In a mild surprise, the Tennessee Titans selected Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft.
It’s not surprising that Mariota went so high, it’s surprising that the Titans took him instead of trading the pick for a monster package from the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles, who were widely expected to go all-in for Mariota, put a huge offer on the table, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The reported offer, as described by Rapoport on Twitter, is insane:
- Two first-round picks
- One third-round pick
- Fletcher Cox, the team’s best defensive player
- Brandon Boykin, nickel corner
- Sam Bradford, starting quarterback
- Mychal Kendricks, starting linebacker
That’s a ton. Outside of throwing in a third first-round pick, there’s not much else the Eagles could have put on the table.
In 2012, the Washington Redskins gave up three first-round picks and a second-round pick to move up from No. 6 to No. 2 to draft Robert Griffin III. The Eagles offer — especially because it contains a proven star player as good as Cox — is at least as strong as that.
As much as Chip Kelly talked about not mortgaging the future for a single player, this would have been a wild gamble for Philly. He would have been trading a huge proportion of his available assets for one guy. The only way it would have worked out is if Mariota became one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
In turning down the deal, the Titans showed that they were more committed to Mariota than they let on publicly. While there was talk that they loved current starter Zach Mettenberger, you don’t turn down that sort of offer unless you think you’re getting a special player.
Immediately after the pick, head coach Ken Whisenhunt essentially declared Mariota the starter.
The Titans could have easily justified taking the trade. Instead, they bet big on Mariota.