There has been a lot of discussion over the last week when it comes to the Los Angeles Rams pushing for playoff spot despite their chances being slim or prioritizing a draft pick. An argument can be made for both sides. There is generational talent at quarterback and offensive tackle inside the top-10 and that might be better for the team’s long-term plan. However, there is also something to be said about winning tough games down the stretch with a young roster.
With all of that being said, the Rams may not need a draft pick in the top-10 to land a top-10 draft pick. ESPN recently did a mock draft of the top-10 for the 2020 NFL Draft. The Rams were seen as a potential wild card team by draft analyst Matt Miller. Here’s what Miller had to say,
“We might not be far removed from the Rams trading away all their high picks in favor of established stars, but they are expected to have 10 selections in the 2024 draft before even factoring in compensatory picks. That gives GM Les Snead the tools to move up in the first round and add an impact Day 1 starter to a roster that looks better than anyone expected this season.”
The Rams have been without a first-round pick since 2016. While they had one in 2019, they traded back as the value at the end of the first round isn’t that different than the talent in the middle of the second round.
It’s hard to know exactly how Les Snead and Sean McVay would approach the first-round. However, Snead has proven himself to be active in the draft, whether it’s trading up or trading down. In his first five years, Snead traded up in the first round twice to get the player that he wanted.
Back in 2013, the Rams moved up from the 16th overall pick to eighth and took wide receiver Tavon Austin. In that trade, Snead gave up his second-round pick, exchanged third-round picks and then gave up his seventh-round.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Rams moved up from 15th overall to first overall in order to take quarterback Jared Goff. Snead gave up a haul of draft picks to make that move, but the overall point here is that he hasn’t been afraid to move up and get his guy.
Now, it’s unlikely that the Rams would move up from the middle of the first round to the first overall pick. With Caleb Williams and Drake Maye at the top of the draft, that price tag would also be insurmountable. However, a trade from the 12-17 range to the top-10 is something that would be on the table. As Miller said, the Rams have draft capital to work with.
Just last season, the Houston Texans moved up from the 12th overall pick to third overall with the Arizona Cardinals. In that trade, the Texans gave up their 2024 first and second-round picks as well as their 2023 second-round pick in exchange for the third overall selection and a pick in the fourth-round.
That trade may be a little out of Snead’s price range, but moving into the 6-8 range will certainly be on the table. It’s far too early to be discussing draft scenarios. With that said, it is a good reminder that there is also more than one way for the Rams to acquire a pick in the top-10.