INDIANAPOLIS -- Two years ago, the landscape was decidedly different when the NFL Scouting Combine ended.

Like this year, the St. Louis Rams had the second overall selection in the draft. But that year, as Rams general manager Les Snead recalls, the selections for the top of the draft appeared written in stone when the combine closed its doors for the week.

Speaking at the combine Friday, Snead said, "We left Indy and everyone knew who pick 1 was going to be and who pick 2 was going to be. That year it was (quarterback) Andrew Luck is going 1. There was a little movement -- 'Does Robert Griffin beat out Andrew Luck?' -- but that was more, 'Let's stir it up and have something to write about.' Because it's kind of boring Andrew's going No. 1.

"This one doesn't seem as defined. I'm not sure this year when we leave we'll know who pick 1 will be. If you all do know, let me know. That will help the spring out."

In 2012, Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher were able to orchestrate a trade in March with the Washington Redskins that moved the Rams down to sixth in the first round, with the Rams also acquiring a second-round choice that year to go with first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.

As the Redskins bottomed out at 3-13 this past season, that left the Rams at No. 2 again. And while Snead figures there will be trade options this year, it might not happen until draft day.

Said Snead, "It's definitely an option. I won't continue calling it a piece of real estate. But it's a nice asset as an organization to have and we need to make the best of that asset. We'll evaluate all situations."

Most important is the uncertainty of what the Houston Texans will do with the first selection, whether it will be used to take one of the top-rated quarterbacks or a player at a different position.

Fisher jokingly said he hopes to learn what the Texans will do in meetings with their general manager, Rick Smith. Both are on the NFL's competition committee.

Said Fisher, "You know I spent the last three days in the same meeting room with Rick Smith, will spend another week with him in a couple weeks and I'm going to give myself another good solid week to find out what they're going to do. Get him in a weak moment."

When it was mentioned that Smith isn't saying much, Fisher said. "He is not talking to me, no."

Meanwhile, stating the obvious, Snead said he'd prefer having the first choice. "Houston controls the draft," he said. "The interesting thing about being 2 is, as I've mentioned, I'm an only child, I'm selfish and I'm greedy. I want to be in the driver's street. I wouldn't have to sit and react."

When he was told he's still riding shotgun, Snead laughed and said, "Sometimes shotgun is worse. Maybe it's better not being in the car."

However, if the Rams are able to make a trade that helps deepen the roster, he won't be so upset at riding shotgun. And, he acknowledges that the depth of this year's draft will make acquiring extra picks even more advantageous.

"Early last May when we started looking at what was coming, we had a gut feeling it was going to be a deep draft, and it's turned out be that," Snead said. "It's a very, very deep draft at multiple positions. It's a good thing for this year."

Analyzing trade options, Snead said, "If you go back and look at last year, we might have been shut out (with a trade down). This year, it's 'Wow, look at our options.' This year being deep is going to affect trades, for sure."

One thing that won't affect the Rams' pick is the status of quarterback Sam Bradford. Snead and Fisher have reiterated consistently that Bradford is the team's quarterback, yet that doesn't stop outside talk that says the Rams might release him to save salary-cap dollars and use their high pick on someone new.

They each again squashed any of that talk. Fisher smiled when he was asked if he is surprised by the continued speculation, and said, "Nowadays, speculation is not puzzling to me."

He then said, "As I've mentioned before, one of two reasons I took this job was because of Sam. As an organization, we have a great deal of respect in him and trust in him. He's our guy. He was playing pretty good football before he got hurt."

Bradford suffered a torn ACL in the seventh game of the season against the Carolina Panthers, and Fisher said, "We have zero concern whether or not he comes back. He's working hard, he's there every day. He's excited about it.

"This was a freak injury so we don't look at it like we have an injury-prone quarterback. There's no question whether he will be back."

Said Snead, "He's young but still has a lot of experience, so we don't want to throw that experience away. When you start talking about a starting quarterback, we could spend all day on why we're standing by Sam. Since 2012 when Jeff and I got here, it's pretty well documented the NFC West is pretty tough. He's 5-2-1 in the division.

"When we found our identity this year, he played really well. We have to win in this division to get to the tournament. He proved he could play pretty well in the offense (after) the San Francisco game. Those variables are why you're standing by him."

Howard Balzer is an award-winning writer and broadcaster who has covered the National Football League for more than three decades and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He is a national columnist for The Sports Xchange and co-host on SiriusXM NFL Radio.