Last year we learned that new Titans’ GM Jon Robinson likes to wheel and deal. In the offseason he got DeMarco Murray from Philadelphia for swapping 4th round picks in the 2016 Draft. By dropping 13 spots in the 4th round Robinson picked up the third leading rusher in the NFL in 2016.
A few weeks before the draft Robinson once again made some moves and traded the top pick in the draft to the Rams and wound up with their 1st round pick in 2016 and 2017 along with their two 2nd round picks last year. He also wound up with their 3rd round pick in 2017 as part of the deal so the Titans now have two picks in the first and third rounds this year. Tennessee traded away their 2nd round pick in this year’s draft to move up in last year’s draft to take Jack Conklin who was named All-Pro as a rookie.
The Titans finished 9-7 in 2016 and look to be set up for a playoff run next season with Marcus Mariota under center and DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry in the backfield. Jon Robinson has to get some help at defensive back and receiver if Tennessee is going to be a legitimate contender in the AFC. By holding the 5th pick in the draft they have an ace up their sleeve if they want to move back down the draft board to add depth at the two positions. The 2017 draft looks to be stocked full of DBs and if Tennessee wants to stay at pick #18 they can get a receiver later in the first round.
By picking fifth Tennessee is in a prime spot for a team looking to trade up to get a QB. It’s very likely that Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett goes #1 to the Browns. After that the 49ers will likely take North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky, Clemson QB DeShaun Watson or Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer. Or San Fransisco could opt to go after Bama DE Jonathan Allen. The Jags won’t pick a QB with Blake Bortles coming back next year so you can expect them to go after Allen if he is still on the board or possibly University of Tennessee DE Derek Barnett. Now sitting at #5 the Titans are in a great spot for a team that needs the best available quarterback with the Jets coming up next at #6 who will likely be picking a QB.
In that scenario two or three quarterbacks will still be on the board with New York on deck looking to take one. If the Niners don’t take a QB Kizer, Watson and Trubisky will all be on the board and Tennessee can entertain offers for another team looking to get up to have their pick of the litter. If there is one thing we have learned in last year’s draft, NFL teams will pay a king’s ransom to get their QB of the future. The Eagles and Rams got fleeced for the right to move up to the top to get Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.
A team like Buffalo who is picking 10th would likely give up their 1st and 2nd round pick this year along with a 2nd next year to move up to get their QB. Tennessee could move down five spots and still be able to get Alabama DB Marlon Humphrey or Clemson WR Mike Williams and still pick up another playmaker at #18 as well. Then Jon Robinson could build some depth with his newly acquired 2nd round pick along with his two picks in the third round.
The Texans are another team who might sell the farm to move up to #5 to get a QB. Houston is in the playoffs so it’s not known exactly where they are picking until they are done but it will likely be around 24-28. The Texans would have to give up a 1st round this year and next year along with another 2nd round or other picks. Still, Tennessee would have two picks in the late first round to play with and still be able to add depth in later rounds.
All of this could get blown up if the Browns or 49ers trade out. All it takes is one team to fall in love with a QB at the Combine for the entire draft to get shaken up. But at pick #5 Tennessee will be able to move back if another team wants a QB.
The Titans could go ahead and use the pick and pick up someone like Jonathan Allen or Derek Barnett if they slide. You never can have too many pass rushers. If the team has one of the evaluated as the top talent in the draft and he falls to #5 you have to take one of them.
There still is a lot that has to play out but we learned last year that Tennessee is a mover and a shaker when it comes to making deals in the draft. And with two picks in the first 18 selections Jon Robinson has a good hand to play if he can find another GM to play with.