Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson used the term "kings ransom" when discussing what it might take to convince the Titans to trade the top overall pick in this month's NFL Draft. On Thursday Robinson was able to secure a hefty ransom that some might say was fitting of a king from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for the prized pick.
While it took some time and work from Robinson to leverage the Rams offer against two other- three possibly- potential offers, Robinson secured two additional second round pick and a third round pick this season along with a first and third round pick in 2017 for the top pick, and two other Titans selections.
When all is said and done, convincing the Rams to make the deal could prove the easy part as the hard work is just now beginning.
The NFL Draft is a science of inexact proportions where talent evaluation is the key to turning picks into production on the field. That is where Robinson and company must now earn their pay,
A total of nine selections have the Titan name on them as April 28 draws closer, and with, or without additional trades that could add or subtract picks from that total, it is the decisions Robinson and staff make on those three April days that will ultimately determine how history views the blockbuster trade that will allow the Rams to potentially secure their franchise quarterback, and potentially be the turning point for a Titans franchise to climb from the cellar toward a playoff team.
Robinson learned in the midst of a Patriots organization that has become the standard for NFL teams in roster management and player evaluations. It is that pedigree that has Titans fans drooling at the prospects of what Robinson can do in selecting those nine- more or less depending- picks to hasten the roster restructure taking place inside the walls of St. Thomas Sports Park.
The Titans have needs at right tackle, safety, corner, inside linebacker and potentially could use an upgrade in talent at both running back and wide receiver along with depth or upgrades at most every other position on the roster.
Filling those needs with a player is not enough. Those players must come in and compete almost immediately for starting spots or playing time depending on their position and where they are drafted.
For this to be the kind of draft that could potentially turn the Titans into the 1975 Rams, 1982 Patriots or the 91 Cowboys, those nine players players- or the majority- must become difference makers.
What do the 75 Rams, 82 Patriots and 91 Cowboys have in common that could connect them to the Titans?
All three of those teams held six of the top seventy-six picks in those years NFL Drafts, and all three of those teams reached the Super Bowl within five seasons of those drafts.
The Titans currently hold six of the tow seventy-six picks in this years draft.
Could the Titans become the fourth team to parlay those picks into a Super Bowl appearance?
Only if Robinson, head coach Mike Mularkey, director of scouting Blake Benningfield and their staff make the most of every selection in this, and next years draft.
That's the task at hand and that's why Titans fans should temper their expectations over this blockbuster trade. It will be three to five years before we will know for sure just how good this trade was for the Titans.