5 Creative Draft Moves the Tennessee Titans Can Pull on Draft Day
The Titans are without a third-round pick after trading it last year to the San Francisco 49ers. The Titans traded their 2013 second-round pick (40th overall) and a seventh-rounder along with their 2014 third-rounder in exchange for the 49ers second-round pick (34th overall), which they used to select wide receiver Justin Hunter.
Heading into the annual college draft, the Titans have just one truly pressing need—running back. With their other selections, the Titans will look for guys to develop.
If presented with the opportunity to acquire more selections, however, the team should jump at it. Here are a few of the ways Webster and the Titans can do just that.
To make sure any trades presented in the following slides are fair, I will be using an NFL draft trade value chart from Drafttek.com.
Trading Back in the First Round
Should the infinitesimally small chance of linebacker Khalil Mack sliding to the Titans at No. 11 not come to fruition, there are very few prospects that make sense for the Titans to select.
The Titans have spent three high draft choices on receivers in the last five drafts. For that reason I can't see them taking wideout Mike Evans if he remains on the board.
Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan presents an enticing option to replace Michael Roos when his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season.
Despite there not being many pressing needs, there is a need to find players capable of making an immediate impact.
Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert is a quality prospect who could help fill the void left by the departure of Alterraun Verner, but the Titans appear comfortable with their current crop of corners.
North Carolina's Eric Ebron presents an interesting option as an elite receiving threat at tight end. Delanie Walker did a great job in his first year with the Titans, and the team may feel OK with its current crop of tight end talent, which includes Craig Stevens.
Linebacker Anthony Barr's stock seems to have slipped as the draft draws near and could be had later in the round. ESPNs Todd McShay has dropped him to almost the bottom of his top-32 prospects.
One move that makes sense would be to trade the 11th overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens for their first (17th overall) and both of their third-rounder (79th) and future draft selection..
The trade makes sense for the Ravens who could leapfrog the St. Louis Rams and select Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the top safety in the draft.
The Titans pick up a selection in the third-round, where many running backs are projected to go, picks and still have a good chance to draft Barr.
Draft a Quarterback in the Second Round
Many draft pundits have begun projecting Teddy Bridgewater to the Titans. But rather than spend another first-round selection on a quarterback, the Titans can instead target one at the top of the second round.
With the way quarterbacks are projected to slide in the draft, there's a good chance Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo will be there when the Titans pick in the second round.
Jake Locker is in the final year of his contract and has yet to prove that he is capable of staying healthy for a full season. Finding a quarterback to develop for 2015 would be an investment that's hard to argue against.
Acquiring a Third-Round Pick
If the Titans decide to stand pat in the first round and are happy with who's available there, the option to pick up a third-round draft pick will present itself again in the second round.
One plausible trade scenario would be for the Titans to trade down from 42nd overall to 57th with the San Diego Chargers and also receive the 89th overall pick in the draft.
Just like the Titans, the Chargers are looking to upgrade their pass rush. The Titans are sitting in prime position to draft one of the best second-tier pass rushers.
San Diego may fall in love with the possibility of selecting Dee Ford or Jeremiah Attaochu and make the deal.
There's a very real possibility that the Titans could have to face the likes of Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack twice a year for the next decade after May's draft is done.
While they may not be able to stop that from happening, Webster might be able to move up as high as No. 5, making a trade with the Oakland Raiders. In exchange the team would likely have to surrender its first- and second-round picks while swapping places in the fourth.
The monster trade would greatly increase the likelihood of Mack becoming a Tennessee Titan in 2014.
Trade a Veteran
Safety Michael Griffin carries a hefty price tag ($8 million) into 2014 and will be 30 years old by the end of the season. While the Titans aren't exactly strapped for cash, the new regime could decide to bring a more versatile safety into defensive coordinator Ray Horton's defense.
The Titans have had Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor in for predraft visits, perhaps creating a smokescreen, or showing actual interest.
The Titans could opt to stir up some trade interest for Griffin before the draft. The Chicago Bears were a wreck on the defensive side of the ball last season.
Griffin could help stabilize the pass defense with his great range. In a division with Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford, having a bit more help in the back end would improve the Bears' Super Bowl prospects.
In return, the Titans might be able to acquire a fourth-rounder to help create more competition at another position on the roster.