Rams GM Devaney admits No. 1 pick isn't sparking much trade talk

Two days ahead of the NFL draft, St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney said leaguewide interest in acquiring the team's No. 1 overall pick has been light.

Predictably, Devaney refused to tip his hand on whether or not the Rams will stand pat.

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Coach Steve Spagnuolo even passed the buck right back to Devaney at a news conference Tuesday, joking that the team would do "whatever Billy decides."

Devaney said quarterback Sam Bradford and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy remained in the running for the top pick. Devaney expected to have the team's draft board stacked by later in the afternoon, and he planned to poll scouts and coaches Wednesday.

Bradford, considered by many to be the Rams' choice, said Wednesday that he didn't know the team's intentions.

The Cleveland Browns, who have the seventh pick, are the only team to announce their desire to trade up with the Rams. A league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that the Pittsburgh Steelerscontacted the Rams over the weekend about sending suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to St. Louis in exchange for the top pick but were rebuffed.

Devaney said Tuesday that interest in the No. 1 pick "hasn't been this massive movement, trust me."

"I think we've been saying we're open, and we remain open," Devaney said. "But there isn't anything close to being done, I know that. We still have a little bit of time, and I expect we'd just keep on talking and see what happens."

Devaney didn't appear to be a big fan of the first prime-time draft. He said it would be "weird" spacing picks over three days, but he added, "Who cares what we think as long as TV's happy with it?"

Devaney wasn't sure if there'd be a market for the first pick of the second round, which begins the second day, or whether the time gap would serve to create interest.

"Teams are so prepared that if we started the second round immediately, teams are going to know what they need," Devaney said. "They're not going to do something silly just because they had more time to think about it."

Devaney had muted praise for Bradford, the presumed front-runner for the first pick. Devaney said there has been contact with a number of players regarding a possible contract.

"Yeah, we spent time with Bradford and he answered a lot of questions," Devaney said. "But so did those other kids."

For the Rams to trade down, Devaney said the offer would have to be "something pretty darn good." Bradford wowed scouts at his pro day in March while erasing doubts about his surgically repaired throwing shoulder, then impressed the Rams again in a private workout last week.

The Rams' greatest need is probably quarterback after they released Marc Bulger earlier in the month, leaving them with veteran backup A.J. Feeley and Keith Null and Mike Reilly on the roster. But a franchise that finished 1-15 last season and is in a 6-42 trough the last three years needs help everywhere.

Spagnuolo said it was a "pretty safe assessment" that the Rams would take a quarterback somewhere in the draft, although Devaney pointed out that he'd like to pick a quarterback every year, and Null was taken in the sixth round last year.

Spagnuolo's background is defense, but he said he'd have no problem with a quarterback first. The Rams took offensive tackle Jason Smith with the No. 2 pick last year.

"Can't a quarterback help the defense get better?" Spagnuolo said. "I've never had a problem with that."

Devaney and Spagnuolo said the Rams' ownership situation has no bearing on draft preparations and will not affect who they take. Minority owner Stan Kroenke exercised matching rights last week in an attempt to purchase the remaining 60 percent of the franchise.

Illinois businessman Shahid Khan reached agreement with owners Chip Rosenbloom and his sister, Lucia Rodriguez, on Feb. 11 to buy the Rams.

"We're wrapped up here in these four walls and it's all football," Spagnuolo said. "We certainly respect what's going on outside of it, it is a business, but we're knee-deep in the football part of it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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