Pro Football Talk is reporting that not only are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looking to trade up in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but they are looking to take Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, who has been the subject of most juicy rumors in the NFL right now.
The St. Louis Rams received a huge bounty of picks from the Washington Redskins prior to the 2012 NFL Draft so they could select Robert Griffin III, and because of the insane demand for QBs at the top of that draft, the price tag was warranted.
This year’s draft is a bit different where the demand for quarterbacks seems to be a ‘take it or leave it’ market where a lot of the QB-needy teams are willing to wait things out and take someone in the 2nd round.
We saw this happen back in 2011 when guys like Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder went in the first round when there were rumors swirling that teams might be more inclined to wait until round two to make their QB picks, so perhaps this is all a smokescreen to ensure the QB of their liking falls into the laps of certain teams.
The Rams, as we have written about previously, have shown some significant interest in Manziel of late, and could be pumping up the value of their 2nd overall pick in a trade since Jadeveon Clowney is a near-certainty for the #1 overall pick at this point.
If the Bucs trade up for Manziel, they will absolutely have to use 2015 draft picks as well as their 2014 first rounder, which would be a bargain for the Rams who could wind up with yet another year of two first round picks and more flexibility than any team in the draft.
St. Louis currently has 12 picks in this draft, so trading away picks for future picks is a definite possibility. If the Bucs are sold on Manziel as the guy who can make their offense go, it would be really interesting to see what kind of package they would throw at the Rams, and if it would be enough to entice St. Louis to move down five spots to still possibly get a player they have their eyes on.
It would make a lot of sense for the Rams to move down, since the presumption is that their top need is at offensive tackle, and they are almost assured to secure one of the top 3 tackles even at the 7th overall pick.