The Titans hold all the cards in the 2016 NFL Draft. Picking #1 overall Tennessee can draft the best available player or trade back if the right offer is made from another team. New Titans’ GM Jon Robinson has gone on record saying that he is already getting calls about potentially trading the pick.
“I’ve had a couple of conversations here and there. I think it is really more kind of exploratory at this point. As we get a little bit closer, a little bit more through the process with the combine and interviews and pro days, I expect there will be a few more exploratory calls, and there may not be. We’ll see.”
Tennessee is expected to pick Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil first overall if they can’t trade back. It’s thought that Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey is also on their radar but he would be available in the top ten should they trade back.
The problem Robinson may have dealing the pick is that the bar was set so high when the Rams traded the first pick to the Redskins in 2012. When Washington moved up from #6 to #2 they gave St. Louis the #6 and #39 pick in 2012 and their first round picks in 2013 and 2014. Robinson is in his first year in Nashville and no team is going to offer up that much to get to #1 this year. If he takes a lesser deal he will look like a rookie GM. However, if an offer is made that the team can live with considering there is no slam dunk consensus #1 pick and they wind up in a position to get some legitimate prospects they should take it.
The Titans’ do have some leverage though. With Cleveland likely taking a QB at #2 Tennessee can leverage that against another team that wants to come up and get the best quarterback on the board before the Browns grab him. The NFL Combine starts this weekend and a QB could jump out and start climbing the draft boards. That would be the ideal scenario for Tennessee to trade back with someone like the Rams, 49ers, Cowboys or Texans who desperately need help under center.
If the Titans are going to trade back the wheel will be put into motion starting at the Combine. Robinson better cross his fingers and hope that Jared Goff, Carson Wentz or Paxton Lynch show out.