Here's an update on the First Annual FanBall NFL Mock Draft (click to follow the thread at the RotoJunkie forums):
What's interesting about the Tampa pick in particular is that it's the first on this board that is a real "problem" pick -- there's a lack of an impact player at an area of critical need. Yes, as Bucco40 puts it, it would be fun to watch Berry, Aqib Talib, and Tanard Jackson develop into a young semblance of a shut-down secondary, but this is a high-risk way of building a defense. The other top-tier players available at OT, DE, or QB, don't match up in terms of a high-priority need. Clearly, Tampa is hoping -- praying -- that either the Rams or Lions go off the reservation and take someone other than McCoy and Suh.
Well, what if Tampa traded up into the #1 slot and had their choice? With ten picks in this year's draft, and having a very high-value #1 pick, they are one of the few teams that could realistically afford to make a trade-up deal. And they are one of the very few who might be motivated to do so.
Here's a quick table of the NFL's thumbnail "draft value" chart, corresponding to the picks owned by the Rams and Bucs. (Draft order info from Walter Football; Draft value chart from Draft Countdown.)
If you aren't familiar with the NFL Draft value chart, it was developed by Jimmy Johnson with the Cowboys as a way to quantify how many picks need to be exchanged to make a deal work. But the numbers are just guidelines. For example, in a draft such as this that is so stacked with premier talent (as many see this as possibly the last draft without a cap on rookie pay), those second round and even third round choices should spike in perceived value.
In any case, I'm going to lay this offer before Bucco40, and see what he says: Would you trade your #3 overall and your #35 straight up for our #1 overall and the chance to choose between Suh and McCoy?
This would still leave the Bucs with a decent 2nd round pick, and give the Rams 3 picks in the top 35 of a very strong draft class. Then with that 3rd pick, the Rams can either take the quarterback of their choice, or even trade down again with a QB-hungry team like Cleveland, who isn't expected to build around Brady Quinn.
If you're a Rams fan, what do you think about this? I'm posting a poll over on the RamsHerd Facebook page, so drop in and give us your votes.