Myth busting: Why won’t the Rams tell us who they’ll pick?

Dec 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher looks on as his team plays the Detroit Lions during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher looks on as his team plays the Detroit Lions during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

There are many theories as to why the LA Rams aren’t disclosing who they’ll pick 1st overall. Most of those theories make absolutely no sense whatsoever. 

The LA Rams traded up for the first overall pick to take a QB. Everyone knows they’ll select one, but they aren’t telling us which one they want. There are plenty of theories as to why, but most of those theories make absolutely no sense.

Let’s go through them, and bust each myth one by one.

Maybe the Rams don’t actually know?

Hahahaha… no wait, you were serious. Let me laugh harder. HAHAHAHAHA

Brandt is 100 percent correct. The Rams mortgaged their future here. They didn’t do that unless the absolutely believed that they were trading up for a top NFL QB. The story that this is going to be some “debate” for the next week is a big fat lie.

So why do it? Why not just come out and tell everyone who the pick is? There’s plenty of other theories, but only one correct answer.

Did the owners mandate that the Rams couldn’t tell?

Not likely. I’m sure the league office asked them to keep it a secret for as long as possible because it’ll help drive ratings on NFL network, but there is no way for them to force the Rams to keep this quiet.

Why let other teams continue to work out their target? Why subject them to potential injury, or give those teams a chance to develop a detailed scouting report on their QB?

It doesn’t make sense that the Rams would participate in this deception for that reason. They may not say it openly, but they’d leak the info out there somehow.

What about the Browns? Are the Rams trying to force Cleveland to trade up one spot and re-coup some of the draft picks they gave up to the Titans?

Honestly, this theory makes zero sense. I know Cleveland isn’t the smartest franchise in the NFL, but think of it from their point of view. The Rams won’t trade back unless they know Cleveland will only take the QB that LA doesn’t want.

So if LA is willing to trade with Cleveland, then the Browns know they don’t have to give up any picks. They can sit at No. 2 and still get their guy. If both teams want the same QB, then the Rams won’t make the trade. There is simply no way this happens.

Why give Dallas, San Francisco and Phily two weeks to negotiate with Cleveland, when you can give them only 15 minutes?

This assumes a pair of things. 1) Rams will take the QB the Browns want. 2) The Browns won’t take the other QB anyways.

Assuming those thing happen, then Cleveland trading down is likely. The kicker here is that everyone already knows of this possibility, even Cleveland. Everyone is already preparing for this possibility.

It has been three days since the Rams trade was finalized. By now, any team that might want to trade up with Cleveland has already contacted them and have an idea of what it’ll take to get the No. 2 overall pick.

By the time draft day arrives, these negotiations will have progressed to the point where any trade is done and ready. They’ll just need to Rams to take the right player and then to fill out the paperwork.

LA waiting to announce their pick won’t cause the chaos behind them that people think.

Ok, so then why do it? Why not just announce the pick?

This actually isn’t that complex. For the Rams, this is entirely a cya (cover your… asterisk) move. If one of the QBs gets arrested or has some freak injury, LA can select the other one and claim that that was the plan all along.

Under the current CBA, teams don’t need the extra time to negotiate with the top pick. The financials are all set by the rookie wage scale. This isn’t like back in the day when the team with the top pick would frantically be trying to get the player signed now to try and guarantee there won’t be a contract holdout.

So there is simply no major benefit from announcing the pick now, and no major downside to waiting. The Rams can sit back and wait, and they are smart to do so.