Rams Trying to Trade Up to No. 9: Should Cowboys Bite?
Anytime I discuss something that was reported by ESPN, I start the article by mentioning, “Hey, this was reported ESPN.” For the world “leader” in sports coverage, ESPN sure can get gossipy as times. And no one’s perception seems to be farther away from reality than Todd McShay, who, despite a face made for television, possesses insights made for a JV middle school coach.
Having said that, McShay obviously has some contacts within the league and, from time to time, accidentally gets something correct. His latest report is that the Rams are seriously considering moving up to Dallas’ No. 9 overall selection, presumably to jump Washington in an effort to select Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. The idea makes some sense, as the Rams desperately need a weapon for Sam Bradford.
A couple of days ago, I wrote an article detailing the possible trade scenarios for Dallas in the 2011 NFL Draft. I wrote:
The Rams are known to have interest in Alabama receiver Julio Jones and may want to jump Washington to secure him. They are the most likely partner for the Cowboys, in my view, and would need to relinquish their third and fifth-round round picks to make the move.
Let me be clear that I was simply using the NFL’s trade value chart when assessing what the Rams would need to yield for Dallas’ pick. In reality, if the Cowboys are dead set on a player who they know will be available at St. Louis’ No. 14 overall selection, they should make the move down for just about any pick. A single third-round pick would surely do the trick, at least. So what scenario would have to play out for the ‘Boys to move down to No. 14?
In my opinion, the decision depends on the gap between who the Cowboys would draft at No. 9 (USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith is probably most likely), and who they could get at No. 14. As I have explained before, I really think Dallas will draft Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi if they trade down. Carimi is a natural fit at right tackle–a major problem area for the Cowboys–and he will undoubtedly be available in the Rams’ current draft slot.
Now, I suppose it is possible that Smith drops to the 14th overall pick, but it seems highly unlikely. Not only are there some potential suitors drafting in slots 10-13 (Washington and Detroit come to mind), but another team will probably move up ahead of Dallas to select Smith if he falls into a double-digit draft spot.
The question then becomes, “Is the gap between Tyron Smith and Gabe Carimi small enough that a third-round pick justifies selecting the lesser player?” I personally do not believe so. I have written about why the Cowboys should select Tyron Smith in the past. Although I like Carimi (and Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo), I do not think they are on the same level as Smith. I would personally rather have Smith than Carimi and, say, Clemson free safety Marcus Gilchrist in the third-round. Many of you know I love Gilchrist, but I think Smith is that good.
If Smith is no longer on the board at No. 9, however, the decision becomes a lot easier. Carimi is still a fine player, and the extra third-round selection could be used as ammunition in a possible trade up from the second round (pick No. 40) for a player like Villanova OT/OG Ben Ijalana. A future offensive line containing Doug Free, Carimi, Ijalana (at guard and backup tackle), Andre Gurode and Phil Costa looks pretty good to me.