Last year, the Tennessee Titans traded the first overall pick for two first round picks, two second round picks, and two third round picks. They were able to pick up some pieces, and this year they own the fifth and 18th picks in the first round. The Titans look like they’re on the verge of being a really competitive team. They’re just missing something. In order to get that something, they should trade the fifth overall pick.
The Tennessee Titans Should Trade the Fifth Overall Pick
2016 NFL Draft
In last year’s draft, the Titans ended up with Los Angeles’ first round pick, two additional second round picks, and a third round pick. They actually traded that first, as well as the third to the Cleveland Browns to move back up. They were very busy.
With the picks they acquired in the trade, the Titans were able to select offensive tackle, Jack Conklin, defensive tackle, Austin Johnson, and running back, Derrick Henry. Conklin was an immediate success, joining Taylor Lewan, Quinton Spain, Josh Kline, and Ben Jones to form the NFL’s best offensive line.
Austin Johnson was a different story. He was inactive for the first third of the season, and got off to a slow start. But towards the end of the season, he got on the field more and more, and really started to make an impact. It remains to be seen whether makes the leap in year two, but he certainly has to tools.
What is there to say about Derrick Henry that hasn’t already been said? He had to back up DeMarco Murray, but he still made his presence known. He rushed for 490 yards on 110 carries, scoring five times. That’s pretty respectable, and the big back provided a really nice change of pace for the team.
2017 and Beyond
As it stands, the Tennessee Titans are just not there yet. They showed flashes of brilliance in 2016, including a 47-25 beatdown of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. However, with Marcus Mariota getting injured late, their playoff hopes fizzled out and they finished 9-7, losing the AFC South to the Houston Texans on a tiebreaker.
There’s a chance that the Tennessee Titans could nail both first round picks, giving their team the edge they need to take the South in 2017, but that might not be the best plan. Because why have two great players when you can have several?
The 2017 NFL Draft
The 2017 NFL draft is very deep at most positions. With the exception of quarterback, there are superstars all over the place. Fortunately, the Titans don’t really need a quarterback. In fact, they need weapons for their quarterback, and corners to stop other quarterbacks.
If the Titans love Mike Williams from Clemson, then he’s probably who they’re going to take with the fifth overall pick. There are rumors that he might have a bad combine, and that that might hurt his draft stock a little, but he and Corey Davis are the best two receivers in this draft, and both will likely be available at number five.
However, the Titans are also swimming in cap space, and they could easily go out and get an Alshon Jeffrey or a Terrelle Pryor instead. Then the Titans could trade down, still grab a decent receiver with their other first round pick, and find several quality corners.
15 of Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 Draft Prospects are defensive backs. If the Titans got a good enough offer, they could probably get two defensive backs and a wide out in the first two rounds that could start week one. The Titans gave up 269 passing yards a game last year, and in a division starring Andrew Luck, you’re asking for trouble.
The Last Word
In a draft where even the best quarterbacks are going to need time to develop, there will be teams trying to trade up. The four teams ahead of Tennessee, the Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and Jacksonville Jaguars, are all so desperate for talent that they’re probably not trying to trade away. The Titans can grab their franchise wide receiver with the fifth pick and still get a corner with the 18th, but they could really do some damage if they traded down instead.