The NFL world is focused on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and what they will do with the top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. It’s the Tennessee Titans who hold the key to the draft and they are also the biggest mystery.
While we still don’t know who the Bucs will draft, there are signs it will be Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. But more importantly, it would be a huge upset if Tampa Bay does not draft a quarterback.
That’s where the Titans come in and the drafts of several teams hinge on what Tennessee decides to do with the second pick of the draft.
In a draft where most agree that there are two potential franchise quarterbacks, the Titans could simply draft whomever is left after the Bucs’ pick and general manager Ruston Webster said the team is not ruling out that possibility. That move is more likely if Winston is still available as he would fit the Titans’ offence better.
At the same time, Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt continue to praise starter Zach Mattenberger and some believe they will stick with the second-year quarterback and pass on a quarterback in the draft.
If that happens, the Titans could then take defensive lineman Leonard Williams from USC, a player many feel is the top-rated player in the draft.
But the smarter move may be to trade away the pick just as the St. Louis Rams did with the second pick in the 2012 when, like this year, there were two highly-touted quarterbacks available in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
If teams in need of a quarterback are high on the two QBs available in the draft, they will almost certainly need to trade up into picks 2-5 as most projections now have the Jets taking Mariota if he is still available with the No. 6 pick.
That makes the Titans’ pick extremely valuable as they hold the one pick that can guarantee teams a shot at drafting a quarterback. That value is enhanced even further by a very weak free agent quarterback class which could make teams even more desperate in the draft.
The Titans’ decision to hold on to their pick or trade it then impacts the next three picks in the draft as their value is tied to the availability of one of the quarterbacks. It also has a huge impact on the 6th pick where the Jets could be waiting for a QB to fall to them.
In other words, the top of this year’s draft is completely up in the air and it is actually the Titans who are controlling most of the cards.
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