The Los Angeles Rams traded up to the No. 1 spot in the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday, and the San Francisco 49ers provided an essential boost to make it happen. The Rams move up from No. 15 cost them a sizable haul of picks, including their first this year and next year, two seconds this year, and their third this year and next year. However, if not for Week 17 last season, they probably would not have been able to get the deal done.
Head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead discussed the 49ers Week 17 win over the Rams, and acknowledged they felt a lot better about that loss now. The 49ers and Rams were tied 16-16 in overtime. The 49ers stalled out at the 50 on their first possession. The Rams took over at their own 19, and proceeded to drive down to the 49ers 30. Greg Zuerlein came out for what would have been the game-winning field goal. Dontae Johnson was able to block the field goal. The 49ers took over at their own 26, drove down to the Rams 5, and won it on a field goal with 3:27 left in overtime.
The Rams finished 7-9 instead of 8-8, which meant they landed the No. 15 pick. Had the Rams won, they would have been picking No. 19. On the other hand, the 49ers win meant they claimed the No. 7 spot. Had the 49ers not blocked Zuerlein's field goal, they would be in the fifth slot. It's amazing how a single blocked field goal can turn a meaningless game into so much more.