, including today, but they have no cap space. That being said, LA has not officially signed A’Shawn Robinson and Leonard Floyd and we don’t know for sure if those deals won’t fall through like the ones for Michael Brockers and some others elsewhere.
Mostly though, the Rams have little chance of making news today as compared to the other 31 teams. So I’m running through some quick potential topics for discussion. And it doesn’t mean that divisional opponents like the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, or San Francisco 49ers can’t make a big name acquisition this weekend either, which would also have a notable impact on the Rams.
Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE
I think it’s rare that I’d say a player seems “destined” to be traded, but I really don’t know that Ngakoue can ever play for the Jaguars again after this offseason of discontent. Rumors of the Raiders trading for Ngakoue were rampant on Wednesday night but those have slowed down as of this writing. Ngakoue could be traded for a first and/or second round pick. He’s barely 25 and he’s been really consistent over his four seasons, the first of which being when he beat out former Rams acquisition Dante Fowler Jr for a starting job.
Chris Jones, Interior Pass Rush
Rare you see players as good as this, in their prime, become available. The Chiefs are going to have a difficult time affording Jones, their franchise tag player, so a trade may be necessary unless some other big moves happen. They can cut Sammy Watkins, which is fine, but Jones is going to be really expensive. He’s a potential DPOY and he’s not yet 26. I’d expect a first and second round pick at least if I were Kansas City.
Jamal Adams, S
The Jets really seem opposed to becoming successful, the latest piece of evidence being that they’d entertain a future without their star 24-year-old safety. Adams is worth at least the first round pick that the Steelers gave up for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Joe Thuney, G
Obviously this may be the player, along with Ngakoue, who seems to be the best immediate upgrade for a team like the Rams, if they could make such a move. The Patriots are also in a tough financial position and may be compelled to move Thuney for at least one good draft pick on Thursday or Friday. I had mocked an idea where they traded him to the Cleveland Browns for pick 10 — with some other considerations going back to the Browns maybe. It seems like a lot but this would mean that Cleveland added both Jack Conklin and Joe Thuney, the top two free agent linemen, this year.
Anthony Harris, S
Another player on a franchise tag and another team that may struggle to complete that tag with a long-term deal. I really like Harris a lot and he’s another player I see as making sense for the Browns. Cleveland has the most cap space to work with right now and they may actually be a couple of good veterans from getting to the AFC playoffs. Assuming they stop being the Browns.
Trent Williams, OT
Another option that would create a dream scenario for LA’s needs — Andrew Whitworth on the left, Williams on the right, Rob Havenstein shifts inside — but isn’t going to be possible. I would expect Williams to get moved for a day two pick.
This trade was set in motion when the Jaguars picked a running back over players like, say, Jamal Adams. Jacksonville also had three years to evaluate Blake Bortles and still passed on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson for a running back. That running back isn’t very effective and I could see him getting dealt for two day three picks.
O.J. Howard, TE
People will get excited about guys like Fournette and Howard moving because they were high draft picks and highly touted prospects but what has he done at the pro level to get people excited? Howard hasn’t played a full season yet. He caught one touchdown last year. He has been in an offense that would like to pass it to him more and that never worked. They felt so unsure about the position that they traded for Rob Gronkowski, who you have to worry about as far as being available in the second half of the year and the playoffs. But tight end has been a valued position this offseason, I wonder if a team would trade a third rounder for this disappointing tight end.
Matt Judon, EDGE
I think Judon is a great pass rusher but he’s not talked about nearly as much as Ngakoue and some others. I might like the Judon acquisition more than any other for a team. The Ravens have a lot of draft capital this year, a lot of buying power. I could see them trading up a couple of times this year. I could see them getting a pass rusher in the first who they really like, then looking to deal Judon for a 2020 second and a 2021 second.
Andy Dalton, QB
Jacoby Brissett, QB
Josh Rosen, QB
Derek Carr, QB
Mitch Trubisky, QB
If you’re Cam Newton or Jameis Winston, you gotta be keeping up to date with any potential QB movement this weekend. There are so many more “starting” QBs available than usual and few spots to place them. But not no spots. The Patriots might prefer to add a player like Rosen, Trubisky, or Brissett to mix into the rotation this offseason over a draft pick. I actually don’t have New England drafting a QB until maybe round three at the earliest. Of course, if Washington or the Giants or the Lions make a “surprise” pick at QB, more options will hit the market too.
Alshon Jeffery, WR
He’s gonna get mentioned, he might be traded, but could it really be of much consequence? Jeffery’s last 900-yard season was 2014.
Odell Beckham or Jarvis Landry, WR
The Browns can say whatever they want. You can’t ever be surprised if they give up on a player after one season or a relationship going sour, so I could see either of these guys dealt. I would move Landry, if either.
Kenny Stills, WR
If O’Brien can get a conditional 2023 seventh rounder for him, you know he’s gotta make that deal.
Not Rumored But ...
Chris Godwin, WR
Curtis Samuel, WR
These aren’t rumors out there but I was just looking at rosters and it had me thinking, “What if the Bucs don’t see it possible to re-sign Godwin next year and they feel that Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, and Henry Ruggs III is more than enough for Tom Brady?” Especially if they could trade Godwin for a late first round pick to address another need? They could take one of the top-three receivers at 14, then an offensive linemen with the pick for Godwin.
As to Samuel, I have this weird idea that the Panthers could draft Jerry Jeudy. They take Jeudy and move Samuel, who was really hurt by having to play with Kyle Allen, for a third round pick. Teddy Bridgewater now has Jeudy, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson. They met with Jeudy in the pre-draft process and if that was a match, Samuel seems the odd person out.
Duke Johnson, RB
Bill O’Brien probably wants to trade Johnson for nothing and draft a running back with pick 40.
Royce Freeman, RB
He doesn’t seem to have a role after they signed Melvin Gordon.
Chris Carson, RB
I have no great reason to believe this, but I could see the Seahawks drafting a running back with their first pick. Carson is a free agent in 2021, so they could go into next season with Rashaad Penny and whatever back they draft, then hope to get a fourth or fifth rounder for Carson. I don’t expect this!
I’ll add or subtract from this list as necessary.