Eagles and Rams interested in No. 4 pick?

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “multiple teams have called the Browns about their No. 4 pick.”

At least three or four teams in the top 20 have expressed interest in trading up, and the Browns are expected to have some enticing options on draft day.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who has the No. 6 pick, has already identified the Browns as a potential trade partner, and the Eagles at No. 15 are believed to be interested in trading up, sources said. At least two other teams are in the mix.

And it’s not just Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill that teams are after. There’s been considerable interest in USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne and Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon.

When Fisher said Friday morning on “Mike & Mike” that the Browns were potential trade partners for the Rams, I assumed that St. Louis could be targeting Cleveland’s second pick in the first round (No. 22 overall). The reason for my thinking is because the buzz in St. Louis is that the Rams want to trade down – not up.

But if this report from the Plain Dealer is accurate and the Rams do want to move up, I’m willing to bet that they’re targeting one of two players: Matt Kalil or Trent Richardson. I know a lot of mock drafts have the Rams selecting Justin Blackmon, which would certainly make sense given St. Louis’ need for a No. 1 receiver. But I just have a feeling that Blackmon isn’t on the top of the Rams’ draft board and believe it or not, I think there’s a strong possibility that he goes No. 3 to Minnesota.

The more interesting trade scenario involves Cleveland and Philadelphia, with the Eagles potentially moving up for Ryan Tannehill. As I’ve stated in other articles, I don’t view Tannehill as a top 10 pick and it seems like a stretch that the Eagles would part with a No. 1 pick in order to move up to No. 4. Because they’re not moving into the top 5 for anything less than their No. 1 in 2013.

As for Cleveland, it would be a dream scenario for the Browns to trade down and still land an impact player at the top of their draft board. If they swap places with the Rams, they might be able to still land Richardson at No. 6, all while acquiring more draft selections in the process. (Provided that St. Louis doesn’t take him at No. 4, of course.)

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Report: Browns inquired about Rams’ Sam Bradford

ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi reported earlier today that the Browns inquired about a trade for Sam Bradford before eventually attempting, and failing, to acquire the No. 2 overall pick.

The Browns asked the Rams about trading for quarterback Sam Bradford before turning their attention to Robert Griffin III, sources said at NFL meetings this week.

The Rams said no.

“His name came up, not from us,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday morning. “Clubs inquired. But there was no consideration whatsoever on our part (to trade Bradford).”

Fisher would not confirm the Browns were one of the teams.

“I prefer not to get into specifics about the conversations. I can say there were teams that inquired,” Fisher said.

This would be the second time the Browns tried to snatch Bradford. Prior to the 2010 draft, President Mike Holmgren made a last-ditch offer to move up from No. 7 to No. 1. The Rams – under a different regime – held the top pick and wouldn’t budge.

In a text response, Shurmur declined to comment on whether the Browns tried to trade for Bradford.

I think it’s a little odd that both Fisher and Shurmur either denied or declined to talk about whether or not the Browns tried to trade for Bradford and yet Grossi still wrote, “The Browns asked the Rams about trading for quarterback Sam Bradford,” in the first sentence of his article. I don’t doubt that Grossi has other sources but it’s funny how both head coaches washed their hands of the report and Grossi ran with it anyway.

But I digress. I’m not surprised to hear that the Browns allegedly tried to trade for Bradford this offseason. He and Shurmur had success working together in St. Louis two years ago and he’s a perfect fit for what Cleveland is trying to do offensively. But while I’m not surprised that the Browns inquired about Bradford, I’m even less surprised that the Rams turned them down.

Bradford is coming off a bad season but he has the makings to become a great quarterback under the right tutelage. His rookie year was comparable to Matt Ryan and Dan Marino’s first seasons (at least statistically) and he has the intangibles to develop nicely under Fisher (who must see Bradford’s potential or else he would have traded him when he had the opportunity). Last year Bradford tried to learn a complicated Josh McDaniels offense in a lockout-shortened offseason and wound up getting hurt under the Rams’ shoddy protection. I’m more inclined to think that 2011 was the aberration and not 2010.

What’s interesting to me about Grossi’s report is whether or not Mike Holmgren has tipped his draft hand here. He’s allegedly made two attempts this offseason to try and upgrade the Browns’ quarterback situation so does that mean that Cleveland will take Ryan Tannehill at No. 4? That seems too high for Tannehill but hey, it’s the NFL draft – you just never know.

2012 NFL Draft Report: Rams have decided to trade the No. 2 overall pick

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor University walks off the field after their NCAA football game against the Washington Huskies at the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/Joe Mitchell (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Rams have already had discussions with multiple teams about the No. 2 overall pick, which they’ve decided to trade.

According to sources, the Rams already have had trade discussions with the Cleveland Browns (No. 4), Washington Redskins (No. 6) and Miami Dolphins (No. 8), each of whom is scheduled to pick in the top eight in April’s draft.

The Rams, who already have quarterback and 2010 top pick Sam Bradford, also have discussed a potential trade with teams outside the top 10, according to a source, but it will be challenging for one to surrender enough compensation to vault to the second overall pick.

Schefter says the Rams are seeking a deal similar to what the Chargers got in exchange for Eli Manning in 2004. San Diego selected Manning with the top overall pick and in exchange received two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a fifth-round choice.

Considering the team that would be trading with the Rams would likely take either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, it’s entirely realistic that St. Louis could land a haul like the one the Chargers did back in ’04. It just depends on which team they decide to trade with.

According to the 2012 NFL Draft trade value chart, the No. 2 overall pick is worth 2,600 points. So in theory, the Browns could trade the No. 4 overall pick (1,800), the No. 37th overall pick (530), and the No. 68th overall pick (250) and get pretty close to that 2,600. (Although again, I’m just saying this in theory. Cleveland could trade away its first and third this year, plus a second and sixth next year if it didn’t want to part with most of its 2012 draft.)

The Rams-Browns trade connection makes the most sense in my eyes. The Browns could acquire their quarterback in the future by moving up to the No. 2 spot and they would still have the first-round pick that they acquired from Atlanta last year. Thus, even though they could potentially part with two middle-round picks this year, they still have a chance to land to two impact players in the first round. Or, they could always parlay that second first-round pick (No. 22 overall) into a couple of mid-round selections if they wanted to trade down in efforts to recoup the picks they gave to the Rams.

The Rams, meanwhile, could move down two spots and still have an opportunity to select wide receiver Justin Blackmon with the No. 4 overall pick. Assuming St. Louis wants Blackmon and Minnesota doesn’t take him at No. 3, by trading the No. 2 overall pick the Rams could essentially still land the player they want and acquire more picks in the process. It’s a win-win situation for Jeff Fisher and Co, who have a golden opportunity to re-stock a St. Louis roster that is severely devoid of talent.

Rams hold immense value with No. 33 pick

In no other year has the No. 33 pick held so much value than it does in the 2010 NFL Draft. That’s because general managers will have nearly 24 hours to think about how the player they covet is still on the board and there for the taking.

In the NFL’s new draft format, the second round will take place tonight at 6:30PM ET. Normally, the first and second rounds are back-to-back, leaving teams little time to wheel and deal at the top of the second round. But thanks to the lapse in between the first two rounds, the Rams have probably been fielding calls for the past two days about the No. 33 overall pick.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Bills and Browns have contacted the Rams about trading up to the top spot in the second round. Buffalo has its eyes set on Jimmy Clausen, while Cleveland wants Colt McCoy. Both teams are probably desperate, seeing as how they want to get ahead of Kansas City at No. 36. That’s great news for St. Louis, which can leverage their pick, pit the Browns and Bills against each other and not fall back too far in the second round. (Cleveland has the No. 38 pick, while Buffalo has No. 41.)

Of course, if the Rams don’t trade the pick, they’ll have some pressure on their shoulders to nab an eventual starter. After all, somebody wants that pick and if St. Louis doesn’t parlay it into extra selections, then it better land a damn good player.

Update: The Cleveland Plain Dealer disputes the report that the Browns have contacted the Rams about the No. 33 pick.

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Report: Holmgren still pushing for No. 1 pick

It’s become public knowledge that Mike Holmgren thinks very highly of quarterback Sam Bradford. How high is he on Bradford? According to ESPN.com, Holmgren is willing to part with most of his 2010 picks and even a pick or two next year in order to move up to the No. 1 spot to take Bradford.

Holmgren declined to delve into specifics as far as his offer to the Rams, but indicated he would be willing to part with most — but likely not all — of the Browns’ 10 picks and perhaps a pick or picks next year for the consensus No. 1 quarterback in this year’s draft. Holmgren, however, is not optimistic that the Rams will pull the trigger on a trade. “They shouldn’t do it,” he said. “They need a quarterback more than anyone in the world.”

Holmgren said the Browns already have had three or four conversations with the Rams regarding the top pick. With St. Louis being somewhat coy about its intentions, and with no contract in place with Bradford, Holmgren will make one last run at Bradford.

“It’s not going to happen,” Holmgren said. “I just got out of a meeting and I told everyone, let [the board] come to us. That said, I’m going to go make the call.”

It’s amazing that Holmgen would share that kind of information just hours before the draft, but he must know that there’s no way the Rams are parting with the pick and therefore, it doesn’t matter what he says. Plus, if he lets the world know that he wants a quarterback, maybe another team will want to trade up to Cleveland’s spot at No. 7 in order to take Jimmy Clausen.

Things are starting to get interesting as we head into the first round.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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