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Rams Trying to Trade Up to No. 9: Should Cowboys Bite?

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Jonathan Bales

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?

It would be quite valuable for Dallas if this guy drops to their ninth overall selection.

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.

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11 Responses to Rams Trying to Trade Up to No. 9: Should Cowboys Bite?

  1. Scott says:

    There are reports that they really like Aldon Smith. What do you think the chances are of him being there at 14 if the Boys traded down? And could we then trade up in the late 1st/early 2nd to get a guy like Sherrod or Ijalana, and still secure a replacement for Colombo?

  2. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    If PP falls to 6, the Boys should trade up.

    When that doesn’t happen, I’d see no problem w/ the Boys trading down. I think Washington is more in line for a WR or QB upgrade then they are another tackle (like last year). Detroit on the other hand will probably take Smith.

    Scott, I don’t like Aldon Smith for the Cowboys in that he’s a “tweener” – not really a 3-4 DE and not really a 3-4 OLB. I think JJ Watt, who might be a 3 down 3-4 DE would be a better choice at 14.

  3. Scott–I have seen the A. Smith hype..I think there’s a good shot he is available at 14, although I would MUCH prefer an OT. However, your point about the ability to move back up for a guy like Ijalana is a good one. I’d still prefer an OT in round one and Taylor at NT in the back of one or early second, but the ability to pick up a potentially dominant pass-rusher AND still be in position to grab what I consider an elite OT in Ijalana is enticing. Still, I think there are better options.

    Tyrone–I do think Smith will be a 3-4 OLB…just not in Dallas. I know there is interest, but I don’t think you can justify using your top pick on him with other gaping holes.

  4. moses says:

    I dunno about tyron smith.
    I watched a couple of the games Cal, UVA and Oregon St.
    Against UVA in particular and he got pushed around a lot. There was a DE (92) that was throwing him all over the field.
    Tyron did get some good blocks if the DE moved himself out of the play, but he got beat on quick moves to the inside and spin moves.
    Tyron gives up ground too easily as well. When he got in front of the player, he got pushed into the pocket pretty easily.
    Against Oregon St, he got in front of the defenders OK. He could push LBs out of the hole pretty well but he had a lot of trouble against the beefier players like DE. Even though he stayed in front of the DE, he got pushed back if the DE bull rushed.

    From what I see, he is quick and athletic but he doesn’t always hold up at the point of attack.

    If the Cowboys do pick him, I hope he is better than he showed in these games

  5. chris stallcup says:

    well he did gain weight so that should help out a little bit moses

  6. john coleman says:

    I have been for trading down all along and will remain so.

    Smith is surely a talent and would be an instant upgrade. It does bare mentioning that he PROjects as a POTENTIAL LT. Also we have no LT backup on our roster as of now.

    To me it depends on how sure they are about Smith. #9 is really high for a RT and with Carimi and Sherrod out there, I feel no pressure at #9 to get a RT. It also bears mentioning that both Carimi and Sherrod played LT. Furthermore Castonzo and Solder we LT’s as well.

    I would even be OK with trading back twice in order to have an extra pick in the 2nd without giving up a 3rd or 4th. If we drop back twice (using the draft value chart) we should easily be able to accomplish that.

    I would be happy picking around 24th-26th and then coming back in the 2nd with two more picks. Then having two picks in the 3rd, and a pick each in the 4th -the 6th and finish it off with two in the 7th.

    Something like: 1st(25th) -Carimi, Sherrod, Taylor, Heyward, Wilson, 2nd(40th)- Carimi, Sherrod, Heyward, Wilson, Taylor, 2nd(50th-64th)- Wilson, Ellis, Harris, Dowling, 3rd(73rd)-Franklin,Williams(FS, UNC), Ballard, Cannon, Gilchrist 3rd(late)-same guys, 4th(our pick)-Kerley, Irving, Carmichael, Culliver, 5th(our pick)- Culliver, Matthews, Ziemba, etc., 6th(our pick)- best available, 7th(both picks)-best available, Lutrus, Wujciak,Oordt.

  7. john coleman says:

    Let me also add that if we could manage a trade down or two and garner an extra 2nd or 3rd, that I would have no problem dealing picks in the 4th-7th rds. in order to move up in the 2nd and 3rd

    IMO 5 picks in the 1st three rds would have us in pretty good shape.

    We need- RT starter, OG backup(assuming we resign Kosier and Davis shows up in shape), ILB backup who can play some, FS(who I do not see in the draft), NT(we have never had a true NT), and a DE. If we resign two of the FA DE’s or if we resign one and Lissemore or Geathers can give us some snaps then DE may not be a need. Again, I go back to the supposed function of the DE in a 3-4, which is occupying space at the point of attack. BTW, I’m not saying I buy that philosophy.

    I am hoping that we can stay fairly healthy and that Rob Ryan will get more production from our current guys. It also stands to reason that many players like AOA, Lee, Lissemore, and Geathers will be better in their 2nd year. Being healthy is also a huge factor in the league.

  8. willis says:

    I totally agree with you John. If we could have five picks in the first three rounds it would be great. We could dress our OT (carimi, costanzo, sherrod), get a player like Phil Taylor, an OG like marcus cannon, and DB like aaron williams or Brandon Harris, all of whom I believe could be solid contributers. I think this would almost make up for the 2009 draft, which was quite possiblythe worst draft in cowboys history.

  9. JC–Of the options you list, my preference would be Taylor, Carimi, Harris, Gilchrist, Cannon, Kerley, Ziemba. Looks real nice to me, although I don’t think some of those guys will fall.

  10. john coleman says:

    willis and JB- I listed multiple names because I belive they are all players who could potentially help.

    I would have no problem with either of the listings you two presented.

    I think all of us agree that the value in this draft is from the late 1st-mid3rd, with the potential to find some developmental gems even later. With no real standout ILBs besides Wilson, no standout FSs at all, and a bunch of O-line guys who could end up being solid inside guys. Not to mention several WR,RB, and CB prospects with skills. I’m talking decent to good measurables and potential with decent tape to back it up.

    As far as FS goes the kid at Maryland who stayed is who we need to be looking at for next year. I think Kenny Tate is his name and he would have easily been my top choice at FS.

    But that’s next year!

    We still have a guy like Deunta Williams who has a good size/speed/production resume, who has dropped because of injury. If he can’t play FS, maybe he could be the future at SS. He is just one example of the talents/potential gems, I afore mentioned.

  11. JC–I really like the idea of Deunta Williams at SS. I think he has the ability to play near the LOS and I think a position change could help with what I consider one of his larger weaknesses–the ability to flip his hips and quickly change direction.

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