EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Much has been made of the St. Louis Rams' preference to trade the No. 2 overall selection in May's NFL draft. Seemingly by the day, the chances of a deal there seem to be dwindling.
By most accounts, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is going to go No. 1 overall whether it's to Houston or another team moving up to secure his services. Either way, if Clowney is off the board, there doesn't appear to be another player that can move the needle to garner the Rams a nice return in trade. Sure, they might be able to find a dance partner, but they would likely have to settle for less than usually required and would have to be OK with settling for what's left rather than taking their pick of the players not named Clowney.
However, that doesn't mean the Rams won't make a trade in the first round. On Friday afternoon, ESPN Insider Mark Dominik provided some draft trade ideas that would make sense for both teams.
Without giving away the farm, Dominik sees a potential fit for the Rams to move down, but from No. 13 not No. 2. The idea is that a team, such as Cleveland, could be looking to make a move to secure the quarterback it wants in the middle of the round rather than rolling the dice in the top 10.
To me, a move like that could make a lot of sense. It would allow the Rams to accumulate some more picks in the second or third round (depending on how far they would have to move down) and still get a good player for the secondary, offensive line or wherever they so choose. It could also be a reason why recent leaks have the Rams connected to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel as a possible choice at No. 13. Perhaps a way to coerce a team to consider moving up with the Rams to take him?
We have no way of knowing that now, but make no mistake, it's worth watching that 13th pick as a possible trade spot just as much as No. 2.
A roundup of Friday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we began the day with a look at some recent and distant draft trends involving the Rams. ... Next, we took part in the weekly chat, discussing all things Rams for two-plus hours. ... From there, we continued the prospect profiles with a look at South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw. ... Finally, we examined the chances of the Rams appearing on HBO's Hard Knocks this summer.
At stltoday.com, columnist Bernie Miklasz writes that a tough schedule is no excuse for the Rams in 2014.
Jim Thomas writes about another gathering of the group working to keep the Rams in St. Louis.
NFL Network's Michael Silver tabs the Rams as a potential sleeper this year.
NFL.com believes the Rams got a raw deal with their 2014 schedule.
Fox Sports Midwest with the requisite Sam Bradford update.