As I mentioned in my last blog posting, St. Louis' trading of veteran defensive tackle Adam Carriker to the Washington Redskins opens the door for the Rams to take either of the top-rated defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, over quarterback Sam Bradford with the top pick.
Though I still believe the most likely scenario has St. Louis taking Bradford, here is what could happen if the Rams did so. For the sake of argument, I'm focusing on Suh, because, quite frankly, based on conversations I've had with members of the Rams organization and others throughout the league, I believe him to the higher rated player on their board. I will say this on Gerald McCoy's behalf, however. Suh is not the consensus choice as the top DT in their organization.
Assuming that the Rams took Suh, however, the Detroit Lions would then be in terrific position. While they would have lost out on NFLDraftScout.com's No. 1 rated player, they still would have the option of another penetrating defensive tackle in McCoy, taking an offensive tackle in Russell Okung or Trent Williams to protect their investment in Matt Stafford or looking to trade out to a team wanting Bradford.
In this scenario, I believe the team might switch things up and go with Okung, based on conversations I've had with league sources.
Tampa has similar needs at DT, OT and could also trade the pick. McCoy is such a perfect fit for their defense, however, that I still see them as taking him... if they stayed at 3.
The Bucs would almost surely get some interesting trade proposals, however, as most believe the Washington Redskins, despite the addition of Donovan McNabb, would surely take the suddenly slipping Bradford with the fourth overall pick.
Kansas City's need along the offensive line and Scott Pioli's focus on "safe" players likely would result in his still taking a tackle. Trent Wiliams, though not quite the established pass blocker that Russell Okung is, would make sense, though Iowa's Bryan Bulaga would remain a possibility.
While the players drafted in the top five might remain the same regardless of who the Rams took at No. 1, the order in which they came off the board would change dramatically.
As a recap, here is how things could go if the Rams took Suh first:
St. Louis -- Ndamukong Suh
Detroit -- Russell Okung
Tampa Bay -- Gerald McCoy
Washington -- Sam Bradford
Kansas City -- Trent Williams
And as I see it most likely happening tomorrow night:
St. Louis -- Sam Bradford
Detroit -- Ndamukong Suh
Tampa Bay -- Gerald McCoy
Washington -- Trent Williams
Kansas City -- Russell Okung
And that, my friends, is why predicting the topsy-turvy first round is such a inexact science -- even the top five.