Wednesday night was historic for the Los Angeles sports scene.
The Golden State Warriors broke the NBA single-season win mark. Kobe Bryant ended his career in the most Kobe of ways.
And not too far away from the Staples Center in the City of Angles, there was a deal taking place, a deal that would send months of predications and mock scenarios down the drain.
Not wanting to take any of the spotlight away from the NBA, the Los Angeles Rams waited until Thursday morning to announce a move that sent the football world into a tailspin.
For the first time since 2004, the number one pick in the NFL Draft changed hands. The Rams, fresh off their relocation to Los Angeles, acquired the pick from the Tennessee Titans.
This move all but ensures a quarterback will be going No. 1 overall. In 2004, it was the New York Giants to trade up to the top spot, when they picked Eli Manning.
Tennessee picked up Marcus Mariota last year, so they had no need to pick a quarterback. The feeling around this year’s draft is that the after the first 15 picks, the quality for the rest of the top 50 is relatively equal. It makes sense for the Titans to fill up on picks in order plug the gaps in their rebuilding project.
For the Rams, it means that they see a franchise quarterback in this draft, one that they were not likely to get with the 15th overall pick.
There are arguably two top quarterbacks in this year’s draft, University of California’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz. With Cleveland picking second, Dallas at four, San Francisco at seven, and Philadelphia holding at eight, all being rumored to be in the market for a quarterback, it did not seem too likely that one of those quarterbacks would fall into the Ram’s reach.
The biggest question still remains: Will Wentz be drafted first overall? Rumors have the Rams “targeting” Wentz, but sources close to the Rams say Goff. In experts’ opinions, there seems to be a split.
Some like Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, say Goff. Others, like ESPN’s John Clayton and Mike Golic, have Wentz. Scouts see that Wentz is the better quarterback physically, better arm strength, larger hand and more mobile.
But there are risks with Wentz. He started in reality, only one and a half years at the FCS level. Yes, he won two national championships, but it was not at the top level of college football critics argue.
Goff on the other hand has that experience at the FBS level. He is a three-year starter in the Pac-12, one of the Power 5 college football conferences. He set conference records for single-season passing yards and touchdowns last year. He has proven himself at a higher level of college football.
The drama is fitting for Hollywood. Will it be the California kid living the West Coast dream in his home state?
Or will it be the kid from the prairie looking to make it big in the bright lights of a big city?
The NFL Draft is April 28.