How a potential Rams trade affects Bucs’ draft

Published: February 27th, 2012
By Bucs Beat Feed

There’s more reason tonight to think the Rams are indeed going to trade out of the No. 2 spot in the draft and make a deal with a team hoping to land Baylor’s Robert Griffin III.

It should come as no surprise that a report tonight says conversations are already underway between the Rams and Browns (currently No. 4 overall), Redskins (6) and Dolphins (8), with the Rams willing and ready to make a deal with the highest bidder.

What does this have to do with the Bucs?

If and when the Rams find a trading partner, it could impact what players are available to the Bucs at No. 5. For instance, if the Rams were the stay put and decided to pass on Griffin, he likely would fall to the Browns at No. 4. Under that scenario, the Bucs would very possibly have their pick of LSU’s Morris Claiborne or Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

This assumes the Rams – who, remember, are staying at No. 2 under this hypothetical scenario – select Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon to address their woeful lack of receiving talent, the Vikings grab USC tackle Matt Kalil and the Browns get their man, Griffin, at No. 4.

But with this potential trade in play, things could get topsy-turvy.

Let’s say Washington or Miami trades up, leapfrogging Cleveland. That would produce a scenario where the Browns, unable to get a quarterback, settle for Claiborne or Richardson. One of those players could be the Bucs’ top target. Tampa Bay would still get a highly-touted player in either case, but it might not be the one they hoped for.

The best outcome for the Bucs might be to have the Browns and Rams swap places, allowing Cleveland to get Griffin at No. 2 and St. Louis to take Blackmon at No. 4 (this assumes the Bucs don't have a burning desire for Blackmon). That likely would leave Claiborne and Richardson on the board, presenting the Bucs with a good problem in deciding which to choose.

Again, all this is very hypothetical and very much subject to change given the fluid nature of the pre-draft process. Remember, Blackmon and Richardson didn’t run at the Combine this week because of their respective medical issues, though they will do so at their pro days.

Whatever ultimately transpires, just keep in mind that events that in and of themselves appear unrelated to the Bucs – like a potential trade at No. 2 – often have far-reaching implications.