Imagine Les Snead watching film in his office late at night. He has grown an unkempt beard, he’s ceased writing on white boards and has started writing random words on the wall in magic marker. There are crushed cans of Monster energy drink everywhere and he’s curled up into a ball parsing over game tape of a projected seventh round linebacker. The only companionship Les Snead has is the army of urine jars that continue to grow all around him. A Los Angeles Chargers billboard appears to be mocking him from across the street. He gets up and paces around the room running down exactly how the draft will go. Finally, he snaps and calls for help going so far as to say he’d sell his soul if it meant this draft is a success. Suddenly, a red puff of smoke appears and a sinister laugh. It’s the Devil and its taken the form of Kurt Warner. Les is confused. “Kurt Warner?!” and the devil replies “I’ve simply taken his form so that you can feel completely at ease. I’m here because you offered to sell your soul if it meant the draft was a success”. Snead, still confused asks “Why me? Shouldn’t you be in Cleveland?” and the Devil laughs “Even I can’t help them. Let’s hurry this along I’m due back at Tom Brady’s house in three hours”.
Snead begs and pleads to have this draft solidify his place in Rams lore. He wants to be remembered as the guy who turned it all around and made the team a success in Los Angeles. The Devil holds out his hand and as they shake the sound of thunder and agony fill the air. “Les Snead you have offered me your soul in exchange for the success of the Rams”. The Devil explains that Snead will be allowed to make any major move he wants but each move will come at a price. Snead reluctantly agrees through a cloud of smoke emerges into the war room hours before the draft.
As his colleagues stare at Les with anticipation, he pulls out his cell phone. Snead calls the Saints and they agree to give the Rams picks for Trumaine Johnson but it would only net them an extra fourth and a fifth. He figures that must be the cost of getting the trade in the first place so he agrees. After high-fiving several staffers, an intern alerts him that they now have $5 million in dead cap money. Snead nervously shakes it off. When it comes time for the draft to start he makes another call, this time to Buffalo. He asks for the 10th overall pick for three 4th round picks and both his 5ths. The staff is flabbergasted and Snead again jumps for joy when they Bills agree.
The 10th overall pick becomes Mike Williams the wide receiver from Clemson and now Snead is feeling himself. That same intern asks if he’s comfortable with the fact that Williams while fast and athletic, has a tendency to drop passes, isn’t a great route runner, and isn’t much of a run blocker. Snead laughs it off and says “watch the film this kid is a star”. Before the first day ends, Snead makes yet another deal. He calls the Titans and offers them Tavon Austin for their 18th overall pick and an additional 3rd. The Titans agree and Snead is thrilled to get vengeance on the team that possessed the 5th overall pick that belonged to the Rams. With the 18th overall pick Snead selects Adoree’ Jackson the corner from USC and Snead is really feeling himself. He just got Jared Goff a star receiver and then a speedy corner who is also great in the return game. The intern again steps in and reminds Snead that while Jackson is a monster athlete his size might end up being a problem. “Nah”, Snead replies and they all go home for day two.
The next day Snead uses the 37th overall pick to select John Ross the wide receiver from Washington after he had fallen into round two. The intern asks about Ross’s injury history and Snead doesn’t seem at all concerned. Round two goes by and everyone still feels pleased with themselves. Round three proves even more fruitful. Desmond King from Iowa is drafted at safety with the 69th pick and with the 83rd overall pick they received from the Titans the Rams draft Malik McDowell the defensive tackle out of Michigan State. Once again, the intern has some thoughts. He didn’t like the King pick because his lack of size will be a problem and McDowell’s footwork is atrocious. Snead throws a stapler at him and says he’s tired of some lowly intern questioning his decision and before the intern leaves he stares back into the room and laughs. The intern reveals himself to be the Devil.
“Les Snead I tried to warn you that all of your moves would come with a dire cost and not only do you refuse to listen but your hubris has caused you to continue down a destructive path”. Snead is shaken and doesn’t understand. The Devil shows Snead the consequences of his actions. Not only does Mike Williams never get over his drops but Goff takes hit after hit because Snead didn’t address the offensive line. Jackson is great in the return game but he and Desmond King keep getting burnt by opposing offenses. McDowell never develops into a quality pass rusher causing Aaron Donald to refuse to re-sign at the end of the season. John Ross has a few games where he looks like an all star but can’t stay on the field. The dead cap money prevents them from adding any depth on the line during the summer and make it harder to offer Donald a huge contract. Not only do the Bills hit on all three 4th round picks and both 5th round picks but because the Rams gave up all their day three picks, Vince Ferragamo and Jackie Slater are hurt that they don’t get to participate in the draft and it becomes a public relations nightmare. The Rams finish 3-13 and the coaching staff get to keep their jobs but are now firmly on the hot seat. The Chargers go on to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and become the toast of the town.
“I don’t understand, you said if I gave you my soul the team would be a success”. The Devil chuckles “That is true, you see your poor decisions cause the team to fire you and with their number one overall pick they select Josh Rosen from UCLA and hit every pick after that. They trade Goff to Jacksonville for more late round picks and Aaron Donald decides to return. You see it was your hubris and poor decision making that lead to the team ultimately turning around”. Snead is upset. “What about my legacy?” and the Devil sneers “Your legacy is being the man who nearly destroyed Rams football in Los Angeles in a single season”. The team would go onto win a Super Bowl three years later. Snead cries “what have I done?!” He is woken up by an intern and once out of his stupor realizes it was all a dream. He cleans his office, puts on a new suit and calls his staff in. He thanks them all for their hard work and before starting film he simply says “Let’s get to work”.