When the Los Angeles Rams gave up six valuable picks to move up from the 15th spot to the No. 1 overall position in the 2016 NFL draft, it caught a lot of people by surprise.
While quarterback had been an issue for this team since the Marc Bulger days, two first rounders, two second rounders and two third-round picks seemed to be a mighty high price to pay to the Tennessee Titans.
Add in the fact that the 2016 NFL draft doesn’t have that true can’t-miss guy like an Andrew Luck or Cam Newton, and it really threw those around the league for a loop.
The one explanation we had was that Los Angeles was attempting to make a splash in its first draft since moving back to Southern California from St. Louis.
Owner Stan Kroenke pretty much threw that idea out the window:
“The only reason we did it was purely football. That sort of comes from the top. I’ve been around this business too long. You don’t win football games in the fall by headlines in the spring,” Kroenke told NFL Network (h/t CBS Sports). “Jeff (Fisher) and Les (Snead) have done a great job in each of the last two years, they’ve drafted a rookie of the year — defensive rookie of the year out of the 13th spot, offensive rookie of the year out of the 10th spot. This year we’ve got the first pick. We gave up some assets, but they believe the value is there, so here we are.”
The Rams exhausting the farm to go after an upgrade at quarterback isn’t necessarily too surprising in a vacuum. The team finished dead last in passing offense last year.
It was also faced with the real possibility of Case Keenum and Nick Foles competing for the starting job in 2016.
Regardless of the talent throughout the remainder of the roster, the quarterback situation would have held Los Angeles back over both the short and long term.
Unfortunately, yielding so many assets to acquire the top pick will take away from the talent Los Angeles is able to surround its shiny new quarterback with next week.
The good news here for fans in Southern California, whoever is under center will have a dynamic young running back in Toddy Gurley ready to do damage. That will make up one of the most-talented young backfields in the NFL.