Let's start out by stating the obvious, the Rams need an infusion of talent. A one and 15 record speaks for itself. That infusion starts in a few months with the 2010 draft. By all accounts this could be a very deep draft. A large number of Juniors are expected to come of out college because of labor uncertainty on the horizon in the NFL. That's good because the Rams' needs are many. In no particular order the Rams could use a cornerback, defensive tackle, defensive end, 2 outside linebackers, offensive tackle, running back, wide receiver and a quarterback.
I don't pretend to be a draft expert. But from what I have read most of the so-called experts do not have a quarterback listed as a top 5 prospect for the upcoming draft. Everyone one of the QB's in the draft have some flaw to fix, injury to heal, or questions to answer. That's not to say I wouldn't love to see one of those guys in the Blue and Gold next season. But he Rams have the number one pick. This is no time to reach and take a QB at the top of the draft. At least not when you have so many other holes to fill.
In fact as I see it the Rams have only 2 options. Take the best player on the board regardless of position or trade down for extra picks.
Right now the top guy on the board is Nebraska Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh. He is a beast in the middle of the defensive line. He's strong against the run, disruptive, and can rush the passer. And some scouts say he's going to get even better. If you don't believe the hype just go back and look what he did to Missouri early in the season or the trouble he caused Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. By most accounts the only other player who comes even close to Suh is Tennessee Safety Eric Berry. That may be the one position the Rams don't need.
Of course there are plenty of players to consider. Sooners' DT Gerald McCoy grades out a little below Suh and the experts say he has not maxed out yet and should get better. Florida CB Joe Haden would be a good fit. Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan would replace Leonard Little quite nicely. There are several imposing OT's but I don't see the Rams going there after taking Smith last year with the 2nd overall pick. C.J. Spiller, the RB from Clemson, would be a great compliment to Steven Jackson. But again with all the holes on the roster would it be wise to use the number one pick overall on a guy who will only be a parttime player?
So if Suh is not your choice that only leaves one other option, trade down. That's a little tricky. First and foremost you have to find someone willing to trade with you. It just doesn't happen that often. What would the Rams want in return. Obviously you get a first rounder back. For me it still has to be a top 5 pick. I might be talked into a top 10 but I would not drop any lower. After that I would want a 2nd and 3rd rounder. That would give the Rams one first rounder, 2 in the second and 2 in the third rounds. If the draft is as deep as advertised those picks could produce 5 new starters next year. Of it might be 4 and a young QB to develop. Anything less would not be acceptable. I would hate to see Suh blowing up offensive plays for someone else's defense, but again the Rams' needs are many.
Now how often does the top pick get traded before the draft? Not very. The last team to trade up was the Rams back in 1997. The Rams gave the Jets the #8 pick and more to move up to land Orlando Pace. Before that you have to go back to 1984 when New England moved up in a 3 way deal to draft Irving Fryar.
No trade available? I'm back to taking the best player on the board. Of course in the upcoming months all those player ratings and draft positions can change because of workouts, injuries and other issues. Suh would look nice in the Blue and Gold right next to Chris Long and that is something to look forward to.