Los Angeles Rams to choose first in NFL draft

- The Los Angeles Rams have the first choice in Thursday's NFL draft and are expected to select a quarterback -- either Jared Goff of California or Carson Wentz of North Dakota State.

Coach Jeff Fisher initially only said at a news conference this week that the team would probably select an offensive player with the choice acquired from the Tennessee Titans in an April 14 trade.

When asked if the team has decided who that player will be, Fisher responded, "Maybe.''

The team will call the player they choose "just prior to'' submitting the card making the choice official, Fisher said.

"There's only a few things better in life than this phone call,'' said Fisher, an NFL head coach for all but one year since 1994 and a seventh-round choice by the Chicago Bears in the 1981 draft.

"It's a great experience for them and we do not want to deny our pick the opportunity to experience that.''

The Rams will have 10 minutes to submit the card with the name of the player they want after Commissioner Roger Goodell declares the draft open.

Although general manager Les Snead said he wasn't sure how long the Rams would take to submit the card, he said it might "be more like seven minutes.''

Snead praised Goff and Wentz, both of whom were brought by the Rams to Southern California for what Fisher described as "hours and hours and hours'' of visits.

"Both of the players are very good and they're both going to have very good careers,'' Snead said.

Goff set 26 school records in his three seasons with California, including passing yards (12,220), passing yards per game (329.7), touchdown passes (96), completions (977), passes (1,569) and total offense (12,086
yards).

Goff started all 37 games possible during his college career and is the only quarterback in school history in to start his first game as a true freshman.

The 21-year-old Goff is listed at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 215 pounds. Six recruiting services listed him as a four-star recruit out of Marin Catholic High School -- one short of the maximum -- while one gave him three stars.

Wentz didn't become North Dakota State's starting quarterback until his fourth season in the program. He started all 16 games in the 2015 season, leading the Bison to the Football Championship Subdivision title.

Wentz started the first six games of the 2015 season before being sidelined with a broken right wrist. He was cleared to play the week of the national championship game and completed 16 of 29 passes for 197 yards and one touchdown and ran for a team-high 79 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-10 victory over Jacksonville State.

Wentz is third in school history in passing yards (5,115), touchdown passes (45), completions (392) and passes (612).

The 23-year-old Wentz is listed at 6 feet 6 inches and 235 pounds. He will be the first North Dakota State quarterback chosen in an NFL draft.

The player the Rams choose today, the remainder of their selections in the draft, which continues through Saturday, and the players bypassed in the draft they sign as free agents, will participate in the team's three-day rookie mini-camp which begins May 6 at the Residence Inn River Ridge in Oxnard.

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