The Los Angeles Rams traded down too much on draft day (yes, such a thing can happen here at TDI) and earned a “D+” grade from your benevolent dictator. All teams start with an average “C” grade and then need to impress me in order to move up. The Rams, needless to say, failed to impress me with all of their wheeling and dealing. Here is the net of what they did:
Began with: No. 31 (1st), No. 94 (3rd), No. 99 (3rd), No. 133 (4th), No. 203 (6th)
Ended with: No. 61 (2nd), No. 70 (3rd), No. 79 (3rd), No. 97 (3rd), No. 134 (4th), No. 243 (7th)
We can break things down even further by removing the picks that have essentially the same value. For example, there is almost no difference in the quality of player available at No. 94 and No. 97. Same goes for No. 133 and No. 134. When removing these two sets of picks, here is the net of what the Rams pulled off:
Began with: No. 31 (1st), No. 99 (3rd), No. 203 (6th)
Ended with: No. 61 (2nd), No. 70 (3rd), No. 79 (3rd), No. 243 (7th)
The misconception about those of us who dwell here at Trade Down Island is that we are willing to trade one dollar for three quarters. That’s not the case! I advocate for teams to smartly trade down and maximize their total trade value, something the Rams failed to pull off. The ultimate goal of every draft is to land at least one consistent Pro Bowl talent and those players are normally found in the early to mid first round. The Rams had the second to last pick in the first round, No. 31, and decided to trade way, way, way back to No. 61 at the end of the second round. There is a chasm in the talent gap between No. 31 and No. 61, and it’s much more likely teams will find a Pro Bowler in the late first than in the late second round. As I state in TDI’s Glorious Constitution, “Picks No. 61-100 yield roughly the same production, so aggressively trade back from the mid-second round into the third round.” The Rams did the opposite of this, moving away from No. 31 to a cluster of similar picks with No. 61, No. 79, and No. 79. Frankly, I’d rather have No. 31 and No. 99, the assets the Rams sent away.
From a player standpoint, the Rams are betting that their three players in Taylor Rapp (No. 61), Darrell Henderson (No. 70), and David Long (No. 79) will outperform the two players who were drafted with their original picks – Kaleb McGary (No. 31) and Mike Edwards (No. 99). I’m obviously skeptical of the Rams strategy, but only time will tell who’s right.
Overall the Rams net trade rating is a 0 (zero) based on the Dallas Draft Value Chart, meaning they gave up exactly the same amount of draft capital as they got back in return. I disagree and think the Rams traded quality for quantity when you untangle their plethora of draft day trades.