2012 NFL Draft: St. Louis Rams Trade No. 6 Pick To Dallas

The St. Louis Rams traded the No. 6 overall selection to Dallas and received the No. 14 and No. 45 overall picks in exchange.

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NFL Draft 2012: Dallas Cowboys Trade St. Louis Rams For Morris Claiborne Pick

The St. Louis Rams continued their trade-filled NFL Draft 2012 season on Thursday, with the Dallas Cowboys trading up to get Morris Claiborne at No. 6. The Rams got No. 14—that's run-stuffing defensive tackle Michael Brockers—and No. 45, their third second-round pick after the initial trade that brought the No. 2, and Robert Griffin III, to the Washington Redskins.

That's not quite Justin Blackmon—who went a little bit too early for the Rams to pounce—but between Brockers, Robert Quinn, and Chris Long they've successfully rebuilt an aging defensive line. I can't argue with the Rams taking the best player available at their new position, and if they make some judicious selections in the second round they could have a rejuvenated team a little sooner than anyone anticipated.

Now it's up to Les Snead: You've gotten yourself all the picks you could want—now do something with them.

For more coverage on the St. Louis Rams' wild 2012 NFL Draft, click through to our storystream.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: The St. Louis Rams' Fletcher Cox Rationale

He can't match up, for St. Louis Rams ubiquity in the average 2012 NFL Mock Draft, to Justin Blackmon, but DT Fletcher Cox, the top interior lineman in the draft, has been a popular choice at No. 6 for several weeks now. Here's why the mock draft favorite would make sense here—why it might happen.

For one thing: The Rams, prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, dumped all their veteran defensive lineman for salary cap reasons. Fred Robbins, an aging star of that surprisingly stout 2010 defense, is out; Scotty Wells is in, for now, but the Rams lack depth and upside inside the defensive ends, where Chris Long and Robert Quinn lurk. If Cox joined those two emerging stars, the Rams would find themselves with an argument for employing the best young defensive line in football.

I'm not sure that's worth passing on a wide receiver who might keep Sam Bradford on his feet through a rough development in a new offense, but it could definitely happen—and the Rams' conscious rebuilding of their defensive line is the reason we can be so sure.

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2012 NFL Draft Order: Rams To Make Their Selection At No. 6

After trading their No. 2 pick to the Redskins, the St. Louis Rams enter the 2012 NFL Draft with a different plan than they initially started with, but a hope for even better results.

By trading away their pick, the Rams have veritably ensured that the quarterbacking duo of QB Andrew Luck and QB Robert Griffin III will go No. 1 and No. 2, but what happens after that is still very much unknown.


NFL Draft Tracker via Sports Illustrated

Here is a look at the full 2012 NFL Draft Order:

Pick Team
1 Indianapolis Colts
2 Washington Redskins (from STL)
3 Minnesota Vikings
4 Cleveland Browns
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6 St. Louis Rams (from WAS)
7 Jacksonville Jaguars
8 Miami Dolphins
9 Carolina Panthers
10 Buffalo Bills
11 Kansas City Chiefs
12 Seattle Seahawks
13 Arizona Cardinals
14 Dallas Cowboys
15 Philadelphia Eagles
16 New York Jets
17 Cincinnati Bengals (from OAK)
18 San Diego Chargers
19 Chicago Bears
20 Tennessee Titans
21 Cincinnati Bengals
22 Cleveland Browns (from ATL)
23 Detroit Lions
24 Pittsburgh Steelers
25 Denver Broncos
26 Houston Texans
27 New England Patriots (from NOR)
28 Green Bay Packers
29 Baltimore Ravens
30 San Francisco 49ers
31 New England Patriots
32 New York Giants

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth Rams coverage, head over to Turf Show Times. For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out SB Nation's dedicated section and Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Draft 2012: Predictions For Justin Blackmon And The Other Wide Receivers

As a St. Louis Rams fan I've taken a special interest in the 2012 NFL Draft's crop of wide receivers—starting with Justin Blackmon, and moving on through Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, and all the sleepers the Rams will probably be looking at after they break my heart in the first round. With that in mind, some NFL Draft predictions on where each wide receiver will go, and why:

1. Justin Blackmon: This might just be my own hope speaking, but I can't see the St. Louis Rams passing up a potential No. 1 receiver at sixth overall. If he does drop, it seems unlikely that it will be out of the Top 10, no matter how bad his press was early in April.

2. Michael Floyd: Floyd's moved up enough that his early mock draft perch—with the Chicago Bears at No. 19—seems highly unlikely, but the draftniks never quite solidified his status as the athletic, high-upside alternative to Blackmon. The Miami Dolphins, at No. 8, could certainly do worse—and if they draft Ryan Tannehill they probably will—but his natural state seems somewhere in the mid-teens.

3. Kendall Wright: Aaron Hooks, our NFL columnist, thinks Kendall Wright is a bust waiting to happen, but he's been floating near the edge of the first-round picture for a few weeks now. We have him going to the Cleveland Browns at No. 22, where he serves as the second piece of Colt McCoy's Do Well Now Or You're A Backup Forever gift package.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: One Last Justin Blackmon-St. Louis Rams Plea

We're rapidly approaching the end of the 2012 NFL Mock Draft season, and it's been a wacky one: The St. Louis Rams were connected to Matt Kalil by default for a while, then they shook up the draft—and solidified the first two picks—by trading the Washington Redskins into that territory. That opened up Justin Blackmon season. For two months, Justin Blackmon was the only Rams pick worth making in mock drafts.

But if you know anything about NFL Mock Drafts and NFL Mock Drafters, you know this: They don't like making the same pick over and over. Slowly, due to the anti-inertia of the mock draft, Blackmon's value dropped. He went from being a dynamic, NFL-ready receiver with multiple polished talents to a "possession receiver" who wasn't ready to make a top-of-the-first-round impact.

Those mean the same thing—it's just that one of them is a first-round-moving-up scouting report, the other its first-round-falling-down equivalent. Blackmon is a fine wide receiver, and he'd be ready to help Sam Bradford right now. He's probably the most NFL-ready difference-maker available on offense at No. 6. And after all this back-and-forth, I still hope the Rams select him.

More Justin Blackmon coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Justin Blackmon Returns To St. Louis Rams Ubiquity

Ah, 2012 NFL Mock Draft ubiquity—I'm sure Justin Blackmon missed it. Now, in the final days before the real draft on Thursday, he and the St. Louis Rams have reconciled after a month or so of his falling down the draft board. SpreeGoogs is the latest to connect them, with Blackmon set as the last of the six ostensibly top-tier players to go.

This has always made sense to me—even if Blackmon were the worst-case-scenario Only A Possession Receiver guy who's been ossified into parody by mock drafters who seek out novelty, the Rams need that guy; they haven't had a reliable wide receiver for Sam Bradford yet, let alone one who could also be a dynamic presence downfield at the same time.

Meanwhile: Michael Floyd goes to No. 13 here. That's better than he started, but it suggests that his April momentum might stop a little short of the wildest projections, in which he was going in the Top 10.

More NFL Mock Draft coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: The Rams Return To Justin Blackmon

Just last month the St. Louis Rams were destined to select Justin Blackmon in every 2012 NFL Mock Draft. Just last week Justin Blackmon was a possession receiver the Rams absolutely mustn't select with the No. 6 pick in the draft Thursday. Now: Inevitability has set in. Walter Football has him there, with Fletcher Cox and Morris Claiborne seeming vaguely extraneous in their alternatives list.

The Rams have always needed a wide receiver, and Justin Blackmon has always been the best wide receiver on the board. He'll be able to play immediately, he'll be better than Brandon Gibson immediately—there's just not a lot to complain about. And after making an outstanding trade into the position, nothing-to-complain-about is a major win overall at sixth.

Sam Bradford's will be done, the Rams will have a receiver worth having in May.

More NFL Mock Draft news and analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Are Michael Floyd And The Chicago Bears Through?

Of all the formerly lock-tight 2012 NFL Mock Draft cliche selections, none is looking so unlikely right now as the one that had Notre Dame's Michael Floyd falling all the way down to the Chicago Bears, who'd pair him with Brandon Marshall, at No. 19. Since that became gospel Floyd's made a slow trip up the wide receiver rankings, where he now seems to share the top spot with long-time draft frontrunner—and presumptive Top 10 pick—Justin Blackmon. If Floyd is now even, in mock-draft-analyst's minds, with the St. Louis Rams' longtime quarry, are Floyd and the Bears through?

Well, probably, but the same arbitrary forces that brought Floyd up could easily bring him down before draft day. This is just the nature of draft momentum—it expands and recedes tidally, and with just as much earthly intervention, and since Floyd did little but have a good combine to earn it in the first place teams could be warned off without anything new coming up. If you're a Bears fan who misses how close you and Floyd used to be, SB Nation's latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft has Floyd and the Bears connecting at No. 19 like old times.

More NFL Mock Draft coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Justin Blackmon And Good And Bad Possession Receivers

St. Louis Rams fans only now getting over Pat Shurmur-ball have to be especially wary of the latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft aspersions being cast on Justin Blackmon: That he's a possession receiver, a second-banana without any of the first-round dynamism he was being granted earlier in draft season. For someone suffering from Shurmur-flashbacks you can offer no more terrifying prognosis; that's all Sam Bradford has known, thus far; nobody's ready for a third year of it.

Here's the thing, though—there are good and bad possession receivers, with bad, here, being relative to the No. 6 pick in the first round, anyway. Danny Amendola, as a potential first-rounder, is a "bad" possession receiver; he is literally a means for keeping possession of the ball, and nothing more or less. Two to eight yards through the air and a cloud of dust.

Blackmon is almost certainly not Amendola—he is, presumably, the Good Possession Receiver. He might not be The Great Possession Receiver, Cris Carter—who once caught 122 balls for (just) 1371 yards and 17 touchdowns, and who was good for 90-ish receptions for eight seasons in a row—but then, Michael Floyd probably won't be Jerry Rice, either. Average possession receivers are fungible; good ones are valuable.

More NFL Mock Draft coverage from the wide-receiver-obsessed souls at SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Will Someone Really Trade The Cleveland Browns For Ryan Tannehill?

It's become the biggest 2012 NFL Mock Draft inevitability since the St. Louis Rams traded the Robert Griffin III pick—somebody's going to trade the Cleveland Browns for their No. 4—and Ryan Tannehill. The new SB Nation Mock Draft is the latest to suggest this, saying that, whoever drafts him at No. 4, it seems like somebody will.

I get that, in the wake of Andrew Luck and RG3, teams have become obsessed with quarterbacks... and they're right to be. Quarterbacks are more important now than they've ever been, and they'll get more important indefinitely. But for the Cleveland Browns—or anybody else—to overdraft a quarterback who is not in their class just because they found themselves on the outside of the Robert Griffin III sweepstakes is the height of drafting for need—that need seemingly being to placate a fanbase—instead of for talent.

Personally, I still don't see it happening—which is why Ryan Tannehill dangled so long in our own 2012 NFL Mock Draft, before finally going today.

More NFL Mock Draft news and analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: When Will Justin Blackmon Stop Falling?

No random 2012 NFL Mock Draft stock change has been so important to the St. Louis Rams' options at the No. 6 pick as the one that's currently hitting Justin Blackmon. After months as an autopilot pick in the top six, with the Rams the backstop to his draft value, Blackmon's stock has been plummeting—seemingly for no readily apparent reason. Analysts, or at least fanalysts, have begun to doubt his upside as anything more than a future possession receiver, whatever that is, exactly, leaving Michael Floyd to lap up the excess attention.

In the latest SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Rams snag their latest fling, Trent Richardson, leaving Blackmon to fall to the Miami Dolphins at No. 8. I can't see him falling much farther than that, but if the Dolphins or the Buffalo Bills—another nice spot for him—find themselves more attracted to Floyd, who is left for the Bears at No. 19 here, Blackmon could tumblr some more.

More NFL Mock Draft recaps and analysis, handpicked from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Michael Floyd Is Everyone's Favorite Sleeper

A year ago Michael Floyd was a possible supplemental draft pick. A month ago Michael Floyd wasn't anywhere near the Top 10 on the average 2012 NFL Mock Draft. Now he's everybody's favorite sleeper, and a possibility for the St. Louis Rams at No. 6. Between the Pro Day and the combine it looks like Floyd and Justin Blackmon are going to run neck and neck right up until draft day.

Floyd is bigger and more physically talented than Blackmon, but his movement strikes me as difficult to justify at best—Blackmon certainly hasn't gotten any worse in the interim, it's just that mock drafters—and only theoretically teams—have rephrased his upside from "Steady No. 1" to "Possession Receiver with Benefits." So far as I can tell, they mean the same thing.

Disclaimer: I watched the Rams' receiving corps all last year. I'd be happy with both of them, though it seems like there's a non-zero chance the Rams will be able to trade down and still take at least one.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: How Far Might Ryan Tannehill Fall?

About a month ago, 2012 NFL Mock Draft logic had it that Ryan Tannehill was going to cause a miniature version of the flap that accompanied Robert Griffin III's availability at No. 2—the Cleveland Browns might take him themselves at No. 4, or else teams would fight to get into the Top 5 to draft this week's fast-moving quarterback.

Now—well, that's not happening. The Cleveland Browns' pick is most interesting to opposing teams because Trent Richardson's draft stock has shot up, and Tannehill's position continues to worsen as we get closer to the draft. So where could he fall?

Miami Dolphins: This is the first logical option for Tannehill. The Dolphins' quarterback situation is entirely unclear, but they have enough warm bodies to give him a year on the bench to improve. At No. 8 he still feels like an overdraft to me, but it could happen.

Arizona Cardinals: Kevin Kolb is 28 years old and has yet to have a full, solid season as a starting quarterback. He was perfectly usable in 2011, but that's really the kind of situation in which Tannehill should be going—he's not Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, and he doesn't need to be starting from day one.

Philadelphia Eagles: This is where Tannehill makes sense for me—at No. 15 overall. Mike Vick is 32-years-old and plays football in a way calculated to create the maximum number of injury situations. Tannehill could be a solid backup now—if unsuited for the Eagles' current offense—and a solid replacement for Vick after another year or two of shots to the head.

More mock draft news and analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Trent Richardson Stalks Trade Rumors For Rams, Browns

Time for another possible interruption to the St. Louis Rams' month-long 2012 NFL Mock Draft complacency: Trade rumors about the Rams and the Cleveland Browns continue to ferment in the weeks leading up to the draft, in some cases being fomented by Jeff Fisher himself. The presumptive target in all this: Trent Richardson, who in the absence of Ryan Tannehill typically goes No. 4 overall to the Browns.

I don't want them to draft Richardson at all, let alone with a draft-day trade, but it looks like that's a more likely outcome now than it was a week ago. Richardson will be a great running back, and a fine replacement for Steven Jackson when he moves on to his Cantonly reward, but even the real Steven Jackson hasn't been able to keep the Rams from sinking into the morass over the last few years; what's his replacement going to do, but run even less often?

More NFL Mock Draft analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NFL Draft 2012: Dontari Poe, St. Louis Rams Visit Friday

Last year the St. Louis Rams, in NFL Mock Draft talk, were connected with DT Corey Liuget until the last days leading up to the draft, and in the year since their defensive line has only gotten more questionable. So it makes a lot of sense that they brought Dontari Poe in for a visit Friday, as reported by Jim Thomas:

Poe's run up draft boards began with an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine and hasn't really let up since; he's a constant in the middle of the first round right now, and he could move up even further with two weeks to go until draft day. He'd need to keep moving to become a Ram, unless they follow through on the rumors they'll trade down one more time.

More NFL Draft analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:

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