Texans owner Bob McNair said Houston is willing to trade No. 1 overall pick so it can land another QB and a defensive player as well.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 3, 2014
And so it begins.
The mad rush to let the world know you’re open for business.
Rams GM Les Snead (who for some reason is still rocking a ‘Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic’ look, even though it’s not 1997) was the first to move:
“There are going to be some teams that want to pick a quarterback, and that could increase the value of our pick… I have told people I’m not sure I know how to draft without multiple first-round picks, so I’m always going to be interested when it comes to making sure I can continue to do that.”
Last time he had the #2 pick he turned it into a treasure trove — although I’d argue it’s debatable whether the Rams are better off without Robert Griffin III.
Clearly he’s hoping history will repeat itself. I doubt there was a happier man in America when Johnny Manziel led that comeback against Duke earlier in the week.
The Rams are in a very strong position, even if they won’t quite match the RGIII. The three teams sitting behind them in the draft — Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland — all desperately need quarterbacks.
If the Texans don’t select Jadeveon Clowney, they could also field calls from Atlanta — who badly need a pass rush.
Bob McNair and the Texans will be envious of this position. I suspect some potential trade partners will wait to see what they do before reacting.
They don’t have an Andrew Luck sitting there — or an RGIII for that matter. They’d almost certainly prefer to move down and get more bang for their buck.
Manziel and Clowney will be two guys that make a trade possible, as long as they let it be know they’re willing to take either at #1 but not at all costs.
I suspect one or two teams (maybe more) are going to fall head over heels for Johnny M. Ditto for Clowney.
I’m not sure anyone’s going to feel that way about Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles.
Some teams won’t have any interest in Johnny. But I’m willing to bet there’ll be a handful who talk themselves into needing him. Big time.
I can see Cleveland taking that stance.
Maybe Minnesota, too.
Clowney is a generational physical talent. He’ll go in the top 5. There’ll be no shortage of takers. But will anyone want him badly enough to go get the top pick?
I’ve mocked Clowney to Houston at every opportunity so far. But quarterback is their biggest need. They’ve appointed an offensive minded coach and he’ll want his own guy to build around.
Jay Cutler — the only obvious veteran out there worthy of a big trade — has now signed a mega-extension with Chicago.
Clowney is a nice fall back option if they can’t commit to Bridgewater, Manziel or Bortles. He’d be a terror alongside J.J. Watt.
But you have to wonder if they’ll feel obliged to take a quarterback, even if it is a little forced. There are two main reasons they slumped to 2-14 last year — bad offensive play calling and poor quarterback performance.
They’ll hope part one was addressed with their new coaching hire. Part two is the quarterback.
Waiting until #33 is an option, but A.J. McCarron’s performance against Oklahoma last night highlighted the issues within his game. His decision not to attend the Senior Bowl is also a head scratcher.
Nobody should expect Houston to draft another Carr brother.
If they do end up drafting a QB with the top pick, in a way it still helps St. Louis.
Take one of those signal callers off the board and the group thins. Now you’ve got three or four teams knowing they better move up or risk missing out on what is developing into a ‘power three’ of Bridgewater, Manziel and Bortles.
Cleveland, with two first round picks, might get a twitchy trigger finger. Minnesota — with GM Rick Spielman seemingly on a short leash — might feel like they need to make a splash.
Advantage, St. Louis.
Be prepared for the Rams possibly having three first round picks this year, or at least another couple next year.
But hey — at least it means Les Di Caprio (or is it Leonardo Snead?) won’t be drafting the guy in the video below.
Because frankly, they can draft all the Alec Ogletree’s they want.
As long as Sam Bradford is throwing the darts, the Rams will likely be as average as their quarterback.