If you didn’t feel the NFL world shaking yesterday, the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams caused an earthquake after making one of the biggest trades in NFL history, sending the Rams all the way from the 15th pick in the draft to the 1st overall selection. Now, it is time to break down the pros and cons of the trade from both sides perspectives, and who came out on top.
Titans Receive: picks 15, 43, 45, and 76 of the 2016 NFL Draft, Rams 2017 1st round pick and 2017 conditional 3rd round pick (if Rams are awarded 3rd round compensatory pick next year, Titans get that pick, if not, Rams give their base 3rd round selection)
Rams Receive: picks 1, 113, and 177 of the 2016 NFL Draft
We will start with the Titans because frankly, their side is the easiest to support.
- They got a lot. A lot. When I say a lot, I mean they got more than I ever thought they could. The day before the trade I saw a theory extremely similar to this trade involving these two teams, and thought the author was crazy for thinking they could get for this pick.
- The Titans now control not only the 2016 draft, but the 2017 as well. With six selections in the first 76 picks this year and two 1st rounders next year, the Titans are set up to rebuild their roster with a plethora of young talent that can get them back on the radar quick, after going through two extremely poor seasons in 2014 and 2015.
- They didn’t need a quarterback. This is a rather big one. After drafting Oregon’s Marcus Mariota with the 2nd overall pick last year, the Titans weren’t in a spot where they needed to draft a quarterback first overall, and that gave them the flexibility to be able to pull off a trade of this magnitude.
- Really, this should only be listed as con, because this trade was so well executed by Titans’ rookie GM Jon Robinson, there is only one downside. Having dropped down to the 15th overall selection in the draft, the Titans are now out of range for the drafts blue chip prospects, specifically Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil, who was suppose to be the Titans insurance policy to keep QB Marcus Mariota upright. However, it’s not all bad as with all the selections they acquired, they can move back into the top 10 if one of the prospects they like falls.
Titans Trade Grade: A+
Now we move onto the more controversial side of this trade, the Rams point of view.
- After three years of inconsistent, and frankly pathetic quarterback play, the LA Rams are now in position to fix that, and are poised to possibly get a franchise quarterback in North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, or California’s Jared Goff; unless of course they really did just like Florida State’s DB Jalen Ramsey that much. Whichever of the two quarterbacks they do decide is their guy, the Rams will be in their best position to win now since Sam Bradford tore his ACL, the first time that is.
- After being on the other side of a similar deal in 2012 in what is now known as the “RG3 trade,” the Rams felt they had built up enough young talent to be able to sacrafice high value picks over the next two seasons in order to get their franchise QB.
- Whichever QB the Rams do take, they will be walking on to a very QB friendly situation. The Rams are a team that likes to win through the trenches, meaning leaning on a great running back and solid defense. That’s exactly what they have in 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year Todd Gurley, and a very solid defense led by all-pros Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn. Being able to step into a situation like that will be very beneficial for Wentz or Goff, as not all of the pressure will be on them to win games, and a lot of the defenses attention will be on Todd Gurley.
- Finally, this move helps free up cap space that would have been allotted to the draft slots they gave up, and can attempt to extend their own players with the money they saved. The Rams finally had to face the problem this year of developing too much young talent. After developing them all, you also have to face the tough task of paying them all, and the Rams learned that the hard way this offseason after losing CB Janoris Jenkins to the New York Giants, and FS Rodney McLeod to the Philadelphia Eagles. Now the Rams can focus their money on extending their own talent such as Tavon Austin, Alec Ogletree, Michael Brockers, and Trumaine Johnson, all of whom are scheduled to be free agents within the next two seasons.
- The most obvious con is they gave up a lot. Quarterback wasn’t the only roster hole for the Rams. They still don’t have a true number one wideout on the roster, no clear starting free safety, and could have used depth at tight end, defensive tackle, cornerback, and offensive line. Those problems could have been aided through the picks they gave up, but now they don’t have an immediate answer to help their problems in the prime rounds of the draft this year, and don’t have a first round pick to get an elite prospect next year.
- They could end up being the Redskins of the RG3 trade. It’s well documented that the Redskins gave up a lot to get in position to draft RG3, and it is also well documented that he didn’t work out and that trade stunted their growth greatly. Neither Carson Wentz nor Jared Goff are a sure thing, in fact most analysts believe that neither are ready to start week one of their rookie year, and many believe that they are weak prospects compared to other draft classes, such as last years when Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota went 1-2 to the Buccanears and the Titans. This trade is a huge risk for the Rams, and if it doesn’t work out the loss of everything they gave up will be very noticeable on the field.
- This could all just be a desperation move from HC Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead. After no improvement over the four years of their tenure with the Rams, Fisher and Snead are on the hot seat and will be gone after this season if the team doesn’t succeed. It is very possible that they didn’t think either of these two QBs were worth a trade this big, but went all in on an attempt to save their jobs because they didn’t believe the answer was on their roster, and if it failed, that 2017 1st rounder means nothing to them as they would have already cleared out their desks, but if it succeeded then nobody would care that they traded it for their franchise QB.
Rams Trade Grade: A
Overall, this trade is a win for both sides. The Titans now have the pieces for a quick rebuild, and the Rams have a chance to have their first franchise QB since Kurt Warner. In terms of who won the trade, I gave the Titans the higher grade, as they win the immediate trade with virtually no risk involved on their side. But should the Rams risk pay off and Wentz or Goff become an all pro caliber quarterback, the Rams will ultimately be the winner of this trade, as a franchise quarterback is priceless in today’s era.