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The Panic Room
Peter King
May 06, 2013
FOR SOME, THAT WAS RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL ON DAY 1 OF THE DRAFT. (HEY THERE, GENO SMITH!) FOR OTHERS, IT WAS A TENSE CONFERENCE CHAMBER 900 MILES AWAY, WHERE THE FUTURE OF ONE NFC WEST CLIMBER HINGED ON A SERIES OF BALLSY GAMBLES—AND WHETHER AN ANTIQUE GOLD COIN WOULD BRING A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
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May 06, 2013

The Panic Room

FOR SOME, THAT WAS RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL ON DAY 1 OF THE DRAFT. (HEY THERE, GENO SMITH!) FOR OTHERS, IT WAS A TENSE CONFERENCE CHAMBER 900 MILES AWAY, WHERE THE FUTURE OF ONE NFC WEST CLIMBER HINGED ON A SERIES OF BALLSY GAMBLES—AND WHETHER AN ANTIQUE GOLD COIN WOULD BRING A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK

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One of the biggest misconceptions outside of NFL draft rooms is that the people inside of draft rooms are omniscient, that they have a great feel for other teams' moves. The lone three-by-five-inch magnetic player card left on the top line of the Rams' board was Ogletree's, and all Snead, Fisher and Demoff had to go on now was a gut feeling that he had a chance to slip to No. 27 or 30. On the board Ogletree's card bore a yellow dot and sat slanted along the top line. "Yellow means caution," Snead said, and slanted meant there was still some doubt that he was a wise risk to take. Ogletree had a positive drug test (marijuana) and a DUI on his résumé. There was a chance he would slip.

Consoli: "Cincinnati takes ... Tyler Eifert ... tight end ... Notre Dame. We're on the clock."

Houston called to bow out. If the Rams wanted to trade, they had one option, Atlanta at 30. Snead rang Dimitroff. "T," he asked, "we still on?" The Falcons wanted a future seventh-rounder to clinch the deal, and the Rams had an extra one in 2015 from a trade with New England. Snead okayed it. Now the two teams, St. Louis and Atlanta, had to decide whether to go through with it.

Consoli: "Eight minutes."

Fisher massaged his 1901 coin. The Falcons were thinking. And thinking.

"Time?" Fisher asked.

Consoli: "Five minutes."

The phone rang. The Ravens, at No. 32, were feeling out the Rams about moving up if St. Louis traded down. Call you back. There was a palpable but unspoken sense in the room. Take Ogletree here. Don't risk the trade. We can handle him! We handled Janoris Jenkins!

Fisher and Snead exchanged a look—they agreed that waiting was a gamble worth taking—but amazingly said nothing. Two days earlier they'd decided that if they got this far, like Thelma and Louise they were going off the cliff. Snead dialed Dimitroff's cell. "T, it's yours. Who you taking?" A pause and he hung up.

Snead, to the room: "Atlanta ... Desmond Trufant."

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