Tennessee Titans visits suggest a big first-round trade is coming

Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Knoxville News-Sentinel) /

The Tennessee Titans are one of the most interesting teams in the 2023 NFL Draft because they could do almost anything in the first round.

This all starts with private visits, which are one of the few indicators that we get about what the Tennessee Titans might be thinking about. Right now we have an assumption of what Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel might value in the draft, but we won’t know for sure until we can look back at a few classes.

Since private visits are a finite resource, they are one of the few things that we can weigh heavily heading into the draft. I wrote about the importance (or potentially the lack thereof) of visits recently and also listed the visits that we knew about at the time.

I included some patterns about the visits in that article, but I might have taken something for granted and that was the lack of likely first-round picks that were on that list. In retrospect, that absence may indicate that a trade is coming.

Will the Tennessee Titans trade up or down

According to Dane Brugler’s draft guide, the team has only had three private visits with prospects that have solid first-round grades: Anthony Richardson, Will Levis, and Broderick Jones.

It is interesting to look at these three names because you can describe all three with the same general statements. All three are offensive prospects from the SEC with tantalizing athletic profiles, a small body of work, and flaws that coaches will believe that they can coach out of guys.

Even if he falls, Anthony Richardson won’t fall much further than 11 due to his freakish upside, however, Levis and Jones could both fall into the second half of the first round.

As much as I dislike the idea of trading down in the first round, the signs are there that this may be what the Tennessee Titans want to do, especially when you consider the types of players that they did bring in for private visits.

While the Titans only had visits with three first-round prospects, they have brought 11 prospects that grade out somewhere between the 24-66 best players in this class (again, these rankings are courtesy of Dane Brugler’s guide). Maybe Tennessee is just doing their research to make sure that they have all the info they want on guys that they could draft on Day 2, but that isn’t the most obvious answer.

The most obvious answer is that they are planning to trade down and add at least one more Day 2 pick in the process.

Moreover, if the Tennessee Titans were seriously considering a trade-up, it is strange to use more than one-third of your private visits on second-round players considering that the team they traded up with might demand their second-round pick in the deal.

Staring at the picture (even though it is an incomplete picture), based on these visits and the best draft guide available, it seems like a trade-down is the most likely option for the Tennessee Titans in two weeks.