Will the Rams make another trade before the NFL trade deadline?

After acquiring Von Miller from the Broncos, will the Los Angeles Rams make more news with another move before the NFL trade deadline?

The Los Angeles Rams are still all-in. Just when it seemed impossible the Rams could add any more premier talent, the news came out that they acquired future Hall of Fame edge rusher Von Miller from the Broncos. Having already made one big move, will Los Angeles make another acquisition before the NFL trade deadline?

The Rams are not afraid to make trades

The Rams haven’t made a first-round selection since the 2016 NFL Draft. Many of those picks were dealt in exchange for veterans, including Brandin Cooks, Jalen Ramsey, and Matthew Stafford. Those trades — especially those for Ramsey and Stafford — seemed highly aggressive at the time, but each of those deals has worked out for the Rams.

Those high-profile swaps get all the attention, but the Rams are always active in the trade market, even when it involves lower-level deals. Between the Stafford-Jared Goff trade in March and today’s Miller acquisition, the Rams made four other trades:

Michael Brockers (DT)
Traded to the Lions for a 2023 seventh-round pick.

Sony Michel (RB)
Acquired from the Patriots for a 2022 sixth-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick.

Corey Bojorquez (P)
Traded to the Packers with a 2023 seventh-round pick for a 2023 sixth-round pick.

Kenny Young (LB)
Traded to the Broncos with a 2024 seventh-round pick for a 2024 sixth-round pick.

Several of those trades were made in order to clear cap or roster space. But when running back Cam Akers went down, for example, the Rams worked quickly to add Michel from the Patriots. If Los Angeles feels it needs reinforcements to help win the NFC West, Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay likely won’t hesitate to make another move.

Which players should the Rams target at the trade deadline?

In Miller, the Rams have found another edge rusher. But what other positions on LA’s roster could use reinforcements?

Deep threat WR

DeSean Jackson and the Rams expect to mutually part ways in the coming days, meaning LA could use a deep threat. While a reunion with Brandin Cooks would make a lot of sense, recent reports have indicated Cooks is likely to stay in Houston.

Keelan Cole, New York Jets

The Jets and fill-in quarterback Mike White pulled off an impressive victory over the Bengals today, but they know they’re not competing this season. Keelan Cole has been efficient on deep targets throughout his career and could help the Rams spread the field even more than they already are. Trading Cole could allow Gang Green to finally see what they have in second-year WR Denzel Mims.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants

In every season of his NFL career, Darius Slayton has posted 15+ yards per reception and an average depth of target (aDOT) of at least 13.5 yards. Plus, he still has 1.5 years left on his contract, so he wouldn’t just be an option for 2021. When fully healthy, the Giants can roll out Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, and Sterling Shepard, reducing their need for Slayton.

Kalif Raymond, Detroit Lions

Kalif Raymond has posted 45 career receptions — 13 have gone for 20+ yards. That’s the type of deep threat the Rams could use if Jackson isn’t going to be around much longer. For what it’s worth, two of Raymond’s deep receptions came against Los Angeles in Week 7 en route to a 6-115 line, so the Rams are aware of his capabilities.

Interior OL depth

The Rams have one of the best offensive lines in football, but they have precariously little depth, especially on the interior. Let’s take a look at a few options that could be available around the NFL.

Austin Blythe, Kansas City Chiefs

NFL teams love familiarity, and the Rams certainly know Austin Blythe. The 29-year-old started 49 games for Los Angeles from 2017-20 before signing a low-cost deal with the Chiefs during the offseason. But with rookie center Creed Humphrey playing like an All-Pro in Kansas City, Blythe hasn’t played a single snap this year. He could fill in at either guard or center if LA were to suffer an injury.

Dan Feeney, New York Jets

In March, the Jets inked Dan Feeney to a one-year deal but subsequently traded up to draft fellow guard Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round. Feeney’s only action this year has come in the form of 13 special-teams snaps. The former second-round pick isn’t a world-beater by any means, but he started 57 games for the Chargers during his first four NFL seasons. That level of experience could give the Rams comfort on the interior.

Help at cornerback

Darious Williams is on injured reserve, but he’s already missed three games, so he can return as soon as he’s healthy. Still, the Rams could use some depth in their defensive backfield.

Vernon Hargreaves III, Houston Texans

The Texans already traded Mark Ingram in advance of the trade deadline, and they should be aiming to sell off any player who’s not part of their future. Despite his status as a former first-round pick, Vernon Hargreaves III fits that bill. He was demoted from Houston’s starting lineup at one point this season, and Stafford picked on him in Week 8. But as a pure reserve, Hargreaves still has some value.

Nik Needham, Miami Dolphins

Although Nik Needham struggled against the Bills in Week 8, he’s been a pretty effective slot corner throughout his career. Ramsey has been playing a lot of slot corner in 2021 as the Rams attempt to move him closer to the action. As such, Needham might not be a perfect fit in LA. But he’d unquestionably give them depth in case of an injury that necessitated Ramsey moving back outside.

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