There are a lot of trade rumors floating around with the 2015 NFL Draft just a handful of days away now, and it will only get crazier as April 30th approaches.
With that said, what if the Tennessee Titans were to shift their focus away from grabbing young talent, and decided to make some big moves to get this team into contention immediately?
While I don’t think the Tennessee Titans will make these trades, it is important to remember that this is an exercise to think about “what if”? This is all just for fun, and to think about if the team could pull this move off, how would you feel.
If head coach Ken Whisenhunt really does want to make this team a winning team now, then why not make a huge power play? In fact, what if the Tennessee Titans could make a play for two great players, without mortgaging the future?
This one is obvious and it has been talked about over and over again:
San Diego Chargers receive
-1st round pick, second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (for Marcus Mariota)
Tennessee Titans receive
-QB Philip Rivers
-1st round pick (17th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft
-4th round pick (117th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft
These trade numbers are based off of a simulation from a GM in the league, according to Jeff Risdon of Real GM. He said, “This has been a hot rumor for a few weeks now, circulated by many in the Big NFL Media. It apparently has real legs. One scout informed me his team ran more than one draft simulation with this very trade (SD sends Rivers, #17 overall and a 4th or 5th for #2 overall) included to prepare for the contingent fallout.”
“SD sends Rivers, #17 overall and a 4th or 5th for #2 overall”-Jeff Risdon
That seems like a lot for the San Diego Chargers to give up, but if they really want to get youth at the quarterback position and they really feel that Philip Rivers has no interest in re-signing with them, then I could see this move happening.
The Minnesota Vikings receive
-The Tennessee Titans 4th round pick (100th overall)
-The Tennessee Titans 4th round pick via the San Diego Chargers (117th overall)
The Tennessee Titans receive:
-RB Adrian Peterson
Before everyone freaks out, take a second to think about what Adrian Peterson really is at this point.
-A 30 year old running back
-A running back coming off of a year of inactivity.
-A running back that reportedly hates the way that the Minnesota Vikings didn’t fight for him.
-A running back that costs $15 million annually over the next three years (though that money isn’t guaranteed in 2016 or 2017, and could be negotiated if he is moved away from a team he doesn’t hate)
-A running back only three years removed from an ACL tear.
-Did I mention he is a running back?
So with all that in mind (and the fact that the current Minnesota Vikings coaching staff has proven that they don’t need him to win) he doesn’t exactly have first round value.
Also, for those that think aging skill position players are more valuable than the trade I suggested, allow me to remind you that Brandon Marshall was traded for a 5th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Yes, that Brandon Marshall who was elected to five Pro-Bowls (one less than Peterson), is currently tied for most seasons with 100+ receptions, holds the records for most catches in a game (21) and third most catches (18), and is one of only five players in history to catch 100+ passes in three straight seasons.
Yes, Brandon Marshall is almost every bit as decorated as his running back counterpart, but ultimately it didn’t mean anything more than a fifth round draft pick thanks to his age and salary.
So are the Minnesota Vikings really in a position to turn down that offer?
This way, the Minnesota Vikings get two more picks in the first four rounds and have a chance to ultimately add six players who could make an immediate impact on their franchise.
Tennessee Titans 2.0
Ken Whisenhunt and Ruston Webster sit down to look at their new offensive roster and what do they see?
First of all, they have a quarterback who has not only played in Ken Whisenhunt’s offensive system, but one who has thrived there. Philip Rivers give the Tennessee Titans a top-six caliber option at quarterback for the next five years. Behind him sits Zach Mettenberger, a talented second year quarterback that can now get the Aaron Rodgers treatment who at worst ends up being trade bait like Charlie Whitehurst was years ago (netting a 2nd round pick).
Again, the Tennessee Titans finally have a top-six caliber player, and that is extremely conservative. With Adrian Peterson leading the way, the Tennessee Titans can now cut ties with Shonn Greene and allow Bishop Sankey to be a change of pace back.
With three picks left in the top 66 selections, the Tennessee Titans can now go grab players at their positions of need. With a defense that is largely settled, an offensive heavy draft could look like this:
-17th overall pick: La’el Collins G/T, LSU
-33rd overall pick: Dorial Green-Beckham WR, Mizzou
-66th overall pick: Devin Smith WR, OSU
The Tennessee Titans get an outstanding offensive lineman to slide next to either Taylor Lewan or Chance Warmack depending on if they want him to play left guard or right tackle. Either way they create a very good run blocking tandem.
The Tennessee Titans also solve their need for better play at the wide receiver position by adding a receiver who (if he keeps his nose clean) is a top-five talent. Then in round three they find their top-tier deep threat reminiscent of Mike Wallace when he was coming out of Ole Miss.
All in all, the Tennessee Titans focus on adding elite pieces to the offensive side of the ball in the 2015 NFL Draft, after they let Dick LeBeau shop for defensive guys in free agency. This team is instantly a 10-win team on paper, and the ground work is set for the future with guys like Zach Mettenberger and Bishop Sankey getting to sit and learn behind some of the best players at their position.