After heaps of speculation surrounding the Tennessee Titans’ plans for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft, we now have answers. Instead of staying put and taking a player such as Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil or Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, the Titans traded the pick and hauled in a king’s ransom from the Los Angeles Rams.
Here is a breakdown of what each team gave up and received in the deal.
- No. 1 in 2016
- No. 113 in 2016
- No. 177 in 2016
- No. 15 in 2016
- No. 43 in 2016
- No. 45 in 2016
- No. 76 in 2016
- Rams’ first-round pick in 2017
- Rams’ third-round pick in 2015
Just as a quick refresher, the St. Louis Rams are no stranger to blockbuster trades revolving around high draft picks. However, this time around, their role was reversed. Prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, the Rams acquired three first-round picks and one second rounder from the Washington Redskins in exchange for the No. 2 pick in 2012, which ended up being Robert Griffin III.
So essentially what just happened is that the Rams made a reverse RGIII trade, which is completely baffling to us. They had a front row seat to the disaster that resulted when the Redskins mortgaged their future for one player.
And let’s be honest, Griffin was widely viewed as a much better NFL prospect when he was entering the league than Jared Goff out of Cal — who the Rams are expected to use the pick on — or Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State. All said, it’s like they learned nothing from the Redskins’ mistake. At the end of the day, this type of move results in coaches and general managers getting fired if it doesn’t work out.
As for the Titans, there’s not much to say about this trade other than that it was a brilliant move by their General Manager Jon Robinson. Tennessee now has six picks in the first three rounds of the 2016 Draft, which puts them in a position where they can stick to taking the best player available (regardless of position) every time they are on the clock. And with the holes they have in their roster, this plethora of draft picks couldn’t have come at a better time.
Blockbuster trades have an innate way of shaking up the NFL, and this one was no different. Outside of the obvious repercussions directly involving the Rams and Titans, this deal has the potential to have an effect on a handful of other teams around the league as well.
For starters, the situation involving the Cleveland Browns and what they should do with the No. 2 overall pick just got a lot more confusing. Had the Titans stayed at No. 1 and drafted Tunsil or Ramsey (there is a zero percent chance they would take a quarterback with Marcus Mariota already on the roster), the Browns would have had their pick of the top two signal callers in the draft and their trading power would have remained extremely high.
When it comes down to it, the smart move for Cleveland would still be to trade down and accumulate future draft picks. That being said, while there will still likely be outside interest in the No. 2 overall pick, there is no way that the Browns will get the type of trade package that they would have if the Titans had kept their pick.
Another team on the outside that lost in this trade is the San Francisco 49ers, who currently hold the No. 7 overall pick in the upcoming draft. The situation surrounding their starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has been one of the most widely discussed topics of the NFL offseason. The simple truth of the matter is that Kaepernick and the Niners are almost certainly headed toward a divorce, and there is really no chance that either Goff or Wentz will be available when San Francisco is on the clock at No. 7.
On the flip side, there were a couple of outside teams that must be extremely pleased with this trade. The San Diego Chargers (No. 3 overall), the Dallas Cowboys (No. 4 overall), the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 5 overall), and the Baltimore Ravens (No. 6 overall), who all have franchise quarterbacks in place, will now be in much better standings to land the best available non-quarterbacks in the draft — assuming Goff and Wentz are the first two players off the board, as expected.
Another team that benefitted today was the Denver Broncos. They will now have one less team to compete with for Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch later in the first round, and the trade also opened up the possibility of Denver landing Nick Foles via trade or free agency (if the Rams release him). Both players would be excellent fits in head coach Gary Kubiak’s system, and it would allow the team to move on from the drama surrounding their potential trade for Kaepernick.
Only time will tell how this blockbuster trade will be remembered, but at the end of the day, history has shown that these types of trades rarely work out well for the team that gives up their future draft classes for one player.
Draft information courtesy of NFL.com.