Rams: What to make of the Wentz, Goff debate

After doing a ton of radio interviews across the country in the aftermath of the Rams trade for the No. 1 pick in the draft, one of the more consistent questions I get is how could the Rams part with so many future draft picks to move to No. 1 if they haven’t yet decided between North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz or Cal’s Jared Goff?

The implication being: You don’t give that much up without knowing already who you want to pick.

I agree to an extent. And if you’re asking me today who the Rams are leaning toward I’d say it’s Wentz. There is a reason they moved all the way to No. 1 – and ahead of the Browns, who have been linked to Wentz. They obviously wanted to beat the Browns to the punch.

That said, I think the bigger factor is that the Rams wanted to control the process.

In other words, they wanted to be the team that decided who the best quarterback in the draft is – the quarterback they want to stake their future on – rather than wait on the Browns or anyone else who might have moved into the No. 1 slot to make that determination and force the Rams into a reactionary position.

Had, say, the 49ers moved to No. 1 and taken Goff and the Browns taken Wentz at No. 2, the Rams would have been completely shut out of the two quarterbacks they believe can be Day One starters in the NFL.

They were not going to sit back and allow that to happen. They could not afford to, given how solid the rest of the roster is and the need to plug in a quality quarterback to elevate the Rams from a competitive team to a playoff contender.

By making the unprecedented jump from the 15th spot in the draft to No. 1, they eliminated all uncertainty and hope and chance of the process. And whether they are leaning toward Wentz or Goff or still undecided, they can now spend the next two weeks with the singular focus of reaffirming their position, or being convinced otherwise, or simply deciding who the best prospect is between Wentz and Goff.

The point being, this is the Rams decision to make, and the Rams decision alone. And while it cost quite a bit to take control of that process, having possession of it far outweighs the cost when you consider the long-range implications.