The NFL Draft is this upcoming Thursday and with the 52nd and 57th overall picks, the Los Angeles Rams will have options. The most obvious one is to trade back from at least one of those selections to get more picks in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds. However, an option that has not been brought up as often is, what would it take for the Rams to trade up and who should be their targets in that scenario.
For this exercise we’ll look at first-round targets who could realistically fall past the 25th overall pick. At that point the first-round would be coming to a near close and teams in the later portion may be looking to trade out. On top of that, trading any earlier than that would be out of the Rams’ price range, plus a team at 22 isn’t going to want to trade back 30 spots most likely. Secondly, we’ll put a price on it. If the Rams were to trade up from the 52nd overall pick to 25 it would be be a difference of 340 points according to the trade value chart. Below is the value of picks from 25 to 40:
25 – 720
26 – 700
27 – 680
28 – 660
29 – 640
30 – 620
31 – 600
32 – 590
33 – 580
34 – 560
35 – 550
36 – 540
37 – 530
38 – 520
39 – 510
40 – 500
The Miami Dolphins might be the most likely trade target. The Dolphins select at 26, but they also have a pick at 39. Tradinng back to 52 wouldn’t mean that they’d be without a pick until late in the second round. If the Patriots trade back from 23 into that 25-32 range, they might be a good partner as well as they don’t have a selection until 87. That’s a team that may be looking to add another second or third round pick. It would be hard to see the Rams trading with the 49ers, but they make sense as a trade partner as well at 31 for the same reasons as the Patriots.
Now here are the values of each Rams selection:
52 – 380
57 – 330
84 – 170
104 – 86
126 – 46
199 – 10.6
234 – 1
Realistically speaking the Rams would most likely have to give up anywhere between their 57th overall pick and their 84th overall pick plus a day three selection to move up into the 25 to 40 range. Now, it’s worth noting the trade value chart is just a guide and not a Bible. Teams can ask and accept more or less.
Lastly before we get started, it’s fair to point out prospects I don’t see falling outside of the top-25 such as Henry Ruggs III and Justin Jefferson. Someone like Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray might be worth trading up for as well but with it being such a deep class an linebacker and the Rams typically not addressing the position early, I don’t see it as being likely.
1. WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
Out goes Brandin Cooks, in comes Jalen Reagor.
Reagor brings everything Cooks did to the Rams offense, oi not more. He has the speed and the route-running, and he adds a go-up and get it mentality. When it comes to Sean McVay’s offense, it’s been obvious how much having the vertical threat opens things up and how much he values that. Josh Reynolds and Robert Woods aren’t that style of player. The Rams have traded for Sammy Watkins and Cooks in McVay’s first three seasons.
Outside of Ruggs, Reagor is the best vertical threat in this draft, but he’s also so much more than just a vertical threat. Rams fans criticized Cooks for not being able to make the contested catch and that might be where Reagor is at his best. Reagor is someone that can come in and make an impact on day one. This is an explosive, dynamic player that it would be hard for McVay not to tell Les Snead to get on the phones.
2. iOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
The Rams need to improve on the offensive line and it starts inside. Yes, the team re-signed Austin Blythe, but while they could put him at center, they could easily slide him back at guard. Ruiz is the best center in the draft and would make an immediate impact.
Ruiz is powerful, athletic, and has three years of starting experience. The Rams traded out of 31 last season and missed out on Erik McCoy. McCoy went on to have a fabulous season with the Saints while staying put and drafting him might have been a game-changer for the Rams. Trading up for Ruiz would give the Rams to undo that mistake and beef up the interior of the offensive line. Ruiz would be a day one starter and give the team an immdediate upgrade where they maybe need upgraded the most.
3. OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
The chances of Becton falling outside of the top-20 are slim. However, unlike Ruggs and Jefferson, I decided to include him here because there has been recent talk of Becton falling due to failing a drug test at the comine. With the little amount of information that teams have this season in the draft, that might force someone like Becton to fall farther than he should.
Becton is an insane talent at the offensive tackle position. Where this gets interesting however is this might be a spot where the Rams trade someone like Havenstein plus a pick to move up. Becton becomes the left tackle of the future while taking over for Havenstein as a rookie while Bobby Evans and David Edwards continue to be depth pieces or work inside until Whitworth retires and Becton can take over left tackle and one of those two moves to right tackle.
The Louisville tackle is smooth in pass protection, has insane length, is great at the point of attack, and is a phenomenal athlete. His 5.1 second 40 yard dash for someone his size was impressive. Becton could use some work in his technique which is why starting him on the right side while Whitworth stays on the left would make the most sense.
This scenario is a reach as there is no guarantee Becton falls out of the top-15, and if he does, there could be a lot of competition to move up, but if there is a tackle that is 100% worth trading up for, it’s Becton.