Trades define 1st round of 2012 NFL Draft

Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the start of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft has come and gone and the storyline isn't the first two picks, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Instead, it's the trades that made many of the picks possible. Without trades, Griffin wouldn't be in Washington. Trent Richardson may not be in Cleveland. Morris Claiborne certainly wouldn't in Dallas.

All told, 16 picks in the first round were moved in some form or fashion. It's the most ever in NFL Draft history, according to the league.

It's all possible because of the rookie wage scale. To a degree, it's undervalued the picks and made the draft a chaotic experience. So who was the biggest benefactor of trades? It's obviously early to tell, and ridiculous to speculate before the second round, but the St. Louis Rams look like the early winners.

Instead of panicking with the sixth pick, the Rams added an extra second-round pick and still managed to take a player in defensive tackle Michael Brockers who may develop into a superstar under Jeff Fisher. Now, the talent-needy Rams have three of the first 13 picks of the second round. If nothing else, the Rams have more ammunition for trades or they can add more talent to the roster.

The NFL Draft returns to primetime in 2012. Catch all of the excitement of the 2012 NFL Draft on NFL Network April 26 - 28

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