Tennessee Titans: Why a Round 1 Trade-Up is Highly Unlikely

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Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals fans hold up a sign depicting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) during the second half of the Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

There’s uncertainty aplenty over what the Tennessee Titans should do with the No. 11 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Most expert mock drafters have this team taking an offensive tackle or outside linebacker. A quarterback, running back, middle linebacker and possibly nose tackle are other areas that management may want to address. Depending on whether Alterraun Verner and Bernard Pollard are re-signed, a cornerback or safety aren’t out of the equation. Then there’s always the “best player available” theory.

Many pathways that lead to numerous arguments on how this team should proceed. The Titans could address some issues through the free-agent market. If the Titans were to sign a Brian Orakpo or Jason Worilds, then fans will see a lot of those mock drafts with Anthony Barr / Khalil Mack turn into Greg Robinson / Taylor Lewan / Jake Matthews.

Expect the draft picture and projected draft board to become clearer as May 8 nears. Even with 83 days before Round 1 begins, there’s one extraordinarily unlikely scenario that nobody should get their hopes up on:

A trade-up.

I’ve seen people discuss the possibilities of trading up to secure a higher draft pick that would position this team to acquire a player who won’t last to No. 11. These players include a franchise quarterback such as Teddy Bridgewater or whom many consider as the draft’s No. 1 prospect, edge-rush specialist Jadeveon Clowney.

An example of such speculation comes from Music City Miracles staff writer and Yahoo! Contributor Will Lomas. In this article, Lomas proposes a trade between the St. Louis Rams (who own the No. 2 pick) and the Titans (who own the No. 11 pick). I won’t go into the details for why this trade-up would never happen—I’m just showcasing this as evidence of fans/writers who’ve speculated about the possibility of a trade-up situation.

Are you hoping that Titans general manager Ruston Webster takes an aggressive approach and trades into the top 10, possibly even top five? Forget about it. Unless this team is head-over-heels for someone and willing to sabotage future drafts, the Titans aren’t trading up. Four areas are working against that idea.