by Kent Sterling
The 2011 St. Louis Rams were terrible. They finished 2-14 with an oddly dominant win over the New Orleans Saints and a 13-12 squeaker in Cleveland. As a result, they earned the #2 overall pick just behind the equally horrific Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts were committed to Andrew Luck, and with Sam Bradford in place as the quarterback in St. Louis, the Rams had no use for Robert Griffin III. They traded that pick to the Redskins for the #6 and 39th pick in 2012, and first rounders in 2013 and 2014. The 2013 first round selection was the 22nd overall, and now we know that the first rounder in the upcoming draft will be the #2 pick.
The Rams traded the #6 pick to the Dallas Cowboys for the #14 and #45 picks. That #45 pick was sent to the Bears for the #50 and #150 picks.
Okay, the Rams turned the #2 pick into DT Michael Brockers, CB Janoris Jenkins, RB Isaiah Pead, and G Rokevious Watkins as their compensation in the 2012 draft.
Last year, the Rams spun the #22 pick from Washington (along with a 2015 seventh rounder from New England) to the Atlanta Falcons for the #30, #92, and #198 picks. OLB Alec Ogletree was taken at #30 and WR Stedman Bailey (#92) were taken with two of those picks. The #198 was packaged with the Rams own sixth rounder for the Texans fifth round pick which was used to take RB Zac Stacy.
So, going into the 2014 draft, the Rams have reaped the following bounty for the pick used to select RG3:
- Michael Brockers – starting DT – 5.5 sacks in 2013
- Isaiah Pead – So far a bust; now returning kickoffs
- Janoris Jenkins – Starting CB with four picks for a TD as a rookie in 2012
- Rok Watkins – Gone to KC
- Alec Ogletree – Led Rams with 95 tackles as a rookie in 2013
- Stedman Bailey – Had two starts at end of rookie season; averaged three catches last five games of rookie season
- Zac Stacy – Started last 12 games and totaled 973 yards rushing; four 100 yard rushing games.
Plus, the Rams start all over again with the same exact pick they traded in 2012 that they turned into five starters. The Rams also have their own pick at #13.
Trading down from a #2 that might yield OT Jake Matthews, QB Derek Carr, DE Jadeveon Clowney, or one of another half dozen players who might get hot at the Senior Bowl or NFL Combine, and the Rams could reap a similar bounty of picks. If they are as shrewd this time around, they could net another five starters. That would be a total of 10 starters for the pick that allowed the Redskins to choose RG3.
The most lopsided trade in NFL history is currently the Herschel Walker deal that sent Walker and four draft picks from Dallas to Minnesota for five players and seven draft picks that included Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson, Alvin Harper, Dixon Edwards, and through another trade using assets from the Walker deal – Russell Maryland.
Walker never ran for 1,000 yards in Minnesota, nor did he win a playoff game there. The Cowboys won three Super Bowls in four seasons with a nucleus gained in the trade.
A close second was the trade that sent the draft rights of John Elway to Denver for Mark Hermann, Chris Hinton, and Ron Solt.
If the Rams get lucky again, they could find a path to making this trade continue to reap dividends in perpetuity.
The Rams have been the youngest team in the NFL for the past two seasons, and given the opportunity for a minimum of the #2 and #13 picks in the May draft, they aren’t likely to get older anytime soon. Oddly, the Rams have either earned or acquired the #2 pick four times in the last seven NFL Drafts, and have not enjoyed a winning season since 2003.