It has been a little over four years since the Rams were involved in a blockbuster draft trade. At the time, the franchise had Sam Bradford as its quarterback of the future, and picked up a pile of picks from Washington, allowing the Redskins to swoop in and draft Robert Griffin III.
That deal is instructive Thursday, because while the Los Angeles Rams now have a chance to draft what they hope will be their future franchise quarterback, the haul of picks they got from Washington didn't make them a playoff team, and the quarterback Washington drafted is now no longer with the franchise. This is a massive deal, but we can't make any assumptions about what it means. That said, here are my initial impressions.
1. The Titans got a massive haul
The raw terms of the deal say that Tennessee will send the top selection along with its fourth- (No. 113) and sixth-round (No. 177) picks this year to the Rams in exchange for Los Angeles' first-round pick (No. 15), two second-round selections (Nos. 43 and 45) and a third-round pick (No. 76) in 2016. The Titans also will get the Rams' first- and third-round picks in 2017. The quick version: Tennessee now has six of the top 76 picks in this draft, plus two first-rounders next year and two third-rounders next year.
That's a ton of draft stock, and it allows general manager Jon Robinson the chance to significantly upgrade his roster or maneuver at will in the draft. Give the Titans credit here. They leveraged the fact that Cleveland also needs to draft a quarterback at some point -- with the No. 2 pick obviously in play -- and were able to auction the opportunity to get one of the top two quarterbacks and drive a high price. They already believe they have their franchise quarterback, so they truly maximized the value of the pick.
2. The Rams didn't just get a certain Week 1 starter ...
I'm not making any assumptions yet regarding whether the Rams will take Carson Wentz or Jared Goff. I have Goff as the more NFL-ready passer because of his anticipation, accuracy and pocket instincts, but Wentz has incredible physical tools, a strong arm and a big, athletic frame. In either case you have the potential to draft a player with Pro Bowl upside. But "upside" is the key word here.
Wentz is coming out of the FCS and has less than two years of starting experience at that level thanks to a wrist injury this past season.
Goff comes out of an Air Raid -- I know, I know, it's the Bear Raid -- offense and will be in a much different scheme on Jeff Fisher's team.
These aren't knocks, they are just the usual reminders that forcing either of these players onto the field in Week 1 under the banner that "Change is here!" isn't a great recipe for success. Both of these QBs need developmental time.