Morning Ram-blings: The what if game

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams passed on the opportunity to use the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft on quarterback Robert Griffin III. They opted to trade the selection to the Washington Redskins for a bounty of picks which included this year's No. 2 overall choice, lineman Greg Robinson.

There are plenty of "what if" scenarios in that situation itself but there's another that stems from this story on NFL.com. In Judy Battista's piece about backup quarterbacks, she relays a story from Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and ESPN analyst Bill Polian in which Polian tells Lewis he'd still be calling the shots for the Indianapolis Colts if he'd drafted quarterback Andy Dalton in 2011.

Apparently, Polian had strongly considered drafting Dalton to be Peyton Manning's backup that season. Following the logic here, had Dalton been Manning's backup instead of Dan Orlovsky or Curtis Painter or Kerry Collins, the Colts would have fared better and wouldn't have ended up with the No. 1 overall pick.

Of course, had all of that played out, the Rams would have been sitting with the first pick in the draft and a shot at quarterback Andrew Luck. NFL.com's Chris Wesseling pointed out the "what if" scenario in this piece.

Now, there's a lot to consider here but the first question is to wonder why, if Polian was in charge, the Colts didn't simply draft Dalton. They would have had to do it in the first round, at No. 22 overall but they had a chance. Instead, they went with tackle Anthony Castonzo.

The other part of the equation is whether the Rams would have drafted Luck instead of auctioning off the top pick for what likely would have been an even bigger package than the one they got from Washington. At the time, Jeff Fisher and Les Snead were settling into their roles as head coach and general manager but they did and do have belief in quarterback Sam Bradford.

I think it's entirely possible if they had wanted to trade the pick, they would have gotten more than the Redskins gave them with Luck as the bargaining chip. Passing on Luck would have been a bad choice in my opinion, but I don't think it's a sure thing they would have taken him.

Either way, it's all a "what if" game but it's an interesting one to ponder in light of Polian's comments.


A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we opened the day with a look at Mark Dominik's dream team with the salary cap. ... In Camp Confidential, we took a bigger-picture look at the team's training camp so far. ... Next, we delved into the ongoing battles for backup jobs along the offensive line. ... From there, it was on to a look at rookie tight end Alex Bayer's impressive work so far. ... We then got the news that charges against linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar were dropped in Miami. ... We closed the day with a practice report from Thursday's 15th summer workout.


At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas writes that Tavon Austin is more comfortable in his second season.

Joe Lyons examines the development of offensive tackle Sean Hooey.

At 101sports.com, D'Marco Farr says he wants to see Bradford excel on Saturday afternoon.

Dan Pompei offers a great look at the ever-difficult NFC West division.

Here's the video from Fisher's acceptance of the ALS ice bucket challenge.