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After trading down, Rams may target Morris Claiborne

Morris Claiborne

LSU’s Morris Claiborne holds the Jim Thorpe Award given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive back during the College Football Awards show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)


The Rams are all but certain to trade out of the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft and receive extra selections from some team that wants Robert Griffin III. But after they make their trade, who will they pick?

It may be LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Claiborne very much figures into the Rams’ draft discussions and could be the man they’re hoping to take after they trade out of the second pick.

It’s easy to see why the Rams would want to add a player like Claiborne, who entered the Combine widely regarded as the top cornerback in the draft, and had a good enough showing not to change that. Among the Rams’ cornerbacks last season, Al Harris is retiring, Justin King could leave via free agency, and Ron Bartell, Bradley Fletcher and Jerome Murphy all suffered season-ending injuries in 2011. Cornerback is a position the Rams would like to upgrade.

The problem, of course, is that the Rams have no way of knowing that Claiborne will still be available after they trade down. If they were to trade with the Browns at No. 4 it’s likely that Claiborne would be there, but any further down than that and it’s entirely possible that Claiborne would be off the board.

The reality is that in February, any projection of how the draft is going to play out is little more than guesswork. But if you want to take a guess about what kind of player the Rams would like to get after they trade out of the second pick, Claiborne isn’t a bad bet.