While the NBA is making the most noise right now—with its playoffs and the spectacular retirement of legendary Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant—the NFL draft is coming up, with its own big news.

The Tennessee Titans and the newly-formed Los Angeles Rams announced a trade deal on Thursday, April 14, that sends the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft to Los Angeles. The deal was actually settled the night before—but it was the same evening as Byrant’s final game of his 20-year career, and because of this, the Rams chose to hold off.  

The Rams are back in LA, and the franchise is looking to consistently win games and in turn make the playoffs.

Right now, their unstable quarterback (QB) situation is what has been holding them back. Quarterbacks Carson Wentz of North Carolina State and Jared Goff of University of California Berkeley (Cal) are considered the favorites for the first two selections.

It has been reported that Goff is in the running for the Rams. During his junior year with Cal, he threw for 4,719 yards, including 43 touchdown passes, ending the year with a quarterback rating of 161.3. His notable strengths include throwing the deep ball, as his arm strength is something that attracts the attention of NFL scouts.

Carson Wentz is considered a pro-style QB (a quarterback that exhibits adequate decision-making skills), and his pocket presence and physical build are components that indicate he may be ready for the NFL. He stands a tall 6’5” and weighs 237 pounds, so he will be ready to take a beating from punishing linebackers and defensive linemen coming on in blitzes.

In addition to the first overall pick and the chance to select a franchise quarterback to compliment a strong defense, the Rams received Tennessee’s fourth- and sixth-round picks.

Tennessee will have a total of nine draft picks going into the 2016 draft, largely due to their deal with the Rams. From giving away their first overall, fourth-round, and sixth-round picks, the Titans received the Rams’ fifteenth overall pick. Also, Tennesse is awarded LA’s third-round pick, and the Ram’s 2017 first- and third-round picks.

These are significant additions for a franchise looking to build around former second overall pick Marcus Mariota. It was a great decision for the team to trade their first overall pick because they believe they have their franchise quarterback, and there are role-players available in later rounds that they can draft to build a stronger defensive and offensive brigade. Out of the top 76 draft picks, Tennessee owns nine, which gives them nine total first-, second-, and third-round picks to use or trade to get any special player they see. Their versatility in this draft suits their needs far better, and it seems they fared better from this trade than the Rams. Even if Mariota flops, they will have created a young, strong roster to build off of going forward. In 2006, the Titans drafted cornerback Cortland Finnegan late in the first round, so the franchise will look to build off of their successes this time around.

The 2016 NFL draft brings forth an interesting array of players. Beyond the first round, players are more suited for specific niches for each team. There is potential for lots of trades and maneuvers to get that player each team needs in their system. Either way, it will be an entertaining evening in the Windy City.

Tagged: NFL


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