2013 NFL Draft: Should Tennessee Titans Trade Back Into 1st Round?


Dec 31, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA;LSU Tigers safety Eric Reid (1) and linebacker Kevin Minter (46) break up a pass intended for Clemson Tigers wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (6) in the second half in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Clemson won 25-24. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

What can Tennessee Titans enthusiasts expect when the 2013 NFL Draft takes place from Apr. 25-27? Any chance for a trade-up or trade-down with the No. 10 pick? What about with their other five non-compensatory picks?

It’s assumed that general managers refer to something called a trade value chart. This helps them estimate the cost of each draft pick. Supposedly, it’s used when teams are deciding to move up or down during draft day. Former two-time Super Bowl champion head coach Jimmy Johnson has been credited for this system.

With nine picks (six non-compensatory) and two third-round selections, general manager Ruston Webster has a lot of leverage for moving around. Although moving up from the No. 10 spot is unlikely, maybe Webster gets tempted to move back into the late stages of the first round.

The following is a rundown with the estimated worth of each of the Titans’ picks. Included are a few deals that would meet the criteria for moving up on the trade value chart.

2013 Tennessee Titans NFL Draft Order and Trade Value Per Pick
No. 10 (1,300 Points)
No. 40 (500 Points)
No. 70 (240 Points)
No. 97 (0 Points; Compensatory)
No. 107 (80 Points)
No. 142 (35 Points)
No. 202 (0 Points; Compensatory)
No. 216 (5 Points)
No. 248 (0 Points; Compensatory)

Approximate Cost of Trade-Ups, Via Trade Value Chart
No. 10 (1,300 Points) + No. 40 (500 Points) = No. 4 (1,800 Points)
No. 40 (500 Points) + No. 70 (240 Points) = No. 24 (740 Points)
No. 40 (500 Points) + No. 107 (80 Points) = No. 33 (580 Points)
No. 70 (240 Points) + No. 107 (80 Points) = No. 58 (320 Points)
No. 107 (80 Points) + No. 142 (35 Points) = No. 97 (112 Points) + No. 221 (3 Points)
No. 142 (35 Points) + No. 216 (5 Points) = No. 132 (40 Points)

NOTE: In 2013, No. 97 and No. 132 are “0 points” because they’re compensatory.

I italicized the second scenario because I wanted people to take note of it (The third scenario is also a good one, but this overview will focus on the second one).

What if the Titans really like somebody in the 20s or early 30s? That extra third-round compensatory pick (No. 97) may convince Webster to sacrifice his other third-round pick (No. 70). Even if the Titans traded a second-round pick (No. 40) and third-round pick (No. 70), they would’ve ended up with two first-round picks and that compensatory third-round pick.

That extra third-round pick may come in very useful because Webster could use No. 70 to work his way into a second first-round pick. Here’s an example: if Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson isn’t in love with someone at No. 26, it’s possible that Webster could entice him with a package that includes No. 40 and No. 70. Thompson has been known to trade for quantity of picks.

This doesn’t include scenarios where the Titans trade future draft picks (2014-beyond) or players.

For the Titans, a trade-up makes a lot of sense. The Packers were in a similar situation in the 2009 NFL Draft. After taking B.J. Raji at No. 9, the Packers traded No. 41 (490 points), No. 73 (225 points) and No. 83 (175 points) to the New England Patriots for No. 26 (700 points) and No. 162 (26.6 points). Although the Packers traded 890 points for 726.6 points, it was worth it for a linebacker who has 42.5 sacks in his first four seasons.

Trade-ups will work if the correct players are targeted. Should Webster sacrifice a quantity of picks for the chance to draft someone that may not fall to No. 40? Give a first-round pick to the offense and defense.