A serious contingency plan for the Rams... if worse comes to worse.
Let's suppose the Cardinals won't deal us the #5 pick unless we give them our #1 in 2011 and 2012. I agree with Billy Devaney, we shouldn't give up that #1 in 2012. That's just too much to ask. We don't know what the 2012 crop will look like just yet. We could be kicking ourselves from here until kindom come if we toss 2012 and it is a bumper crop.
Let's also suppose that Julio Jones goes at #6 to the Cleveland Browns, making a potential deal with the Cowboys pointless. Of course, this will really piss me off, but this scenario just might unfold tomorrow.
What do we do then? Roll over and die? I have a pretty serious proposition for this worst case scenario. How about this:
Select Mike Pouncey with the #14 pick.
Immediately contact Bill Bellichick and begin negotiations for Pick #28. The Patriots have already said that they are interested in negotiating with that pick. All sources indicate that this pick has a "For Sale" sign hung on it.
The #28 pick has a theoretical value of 660 points. We'll offer them the 47th pick (430 points) and the 78th pick (200 points). This has a combined value of 630 points. Let's see if he'll take a haircut of 30 points. If he won't, then offer up the 145 pick, which has a value of 33.5 points. This shorts us by 3.5 point, but we can handle that.
Bellichick will probably be looking for future picks. I would consider it, but don't give him the farm.
With the 28th pick the Rams should select Greg Little, WR from North Carolina (UNC).
Some will complain that 28 is a tad rich for Greg Little. It looks like a reach. Granted, but not much of a reach. Right now, he looks like he's going bottom of the 1st top of 2nd. 28 is close enough to the bottom for my pain threshold. Let's remember that this is the hypothetical worst case scenario. Getting Greg Little is better than getting nothing, or Jonathan Baldwin.
I know Mike Mayock projected Greg Little as a middle 2nd rounder, which would be perfect for us at 47, but I assure you that the sea tides have changed. It does not look like the original projection is going to work out. Little is moving up.
If we were to work out this scenario, we would exit the draft with a blue-chip guard that we can plug in between Jason Brown and Roger Saffold. Brown, Pouncy and Saffold would make a formitable left side of the line. We would also have a potential star wide receiver, although he is a tad risky.
Essentially, we plug one hole at offensive guard, which is a serious need, and another hole at wide receiver, which is a crisis need. I don't like the fact that we plug the crisis hole with a somewhat risky choice, but you just can't have everything inside the worst case scenario.
Effectively, we would acquire two solid helpers for Sam Bradford and Steve Jackson. Steve will run better, and Sam will get sacked less. Sam will also have a better verticle threat.
There are other versions of this deal we might work out with Bill Bellichick. We might negotiate for that 33 pick (580) points, if Greg Little is still there. This deal would be a little cheaper, but not much. We would still have to give up 47 and 78, but we would get 33 and a 4th rounder in return.