Back in December, just after Jared Goff declared for the NFL Draft, I had a long conversation with an NFL source, who said, cryptically, that, "Tennessee having the No. 1 pick doesn't mean he doesn't get picked one."
Lo and behold, the Titans have traded out of the No. 1 overall spot, giving it to the now-Los Angeles Rams.
Tennessee sent the No. 1 pick, along with its fourth- (No. 113) and sixth-round (No. 177) picks to the Rams in exchange for Los Angeles' first-round pick (No. 15), two second-round picks (Nos. 43 and 45) and a third-round pick (No. 76) in 2016. The Titans also will get the Rams' first- and third-round picks in 2017. The Rams, notably, used the second-round pick they got from the Philadelphia Eagles in the Sam Bradford/Nick Foles trade. Goff is in Philadelphia today working out for the Eagles, who pick at No. 8, behind the San Francisco 49ers.
"Today, there's not a [Jadeveon] Clowney, a Mario Williams, who they say, 'This guy is so good, that I'm not going to take a quarterback,'" the NFL Network's Mike Silver told BearTerritory in December. "I think there's a reasonably high degree of quarterback neediness and a perceived quarterback neediness in the league right now."
Steve Bartkowski was the last Cal player to be taken 1/1, in 1975, and now, Goff could be the next.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1660808-los-angeles-rams-t... "Without revealing too many state secrets," Silver said in December, "I've had specific conversations about Jared, not initiated by me, with very high-ranking executives of numerous teams that are going to be outside the top five, teams who seem to have quarterbacks who you would think are entrenched, and are very open to the idea of trading up to go get a special quarterback. That's the light in which Jared is being examined right now: 'Is this guy The One? If he is, I need to be sure, because I'm ready to do something extraordinary to go get him, and even if I have a guy right now that you would say is good enough.'"
That pretty much counted out the Green Bay Packers, the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks, and counted the Rams in.
"Pretty much, any team worried about the age of the incumbent, or if that incumbent is not Aaron Rodgers, is going to at least think about it," Silver says. "In my opinion, Jared has the best chance to be viewed as special. It's not going to be a simple endeavor of letting him fall to you."
Why do the Rams make sense?
Six words: Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Sean Mannion. Not exactly names that inspire confidence.
Keenum is the favorite to start, but could very well be packaged in a trade to the Denver Broncos, who had been rumored to be targeting the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick in trade discussions. The Rams have said that Keenum was a realistic option to start, and that they did not need a quarterback, but in recent weeks, the fact that they were 7-9 last year, being the youngest team in football, with a young core group including star running back Todd Gurley, the foundation is built, and an NFL-ready quarterback like Goff makes sense.
The Rams had reportedly been favoring North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, and have also studied Paxton Lynch fairly closely. But, Goff trained in Irvine -- not very far from the Rams' home base in Ventura County -- and threw in front of Rams brass during Cal's March 18 Pro Day workout. Both Goff and Wentz also had private workouts with the Rams, with Goff having his at Memorial Stadium two months ago, in the middle of a rain storm.
But why would the Rams take Goff instead of Wentz? Goff going to Los Angeles could be more than just a smart move, football-wise. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said holding the announcement of the trade in deference to Kobe Bryant's final game for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday was an L.A. thing, and now that the Rams are indeed one of those L.A. things, bringing in a 6-foot-4, California-grown, blond-haired golden boy with a squeaky clean reputation and a sparkling college resumé at the flagship campus of the University of California -- a Pac-12 team, well-known in the Los Angeles area -- seems like a slam-dunk marketing move, as well, just in time for the Rams return to the City of Angels.
Beyond that, the Rams are going to be featured on this season of NFL Hard Knocks on HBO. Having that new quarterback -- that shiny No. 1 toy -- in a new city, as the NFL preseason's centerpiece franchise, it makes a lot of sense to snag Goff at No. 1 overall.
Fisher old the Los Angeles Times on March 23:
“Wentz is obviously very smart,” Fisher said. “I don’t think he’s ever gotten a B in his life.
“He’s got the leadership qualities. And from a football standpoint, he’s got all the traits — the arm strength and decision-making ability, and he can make all the throws.
“The same thing with Goff, too. Not every quarterback coming out is going to have that same personality. All their personality types are different. But both of them are perfect for the NFL, get in the huddle and to lead and win games.”