Should Tennessee Titans fans be looking ahead to the 2018 NFL Draft.
There aren’t a lot of things that haven’t been discussed about the Tennessee Titans plans in the 2017 NFL Draft. First and foremost is the idea that they should trade the 5th overall pick.
While there has been a lot of focus on receiving a short-term ransom, something that isn’t being discussed is teams that could potentially trade a first round pick in the future.
There isn’t just one type of team that could do this either. Some teams in the NFL have recently shown a willingness to trade high draft picks while other teams just need to attack their championship window now while they can.
If I was going to figure out a list of teams that I believe could be candidates to make a big trade like this, these would be the six that stood out to me in order of where they are drafting this year.
Who would they trade for: Leonard Fournette RB, LSU
The Eagles have a very solid group of weapons right now, but what they don’t have is a stud running back that can help take pressure off of their young quarterback. With Fournette, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews, Darren Sprolles, and that offensive line they could have a talented offense.
Who would they trade for: John Ross WR, Washington
Ross is a dynamic receiver that fits exactly what the Ravens want. He has elite speed, is dangerous in the redzone, can run really crisp routes, and can move around the field.
Joe Flacco is getting older and so are guys like Marshal Yanda, Terrelle Suggs and Eric Weddle. The core of both sides of the ball is almost out of any sort of window to win a championship and with the division lacking elite CBs, this may be the quickest path to a playoff birth.
Who would they trade for: O.J. Howard TE, Alabama (or a QB is Lynch isn’t the guy)
Howard is someone that has a real chance of going in the top-5 and a team like the Denver Broncos should be excited to have an opportunity at him. In college, he legitimately blocks better than any offensive linemen that Alabama had last year.
In a division where you need a guy to chip on players like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, Aldon Smith, Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Dee Ford, Howard would be a life saver…literally.
Alternative player: Marshon Lattimore CB, Ohio State
Lattimore is a stud cornerback, but he doesn’t fit exactly what the Tennessee Titans want in terms of college experience. Someone who is: Aqib Talib.
There have been murmurs for a year now about the Broncos maybe thinking about moving from Talib (who is 31). Well trading Talib and a future 1st round pick to move from him to Marshon Lattimore could re-set their championship window if he pans out.
New York Giants
Who would they trade for: Reuben Foster LB, Alabama (or a QB)
The New York Giants don’t have any good linebackers, which is a shame because they have a really talented defensive line and one of the best young secondary players in Landon Collins.
The offensive side of the ball has plenty of weapons in the passing game, but like the team in Baltimore the Giants are getting older. Adding a stud linebacker behind this defensive line could be the key to stopping Zeke Elliot for the next 10 years.
Who would they trade for: Marshon Lattimore CB, Ohio State
Don’t be fooled, this defense is not nearly as potent as it was back when the Legion of Boom was in its prime. Without a freak athlete at cornerback who is long and can make plays on the ball, the Cover 3 just isn’t the same.
Alternative player: Malik Hooker S, Ohio State
Earl Thomas is the key to this defense and he almost decided to retire this offseason which was really weird. If he decided to retire then this whole thing would come a part. Frankly, Hooker is the closest thing to Thomas that college has produced in the last five or six years.
If they wanted to move Thomas to another team out of fear and still run this system, Hooker may be their only hope.
Who would they trade for: Any quarterback
An under the radar team to take a quarterback but like Earl Thomas, Ben Roethlisberger was mulling over retirement this year. The difference is, Big Ben is 35 and can’t stay healthy any more.
This is a concern and there may never be a team in the top-5 as willing to trade down as the Tennessee Titans will be this year. If they want a quarterback and like someone like Deshaun Watson or Deshone Kizer then this is a great time to go up and get him.
I think the Tennessee Titans could leverage a future first round pick from all of these teams as the starting point in conversations.
For some teams like the Eagles, maybe that is all they send along with their first round pick this year. For others like the Steelers and Ravens that is how the Titans could get a 2nd round pick this year. For others like the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, that could be their way of picking up a veteran star.
None of these deals are likely to happen, but I think they are conversations that should at least be discussed. If a team is in win-now mode or has a dream player they covet, the Tennessee Titans are the first team they should call.