Why The Titans Shouldn’t Trade Down (Too Far)
By Josh Gunnels
Feb 25, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back D.J. Swearinger makes a one handed catch during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
When talking to friends and fans alike about the Titans draft position, many are left unenthused by the talent that will be left for the Titans at the 10th spot in the first round. It is a widely held belief that this draft is less weighted at the top as far as elite players are concerned, but is very deep on second tier talent at many positions. Why take Warmack at 10 when you can get Warford in the 2nd round? Why take Vaccaro when you can wait and get Elam? And so on…
The prevailing opinion is that it would be best for the Titans to trade down if possible, mirror New England in drafting style, and stockpile picks for later in the draft and for future years.
The problem with that philosophy is the Titans need to win now, and head coach Mike Munchak is in a playoffs or bust scenario. The team took a step back in his sophomore campaign and owner Bud Adams let his frustration be known publicly more than once. The coaching staff and front office do not have the luxury of slow growth and development anymore.
The Titans have a handful of glaring needs and “holes” on the team at certain positions, and are lacking in depth at others. Overall the team is very young, especially at certain position groups. More and more rookies is not the answer here, especially concerning the low “hit” percentage in the draft of long term good players, even by the best of teams.
As much as we all love the draft, and it is the best way to reload and develop your team for the long haul, most of the players aren’t ready to come in and take over right off the bat. Especially as you get deeper into the rounds. Sure, there’s the occasional nugget or Cinderella story of the star player taken in the 5th round. But more often than not, those guys play on special teams and provide depth. They don’t get you to the polayoffs. The Titans need their first round player to be an instant starter and difference maker. They simply cannot afford to miss, or trade that pick.
If the 5-6 players the Titans covet are gone by it’s time for them to pick, I wouldn’t be opposed to them trading back a handful of spots and still get their next best guy. I wouldn’t make any trade that didn’t acquire an extra 2nd rounder this year though, and it would be ridiculous to fall too far back in the draft and have a bunch of late round picks.
If anything the Titans need to be trading back up into the first round and second round in order to get as many top end guys as possible this year. Signing 12 rookies this year to develop is not going to get Munchak and this team the wins they need.