LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Los Angeles Rams pulled off what might be the move of the offseason as they traded just a 2019 second round pick and this year’s fourth round pick in exchange for 25-year old star cornerback Marcus Peters and a sixth round pick.
Some might say general manager Les Snead robbed the Kansas City Chiefs. The fact of the matter is the Rams got better. They will most likely now let Trumaine Johnson walk in free agency and will now be paying $11.24 million the next two years for a cornerback who has created the most turnovers in the NFL since he’s been in the league.
Now that the Rams have filled what may have been their biggest need in a No. 1 cornerback, the question remains what they do with their first round draft pick that they managed to keep.
Prior to the trade, I had mocked University of Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes to the Rams while others had Josh Jackson or Isaiah Oliver as other popular choices.
However, with Peters and Webster as the presumed top two cornerbacks on the depth chart, the defense isn’t in desperate need for that young cornerback that can develop into that number one role.
While Snead filled one need, they do unfortunately have others. The roster is far from perfect. Inside linebacker, an edge rusher, nose tackle, center, and tackle just to name a few.
That’s not to say the Rams won’t or shouldn’t get a cornerback in this draft, it just means they probably won’t need one in the first round.
The mocks may now move away from Jackson and Oliver and names like Billy Price, Rashaan Evans, Isaiah Wynn, and Brian O’Neill will start showing up a lot more often.
All of these guys make perfect sense for the Rams. Price and Wynn would give the offensive line a presence on the inside. With John Sullivan set to hit free agency and his best days most likely behind him, Price actually gives the team a future at the center position. Meanwhile Brian O’Neill would give them a future at left tackle when Andrew Whitworth retires.
The one guy that the Rams would be lucky if he fell in their laps would be Evans. With Barron most likely getting released due to his cap savings, Evans would give the team’s 3-4 defense a legitimate thumper at inside linebacker next to Alec Ogletree.
And of course, there is option E, which is to trade back. The Rams had limited draft picks in the opening four rounds as is and they gave one of them up for Peters. If they can find a partner, trading back make the most sense.
Moving back just a few spots would allow the Rams to not pass up on too much talent while picking up at least an extra third or a fourth round pick that they just traded away.
One other thing to look at outside of the first round is that the Rams now have four sixth round picks. Those picks come at 194, 195, 196, and 198. That is nearly four straight choices in the sixth round.
Whether the Rams move their fifth and two sixths in order to move back into the fourth round or simply trade up in the fifth, having those four sixth round picks could come in handy.
The trade for Marcus Peters doesn’t change a whole lot when it comes to the Rams’ 2018 NFL Draft. The only thing it really changes is the fact that they don’t need to take a cornerback in the first round and they have more trade ammo that they can use on day three.
Outside of that, the first option is still to try and trade back and if that can’t happen, then there are other needs that can be attacked with a premier draft pick which in the end will make the Rams a better football team.