It happens every year. As we close in on the NFL draft, wild trade scenarios bubble to the surface. Remember all those Phillip Rivers trade scenarios we talked about last year? Remember how Chip Kelly was about to unload his entire roster for Marcus Mariota? It's that time again.
Peter King seems to be driving the trade train this year. Last week he said there was a 50-50 chance that the first pick is dealt. Yesterday he threw some gas on the flame saying that the Titans had a "definite solid offer" on the table. King got the quote from an anonymous "personnel man." King went on to speculate that the Eagles were the team with the offer on the table.
I still don't think the Titans pull off a trade -- much less a trade that takes them out of the top five. I think there are five potentially special talents in this class with Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, DeForest Buckner, Ezekiel Elliott and Myles Jack. From there the talent falls off for me. Joey Bosa and Ronnie Stanley would likely be next for me with a bunch of defensive lineman behind them. There has been a bunch of buzz around Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin, too. So maybe he would be in play.
Jon Robinson has said that there is a range that he wouldn't trade out of. We don't know what his range looks like, but I'd guess that trading to seven or eight would be pushing it.
So what options would the Titans be looking at if they got blown away and traded the first pick? Here's a quick look at a couple of different scenarios.
If Dallas pulls off a deal...
Dallas has been in on Wentz since the Senior Bowl and apparently have reached out to the Titans about the first pick, according to Tony Pauline.
If this goes down, Jon Robinson will still have a decent shot at landing Tunsil or Ramsey, depending on what the Browns do. A trade would mean Wentz/Goff at the top with a chance of both going 1-2. If they did go with the first two picks, the Titans would likely take who the Chargers pass on -- which would probably be Tunsil or Ramsey. This deal would be a homerun if they could still land one of those two.
Here's how I think it would unfold in this scenario:
1. Dallas: Carson Wentz
2. Cleveland: Jared Goff
3. San Diego: Laremy Tunsil
4. Tennessee: Jalen Ramsey
The nightmare here is if Cleveland doesn't take Goff and takes Ramsey. Then you'll have to decide from Buckner, Jack or even Stanley.
If San Francisco or Philadelphia pulls off a deal...
Now we're talking multiple first round picks. The Titans would likely land an addition first rounder next year along with a bunch of day two selections this year and next. That sounds great, but who are you taking at pick seven or eight?
You would be picking from that second tier of talent, likely choosing from a Ronnie Stanley, Vernon Hargreaves or maybe even Laquon Treadwell or Shaq Lawson. Could a Myles Jack or DeForest Buckner fall? If two quarterbacks go in the top five, absolutely. If the Titans pull off a trade, you want as many quarterbacks to come off the board before you as possible. This will allow those other top positional players to fall.
Here's how I think it unfolds in this scenario:
1. Philadelphia: Jared Goff
2. Cleveland: Jalen Ramsey
3. San Diego: Laremy Tunsil
4. Dallas: Joey Bosa
5. Jacksonville: Myles Jack
6. Baltimore: DeForest Buckner
7. San Fransisco: Carson Wentz
8. Tennessee: Ronnie Stanley
Another team to watch in all of this is Los Angeles. Are you really buying that they are ready to hitch their franchise to Case Keenum? I'm not. I don't think they move to one, but I could easily see them jumping up to six. That could free up another player like Buckner to be in play when the Titans would be on the clock at seven or eight.
If the Titans do trade down, I think that means they really like Ronnie Stanley. I've said several times that I don't think you can afford to wait until pick 33 to fill the tackle need because there's no guarantee a starting caliber tackle will fall to that point. Once you get past Buckner on the board, there really isn't any obvious prospects that you can connect with the Titans. They've met with Shaq Lawson, but that's a bit of a weird fit in LeBeau's 3-4. Who else are you taking there?
In steps Ronnie Stanley. The gap between Tunsil and Stanley is a big one for me, but not so much for others. I think Stanley will have to get stronger to sustain success in the league, but he has the length, hands and quickness to hold up in pass protection. It isn't always pretty with Stanley, but he usually gets the job done.
If you believe what you hear, the Titans really want out of that first pick. I tend to think that Jon Robinson is just trying to drive more interest to increase the return. Expect to hear plenty more about how Jon Robinson has multiple offers on the table in the next 16 days. It's all part of the game -- especially when you have quarterback needy teams picking behind you. It may all be scare tactics, but Robinson is going to do everything he can to get maximum value out of pick 1.1.