Evading a question is one thing. Issuing a flat denial is another.
So, if the Rams quickly move for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb when the trading period opens at midnight ET, I'd be a little surprised.
Bradford"There's been no talks about Donovan," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo told Sirius radio's Scott Ferrall on Wednesday night.
Pressed further, Spagnuolo said, "No, there were no conversations."
Separately, Rams vice president Kevin Demoff used an NFL.com chat to explain how difficult it can be to draft good quarterbacks after the first round -- something to keep in mind as the Rams decide whether to draft Sam Bradford first overall.
"One thing that should be noted is the success rate of quarterbacks drafted in the second round is far worse than that of those drafted in the first round," Demoff wrote. "The only second-round quarterback to make the Pro Bowl in recent memory was Drew Brees, and he would have been a first-rounder if there had been 32 teams in the NFL when he was drafted."
Kordell Stewart (1995 draft) and Jake Plummer (1997) went to Pro Bowls as second-round choices, although neither enjoyed exceptional careers by elite quarterback standards.
"I believe at the end of the year, 18 of the 32 quarterbacks starting in the NFL were first-round picks, and the next most prolific round was undrafted," Demoff wrote. "If you look at the playoffs last year, nearly all of the starting quarterbacks were first-rounders, with the exception of Brees, Brady and Warner, who all could be in the Hall of Fame. The percentages are much better in the first round, but with the reward comes great risk."
From 1996 to 2006, about 41 percent of first-round quarterbacks became Pro Bowl players. The rate dropped to 22 percent in the second round, 13 percent in the third round, 6.7 percent in the fourth round and zero percent in the fifth and seventh rounds. Nearly 17 percent of sixth-rounders became Pro Bowlers (Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger and Derek Anderson).
I did not count quarterbacks drafted from 2007 forward, figuring they were still early in their careers. Also, quarterbacks drafted earlier probably received extra chances to succeed.