What it costs for the 1st pick in the 2016 NFL Draft

Nov 8, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) looks for an open receiver against the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at Levi
Nov 8, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) looks for an open receiver against the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at Levi /

The San Francisco 49ers are the team right now with the most buzz on trading up to the top of the 2016 NFL Draft to get a quarterback. Whether their preference is Jared Goff from Cal or Carson Wentz from North Dakota State, if they want to get their quarterback they are going to have to pay the Titans to make a move up.

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So, the best place to start with this is by looking at a potential deal between the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos involving Colin Kaepernick. Let’s forget contract numbers for a while because those can all be worked out. Let’s look purely at assets.

What I believe is fair value for both teams is this:

The Denver Broncos receive: Colin Kaepernick and the 155th pick in the draft (5th round)

The San Francisco 49ers receive: the 94th pick in the draft (3rd round)

The Broncos have two picks in the third round and the 49ers have two picks in the fifth so a swap there makes sense and shouldn’t hurt either team. According to the Drafttek chart I use to mock trades, this trade means that Kaepernick is roughly worth a high 4th round pick, which seems fair.

Alright so now the 49ers have an extra 3rd round pick and want the Titans 1st round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. So, let’s look at the math and find a trade.

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  • According to a “fair value trade” a trade that makes sense for both teams is:

    The San Francisco 49ers receive: The 1st and 64th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

    Total value= 3,270 points.

    The Tennessee Titans receive: The 7th, 37th, 68th, and their 2017 1st round pick.

    Total value= 3,280 assuming that the 49ers finish next year with the 16th overall pick.

    The 49ers get to be happy knowing that they have their quarterback of the future, and that they have two third round picks (including the top pick) that they can now use to leverage themselves back into the 2nd round if they really fall in love with someone.

    The Titans get to move to the 7th overall pick (which I will talk more about below) an extra 2nd round pick, and they move down just a few spots in the 3rd. On top of that they made a monster move to grab the 49ers 1st round pick in 2017.

    With a talented crop scheduled to come out in 2017, that could be a huge asset.

    So, let’s go through some guys the Titans could now take at 7.

    Well, here are my top 5 grades right now. The reason I am doing this is because if a quarterback goes 1, the Cleveland Browns have to take a quarterback at 2 no matter what. That means that there are five players left between pick 3 and the Titans.

    98: Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa

    96: Ronnie Stanley, Vernon Hargreaves, Sheldon Rankins

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    While Sheldon Rankins isn’t a fit, I think a lot of teams will have a higher grade on Deforest Buckner than I do. I don’t like defensive linemen that can’t move well laterally, some teams don’t care as long as he has a lot of power.

    So, that means that the Titans can have: the best left tackle in the last few classes (Tunsil), the best right tackle in this class (Stanley), one of the most versatile and talented defensive backs in the last 10 years (Ramsey) one of the top corners in the last few drafts (Hargreaves), or one of the most talented and polished defensive linemen in the past few drafts (Bosa).

    While I think Stanley is probably the least talented player out of that group he could land, he still has the potential to be a heck of a right tackle in this league if he is interested in football. If not, then an edge rusher like Shaq Lawson/Noah Spence or another talented player might be a wildcard pick if they have a high grade on him.

    Another surprise move the Titans could make after taking BPA at 7, is to go out and trade both second round picks 33rd and 37th for a 1st round pick. That same chart as listed above says that those picks together are worth as much as the 14th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

    Or they could package the new 2nd and the new 3rd from the 49ers and end up getting the 23rd overall pick, which could be a prime spot for a right tackle. Then the Titans would have three picks inside the top 33, which could be huge.

    If the Titans make a trade like this, it could change this franchise completely, especially given Jon Robinson’s eye for finding personnel. In just one year, this team could have all the cornerstone players it needs to make a serious run at the playoffs much sooner than anyone could expect.