2016 NFL Draft simulation, trading with the L.A. Rams

Sep 5, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) runs with the ball after an interception against the New Mexico State Aggies during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) runs with the ball after an interception against the New Mexico State Aggies during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tennessee Titans have a huge draft coming up, and there have been more than a fair share of 2016 NFL Mock Drafts come out in the last few weeks. While many of them address the Titans first round pick, rarely do we get a second round pick or more.

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On top of that, you don’t know if the mock draft makers are deliberately letting some players fall to teams they want to talk about rather than guessing what actually may happen. Well, that is where Fanspeak comes in.

For those of you that don’t know, Fanspeak has a draft simulator full with trade possibilities both up and down. However, for this exercise I won’t include any of those because I don’t want to get too complicated.

A huge benefit of this is that it forces the computer to pick the other 30 picks in the first round based off of need and value for those teams. So, this is an unbiased look at what the Titans could actually get in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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  • Preface

    There is some talk that one of the teams that could try to make a huge move up in the 2016 NFL Draft is the L.A. Rams. They are in desperate need of a quarterback and they made moves to solidify their offensive line and running game last year. They also already have one of the better defenses in the league, so really if they made one big push at quarterback they could take a huge step forward and finally be playoff contenders.

    However, to make that move will cost them. The Titans have made the trade:

    The L.A. Rams get:

    -The 1st overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft

    The Tennessee Titans get:

    -The 15th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft

    -The 43rd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft

    -The L.A. Rams 2nd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft

    That is a huge haul that will set the Titans up very well long term if they can land some good players. So, who do the Titans land in this draft?

    1st round: Vernon Hargreaves III CB, Florida

    VH3 is the best pure cornerback in this draft and his experience against top level players like Amari Cooper in college will surely be a plus for NFL GMs. The reason Hargreaves fell here is because there was a run on offensive tackles early and it was between he and VH3 to be the Titans first round pick.

    If you want a ballhawk who will force turnovers and disrupt the flow of a quarterback in the NFL, there may not be another player in this draft who can do that as much as Hargreaves. He is aggressive and attacks the ball and other players, and he would give this Titans defense the spark it needs.

    Oddly, one of he best comparisons may be Cortland Finnegan. Hargreaves is not afraid to trash talk a wide receiver whether he is winning or losing (rarely ever) the matchup. He also has that chippy quality where he always seems to be doing little things to get under the other player’s skin. Since he can’t wear his college number in the pros, there could be a new #31 in town.

    2nd round, 33rd overall pick: Ezekiel Elliot RB, Ohio State

    No way this happens right? Well, Dan Marino did fall all the way to the end of the first round and so did Le’Veon Bell, so crazier things have happened. I don’t make the draft board, I just take who is there.

    So, in this situation, the Titans are ecstatic for two reasons. Firstly, they have just landed their running back of the future and someone who is likely the second best running back to come out in the last few years behind Todd Gurley.

    Secondly, they can afford to take Elliot because they have two extra second round picks to worry about filling hole. There is no need here, but he is clearly the BPA at this point so he is a must take.

    2nd round, 43rd overall pick: Michael Thomas WR, Ohio State

    Thomas is a very good wide receiver and it looks like the Titans are well on their way to bring the Ohio State offense to Nashville. Thomas would give the Titans a defined route runner who does everything well and is probably destined to have a career as a great number two, but just come a little short of a number one.

    Now, that isn’t a bad thing. You are ultimately ending up with a Mike Wallace, Anquan Boldin, Eric Decker caliber player from a production standpoint and if DGB develops into a true number one then this team would be hard to stop.

    2nd round, 45th overall pick: Karl Joseph S, West Virgina

    The talent just isn’t there in this class when you look at the value (or lack there of) of offensive tackles left on the board. Guys who are more likely to start at guard than tackle are staring you in the face, so why not draft another value player who fills a need.

    Joseph is one of my favorite safeties in this class and his range combined with his ability to strike an opponent is second to none. If he can come back from a torn ACL and play well this year and then be 100% in 2017 when Rashad Johnson is gone, this is a great pick.

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    3rd round, 64th overall pick: Chris Jones DL, Mississippi State

    The Titans land another steal here, which is how it is supposed to happen when you draft high. Jones would be a great starter in Tennessee and he has shown the ability to two-gap and play all over the line in college. The great thing is that I believe he is still raw, which means that Dick LeBeau may start coaching him and he could develop into a monster either at 5-tech or nose tackle since he is 6’6″ 310+ lb.

    4th round, 112th overall pick: Jaylon Smith LB, Notre Dame

    I just couldn’t avoid him at this point in the draft. With Scooby Wright and Smith the top two players on the board by a pretty large margin and if I am looking at two linebackers who are versatile and both are overcoming injuries, I have to go with the higher grade.

    Smith is a rockstar and if he comes back at 90% (which is completely possible based on how he has been training) at some point next the Titans will have a defense with VH3, Jason McCourty, Karl Joseph, Da’Norris Searcy, Avery Williamson, Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, Chris Jones, and Jurrell Casey.

    On top of that, they will have to play against an offense with Marcus Mariota, Ezekiel Elliot, Dorial Green-Beckham, DeMarco Murray, Kendall Wright, Michael Thomas, Taylor Lewan, Chris Jones, and Chance Warmack. Good luck everybody else.