This is the final part of the series about the Rams trading up into the 1st round. Here, we talk about going "all in" and trading away the entire 2023 draft to only get one player in the middle of the 1st round.
Some potential trade ups could end in disaster. In 2019, I floated the idea of trading up for a player like Andre Dillard. He was a draft bust for the Eagles. Once Daniel Jones went to the NYG, a QB needy team might have considered making a trade to grab Dwayne Haskins. Jeffery Simmons tore his ACL prior to the draft, so he became a big name prospect still on the board in the lower half of the 1st round. Simmons is a very good player, but on the other hand, is it worth trading away so many picks to get a DT?
Let's look at who the other picks would have become if we didn't trade them all to get Jeffery Simmons. 36th overall: Deebo Samuel. Okay, I guess we don't have to even look at the rest of the picks.
Who Might be Available at 13?
Running the draft sims, this is who the computer spits out as the 10 best available:
PFN: Will Levis, Bijan Robinson, Joey Porter Jr., Tyree Wilson, Bryan Bresee, Devon Witherspoon, Trenton Simpson, Brian Branch, Cam Smith, Peter Skoronski
PFF: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Calijah Kancey, B. Branch, J. Porter, Dalton Kincaid, Deonte Banks, Paris Johnson Jr., B. Bresee, Nolan Smith, Myles Murphy
Fanspeak (Shoup): Anthony Richardson, Michael Mayer, W. Levis, Q. Johnston, C. Smith, J. Addison, C. Gonzalez, Broderick Jones, Lukas Van Ness, N. Smith
NFLMDD: CJ Stroud, J. Porter, P. Skoronski, J. Smith-Njigba, LVN, B. Branch, J. Addison, B. Jones, N. Smith, M. Mayer
DJ top 50: C. Gonzalez, LVN, J. Porter, N. Smith, D. Wright, P. Johnson Jr., B. Jones, M. Murphy, M. Mayer, D. Washington
LZ: Luke Musgrave, D. Kincaid, J. Downs, Z. Flowers, B. Jones, M. Mayer, D. Witherspoon, K. White, J. Porter, DJ Turner.
As a group, I feel that this is a better tier of prospects than we saw available at slot 24. There is some overlap, with the same players making both lists, but there are also quite a few players who could end up being top 10 selections. So if one of those "top 10" type guys somehow drops down and is still on the board at about 13, it could be tempting to jump up to grab such a player.
For example, let's just talk about QB, because if a team made a big trade, that position is the one most likely to be the prime target. Will Levis is only the 54th ranked prospect on Lance Zierlein's board. The top QBs are all projected in mock drafts to go very early in the 1st round, but what if that doesn't actually happen? Maybe NFL teams aren't as high on Levis as experts believe and he won't be a top 10 pick. Or, say he does go top 10 and the QB who gets left out in that game of musical chairs is Anthony Richardson. If one of those guys is still on the board in the middle of the 1st round, should the Rams try to draft him?
Some of the prospects listed above are outstanding. I might write about some of them just to illustrate. Obviously, since we're talking about the top half of the 1st round, we're considering players who are supposed to become Pro Bowl type performers. After the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Rams now have the ability to jump up to a higher tier of candidates than they were previously able to consider. Should the Rams cash in all their 2023 draft chips to try to land one of the top players in the draft?