Right now the Titans are sitting in the best position heading into the NFL Draft in April. Unfortunately they are the team that needs the most help and has several holes on the offense and defense. Tennessee is set at one position though, quarterback. By selecting Marcus Mariota last year with the second overall pick the team is set at QB for years to come. That’s where things could get interesting come draft day when other team may give up a lot to jump to the front of the line to get Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch who are valued very highly across the league as potential All-Pro QBs in the league. The Titans aren’t going to take them and could ask for the moon in return for the first pick.
Over the years teams in the NFL have coveted quarterbacks in the draft. Last year Jameis Winston and Mariota went #1 and #2. Blake Bortles went #3 in 2014. If two teams get into a bidding war for Goff or Lynch Tennessee could wind up with several first and second round picks going forward. In 2012 the Rams set the bar for moving up in the draft when they got three first round picks and a second for moving down from second to sixth so the Redskins could draft Robert Griffin III.
What helps the Titans this year is the Browns sitting at #2 who will likely go after a quarterback. Should the 49ers, Cowboys, or Rams want to move up to get the first QB Tennessee could make out like a bandit and pick up extra picks to fill the holes on the offensive line, receiver and secondary. Ideally the Titans want the Cowboys or another team in the top ten to get into a bidding war to jump ahead of the Browns for the right to get the best quarterback. The more interested parties Tennessee has the more they can get for the #1 pick.
If the Titans can make a deal with Dallas at #4 and slide back three spots they could still wins up with Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, Robert Nkemdiche, Ronnie Stanley or Laquon Treadwell. Jerry Jones has a history of wheeling and dealing on draft day. That could also potentially set up Tennessee with two second round picks at #32 and #34. With three picks in the top 34 that is almost like having three first round picks. The Titans could get another first round pick in 2017 as well.
If Marcus Mariota can come away with a starter on the offensive line and a new receiver and the defense gets a decent cornerback that can start in week one next year Tennessee instantly becomes a contender in the mediocre AFC South.
Even if the Titans make a deal with the 49ers who pick #7 they still can set themselves up the same way with extra picks and two picks early in the second round.
If a hypothetical trade with the Cowboys takes place and the Titans wind up with picks 4, 32 and 34 they could potentially walk away with Laremy Tunsil (OT) in the first round and TreDavious White (CB) and Josh Doctson (WR). Those are three guys who are instant starters.
If they trade back to #4 and have two second round picks and an extra first round in 2017 to play with Tennessee has ammunition to jump back up into the first round if someone slides to the latter part of the first round that the Titans covet. It’s no secret that Robert Nkemdiche has had his troubles lately. If he slides to the late first round Tennessee can offer up two seconds for him or a second and the extra first round pick next year. Nkemdiche is a playmaker on defense and is worth the risk.
However it shakes out Tennessee has a lot of leverage and with the 24/7 media always talking about the draft it’s likely a quarterback is going to shine at the Combine and jump up the draft boards. The Titans just have to hope someone wants to jump the Browns and get him. Even if they stay at #1 the team will still wind up with a starter in 2016 that will hopefully be an impact player.