If the Tennessee Titans are going to part ways with the No. 1 overall pick in next month's draft, it will cost an interested team a hefty sum.
During an appearance at 104.5 The Zone's SportsFest on Saturday (h/t Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com), Titans general manager Jon Robinson said his team has its eye on a certain group of players that would make it hard to move back:
There is a group of players that are at the top of the draft, that, you don't want to move back too far cause you can miss out on one of those guys, and if you do move back that far you want to make sure that you have a king's ransom, for lack of a better term, to move that far. I would say that for us to move out of that pick, it's going to take a substantial amount of picks to do that.
This is exactly what the general manager of a team with the first pick should be saying. The Titans are in a great spot, despite having many needs on both sides of the ball, because quarterback Marcus Mariota showed enough promise as a rookie to lock down the most important position.
Recent mock drafts, including from Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, have the Titans taking Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil with the top pick.
Even though Mariota is a running quarterback, he got hit frequently last year, taking 38 sacks in just 12 games. Pro Football Focus ranked Tennessee's offensive line 29th out of 32 teams last year, so finding protection for the former Heisman Trophy winner is essential for the Titans this offseason.
However, there's a reason the Titans are picking first one year after holding the No. 2 pick. This is a franchise that needs a lot of help, notably in the defensive secondary, so letting the rest of the NFL know exactly what the price will be to move off the top pick six weeks before the draft is a good strategy.
If a quarterback like Carson Wentz or Jared Goff becomes attractive to teams in need of help at the position, like Dallas (No. 4), San Francisco (No. 7) or Philadelphia (No. 8), they can start preparing offers to the Titans knowing what it will cost.