There hasn’t been a second pick in the draft this compelling since 1998. Throw away the draft trade value chart. It’s meaningless when there’s a player creating the buzz of Griffin. — Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
That’s the effect Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is having on the top of this draft. And what makes it all the more interesting is that there’s virtually no chance the team holding the No. 2 overall pick — which will almost surely be used on Griffin — will select a quarterback.
That’s why it’s considered to be a foregone conclusion that the St. Louis Rams will demand — and land — a king’s ransom in exchange for the pick.
But that didn’t stop ESPN SportsCenter from tweeting today, in “breaking news” fashion, that the Rams “will” trade the No. 2 overall pick, per Adam Schefter’s sources. Schefter himself confirmed the report that the deal “will” happen, and that the only question is where.
Actually, there’s a second question: When?
Rams COO Kevin Demoff broke down the timeline for King:
Demoff thinks there will be three distinct windows to get a deal done. The first, and I think most unlikely, is before the free agency period opens March 13; before Griffin gets hotter at his March 21 Pro Day, a team may choose to try to blow the Rams out of the water with an offer. The second would be after the Pro Day, when all the teams’ decision-makers are in one spot, Palm Beach, Fla., at the March 24-28 league meetings. The third: in the days or hours before the April 26 first round.
The Rams are floating it out there nice and early that the pick will definitely be traded, which is probably smart. No one was going to buy the idea that St. Louis wanted the pick — it simply wouldn’t have made sense.
Still, there’s a very good chance that the St. Louis front office lets the market evolve and takes the chance that someone becomes desperate on draft day, which means we’ll probably have to wait until Apr. 26 to find out who’ll win the right to pick Griffin after the Colts inevitably choose Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck first overall.
As far as “where” goes? Well that’s a mystery that depends on who’s willing to compensate the Rams handsomely. Schefter notes that the Chargers got two first-round picks, a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder for Eli Manning when he was chosen first overall in 2004. This year, that’ll be required at a minimum, with fluctuations in demand based on how high the winning team is slated to pick.
And don’t forget that in ’04, top picks were paid bigger bucks than they are now, making this selection even more valuable than ever.
I don’t know who’s going to win these sweepstakes based on those circumstances, but the field for Griffin may contain as many as a dozen teams. Included on the broad preliminary list: Cleveland, Washington, Miami, Buffalo, Kansas City, Seattle, Arizona, Philadelphia, Oakland, Denver, San Francisco and the Jets.