Broncos Rams Football

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett leaves the field after an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio J. Sanchez)

Les Snead famously wore a T-shirt at the Los Angeles Rams' championship parade 10 months ago mocking his team's lack of draft picks.

Snead built a Super Bowl winner the unconventional way, out of free agents and trades rather than through the draft.

His acquisition of quarterback Matthew Stafford from Detroit cost him his first-round pick in 2022 and he sent two picks, including his second-rounder, to Denver for quarterback hunter Von Miller.

Those moves paid off spectacularly in the Rams' 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl.

That left Snead with a Lombardi Trophy, no picks until the third round of the 2022 NFL draft and the right to gloat about bucking tradition and building a champion his way.

The bill has come due for all that success.

Miller bolted to the Buffalo Bills in free agency a month later, Stafford has been sidelined by a concussion and a neck injury since Dec. 3 and the Rams have followed their 15-5 season with a 5-10 record.

Their Christmas Day showdown with the Broncos wasn't what the league envisioned when the schedule came out. Stafford was on the sideline and so was Denver quarterback Russell Wilson by late in the fourth quarter after he'd thrown three interceptions and taken six sacks for the first time in his career.

Wilson has nosedived this season after the Broncos sent a package of players and premium draft picks to Seattle for the nine-time Pro Bowl QB who is just 3-10 with a dozen TD throws and 49 sacks in Denver.

So, when the Rams were putting a 51-14 whooping on the Broncos, the Seahawks and their fans were relishing in Wilson's latest wipeout that has turned his trade into the deal that keeps getting better for Seattle.

The Lions and their long-suffering fanbase were lamenting the Rams' sudden success under Baker Mayfield, who is 2-1 in Hollywood since being picked off the scrap heap following his release from the Carolina Panthers.

As it stands today, the Seahawks would get the third overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft from the Broncos along with Denver's second-rounder, and the Lions would receive the seventh overall selection from the Rams.

With two games left, four of the top 11 draft picks next April would go to teams reaping the benefits from timely trades.

In addition to the Broncos and Rams surrendering their selections, the Philadelphia Eagles own the New Orleans Saints' first-rounder and the Houston Texans hold the Cleveland Browns' first-rounder.

The Eagles stand to get the Saints' 10th overall pick as part of a complex draft-night trade, the highlights of which were Philly sending the 16th and 19th overall selections in 2022 to the Saints for their 18th overall pick last year along with a 2023 first-rounder and a 2024 second-rounder.

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