Perhaps the Los Angeles Rams have another blockbuster trade in them even after a 5-win season. And this idea proposed by Pro Football Focus on Tuesday, January 31 has the potential to make up for their lost attempt at one All-Pro in Christian McCaffrey.
The scenario Marcus Mosher of PFF has? The Rams send their second round pick to nab another past All-Pro running back who came via the second round of his draft class: Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts.
“The Rams were reportedly in the Christian McCaffrey sweepstakes before the San Francisco 49ers landed him ahead of the trade deadline. Could this be the offseason where the Rams try to upgrade their running back position once and for all?” Mosher asked. “The Rams are notoriously aggressive, and it seems like Sean McVay would like to make one more run with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald.”
Why Taylor is Mentioned
The 2021 All-Pro is set to make $4,303,000 in his base salary for 2023 per Spotrac. But this upcoming season brings forth a serious question in Indy regarding his future
“So what about a Taylor trade? Taylor is entering the final year of his contract, so the Indianapolis Colts might want to avoid making him the league’s highest-paid running back, as they are set to begin a rebuild,” Mosher wrote.
Taylor is already going to be without his former head coach Frank Reich, the man who helped draft him in 2020 at round No. 41. Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has been linked to the head coaching opening and is considered one of the favorites. Interim head coach Jeff Saturday is also in the mix and Taylor ended up gaining 147 yards in Saturday’s lone coaching win over the Las Vegas Raiders — but saw his yardage digress afterwards.
“Could the Rams flip the No. 37 pick in this year’s draft, along with some other filler picks, to get the best pure running back in the league?” Mosher asked.
Proposal Won’t be Easiest of Moves, but Could be ‘Fun to Watch’
The proposal would mean the Rams would have to wait until the third round for the second straight draft to make their first pick if they do manage to get Taylor.
The 24-year-old back, who delivered 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021, saw his rushing yardage dip below the century mark as he was limited to 11 starts due to a high ankle sprain.
The analyst is aware, though, that this isn’t going to be the easiest trade to pull off on the Rams’ end. As it is, the Rams received turnaround production from Cam Akers, who ended the season with three straight 100-yard games and head coach Sean McVay said before the season ended that the team has no more desire in attempting to trade him.
Yet, the Rams do have a thin RB room with Darrell Henderson already gone and Malcolm Brown an unrestricted free agent for 2023. And, finding a way to make a swap for Taylor could compensate for the Rams failing to snatch McCaffrey — who ended up playing in his first NFC title game on Sunday, January 29.
“This isn’t the wisest move for the Rams, but given their history and the fact that they tried to acquire McCaffrey last year, it makes some sense,” Mosher said. “Putting Taylor on this offense with the rest of their weapons would be a ton of fun to watch.”