And the Los Angeles Rams are now on the clock. The NFL has to be eating this up.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport first reported (and the Tennessee Titans confirmed) that the Rams have acquired the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft from the Titans. It's a bold, fascinating move, and it indicates that the Rams will land a quarterback at No. 1.
The league's newly relocated team is not wasting time making waves on the west coast, returning to L.A. for the first time since 1995. And giving Case Keenum a little competition, too.
If early indications are to be believed, the Rams are favoring drafting North Dakota State's Carson Wentz over Cal's Jared Goff. They're roundly considered to be the top two QB prospects in this class, although Memphis' Paxton Lynch was a player the Rams also have studied closely.
Here's the swapping of picks:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 14, 2016
The Titans resisted trade offers for the No. 2 overall pick last year, selecting quarterback Marcus Mariota. It appears to be a good move now, as Mariota — even in an injury-plagued rookie season — showed promise. Drafting him also has allowed the Titans to target other positions of need.
Resetting the boards for this draft, the Titans now have:
1st round — No. 15 overall
2nd round — No. 33
2nd round — No. 43 (from Rams)
2nd round — No. 45 (from Rams)
3rd round — No. 64
3rd round — No. 76 (from Rams)
5th round — No. 140
6th round — No. 193 (from Falcons)
7th round — No. 222
What an unbelievable haul by first-year general manager Jon Robinson, who is now running the Titans. They now control this draft, with six of the first 76 picks in the draft. Want to make a deal? They're apparently your first call. They have needs all over — offensive line, defensive line, wide receiver, secondary — and can address all of them this year. Plus, they're loaded with the Rams' first- and third-rounders in 2017, which sets them up beautifully for the future.
The Rams now have:
1st round — No. 1 overall (from Titans)
4th round — No. 110
4th round — No. 113 (from Titans via Eagles)
6th round — No. 177 (from Titans)
6th round — No. 190
On the one hand, you look at the price it cost the Rams to go to No. 1 and think, "Did they not learn, on the other side, from the RG3 deal?" This is a hefty, hefty price to pay. But if they believe that, let's say, Wentz is their guy ... hey almost no price is too steep to land a franchise QB, which the Rams have not had in recent years since the bodies of Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger and Sam Bradford betrayed them, and their replacements often fell short.
Keenum was being pumped up as the guy by Jeff Fisher. We now know that was lip service. You know who else is excited? The NFL and HBO. The league just stole back the momentum of big nights in the NBA and NHL in the news cycle, and will do so even more with Thursday's schedule announcement. And "Hard Knocks" now has another terrific storyline with the top pick in the draft.
The Rams could afford to give up many picks in this deal because they've made 46 selections the past five drafts before this one, naiing a few (Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley), although they've whiffed on others and let some free agents, such as Janoris Jenkins, walk this offseason.
- - - - - - -