The last 24 hours are proof that no rumor is safe in the NFL.
Just after it was reported that the Tennessee Titans had a “strong” offer for the top pick in the NFL Draft, and that the team believed to be interesting in moving up to that spot was the Philadelphia Eagles, it has been reported that the Los Angeles Rams have acquired the first pick.
So without further ado, “The Rams are now on the clock.”
According to a report in the New York Times that was written by the Associated Press, in a deal agreed to Wednesday night and announced Thursday, Tennessee sends the top pick to the Rams along with its choices in the fourth and sixth rounds. The Rams will give up their first-round pick (No. 15 overall) along with two second-round selections and their third-round pick in the draft, which begins April 28. The Titans also will receive the Rams’ first- and third-round round picks in the 2017 draft.
The fact another team pulled off a “mega” trade with the Titans means the top half of the first round is now turned upside down. It is believed Carson Wentz, the quarterback out of North Dakota State, is expected to be the first pick on April 28 in Chicago. It was thought that the Titans would make Laremy Tunsil, a left tackle out of Mississippi, the first pick prior to the trade.
“Our philosophy has always been to build through the draft,” Rams General Manager Les Snead said in a statement.
In a nod to the Rams’ owner, E. Stanley Kroenke, Snead added: “This trade is a reflection of that goal and Mr. Kroenke’s dedication to assembling a winning team on the field. We appreciate his commitment as we continue to improve our roster and lay the foundation for our future through this year’s draft.”
This is not the first time the Rams have been involved in a blockbuster trade such as this. In 2012, Washington mortgaged the team – sending three first round draft picks to the team for the right to draft Robert Griffin III, who is now in Cleveland as the team’s starter.
The move by the Rams may also affect the Browns, as they hold the second pick in the Draft and are expected to select a quarterback as well. The San Francisco 49ers may also have a need for a signal caller and could use the seventh pick to select one.
The last time quarterbacks were selected with the first and second pick in the NFL Draft was 2012 when Andrew Luck and Griffin were chosen.
The move helps Los Angeles write a new chapter of football in California, but the big winner in this deal is Tennessee.
In a bit of irony, the Titans work a deal with their former head coach, Jeff Fisher. Fisher is now the head coach in Los Angeles after spending seven seasons in Tennessee and Houston before the team moved and was rebranded.
Tennessee now has six of this draft’s first 76 picks. General Manager Jon Robinson, hired in January, is looking to rebuild a franchise that has gone 5-27 the past two seasons.
“It is not often that you have the No. 1 overall pick and we hope to not be in this position again, but we tried to use that pick as currency to work the draft and maximize player acquisition,” Robinson said in a statement.
The Titans now have plenty of options and could look to find an offensive tackle with the 15th pick. Jack Conklin of Michigan State and Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley could be available. The team also has a need for a pass rusher and at cornerback. Both positions should be easily filled in the first two rounds.