CHICAGO -- Nearly four months after the Rams officially returned to Los Angeles, the franchise selected Cal quarterback Jared Goff with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday at Auditorium Theater.
"We had a little bit of an idea (I would go No. 1), but nothing set in stone yet," Goff told NFL Network's Deion Sanders after the selection. "I'm ready to go, I'm ready to make a difference."
With the second pick, the Philadelphia Eagles chose North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.
"It's an exciting time. Real exciting, and happy to be an Eagle," Wentz told Sanders. "I'm bringing it. They're getting a passionate player themselves, so it's going to be fun. The chips fell where they may tonight, and I'm pumped and ready to get to work."
Goff passed for 12,200 yards, 96 touchdowns and 30 in three seasons as a starter. However, behind a suspect offensive line, he was sacked 84 times and rarely took a snap under center in the spread offense. His 14-23 record is the worst by a No. 1 pick entering the NFL in the modern draft era (1967).
The Rams plan to start the rookie early in the season and perhaps Week 1 in a "Monday Night Football" game at San Francisco.
It will benefit Goff to share the backfield with 2015 first-round pick Todd Gurley, the Georgia running back drafted 10th overall last year.
The task comes with immediate challenges.
The Rams were last in the NFL in total offense (297 yards per game) and scoring (17.5 per game), and the NFC West houses rugged defenses in Seattle (No. 1 scoring defense in 2015) and Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks were top five in total defense last season.
This was the seventh time since 2008 the franchise had a top-10 pick.
The Tennessee Titans received the 15th overall pick in 2016 and a package of selections from the Rams to surrender the top pick, giving them six in the top 76 picks.
Tennessee sent the top pick and its fourth- (No. 113) and sixth-round (No. 177) picks this year to the Rams in exchange for Los Angeles' first-round pick (No. 15), two second-round selections (Nos. 43 and 45) and a third-round pick (No. 76) in 2016. The Titans also got the Rams' first- and third-round picks in 2017.
General manager Les Snead and the Rams traded Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles last offseason, but Foles fizzled and was replaced as the starter. Foles is still on the roster but is behind journeyman Case Keenum on the preseason depth chart.
Wentz was 20-3 for the Bison, the FCS powerhouse with five consecutive national titles, two with Wentz as the starter. A strong showing at the Senior Bowl in January against big-school stars added enough cred to increase debate over who is the top quarterback prospect in this draft, Wentz or Goff.
Wentz held advantages in that he came from a pro-style offense at 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, doesn't face the height and hand size concerns that dogged Goff.