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Rams Stay Quiet on Day 1 of NFL Draft

Posted Apr 26, 2018

GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay revealed they showed a highlight reel of WR Brandin Cooks in the team's draft room when the Patriots were on the clock at No. 23.

After trading their 2018 first-round pick for wide receiver Brandin Cooks earlier this month, there was little chance the Rams would do much during the first night of this year’s NFL Draft on Thursday.

That’s especially because the club had already traded its second-round selection for wide receiver Sammy Watkins back in August of 2017.

According to general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay, Thursday night was a different sensation. That’s even in comparison to last year when the club also did not have a first-round pick since L.A. doesn’t pick until midway through the third round.

“I think Sean and I, when we were eating dinner somewhere in the first round, mentioned that it was different,” Snead said. “So I’m sure last year when we came in to do our first-round press conference — and I don’t even remember if we did one or not — but I’m sure we were ready to get back to the war room and strategize on what we would do with that first pick [in Round 2]. That’s what made this different than last year.”

So the most exciting part of the first night in the Rams draft room?

“What we did do is, at the 23rd pick, put a highlight reel of Brandin Cooks on the screen in the war room and show everyone our 23rd pick,” Snead said. “And it looked good.”

“It did,” McVay agreed.

“You know what, there were a few Ooos and Aaahs,” Snead added. “Obviously, a lot of highlights at the beginning of that tape.”

Other than that, Snead and McVay said they enjoyed the night as fans. When a reporter asked the pair following the conclusion of the first round if there was ever a thought of trading into the first round, McVay quipped back, “Like you said — pretty sure you know the answer to it, right?”

So, that’s a no.

Snead and McVay confirmed they ate sushi together in Los Angeles’ break room, and conversed about the goings on with the rest of the league — particularly as it related to quarterbacks.

“I enjoyed it because I was so out of touch with what was going on there,” Snead said. “So I’m a fan of all those guys, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.”

As was reported back in February, McVay sat next to now Browns No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Baker Mayfield, on a Southwest flight to the NFL Combine from LAX.

Remembering that on Thursday night, Snead joked, “There was a rumor going around that Baker had this flight to Indy — that great tutoring session with someone he sat beside on the plane really helped him through that whole draft-meeting process, kind of upped his stock.”

“I heard it was pretty spectacular,” McVay joked as well.

But the night wasn’t all observations with no work. Snead was monitoring the draft closely for what teams picked what positions, knowing that could have an effect later in the draft.

“There was one instance where a player that we’re thinking about at 87, a team took that position in the first round,” Snead said. “And you go, ‘OK, that’s nice to note.’ Not saying they wouldn’t take that player in the third round before us, but it does help you manage the draft.”

And even as the Rams go into tomorrow still 54 selections away from their first pick at No. 87, Snead said he’ll likely be on the phone with potential trade partners — if for nothing else than to gather a little extra information that might make a difference. 

“We’re always trying to figure out a tidbit if you need to move up, if you can stay pat,” Snead said. “Especially with, let’s call it, three fourth-round picks — who do you pick early? Who do you pick later? You’re always trying to gather that intel. What I can tell you is, it’s not an exactly science, it’s not perfect. You can get intel, but all it takes is one team to pull that player off in front of you and you move on to Plan B or C.”