The 2015 NFL Draft is coming up quickly and rumors are flying around about how “team A” likes “player B” and how they could move up to draft them. If half of those rumors are true, this is how the Titans could win the 2015 NFL Draft with two trades.
(Before you read this, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart which is generally the standard for gauging the value of draft picks.)
(As always, if you don’t want to see the trades and just want to read how it impacts the Tennessee Titans, there is a summary section at the bottom.)
The Tennessee Titans have the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and many suspect that pick to be Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. However, what if someone else wanted that pick and had a lot to offer the Titans in return? What if that team were the Oakland Raiders and they wanted their dream player: USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams?
The Oakland Raiders receive:
-The 2nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft worth 2,600 points according to the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart (which they use on Leonard Williams).
The Tennessee Titans receive:
-The 4th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (1,800 points)
-The 35th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (550 points)
-Defensive lineman Ricky Lumpkin (more on him below)
Why the Oakland Raiders would do it:
The Oakland Raiders have their quarterback in Derek Carr and their pass rusher in Khalil Mack, but what they don’t have is a player that really fires up the Black Hole. Leonard Williams is not only one of the most promising players in the 2015 NFL Draft, but he is a young man from USC that openly praises the Oakland Raiders and has said that they are his dream team to play for.
The Raiders win draft day with their fans by potentially giving them a combo similar to what the Bay area has seen before in the San Francisco 49ers edge rusher and defensive lineman tandem of Aldon Smith and Justin Smith. With a newly rebuilt front seven and a quarterback that should grow in year two, the Oakland Raiders have a lot of promise without risking their future draft picks.
Why the Tennessee Titans whould do it:
Not only do the Tennessee Titans get the 4th overall pick, but they add a top selection in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft. This team needs to retool their offensive line and skills positions badly if they want to succeed in the near future, and this is a great way to do that.
Also, you may have seen Ricky Lumpkins name on the trade list. With Leonard Williams taking over the starting job for the Oakland Raiders, they don’t need him on their roster. However, he is a 6’4″ 300 lb. defensive lineman that was given a 1.2 grade by Pro Football Focus. The Tennessee Titans could use the competition for at the five-technique and his performance last year was better than four of the seven defensive linemen that the team played in 2014.
Having moved down to the fourth pick, the Titans start fielding calls from teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, and other teams trying to figure out if they can get a bargain to move up. However, one team comes to the Tennessee Titans with an offer too good to refuse.
After the Jacksonville Jaguars select their pass rusher, whether that be Vic Beasley, Dante Fowler, Shane Ray, or Randy Gregory the trade is announced by the commissioner at the podium. The Cleveland Browns are on the clock, and they select their quarterback of the future: Marcus Mariota.
The Cleveland Browns receive:
-The 4th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (1,800 points, which they use on Marcus Mariota)
The Tennessee Titans receive:
-The 12th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (1,200 points)
-The 19th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (875 points)
Why the Cleveland Browns would do it:
The Cleveland Browns have a huge image problem right now, and they need players that can actually stick on the roster and make an impact. While two first round picks sounds like a good think for the Cleveland Browns, it has really been their curse.
Last year, the Browns selected Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel with their two first round picks last year. Justin Gilbert had to be benched and Johnny Manziel was a train wreck. The two combined for only 451 snaps last year, which equates to about two and a half games each.
Before that, the Cleveland Browns selected Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden in the 2012 NFL Draft with their two first round picks. No explanation necessary there.
The only time the team made a selection when they had two first round picks that even came close to panning out was in 2007 when the team drafted Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn in the first round. Joe Thomas could be a Hall of Fame player one day even though the Cleveland Browns whiffed on the Notre Dame quarterback.
So all in all, maybe the Cleveland Browns should make a big move for one good player rather than taking two bad ones again.
Why the Tennessee Titans would do it:
After a bidding war for teams to move ahead of the Washington Redskins who have made the threat of drafting Marcus Mariota, the Tennessee Titans get additional value from the Cleveland Browns and they can’t help but say yes.
Plan for the future:
So in summation, the Tennessee Titans draft now looks like this:
-12th overall pick (1st round) Danny Shelton NT, Washington
-19th overall pick (1st round) La’el Collins OT/OG, LSU
-33rd overall pick (2nd round) Melvin Gordon RB, Wisconsin
-35th overall pick (2nd round) Nelson Agholor WR, USC
-66th overall pick (3rd round) Nate Orchard EDGE, Utah
-100th overall pick (4th round) Eric Rowe CB/S, Utah
-138th overall pick (5th round) Potential trade up to secure Hau’oli Kikaha EDGE, Washington
-176th overall pick (6th round) traded
-207th overall pick (6th round) traded
Wow. With six picks in the top 100 selections the Titans could make some pretty big upgrades to the team. I penciled in some selections (using Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller’s latest 2015 NFL Mock Draft) that made some sense to me in terms of need and value for those picks, and who knows maybe the Titans could move their 5th rounder and both 6th rounders to move up into another top 100 pick considering they have the extra ammo to do it.
In case you were underwhelmed by the top pick in this new draft (Danny Shelton) look what Lance Zierlein had to say about him on NFL.com :
“With his thick frame and powerful upper body, Shelton has moments where he can dominate at the point of attack. He was forced to chase sideline to sideline due to the nature of Pac-12 offenses, but when he faced downhill competition like Stanford, he stepped up. Shelton is an above-average interior pass rusher for a man his size, thanks to his surprising athleticism. He is a fit in a two-gap scheme and could benefit from playing fewer snaps than he was forced to play at Washington. He has an All-Pro ceiling, but must show a greater consistency of effort.”
Summary (TLDR edition)
The Tennessee Titans wheel and deal and get six (possibly seven) picks in the top 100 selections which is ridiculous. With those picks they:
-Draft one of the best nose tackle prospects to come out (if not the best) since Dontari Poe.
On Washington Nose Tackle Danny Shelton “He is a fit in a two-gap scheme and could benefit from playing fewer snaps than he was forced to play at Washington. He has an All-Pro ceiling”-Lance Zierlein
-Add possibly the best offensive lineman in the draft who will solidify the right tackle position.
-Grab potentially the best running back in this draft.
-Add an outside wide receiver to compliment Delanie Walker and Kendall Wright’s ability to work inside.
-Get two edge rushers that combined for 38 sacks in 2014 alone.
-Add a versatile DB that can push for a sub package role, if not the outright starting job from day one.