Rams earn B, Titans A+ in trade for No. 1-overall pick

Steve Palazzolo recaps the Rams-Titans trade, and discusses which QB the Rams should select with the first pick off the board.

| 6 months ago
(AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

(AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Rams earn B, Titans A+ in trade for No. 1-overall pick

Blockbuster! Draft season is heating up as all of the rumors about the Tennessee Titans trading back have actually come true, and even more stunning is the move back to No. 15 overall.

Of course, Cris Collinsworth already predicted this move four weeks ago, but to see it all come to fruition has thrown a massive wrench into all draft predictions. Let’s size it up:

Titans Receive:
2016 1st round (15 overall)
2016 2nd round (43 overall)
2016 2nd round (45 overall)
2016 3rd round (76 overall)
2017 1st round
2017 3rd round

Rams Receive:
2016 1st round (1 overall)
2016 4th round (113 overall)
2016 6th round (177 overall)

Titans grade: A+

Any time you can move back and accumulate assets, I’m all for it. Especially given Tennessee’s situation as they already have their quarterback in Marcus Mariota and they’ve stocked up on picks in the 40-80 range in a draft that has a lot of depth in the first 80 or so players. Then tack on next year’s first round pick, and Tennessee is in prime position to add a lot of talent to their roster and build around their franchise quarterback the next few years.

Rams grade: B

Is this a good, necessary move for the Rams? Yes, it is. But they have to understand the inherent risk that comes with giving up so many assets for their franchise quarterback. The best NFL teams can often point to their last two to four drafts to show the source of their talent, so giving up a large number of picks immediately makes the Rams a prime candidate to have a more depleted roster three to four years down the road. As long as that’s understood, and patience is adhered to, this move is still a win for them, assuming they pick a good quarterback. Which brings us to…

Who should the Rams pick?

Jared Goff. He’s the best quarterback in the draft, makes every throw, handles pressure and he has the best pocket presence. While he doesn’t possess a cannon for an arm, it doesn’t really matter as he can throw with anticipation, work through reads, and he simply does things that the best quarterbacks in the league all have as common traits. While I understand the love for Carson Wentz — and his skillset is very appealing — he is lacking in some of the areas in which Goff already excels. It’s risky to bank on Wentz’s improvement in key areas that are necessary for success at the next level.

[More: How Jared Goff dominated every route depth in 2015]

Who the Rams will pick

Carson Wentz. As much as we love Goff, the Rams likely made this move in order to get the quarterback with the most upside, one they can mold in their rebuilding process, and the one the coaches feel is going to be more of a “grand-slam” pick rather than just a home run. I can easily see a team falling in love with Wentz’s size, arm strength, and off-field resume, and with such a franchise-changing move, the Rams are likely looking at the quarterback they feel will be the best down the road — and all signs are pointing to that being Wentz.

[More: PFF Debate: Wentz or Goff the better QB prospect?]

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • AJ

    I’ve been saying it for months, Wentz is the QB of this draft to get and they’re gonna get him. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go after Boldin now to solidify the WR group. They gave up the farm but if he pans out, it’ll be worth every pick.

    Also: I still take Lynch over Goff. You can’t lose 5/6 in your last yr and have a 5 INT day thrown in.

    1. Wentz
    2. Lynch
    3. Goff

    • JudoPrince

      By the time any of those QB’s develop, Aaron Donald the Rams best player will be ready to walk in Free Agency. This is a pure rebuild move; only problem is that the Rams gave up all their rebuilding pieces.

  • codered5

    I’ve heard phrases like “mortgaged the future” in regards to this trade but the Rams received 3 1st + in compensation for the “rg3″ trade and have had a slightly better then average overall roster while Washington took a bum division twice since the trade. That’s is to say this is good conversation fodder for the fundamentals of team building but the picks still have to be made and really only next year’s draft will be heavily changed for the Rams.And yes, I realize that I’ve been reading the opinions of nfl media personalities only to complain about what is the very nature of big media in the first place.

    • JudoPrince

      The 2017 1st and 3rd picks are a monster give away for the Rams. This QB they select better be the next Cam.

      • J Haskins

        Lol! You’re funny
        There are no Cam Newton’s in this draft.

    • The Mysteries of Bob

      But im this case the Titans sre the team with the bum division and the picks.

      Rams can only count on Palmer’s decline to make the playoffs, the Seahawks are going nowhere.

  • Jason Williams

    I look at the Rams and I can’t understand how this makes them competitive in the next 3 years.

    I look at the Titans, a team I think is actually worse than their record (if that’s even possible), and it makes me think that they might actually improve to a .500 team but let’s not fool ourselves, neither of these teams are going to be perennial playoff contenders anytime soon.

    • Tim Edell

      You can’t understand how drafting a franchise QB makes them better? They currently have Case Keenum as their starting QB of course it makes them better.

      • Jason Williams

        totally agree there (Keenum) – but they gave so much in draft assets that I hope they didn’t just shoot themselves in the foot.

        Who are their playmakers? Other than Gurley?

        • Tim Edell

          Definitely agree they need at least 2 WRs and a TE who can stretch the seam. But this is also a team that is consistently 8-8 without a QB to speak of. You add a franchise QB alongside Gurley and that D and its a trade that they had to make. After awhile you can be mediocre for so long before you make a move for a player who could potentially turn the franchise around.

          • Jason Williams

            funny to see that teams that don’t have a QB basically have to mortgage their franchise to get one. Look at the Bears in 09, the Broncos got the lucky break of the century when Manning became a free agent…

            trying to think of other recent examples of teams giving up the farm to go get a QB – they don’t become available very often.

        • Ike Evans

          Their playmakers are aaron donald, alec ogletree, and robert quinn….rams have had alot of picks the last few years and hit on alot of them….they have a good young roster…especially on defense….its time i think…i see the logic…its risky as hell no doubt but i see the thinking

  • Jason Williams

    also if you’re the Browns, take Wentz or Goff and don’t look back. For god’s sake, draft a QB at 2 though.

  • JudoPrince

    The Rams also threw in a 2017 1st and 3rd? Wow, what a haul for Tennessee. Good luck to the Titans in their rebuild efforts, this should help.

    • Nolan

      I think they didn’t want to be stuck with Goff. (Because of the browns)

      • JudoPrince

        According to reports, they have significant interest in Goff.

    • KAO

      Didnt want to risk another team trading up. Fisher and that FO are desperate and this move will buy them 2-3 years at least.

    • Ronnie Woods

      The risk was that the Browns might have taken the quarterback the Rams want to draft. And the risk that another team would trade with the Titans for #1

    • Anthony Joseph Gomes

      trading isnt a zero sum game. sometimes a trade can be worked that actually benefits both teams but this benefited the titans so much it makes you wonder…….

  • The Mysteries of Bob

    This has potential to be a dumpster fire trade for the Rams, they will need to lean on Gurley entirelynto open things up. Quite like SF with Kaep but without the good OL in 2012-13, as we have seen, it wasn’t pretty.

    Wentz will habe a poor OL after hardly facing pressure at NDSU and receivers that don’t have any catch radius to make up for his inaccuracy. All that while playing in the best division in football.

    • LostAlone

      Frankly, everything the Rams do is a hair’s breadth away from being a dumpster fire. Whether this is a good move or not is yet to be seen but at least they’re doing SOMETHING to try and escape their mediocrity.

      • hartjdave

        What is it with the “dumpster fire” references? Dumpster fires are beautiful, man… :)

  • nonono

    “Especially given Tennessee’s situation as they already have their quarterback in Marcus Mariota”

    I believe that it is better to accumulate picks. More rolls of the dice means a better chance of hitting. However, I wonder if any team with a top pick who has a promising young QB, but has yet to prove themselves, will eventually buck this trend and actually pick the top QB. If a team is disciplined enough to ignore the media, trust their evaluations, and if coaches get strong backing from the owner, I think that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have 2 young promising QBs on the team. There is no guarantee that Mariota is better than Goff or Wentz.

    • Brian Bigger

      If they so decide, they can do that next year with one of their 1sts. Most likely one or the other or both will be very high.

      • nonono

        Lol that is true

  • hartjdave

    It might be worth noting that Jeff Fisher coached Steve McNair who was a somewhat similar (To Wentz) small college type QB prospect who turned out fine…

  • enai D

    How is it a B for the Rams? These sort of trades pretty much never work out for the team trading all their draft picks for a single player, and this case seems particularly bad since neither QB looks worthy of the #1 pick, much less the additional two 1st, two 2nd, and two 3rd rounders it took the Rams to get there.

    Real life actual grade for the Rams: C- (hey, it’ll sell some tickets, and if whatever QB they select ends up being at least a decent starter then it wasn’t a total loss)

    • KAO

      F grade at best.

    • Anthony Joseph Gomes

      the rams have a fairly solid very young defense that doesnt need a lot of tweaks at this point and a decent offensive line. with the addition of gurley they have a running game also but the passing game in arrears with foles seemingly in decline. if goff can establish himself in the top 1/3 of NFL QB’s then given the rams circumstances i would give the draft a B.,….but that is going to take a lot of doing.

      • enai D

        Its always a struggle for NFL teams to keep their store of talent well-stocked, even with a full bevy of draft picks. Its not really about needs or tweaks today, or this season, but about keeping the talent pipeline intact for the near and long term future. And trading all those high picks will set a team back, even if the player they acquired lives up to expectations. If the player doesn’t, this kind of a trade can put a team in a hole it takes years to crawl out of.

  • KAO

    How anyone can give the Rams a grade higher than D? lol this is a weak draft. And the QBs, while they have good potential to be good pros; Goff needs time in a real offense not Cal super simple one, and Wentz needs even more experience vs things like a real pass rush and NFL caliber DBs with his sketchy pocket presence and accuracy issues.
    So both guys really arent even good enough to start day 1 like Winston and Mariota last year. It would be forced. We’ve all seen what it looks like when you force a QB out there who isnt ready especially behind a poor Oline. Feel sorry for Wentz but hey at least he’ll be moving from Dakota to Malibu lol

  • McGeorge

    I give the Titans an A+, and the Rams … an incomplete.
    I think its likely that the Rams will regret this, but we wont know for a few years.

  • crosseyedlemon

    With the move back to LA it was almost inevitable that the Rams would make a pre-emptive strike to create a media buzz. Even if their strategy here fizzles they won’t have to worry about looking worse than the Lakers.

  • Anthony Joseph Gomes

    the rams will either rise or fall in this draft with goff. if he cant establish himself as at least a middle of the pack journeyman QB then this draft is below C grade.