Following Robert Griffin III's incredible NFL Scouting Combine workout -- which raised his already high stock even higher -- the Rams can hold their version of a Sotheby's auction with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. But before Ram fans get all giddy, they must remind themselves that the key to this draft is for them to maximize their trade returns and still select a good player with their eventual pick -- or else run the risk of being forever remembered in infamy like the Portland Trailblazers, who passed on Michael Jordan in favor of Sam Bowie.
Darlington: RGIII wins combine
There are no official winners at the NFL combine. But as Jeff Darlington writes, it's hard to dispute Robert Griffin III was the star. **More ...**
Griffin was sensational in everything he did this weekend, even though he did not throw a single pass. His character, his speed and his leadership were all top shelf, surely causing the Browns, Redskins and Dolphins to covet his talents. All three of those teams need a face of the franchise; they need someone to revitalize the fan base. Griffin can do just that. The team that is able to acquire the Rams' No. 2 pick -- putting it in prime position to snag RGIII -- will be headed in the right direction.
The first order of business for the Rams is to not fall in love with just one player because that would seriously limit their trade options. The most important element for St. Louis is to determine exactly how many blue-chip players there are in the draft. For example, let's say after the combine, the Rams determine there are 10 players who have the talent to eventually be in the top five of their respective positions in the NFL. In that case, the lowest the Rams can move is to the 10th spot, assuring themselves of a potentially elite player. As they move further down, the price goes up, but in reality the Rams might be able to get as much for moving just two spots as they would for moving four. And once this happens, the Rams will set themselves up for a good many years to come.
Jeff Fisher understands the game is won in the trenches. The Rams' new head coach loves to be solid on both lines, as he was in Houston and then Tennessee. Therefore, as much as everyone wants to give the Rams top wideout Justin Blackmon, don't count them out of selecting the best lineman available. One thing about St. Louis' talent level right now is that the roster needs help everywhere. So why love just one player? Find many to love.
Having more picks is vital to the Rams' ability to rebuild, but the franchise must maximize each pick. The Rams aren't going to be rebuilt overnight, so they must make each pick the right one -- not caring about position. Obviously, this is an enormous draft for Fisher and new GM Les Snead, and value picks are essential.
The Rams know they are sitting on a gold mine of picks, but there is still much work to be done before they make any trade. And it starts with making sure they can determine the blues.