While the NFL Draft served as an opportunity for teams to add young players to build around in the future, teams like the Los Angeles Rams take a different strategy.
The Rams are known for trading away their draft picks to bring in veteran players that can help them win right away, whether it be Jalen Ramsey, Matthew Stafford, Von Miller or so many others.
While the Rams were still able to add eight new players in the 2022 NFL Draft, they also used it as an opportunity to bring in yet another veteran.
During the fourth round, just minutes after the Rams drafted a cornerback in Decobie Durant, it was announced that the Rams have also brought back a familiar face in cornerback Troy Hill via trade with the Cleveland Browns.
Hill spent parts of six seasons with the Rams before signing with the Browns last offseason, mainly playing in the slot.
After losing Darious Williams this offseason, the Rams had a clear vacancy in their secondary, and while they addressed it in the draft, Hill gives them someone who can come in and contribute right away as L.A. looks to defend its title in 2022.
The trade seemingly came out of nowhere in the middle of the draft, especially considering the Rams sent a 2023 fifth-round pick, not a 2022 one, in return.
After the draft, Rams general manager Les Snead explained how the trade for Hill came together with the Browns, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“(Browns general manager) Andrew (Berry) and I were talking about it and we were discussing ways to get it done, and at the end of the day, (it was) going to the comps,” Snead said. “Because we probably have seven picks next year and expect to get four comps. Now, we can’t trade comps yet, that’s just an expectation, it will probably happen. But it does allow you to go, ‘OK, we’ve got 11 picks,’ and the Browns, they had a lot of picks on the second day, so we said, ‘You know what, it’s probably best that we do something – better for both of us – that we do something in the future.”
Comp picks are something the Rams have relied on heavily over the last few years as it allows them to bring in players and then get something in return if they leave in free agency. That also gives them extra picks in the later rounds, which makes them more comfortable trading some away.
Not only that, but the Rams are getting Hill, who is familiar with their system, back at a very affordable rate as he is set to make just $1.5 million in 2022 in the final year of his contract.