– The Rams and Redskins issued a joint statement Saturday morning confirming a major trade involving a lot of highly valued draft picks.
– The deal, which has been agreed to but can’t be completed officially until the new league year opens on Tuesday at 3 p.m. CST, sends the Rams’ No. 2 pick to Washington in exchange for Washington’s first rounder this year (No. 6 overall) and second rounder this year (No. 39 overall) plus Washington’s first-round selection in 2013 and 2014.
– Now, it seems people have been quick to say that Washington overpaid for the pick but in looking at it closely, it seems – at least right now – to be a great deal for both sides.
– In acquiring the No. 2 pick, the Redskins will almost certainly land Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. The Redskins haven’t had a franchise quarterback in a long, long time. Griffin will have to prove it on the field but by all accounts, he is the total package and completely capable of living up to that lofty expectation. And Griffin is a great fit for what Washington coach Mike Shanahan likes to do offensively.
– Shanahan has done well with quarterbacks who can make plays on the move, using bootlegs and rollouts to create space and opportunity. He did it with John Elway and Jake Plummer and won big. Presumably, Washington will use its $40 million or so in cap room to get Griffin some play makers to help him have a chance right away. Of course, the Rams hope that Griffin doesn’t have too much success right away so those future ones will hold even greater value.
– As for the Rams, this is the type of trade that can be a franchise changer. The addition of those top picks puts the Rams in position to be power brokers at the NFL Draft for each of the next three years. They can stand pat and add great players. They can manipulate the draft even further by using that ammunition to move up and get players they covet. They can even continue to move down and acquire more picks which would give them even more ammo on draft day.
– The lifeblood of any good franchise is the NFL Draft. The Rams have put themselves in position to find the core of this franchise for the forseeable future in the next three drafts. The key for the Rams, of course, is making good on those picks and finding top caliber players with them.
– Something else to consider as far as this year’s draft: the Rams have three picks in the top 39. One of those picks is the first pick of round 2. That pick could be very valuable and maybe garner even another No. 1 in the 2013 draft. Likewise, the No. 6 pick could also still be moved if another team that doesn’t get Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn wants to move up for Ryan Tannehill. I’ve been told it’s a six-player draft and the Rams would do well to land one of those six but if they opt to move down, they really could make some hay to put pieces in place long term.
– Kudos to new Rams GM Les Snead. He was part of a huge draft trade last year in Atlanta and he showed no fear in getting this deal done. He set a price and he wasted no time to go out and get it. There is still a lot of work to be done, clearly but make no mistake, Rams fans, the future for this franchise is as bright as it’s been in a long time.
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