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Morning Ram-blings: On Washington's pick

12/20/2013

ST. LOUIS -- We've spent plenty of time in the first 14 weeks of this season tracking the potential draft pick windfall the St. Louis Rams could get from the Washington Redskins as the final piece of the blockbuster 2012 trade the teams made. With two weeks to go, the mystery will soon be solved and the draft order will be set.

One thing we already pretty much know is that the pick will probably land in the top five. In his weekly Friday blitz, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter added a little more fuel to the fire of just how good that pick could be. While we've examined the possibilities of how Washington's final two games could move the Rams' pick down in the draft order, we haven't spent much time looking at the one way it could move up.

Schefter looked further into the possibility of the Redskins actually surrendering the first overall pick. We mentioned the scenario in this week's Redskins watch but here's how it needs to go down for the Rams to end up with the first pick.

Step 1: Washington loses its two remaining games at home this week against Dallas and on the road next week against the New York Giants.

Step 2: Houston wins one of its remaining two games at home this week against Denver (yeah, right) or on the road next week against Tennessee.

If that scenario played out, both teams would be 3-13 but Houston's strength of schedule projects to be better (read: tougher) than Washington's, which would mean the Rams would have the first pick for the first time since 2010.

Schefter makes note of the historic nature of a team trading away the No. 1 pick as a future pick. According to his research, it would be the first time since 1978 that a trade involving future picks would see one of those future selections become the No. 1 overall choice.

Further, Schefter took a look at how much wiggle room the pick could have going the opposite direction. In the event Washington won both of its final two contests, the Redskins could drop much further down the list but even if it wins only one more game, Schefter posits that the pick likely wouldn't be any worse than fourth overall.

Of course, I believe Washington is more likely to win a game than Houston in the final two weeks so it may not matter much anyway, but it's still interesting to discuss. For the record, Schefter feels the same way as he chooses Washington to upset Dallas this week.

Not that it's breaking new ground here but clearly the Rams are poised to put some very tasty icing on the Washington trade cake. As a perfect complement to Schefter's piece, Matt Willis of ESPN Stats & Information offered a breakdown of the Rams' return on investment so far.

I.C.Y.M.I.

A roundup of Friday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. … In yesterday's Ram-blings, we discussed the Bucs' struggles against the NFC West and the common denominator coach Greg Schiano sees. … From there, we looked at Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson living up to his mega free-agent contract while the Rams continue the search for a No. 1 receiver. … Next, it was a closer examination of the Rams' role reversal from last year, as they've been better outside the NFC West than within it. … Then we assessed the chances of linebacker Alec Ogletree and running back Zac Stacy in their respective rookie award races. … Finally, we offered up the last injury report for the week with one more update on the status of Tavon Austin.

Elsewhere:

Only tangentially related to the Rams, but the always outstanding David Fleming had a fun read comparing Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder.

At stltoday.com, Jeff Gordon draws some comparisons between the Rams' Sam Bradford and Detroit's Matthew Stafford.

Bernie Miklasz says the Rams should focus on finishing the season strong.

Joe Lyons offers a deeper look at the challenge Tampa Bay brings to St. Louis on Sunday.

Jim Thomas takes note of something we mentioned after the game last week with linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar in the victory formation against the Saints.

Turf Show Times has an interesting piece on the ingredients needed to make a draft trade.