Two years ago, the St. Louis Rams held the second pick in the NFL Draft after enduring a miserable season. The top two picks that draft were clearly quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. With former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford already on the roster, the Rams put their selection up for sale and netted three first-round picks from the Washington Redskins.
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Fast forward to 2014, and St. Louis is once again sitting in the second spot, this time with one of the picks received in the Griffin deal. The Rams have options, maybe the most appealing of all to take defensive end Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina.
Clowney is the consensus top talent in the draft at any position, although his work ethic has left many puzzled. When asked about the possibility of taking Clowney despite already having Chris Long and Robert Quinn at his position, head coach Jeff Fisher said he is open to another pass rusher, per John McClain.
Of course, the Rams could trade down again in what is a quarterback-laden draft. They could also shop their pick to a team that desperately wants Clowney, giving a 7-9 team more ammunition in a deep class.
Pats looking at Benjamin?
The New England Patriots have not had a great outside threat at receiver since trading away Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings in 2010. Perhaps they are trying to change that narrative this offseason, signing Brandon LaFell and now working out Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin, per Gil Brandt.
Bill Belichick was on hand for the workout, giving Benjamin the once-over as a Patriots coach threw to him. In this loaded wide receiver class, Benjamin is expected to go in the late first round to early second. New England has the No. 29 pick in the draft.
Lions thinking Watkins
The Detroit Lions need help on defense, but might be considering another wide receiver with their first pick. Somewhere, Matt Millen is smiling. Anyway, Tim Twentyman writes the Lions are looking into Clemson star Sammy Watkins and could be open to taking him should he slide to them at the 10th pick.
Watkins would presumably provide a killer 1-2 punch with Calvin Johnson, along with Reggie Bush out of the backfield and Golden Tate in the slot. After having dinner with Watkins and his parents, new coach Jim Caldwell came away impressed.
"I don’t know what the rules are about what we can discuss about these guys, but let me just tell you something, there’s not much to dislike about this young man," Caldwell said. "He’s a quality person, he has talent and he loves to play the game."
UPDATE: Kyle Meinke at MLive.com talked with GM Martin Mayhew, who fawned even more open over the Clemson wideout.
"He's an outstanding player," Mayhew said. "Obviously, he's got the speed, he's got the quickness, he's got the playmaking ability. Another guy you can just get the ball in his hands and he can make something happen.
"And the big games that he played, he had some of his best performances. He's a clutch guy, he's a clutch performer."
The Lions would likely have to trade up from the No. 10 pick in the draft to acquire the wideout. Their heaps of praise suggest that they may be willing to do so, however. That, or the organization is throwing up a very thick smokescreen to conceal its true plans.