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NFL draft questions: Rams to trade up for playmaker?

With the 2013 NFL Draft approaching, Around The League will examine one big question facing all 32 teams. Next up: The St. Louis Rams.

Will the Rams trade up to get a playmaker in first round?

St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead said this month on "The Rich Eisen Podcast" that he had no second-thoughts about trading away the second overall pick in last year's NFL draft.

That pick, the centerpiece of a monster deal with the Washington Redskins, eventually became Robert Griffin III.

The decision will stay with Snead the rest of his career. To make sure that's a good thing, he's going to have to hit on the extra picks St. Louis has acquired in this draft and next. That starts Thursday, when the Rams have the 16th and 22nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Snead's willingness to trade down last year showed obvious faith in quarterback Sam Bradford. But Bradford needs weapons to grow as a player. The acquisitions of left tackle Jake Long and tight end Jared Cooke help, but St. Louis also lost Danny Amendola, a receiver whom Bradford had good chemistry with when they were both on the field.

There's no doubt the Rams should use at least one of their first-round picks to build around Bradford. West Virginia speedster Tavon Austin would be an ideal fit, but there's a very good chance he's off the board by 16, the midway point of Round 1.

Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) and Keenan Allen (Cal) are other first-round options at receiver. If the Rams love Austin as much as other NFL teams seem to, we wouldn't rule out Snead getting aggressive to get his man.

Remember, Snead was director of player personnel with the Atlanta Falcons when they traded up to secure Julio Jones in 2011. Snead has already proved he's willing to roll the dice on Thursday nights.

Don't be surprised if he does it again.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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