Winners and Losers from Rams-Titans trade


Two weeks before the 2016 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams have already made their biggest move. The Rams' bold trade up to the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday morning will give L.A. a new face of the franchise.

While we wait to find out who exactly that turns out to be, let's break down some winners and losers from Thursday's massive deal.


Les Snead and Jeff Fisher: Sure, the Rams gave up a lot. It added up to two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two third-round picks. And it will all be worth it if the Rams finally find a true starting quarterback. Snead and especially Fisher were working on borrowed time in Los Angeles. Fisher was the first coach since Dave Shula with the 1996 Bengals to get a fifth season as a head coach following four straight losing years.

The Rams are under pressure to win now despite just moving across the country and being stuck in the NFC West with two of the best teams in the NFL. Drafting Carson Wentz (or Jared Goff) No. 1 overall could buy Snead and Fisher time. If the rookie quarterback looks promising in year one, the Rams are going to err on the side of continuity even if they pull off yet another 7-9 record.

The Rams' ticket office: Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald are great young players. But nothing will help sell excitement and give the Rams' new fan base in Los Angeles hope more than a No. 1 overall pick at quarterback. It was always slightly preposterous to imagine Case Keenum as the Week 1 starting quarterback of any team, much less a team just moving to Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant: NFL Media columnist Michael Silver reported that the terms to this deal was agreed to Wednesday. But Fisher knew that Wednesday night was officially Mamba Day in Los Angeles, so the team held off on announcing the deal until Thursday. That's some next level new neighbor stuff.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson: Yes, both general managers can be winners in a deal this big. Tennessee certainly has the safer side of the trade. Robinson picked up an extra first-round pick next year, two second-round picks and two third-round picks. The Titans have their franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota. They have a capable left tackle in Taylor Lewan. They are much better off rebuilding their thin depth chart with a bounty of picks.

The NFL draft is inherently impossible. A good success rate is hitting on half your picks. This allows Robinson more swings at the plate and he will be able to find more Pro Bowlers this way than just relying on a No. 1 overall pick.

Marcus Mariota: This trade almost makes up for the underwhelming reality that the Titans kept Mike Mularkey to guide the beginning of Mariota's career.

Carson Wentz and Jared Goff: It would be stunning if the Rams don't take a quarterback No. 1 overall. Carson Wentz is the odds-on favorite, although the Rams could also take Goff. Whoever gets drafted will make more money as the No. 1 overall pick. More importantly, they will be in a far better position for success buoyed by the excellent Rams defense.

The Browns remain strong candidates to take a quarterback at No. 2. No matter what quarterback goes first, the second quarterback should come off the board faster now. It would be a surprise if the second quarterback gets past the No. 4 overall pick.

Hard Knocks: It's not like NFL Films needed more storylines with the Rams moving to Los Angeles. But adding the No. 1 overall pick, especially if it's a great story like Wentz rising all the way from North Dakota, should make HBO's Hard Knocks -- the best reality show in television history -- even better.

Todd Gurley: Opponents knew what was coming last season when the Rams lined up on offense. A No. 1 overall pick at quarterback gives Gurley a better chance to eventually be supported by a real passing game.


Case Keenum, Nick Foles, and Sean Mannion: Foles' time in Los Angeles was always going to be short. Now it would be a surprise if he was on the team by this time next month. Mannion was the team's third-round pick last year and won't get a real chance to start on his rookie contract. Keenum faced the biggest setback of the three.

The Rams talked up Keenum all offseason as a good option to start Week 1. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Keenum could still start over a No. 1 overall pick, but that's what teams always say in the offseason. They won't want to put undo pressure on a rookie, but it's hard to imagine Keenum winning the job in a fair competition. It's even harder to imagine Keenum taking the first snaps in Los Angeles.

Keenum has already overachieved by earning 15 starts in his four-year career. He doesn't have great tools, but his aggressiveness has worked out well in his young career. There are worse things to be than a backup quarterback to a young star, but this move certainly has to sting Keenum.

Draft night drama: The biggest possible draft trade has already happened. It was a thrilling, shocking way to wake up on a day that was supposed to be highlighted by the 2016 NFL schedule release. Now attention turns to whether any team will trade up for the second quarterback.

Cleveland Browns: We will never know whether the Rams stole Cleveland's top choice. Assuming the Browns stay at No. 2, they will say they always ranked that player as their top option. But the Browns are absolutely in the market for a franchise quarterback and we think they'd be crazy not to take one while they are this high in the draft. Now the Browns are bystanders and are at the mercy of what the Rams want to do ahead of them.

Laremy Tunsil: The Ole Miss tackle had a good chance to go No. 1 overall when Tennessee was on top of the board. That's not going to happen now.

San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles: The 49ers desperately need a franchise quarterback and they were in solid position to draft one or trade up for one from the No. 7 overall pick. That will be a lot tougher to pull off now, and it is hard to imagine Goff or Wentz slipping out of the top four.

The Eagles have also been working out the top quarterbacks and looked like a candidate to either trade back or make a big splash for a quarterback.

St. Louis Rams fan: This has been a brutal stretch for fans in St. Louis. Watching the franchise make such an exciting splash move as they move to their new city can't be easy. Then again, plenty of Rams fans from St. Louis are sticking with the team. And the ones that aren't only have to remember Sam Bradford to realize that having No. 1 overall pick at quarterback doesn't guarantee anything.