Just as the Titans are probably doing right this second, I’m constantly running through scenarios and mock drafts in my head. What would I do if “x” player is off the board? What would I do if “y” player falls to me? I’ll explore one of those scenarios in this post.
In a lot of ways the Titans 5th selection in the NFL draft seems to be hinging on two players — one of which has no shot of landing in Nashville. The person of interest here seems to be Mitchell Trubisky, who appears to have somewhat of a lead on the QB1 race to this point. Why should we care about Trubisky? Because he is the driving force for a trade out of the 5th pick.
The Titans got a big boost landing in front of the quarterback needy Jets, who have been connected to a couple of different passers this draft season. Even better news for the Titans is that the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns are also connected to the former Tar Heel. This is Jon Robinson’s best chance at getting out of the 5th pick and adding that 2nd round pick back.
The second player of interest seems to be Marshon Lattimore. The release of Jason McCourty signals a changing of the guard at cornerback, but I don’t think they are willing to enter the season with just Logan Ryan, LeShaun Sims, Kalan Reed and Brice McCain. I think they need another outside guy along with a nickel corner.
The best of the bunch is pretty easily Lattimore. There are some red flags here with just one season of play and a potential chronic hamstring issue, but he’s far and away the most talented to me and most others. He’s an ideal selection at pick five, but what happens if he’s not there?
What happens if Trubisky goes to San Fransisco and Lattimore goes to Chicago? In this case Jon Robinson has likely lost all of his trade leverage. Could a team come up for Solomon Thomas, Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams? Sure. But it would be harder to work a deal if a quarterback isn’t in play. They are the driving force for trades.
1. CLE: Garrett
2. SF: Trubisky
3. CHI: Lattimore
4. JAX: Fournette
In that situation, who would Jon Robinson pick if he’s forced to stick and pick? For me it would be Malik Hooker, as I’ve noted, but the Titans haven’t shown interest. Would he default to Jamal Adams even though it isn’t a true need? What about Reuben Foster?
There are a ton of routes he could go here — it’s wide open. We could even see Mike Williams or John Ross. I don’t love the value in doing that, but if you’re in love with one of them you better take them right there. Receiver needy teams like Cincinnati, Buffalo and Carolina are waiting behind.
Just judging off of Robinson’s comments to this point, I think his dream scenario is to slide back to 12 and pick up one of the Browns second round picks. Picking at 12 would offer a new set of names to consider like Gareon Conley or Haason Reddick. But adding that second rounder would allow Robinson another pick to fill his two main needs — cornerback and receiver. I betting the only way to do that is to have demand for Mitchell Trubisky.
Robinson has kind of painted himself into a corner in this draft. I think we can all agree that he has to draft at least one receiver and corner. He did the same thing last year with his need for a right tackle — and I’d say that worked out pretty well.
The Titans can still go elsewhere position-wise with either of their first rounders, but I’d feel a lot better about taking a linebacker or safety with an addition second rounder in my back pocket to cover a blatant need.
If you’re rooting for a draft day trade, you need to be rooting for Trubisky NOT to land in San Fransisco. You need the Jaguars to stay out of the quarterback race. You also need to root for Marshon Lattimore to fall into the Titans lap, just in case Robinson can’t find a deal he loves.