The NFL Draft is just a mere twenty-two days away, and this years version is becoming more intriguing and speculations filled than any in my recent memory, at least as it pertains to the Tennessee Titans anyway.
It was a forgone conclusion that the Titans would select one of the two with the second overall pick, it would be whomever was left standing on the draft board once Tampa Bay had selected their quarterback with the first pick. And that's exactly how it played out.
This year however, there are multiple players at multiple positions, each of which make sense for the Titans with the first overall selection.
The Titans are in an almost can-lose position when deciding to choose between Ole Miss offensive tackle or Flroida State corner/safety Jalen Ramsey as both appear to be the best at their position and two of the top ten players in the entire draft.
So what's the problem then?
The Titans would like to trade the pick and acquire more selections in this, and possibly next years draft to be able to add more pieces to the roster to hasten the rebuilding process.
To that end, it seems that general manager Jon Robinson is attempting to build a market to make it happen. After Tunsil’s predictably strong pro day performance Robinson can feel good about sitting atop the draft and making the obvious pick—a left tackle to help protect his franchise quarterback for the next decade. That would make ownership very happy after what transpired last season that in part, led to the in-season firing of former head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Likewise, Ramsey also produced a predictably strong pro day performance just one day after Tunsil. Robinson was there to witness that as well.
Robinson's decision did not get any easier in terms of deciding between those two talented players, each of which would fill a big need on the Titans roster.
So what scenarios remain for Robinson and the Titans?
Several actually, but perhaps there are just two to three that make sense and might actually be possible.
There are two quarterbacks who appear to have positioned themselves in place to be the first overall signal caller off the board, and most believe that either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff will be the first quarterback to have their name called. Those same people-myself included- believe that the Cleveland Browns will be that team with the second overall pick.
Robinson needs the illusion, if not the actual fact that the Browns are in the quarterback market to help set the market for a potential trade of the first pick.
There have been four teams that have gained the most play as potential trade partners to move to the top. Cleveland, who might want to move up one spot- which would be a minimal cost- to assure that no other team could pass them. Dallas at number four, Philadelphia at eight and the Rams at fifteen.
Of those four, only the Rams have been involved in a big trade in recent years, and might be willing to do so again. However, moving down to the fifteenth spot might be too big of a drop for the Titans to swallow, unless the return is a "king's ranson" as Robinson jokingly stated last week.
Such a move would indeed land the Titans a bounty of additional picks, in both this and next years draft. The Rams have far fewer needs than the Titans, and with their recent return to Los Angeles, they could be looking to make a huge splash to help with ticket sales. Having the first overall pick and getting a franchise quarterback and face of the franchise all in one move might just do the trick.
Should the Rams offer up that ranson, an the Titans accept, it would likely mean that the Titans would miss out on both Tunsil and Ramsey. At fifteen they could be in a position to possible draft the second best tackle in Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley, though Stanley might also be gone.
Ohio State's Taylor Decker, Michigan State's Jake Conklin and Indiana's Jason Spriggs would all likely be available to fill the Titans need of a right tackle, though none are if the same caliber as either Tunsil or even Stanley.
However, any of those three would fill the Titans need of a quality right tackle.
There are also a variety of safety candidates in the second and third rounds that would be the Titans top targets if they select Tunsil at the top. those same names would be in play for the Titans if they trade down and get one of the second tier tackles in round one.
There is also the possibility that the Rams simply stay put and take the best quarterback still remaining on the board at fifteen. Memphis' Paxton Lynch might be that players, and depending on his private workouts and pro day might be there for the Rams.
The draft is a gamble when evaluating talent and making a selection. There are booms and busts in every draft at every position, and this draft should be no exception. The Titans can't afford to miss on their first round pick, regardless of where they end up picking.
Any move the Titans make will leave them gambling to fill another position of need. Fortunately it's just a few more days until we get the answewrs and can put all this speculation, rumors and guess work to bed.........at least until next draft season.