Though they are currently slated to pick in the top-7, the Los Angeles Rams’ chances of landing the number one pick to acquire Caleb Williams may not be as good as you think.
The Rams sit at 3-6 following three consecutive losses prior to their bye week. As underdogs at home against the Seattle Seahawks, there is a chance they lose a fourth straight and fall to 3-7. If that were to happen, the “tanking for Caleb” conversations would certainly come back up. While the Rams sit just two games behind the Chicago Bears for the number one pick courtesy of the Carolina Panthers, it’s much more likely that the Rams go 5-12 or 6-11 than it is that they go 3-14 or 4-13.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell went through 2024 NFL Draft top pick scenarios on Thursday. Barnwell had the team at ESPN Stats and Info run 10,000 simulations and used those results to identify the eight teams that have at least a one percent chance of landing the top pick. The Rams may currently hold the seventh overall pick, but both the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons who are currently slated with the eighth and ninth overall picks had a higher chance of the number one selection that the Rams.
To reiterate, the Rams don’t even have a 0.1 percent chance right now of landing the number one overall pick based on 10,000 simulations done by ESPN Stats and Info.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the Rams can’t or won’t land a pick inside the top-5, but only that the top-pick is unlikely. On the back-half of the Rams’ schedule, they still have yet to play the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Commanders, and New York Giants. It’s highly unlikely that the Rams would lose all three of those games which is what would need to happen to even have a chance at the top-pick.
Even if things go realistically in a way that is favorable for the Rams, they still probably only finish with the fourth overall pick.
When all is said and done, not having the top-pick or even a top-2 pick simplifies things for the Rams. There’s no need to potentially create a quarterback controversy by taking a player like Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. Instead they can focus on taking a generational wide receiver if they’re in position to do so or go the “easy route” and simply address their biggest position of need which is the left tackle position with Olu Fashanu or Joe Alt. That simplifies the decision and allows the Rams to continue on their play for 2024 or 2025 rather than resetting with a rookie quarterback.
The Rams may need to get into the top-5 to guarantee themselves one of those players, but the preseason dream of Caleb Williams going from USC to the Los Angeles Rams likely isn’t going to happen.
As it stands, Los Angeles currently holds the seventh overall pick. Over these next eight games, it’s important for the Rams simply to not get stuck drafting in the 13-18 range. While they may not have a chance at the number one pick and Caleb Williams, there is still an opportunity to land blue-chip caliber talent near the top of the draft.