ST. LOUIS -- When the St. Louis Rams cut the 2012 mega-deal with the Washington Redskins that landed them a package of premium picks in exchange for the chance to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III, they were able to announce the trade in March, long before the NFL draft began.
That was unusual because the Rams held the No. 2 overall pick but that draft was also unusual in that it was viewed as having two franchise-altering quarterbacks. Although he hadn't agreed to a contract, Andrew Luck was never headed anywhere but to Indianapolis with the first pick. That allowed the Rams to move quickly to seek trade partners for their No. 2 selection.
General manager Les Snead set a lofty price and Washington soon met it. That deal has again landed the Rams in the second spot in this year's draft, the final piece in the deal made with the Redskins. Should Snead and coach Jeff Fisher look to make a deal again, things won't come so easy.
Early indications are that Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney are the two most desirable players in the draft. Rumors indicate Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles could ultimately wind up in the mix as well. That means the Rams hold a pick that could have value no matter what happens in the top spot.
McNair indicated the Texans would be willing to deal their No. 1 overall pick if a team was willing to pay the premium price required for it. There's going to be plenty of rumor and innuendo between now and the draft, so it's entirely possible the Texans are just floating that out there to see if they can get a haul similar to what the Rams got from Washington.
Either way, it seems unlikely Houston is going to make a decision on whether to make a trade or which player to take No. 1 overall until much closer to the draft. That means the Rams will have to hold tight and see what happens before they can proceed with any potential plans they might have to make a deal unless they can find a team that values, for example, two top quarterbacks above all else.
Of course, maybe the Rams will hang on to the pick at No. 2 and simply choose the player they feel fits them best. With the draft not happening until May, the only thing we know for sure is that the speculation is only just beginning.