(AP) — The St. Louis Rams are willing to trade the second overall pick of the April draft.
Chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said Tuesday that the team would make a deal under the right circumstances, but has not made any commitments despite a report late Monday that a trade had already been decided. He said new coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead went to the NFL combine with an open mind.
“I think coach Fisher and Les have been upfront that we will listen to offers for the (hash)2 pick,” Demoff said in an email to The Associated Press. “I didn’t see anything in the report that differed from their statements.”
Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are expected to go 1-2 in the draft, with Indianapolis holding the top pick. The Rams need plenty of help but are set at quarterback with Sam Bradford, the first overall pick in 2010.
Among a group of perhaps 50 or 60 players that the Rams are believed to have interviewed at the combine are Southern California offensive tackle Matt Kalil and Oklahoma wide receiver Justin Blackmon, a pair who would fill obvious holes.
While the Colts are widely expected to take Luck as the eventual heir to Peyton Manning, it is Griffin who has sparked the speculation. Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor is seen as a good fit with a number of teams, increasing the likelihood of the Rams dealing the second pick in a bid to stock up.
But the draft is still two months away and free agency has not begun.
Fisher, hired in January, has consistently maintained he has a high regard for Bradford and believes he can become a star. Fisher dismissed last season’s performance to a large extent because of injuries to Bradford and his offensive line, plus a time shortage getting accustomed to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ system because of the lockout.
Bradford missed six games with a high left ankle sprain playing behind an injury riddled line. Tackles Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith, and guard Jacob Bell ended the season on injured reserve.
The defense also needs help after threatening the franchise record for yards allowed.
Fisher and Snead were hired after the Rams’ 2-14 season tied for the NFL’s worst. They were just 10-38 in three seasons under coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired along with general manager Billy Devaney. McDaniels is also gone.