Tuesday, April 10, 2012
On trade prospects near top of 2012 draft
By Mike Sando
The St. Louis Rams, in trading the second pick of the 2012 NFL draft to Washington, have already benefited from one team desperate for a quarterback.
They could benefit again if the Miami Dolphins traded into the third overall spot from No. 8 to ensure landing Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The Rams, picking sixth and uninterested in a quarterback that early, would have one additional non-passer to consider if Tannehill joined Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III to make this the first 1-2-3 draft for QBs since 1999.
What are the chances?
The new wage scale for top draft choices has led some to suggest teams will be more interested in trading into the top few spots from lower in the first round. ESPN's Bill Polian advocated this position in his latest column . He sees the QB-needy Dolphins having little choice but to make a strong play for Tannehill, which could mean leaping past Cleveland, owner of the fourth overall choice, for that opportunity.
But the price for moving up would seem to rise for two reasons. One, Tannehill plays quarterback, the most valuable position, giving Minnesota, owner of the third pick at present, additional leverage. Two, the third overall choice is more affordable for the Vikings than it would have been in the past, giving them less incentive to trade out of the choice as a matter of general principle.
The Vikings would presumably select USC's Matt Kalil third if they remained in that spot. Cleveland, picking fourth, already has a franchise left tackle in Joe Thomas. But if Minnesota traded back to No. 8, the Vikings could forget about Kalil, perhaps settling instead on another tackle, Riley Reiff.
Tampa Bay holds the fifth pick and would not pass on Alabama running back Trent Richardson, in Polian's estimation.
In that scenario, the Rams could choose from Kalil, Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, among others. They would have tougher choices, but also superior options.