Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Updated: February 29, 1:53 PM ET
Rams willing to deal No. 2 draft pick
ESPN.com news services
The St. Louis Rams are willing to trade the second overall pick of the April draft.
Chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said Tuesday that the team would make a deal under the right circumstances, but has not made any commitments. He said new coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead went to the NFL combine with an open mind.
"I think coach Fisher and Les have been upfront that we will listen to offers for the #2 pick," Demoff said in an email to The Associated Press. "I didn't see anything in the report that differed from their statements."
However, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday that the Rams have decided to trade the No. 2 pick.
According to the sources, the Rams already have had trade discussions with the Cleveland Browns (No. 4), Washington Redskins (No. 6) and Miami Dolphins (No. 8), each of whom is scheduled to pick in the top eight in April's draft.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Redskins are willing to surrender the sixth overall pick in April's draft, next year's No. 1 pick and two other selections in order to acquire the Rams' pick.
The Rams are seeking a deal similar to what the San Diego Chargers got for the rights to 2004 top overall pick Eli Manning, the sources said Monday.
Manning was selected by the Chargers with the No. 1 overall pick in 2004 and traded to the New York Giants for two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a fifth-round choice.
With those picks, the Chargers ended up adding quarterback Philip Rivers, linebacker Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding, all of whom have made multiple Pro Bowls.
Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are expected to go 1-2 in the draft, with Indianapolis holding the top pick. The Rams need plenty of help but are set at quarterback with Sam Bradford, the first overall pick in 2010.
Among a group of perhaps 50 or 60 players that the Rams are believed to have interviewed at the combine are Southern California offensive tackle Matt Kalil and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, a pair who would fill obvious holes.
While the Colts are widely expected to take Luck as the eventual heir to Peyton Manning, it is Griffin who has sparked the speculation. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor is seen as a good fit with a number of teams, increasing the likelihood of the Rams dealing the second pick in a bid to stock up.
Among the teams Griffin interviewed with in Indianapolis were Miami, Washington, Minnesota and Kansas City. He said all went well, including his talk with Indianapolis executives trying to decide what to do with Manning and that top pick.
If, as expected, Luck goes to the Colts No. 1 and Griffin is picked No. 2, he would become only the sixth quarterback in the common draft era (since 1967) to be selected No. 2 overall, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But of the five previous quarterbacks selected, only Donovan McNabb (1999) compiled a career winning record.
Fisher, hired in January, has consistently maintained he has a high regard for Bradford and believes he can become a star. Fisher dismissed last season's performance to a large extent because of injuries to Bradford and his offensive line, plus a time shortage to get accustomed to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' system because of the lockout.
Bradford missed six games with a high left ankle sprain playing behind an injury-riddled line. Tackles Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith, and guard Jacob Bell ended the season on injured reserve.
The defense also needs help after threatening the franchise record for yards allowed.
Fisher and Snead were hired after the Rams' 2-14 season tied for the NFL's worst. They were just 10-38 in three seasons under coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired along with general manager Billy Devaney. McDaniels is also gone. Spagnuolo is now the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator while McDaniels is the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.