Tennessee Titans: What would you give to guarantee a blue chip talent

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: Brian Burns #99 of the Florida State Seminoles causes a fumble by N'Kosi Perry #5 of the Miami Hurricanes in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: Brian Burns #99 of the Florida State Seminoles causes a fumble by N'Kosi Perry #5 of the Miami Hurricanes in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

What should the Tennessee Titans give up for a difference maker now?

The NFL Draft is a series of educated bets where GMs like the Tennessee Titans own Jon Robinson, trust that they have evaluated a player well enough to know that he is worth more than any offer they could get for that pick.

For example, when the Tennessee Titans moved back in the 2016 NFL Draft they trusted that the values of the picks they received would help the team more than any one player that they could have selected with the first pick.

Similarly, they thought that moving up for Jack Conklin provided more value than the picks they gave up.

While I tend to think Robinson made the right decision there, the point is that he knew that the Titans were in a rebuild mode. They had to acquire picks, but they also had to make sure that they were in position to get the players that fit their scheme and could help them lay down the foundation of a good team.

In that draft he came away with some role players, but also with an above average starting right tackle in Conklin, a talented running back in Derrick Henry and a superstar safety in Kevin Byard.

A few year later and the Titans are no longer in a rebuilding mode. Instead, they are looking for a few play makers at key positions that can take this team from perennial winner to contender.

That means that the bets are going to have to get a little more aggressive. The best way to do this is to find a team that is rebuilding and offer them the option to build the foundation of their own team while you move up for that difference maker.

I think the Titans already have a good relationship with two teams that should be looking to continue their rebuilding efforts.

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Team #1: Detroit Lions

I honestly haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about the Detroit Lions this offseason, but they could be a perfect fit for a Tennessee Titans trade partner.

From an organizational standpoint, they share a lot of the Titans DNA.

The coaches are familiar with each other as Lions HC Matt Patricia was Mike Vrabel‘s position coach for 3 years in New England.

Surprisingly, the front offices are linked even more closely. Titans GM Jon Robinson and Lions GM Bob Quinn Worked together in the New England scouting department for 12 years.

A deal between the two would make sense, the problem is it is a huge gap to close. The Lions would have to be exceptionally motivated to make a move down. Luckily for the Titans, that appears to be the case.

Albert Breer reported in this morning’s edition of the MMQB that the Lions are in fact shopping the 8th pick in the draft:

"“There’s rich depth well into Friday, so it’s good to have volume in this draft. The Panthers, Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Chiefs, Steelers and Redskins each have three picks on Friday. The Patriots have five. In an effort to build capital in that area, I’m told that two teams will be aggressively looking to deal down in the first round: the Lions and Seahawks.”"

The reason why the Lions want to move down so badly is probably because while Detroit has some big needs, they don’t have any glaring needs that any of the top-10 players can help.

TDN has their top-5 needs as: CB, TE, EDGE, IOL, WR. Out of those, only EDGE will really be there and while they could certainly do that why not move down and fill a need you didn’t just spend $90 million to fix.

Routinely, we have seen the Tennessee Titans either land T.J. Hockenson or Noah Fant in several mock drafts. Maybe that is exactly what the Lions want, a tight end in the first and then use the extra picks you land to draft another EDGE or CB on Day 2.

We have established what is in it for the Detroit Lions, but what is in it for the Tennessee Titans? Sure they get the eighth pick in the draft, but what will they use it on?

The top-5 picks are basically spoken for. In this order, it seems like Kyler Murray, Joey Bosa, Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams, and Devin White will be off the board. The New York Giants are probably going to take Montez Sweat or Dwayne Haskins. After them, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been interested in offensive linemen to fill the gaping hole at right tackle.

With all of those players off the board, that leaves Ed Oliver and Brian Burns. With the eighth pick, you seemingly give yourself a chance at either of the blue chip prospects. Keep in mind, in any other round these two would be top-5 picks.

If the Lions are truly motivated to move down, could the 19th and 51st pick could a deal done?

The Titans could end up with Brian Burns and the Lions could end up with T.J. Hockenson, DeAndre Baker and Chase Winovich. Everyone is happy.

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Team #2: Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins front office should be great friends with the Titans front office right now. Jon Robinson helped them out of a mistake that was going to cost them tens of millions of dollars in cap hit with the Ryan Tannehill trade.

I won’t spend too much time on why Miami wants to move down because they have done a good enough job telling us themselves this year. They don’t seem to want to be competitive this year and are probably gambling on the idea that they will end up high enough to select one of the talented QBs in the 2020 NFL Draft.

To them, this offseason has to be about accruing assets to help them land that QB and surround him with winning talent. The Titans already sent them a future 4th round pick in the Tannehill deal so both parties probably understand exactly what the other wants.

It seems that Jon Robinson would have traded a 1st round draft pick for the right player at the deadline during the 2018 season. Speculation had them connected to Amari Cooper and it made a lot of sense.

I don’t think that player will be available at 13 in this years draft class, but the pieces are all there for a deal. Robinson is willing to give up some future picks in order to get a true impact player, this is where the gambling that I mentioned earlier comes in.

If Robinson doesn’t want to give up a 2nd round pick this year, maybe giving up a Day 3 pick in 2020 makes more sense for all parties. Either give up the 2nd in 2020 and get back another top-100 pick or give up the 3rd outright.

Seeing as it is just a six pick jump, the move shouldn’t be too expensive but it is the perfect spot for the Titans to consider a trade up. Along with the cost being low, it would put them right in front of the Atlanta Falcons whose biggest needs according to TDN are DL, EDGE and CB.

For this trade to even happen it means that Burns or Oliver has fallen out of the top-12 and Atlanta isn’t going to pass up adding those players.

If Jon Robinson is really going to make a splash in the draft and add a transformative talent to this defense then a move like this will probably be necessary. Would you rather see the Titans play it safe and add a solid player at 19 or take a chance on one of these potential stars for a top-60 pick?